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Friday, October 19, 2012

F.J Wilson Interview

We are so lucky this month to be a part of the Betwitching Book Tours, and with that we get to promote, review and interview some amazing and talented authors...Today we are ecstatic about interviewing the one and only F.J Wilson. Happy Reading!

In 1795 New Orleans, the Spanish controlled city struggles to rebuild after two devastating fires, and a young teenage girl is just as determined to leave her past behind and start anew. Celestine, the daughter of a Mississippi River prostitute spends most of her time hating herself, her life and the dirty men who rut with her mama.

When she turns thirteen and her mama informs her she’ll be servicing the very men she hates and fears, she has no other option but to run to the good nuns of the Ursulines Convent where for the first time she encounters kindness and a different kind of life.

After meeting the dashing ship captain Maurice Dubois, a man with his own past demons to reckon with, Celestine allows herself to be truly loved for the first time.

But when a shocking turn of events leaves her once again with nothing more than her own wits to survive, Celestine begins to realize the power her intoxicating beauty gives her over men including the debonair and infamous pirate Jean Lafitte.

It’s this very power that Celestine learns to capitalize on to begin a new career...not as the common riverfront lady of the night her mother had been...but as the most sought after courtesan in all of New Orleans.
About the Author:
F. J. Wilson was raised on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi in the fishing village and artist community of Ocean Springs, ninety miles east New Orleans; the city far from her reach but close to her heart. Much of her time growing up was spent reading under her grandmother’s big camellia bushes hiding from housework and the inevitable call to come inside and help start ‘supper’. In a time when young girls dreamed of big weddings and picket fences, she dreamed of the dangerous but darkly handsome Heathcliff and the English moors of days long gone. With Hemingway’s Paris, Scott Fitzgerald’s language and Margaret Mitchell’s South keeping her company, why would she ever want to clean her room?
Raised with small town values but dreams of a bigger life, she was more than ready to leave home in 1965 and began her education in the Theatre Department of the University of Southern Mississippi. From there she finally reached New Orleans and began a film career that sent her to New York, where she co-wrote an episode of the Emmy award winning Kate & Allie. Eventually her work in TV and film would take her to Los Angeles and all over the United States, Canada and New Zealand.
Her passion for the South and New Orleans brought her back to Mississippi in 2000. In 2007, her love for writing and her love of films collided, and she wrote humorous articles for the Arts and Entertainment Section of the Hattiesburg American newspaper. She’s been writing short stories and novels about Southerners since her retirement in 2008.
F. J. Wilson has one son, Jason, who lives in Monroe, CT and she now lives in Hattiesburg with her two Springer Hound Spaniels and is at the time married to her computer and her love of writing.
You may email her at


 1.When did you start writing and what was the first thing you wrote?
In 2004 I was house sitting a 200yr old mansion on Louisiana Ave. in New Orleans. It was April a particularly beautiful month in the south and I felt an unbridled urge to sit down and write.  I set up my laptop on an antique mahogany table in the second parlor and began to write about southern characters; amalgams of people I’d known throughout my life.  For the first time, I enjoyed the process and the outcome.  Once I learned that it was the mansion where Tennessee Williams lived, recuperating from a long illness in 1957, and wrote, “Suddenly Last Summer” , I knew I’d somehow tapped into a great energy still floating around the big rooms.  I wrote several short stories that spring and then went into a three year writer’s block after leaving the house.  I don’t profess to be writing as Mr. Williams, but he sure did leave some interesting thoughts floating around that big parlor.

