Thursday, June 6, 2013

Interview and Giveaway: Jeanette Pekala author of Culture Shock

With me today for an interview is the author of Culture Shock, Jeanette Pekala. Let’s get to know her….

Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to be. I actually still work a day job as an admin personnel for a nonprofit in healthcare, but being artistically inclined is something I always was. I don’t just write books. I draw, paint, sing, dance, write poetry, write and play music, etc. I’m crafty.

When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?            
I wrote a poem for my husband on his birthday in 2010 and he said he really liked it, so I started messing around with my unskilled writing skills. It turns out I have a knack for it.

How long did it take to get your first book published?  
One and a half years.

Do you do another job except for writing and can you tell us more about it?     
Yes. During the day I work at a nonprofit in the healthcare industry. I love helping people. I love my job, but I also love my passion—writing.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?           
Culture Shock.
CULTURE SHOCK is a witty tale of mystery and romance with a large helping of southern hospitality.

Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?              
TNT Publishing, LLC

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
Every book or writing endeavor is different. Culture Shock seemed effortless to me. I wrote all 676 pages in 3 months, but I was a stay-at-home mom then. Now I work essentially 2 jobs as a mom of 2, so it’s taking a little longer, plus the 2nd book in the series is more complicated, so it’s taking me longer.

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?   
I love all YA urban fantasy and paranormal. Culture Shock is a series of 3 books. The next installment will be available Fall 2013. I plan to stick to the YA genre, but I have a more sinister side that is begging to be released so I’m going to delve into some crazy horror adult short stories. I’m currently working on one and haven’t finished it yet because Shock Wave (CS #2) is taking a while.

What genre would you place your books into? 
YA Paranormal (but you can consider it YA urban fantasy as well)

What made you decide to write that genre of book?     
Because that’s what I read and enjoy.

Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why are they your favorite?     
I love Raleigh McPhee, the town’s drunk sheriff. I modeled him after my husband and not because my husband is a drunk because he’s not. Raleigh and my husband have what is called the lack of a brain to mouth filter. They say whatever comes to mind no matter how crazy it is or who’s around.

How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?       
I’ve been writing since about 2011. I wrote a poem for my husband on his birthday and he said he liked it a lot. That is was very good. It gave me the confidence I needed to start writing more.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?             
I usually sit outside with my coffee cup and laptop if the weather is nice. Yes, music is important to me, but I only listen to music without lyrics while I write.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?           

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?      
Write the book first.

How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?  
I create a character profile. A series of questions from a format I use frequently to create a new character. I usually have a look in mind immediately. It’s the personality I need to create. The naming that is more difficult for me. I usually troll baby names online and then do a last name generator or scroll through my online contacts or yearbooks to choose names.

Are character names and place names decided after their creation? Or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?   
Either or. It depends on if I’m undecided on a name. Then I will usually just use the character, write him in until I settle on a name and then go back and change my temporary name.

Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?            
As I go along.

Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..") 
The moral is to pretty much have confidence in yourself and to love yourself for who you are. Just be yourself and not what everyone else wants you to be. Culture Shock is definitely more entertainment than afterschool special so don’t worry, it won’t be preachy.

Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback? 
I love a beautiful hardcover, but I do love my Kindle. I hate to admit it but I really, really do.

What is your favorite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?
I love, love, love the Vampire Academy Series. I have read the whole series twice.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer?
The absolute worst…Gone with the Wind. It was a spectacular book, but the movie was absolutely HORRIBLE.

Your favorite food is?   
Do I have to choose? I love all food. Anything Italian works for me.

Your favorite singer/group is?  
I love newer singers with soul like Adele, Bruno Mars, Amy Winehouse (RIP).

Your favorite color is?  

Your favorite Author is?              

Richelle Mead

More About Culture Shock

Culture Shock
Culture Shock Series Book One
Jeanette Pekala

Genre: YA Paranormal

ebook: 978-0-9891584-0-4        
paperback: 978-0-9891584-1-1

Number of pages: 676
Word Count: 135,000

Cover Artist: Bonnie Alford

Book Description:

CULTURE SHOCK is a witty tale of mystery and romance with a large helping of southern hospitality.

Macy Holmes is a seventeen-year-old socially-isolated introvert since her best friend's death a year ago. When her family decides to move from Manhattan to the quaint country town of Bougainvillea, Florida, Macy finds she's in a completely different world. Macy is no longer the outsider hiding behind designer clothes when she is sought out by three strange students, one of whom she is particularly interested in. The more time she spends with Chad the more things don't add up. When his true identity is finally revealed, Macy is pulled into a supernatural society with its saturation of inhabitants residing in Bougainvillea.

You would think she has enough on her plate, but no, then her dreams become infiltrated by an external magical force, Macy and her band of supernatural misfits must find the culprit behind the magic-induced nightmares. They must dodge zombie assassins, shifty shape-shifters and high school bullies in order to stop this perpetrator before Macy, her friends or her parents pay the ultimate price.

Especially when Macy has the sneaking suspicion that these dreams are reality...


There were two guys and one girl. The girl had severely long red wavy hair and flawless fair skin. She was supermodel skinny. Heroin-addict supermodel skinny. Her back was to me so I couldn’t get a good look at her face.
The first boy was sitting next to her. His back also to me, but when I first caught them spying, I noticed something peculiar about this boy. He was wearing a black hoodie, with the drawstrings tied so tight, the hood was covering nearly his whole face. He had dark aviator glasses on and gloves. Seriously, it’s like ninety-something degrees outside. Why on earth would you wear gloves? His skin, what was showing of it anyways, was even paler than the girl’s.

About the Author:

After finishing her degree in Sociology from the University of Florida, Jeanette Pekala had no idea what she wanted to do with her life.

While her husband was deployed overseas, she focused on what she loved to do, write, where she has finally found an outlet for her overactive imagination.

She lives a not so normal life just a wee bit north of Bougainvillea where she resides with her husband and two children working on Shock Wave, book 2 in the Culture Shock Series.

Tour wide give away 10 eBook Copies Culture Shock

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