Monday, June 05, 2006

BookEnds Talks to Jolie Mathis

Jolie Mathis
Book: The Sea King
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Pub date: June 2006

Jolie Mathis lives in Texas with her husband and two young children. The daughter of a confirmed bibliophile mother, Jolie's earliest memories are of visits to local libraries and bookstores. She enjoys reading, cooking (and eating), flea markets, and any activity involving family and friends.

Awards: The Sea King was a first place winner in the Romance Through the Ages Contest. The story also finaled in numerous other Romance Writers of America chapter contests.

Author Web site:

BookEnds: Describe your book in 50 words or less.
Jolie: Princess Isabel of Norsex owes Kol Thorlekkson her life, but since the day he came to her rescue she has been taught to hate the barbarian. When the dark Norseman returns to force her brother from his throne, she finds herself torn between her sworn allegiance and her traitorous heart.

BookEnds: What is your favorite thing about this book?
Jolie: Does the cover count? No? All right, then—I'd have to say my favorite thing about the book is Kol, the hero (who Nathan Kamp portrays very nicely on the cover). Kol is completely confident within the world of war and men. However, love and the emotional exposure that comes along with it are unfamiliar to him. He's very much prepared to pass on from this world without ever having experienced the love of a woman. Along those lines, while in the process of writing The Sea King, I did a word-association exercise for each of the characters. For Kol, I kept coming back to the phrase "Brokenhearted Savior," like the Big Head Todd song. I thought the phrase fit him perfectly, at least in the first half of the book. His issues are compelling, and unique.

BookEnds: What other authors do you find inspiration from?
Jolie: Judith Ivory and Laura Kinsale. Other influences include Edith Wharton, Stephen King, Toni Morrison, and Zora Neale Hurston. There are many, many more, but I'd better stop there.

BookEnds: What is your writing process like?
Jolie: Excruciating! Don't get me wrong. I love to write, but I write lots and lots of pages, only to tear them apart through revision, rearrangement, and, yes, deletion.

BookEnds: Where do you get your ideas?
Jolie: Usually I find inspiration in artwork or a song. For example, The Sea King was inspired by a piece of artwork, The Kiss, by Gustav Klimt. It's not really the specifics of the artwork or song, but rather the emotions they evoke. I also really enjoy historical research. I am always stumbling across some intriguing bit of information.

BookEnds: Why have you chosen to write in the genre in which you write?
Jolie: I write romance because I love "the dance" that occurs between a man and a woman when they discover one another and begin to fall in love.

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