2.Where do you get your ideas on what you write?
My ideas live in my head.  Characters wonder around up there like lively people at a large social event.  Some I want to know about, some I find boring, but mostly I want to know who they are and their story.  Celestine was one of those characters.  To me, an idea can come from a person’s conversation or seeing a documentary about the old Quadroon Balls of New Orleans.  The pirate Jean Lafitte.  What made him so interesting that I wanted to know about him two hundred years after his death?  What happens to children who are abused and grow up to carry that abuse into their daily lives, trying to be normal?  I met a couple who’d been happily married for 52yrs.  They’d been boyfriend and girlfriend since kindergarten, through schools and into their marriage.  Neither had ever dated another person.  I find that a story in itself.  What the heck makes that work?  Freaky…

3.What are some hobbies or things you are into that you do when not writing?
I make Jewelry.  I take vintage pieces and re-invent and make them into modern lovelies.  I hate the thought that old costume jewelry has lost its purpose, so I give it a new one and a new life.

4.Have you ever been so engrossed in writing a book that you have gone out in public in your pajamas or slippers without realizing it?  
I’ve been known to be standing in line at the grocery store with my much needed coffee cream and realized I wasn’t wearing a bra.  Thankfully it was the infamous  Wal-mart and I was better dressed than most.

5.Can you tell us about any challenges you met getting your first book published?
I was very fortunate.  I sent out less than 20 query letters and packets and Chances Press was the first to offer publication.  Two others offered to publish Celestine, but they wanted money up front and I had to buy many books from them once it was published and do all the marketing.  I’m a writer, not a marketing genius.  Chances has been wonderful and all I’ve had to do is book signings and light marketing deals like taking this interview which I love because I get to talk about myself.

6.What has been the toughest criticism/best compliment given to you as an author?
Toughest criticism was a woman giving a horrible critique on Amazon.  She was upset because my book doesn’t follow the usual formula of the Romance Novel.  She felt Celestine was too free with her love and there was too much sex.  Well, it is about a courtesan who teaches young men how to be good lovers, Its hard to do that with no lovers and no sex.  LOL
My best compliment was from my niece who is an avid Romance reader and she loves all of my books, and my older brother, a Viet Nam Vet, Naval pilot who doesn’t read love stories, he loved it.  He was a tough critic because he usually only reads  the classics , Hemingway, James Lee Burke and war stories.  I walked on air for two days after his phone call.  Believe me, he is my OLDER brother he would’ve told me real quick if it wasn’t good.

7. What is your favorite genre to read?
I love short stories.  I love Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Guy de Maupassent, can’t remember how to spell him, but I love to read him.  I haven’t read anything this year, I’ve been writing and I don’t want to confuse my voice with another author’s.

8. Do you like to snack on things while writing?
Oh, just the whole kitchen.  You should see me when I ‘m writing a sexy scene, oh my goodness, I eat and type, eat and type.  Did I tell you I live alone with my two dogs?  Get myself all excited and go to bed with a cookie and a glass of milk.  Oh who am I kidding?  Make that a bag of cookies and a glass of milk.

9. Favorite color:

10.Tea or coffee   
Dark strong Coffee with chicory; sweetener, good cream and a bit of allspice sometimes.

11. What is your current project and when is your next release?  
I am working to build a short story I wrote in 2004 into a novel.  The name is “Hawthorne” and it is a coming of age story of a little boy who has the perfect life and his little girlfriend who’s been abused and neglected.  Hawthorne is a very sensitive little boy who has to kill to save Becky’s life and then they go on to a life together working through her demons of the past and etc etc… the short story is on my blog.  My next release depends on Chances press and how well Celestine does.  But it is the second in the series of the making of an American family from 1795 to 2012, named “The Hornet Slayer”  then “A very Ordinary Family of Misfits” then “Don’t Kill the Moon”.  This is a four book series on how blood lines, races and nationalities blended over two hundred years to create a modern American family we would know today.

12. Do you have any message to the readers?
If you love to read, please bond with my characters.  They are created and in my mind live to please and entertain. If you want to write, don’t talk yourself out of it.  Write it down.  If you hate what you write, go back and edit the hell out of it.  My friend said to me, “You can’t edit a blank page.”  I love reader; they make the most interesting people because they know something about everything and can usually talk on any subject, if they’re read about it.  I love that the web lets us communicate with people who read our work.

Thank you F.J Wilson for letting us interview you! 

Find F.J at


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