Monday, October 29, 2007

GCC Presents: Jana DeLeon and Unlucky

You know, my husband has long told me that I should write a book that deals with gambling or poker or something along those lines (actually, "a woman with gambling addiction" was what he threw at me, as if that's supposed to somehow give me a plot or purpose, but ahem, I digress), and the good news is, that since I know nothing about any of these things, I can now tell him that the book has already been written: Jana DeLeon's Unlucky. I totally love this premise, here's the scoop:

Her luck’s so bad it’s a crime.

Everyone in Royal Flush, Louisiana, knows Mallory Devereaux is a walking disaster. At least now she’s found a way to take advantage of her chronic bad luck: by “cooling” cards on her uncle’s casino boat. As long as the crooks invited to his special poker tournament don’t win their money back, she’ll get a cut of the profit.

But Mal isn’t the only one working some major mojo. There’s a dark-eyed dealer sending her looks steamier than the bayou in August. Turns out he’s an undercover agent named Jake Randoll, and for a Yank, he’s pretty darn smart. Smart enough to enlist her help to catch a money launderer. As they race to untangle a web of decades-old lies and secrets amid a gathering of criminals, Mallory can’t help hoping her luck’s about to change….

Today, we're lucky enough (ha! I didn't even do that intentionally) to have Jana weigh in with some answers to my five usual questions...

1) What's the backstory behind your book?
My husband and I got married in Vegas in 2000. Before we left, I studied and studied blackjack combinations, determined to beat the house. Unfortunately, I have absolutely, positively NO LUCK. In fact, my luck is so bad that when I sit down at a table, not only don't I win, everyone else starts losing too. So I came up with Mallory Devereaux, the unluckiest woman in the world, who needs to make some money fast and decides to do it by "cooling" cards at a poker tournament of criminals.

2) What do you love most about writing fiction? What do you like least?
The fan letters/emails are definitely the best. All the waiting you do as an author (waiting to hear on proposals, waiting to hear on sales) is definitely the worst.

3) A lot of my blog readers are aspiring or new authors. How did you land your first book deal?
I did it the old-fashioned way. I wrote the book, edited the ever-living heck out of it, queried agents, got/accepted an offer for representation, got a list of edits from my agent (13 pages – yikes), made revisions, my agent submitted and we got an offer.

4) I have a serious procrastination problem when it comes to tackling my fiction. What's your routine? How do you dive it? Do you have any rituals or necessary to-dos before or while you write?
I write first thing in the morning before I go to the day job. That way if other things happen during the day (ie bad work day, bad Chinese for lunch) I've already gotten my pages in and don't have to feel guilty for taking a night off. If I feel fine and get a second wind, I'll write some more at night after dinner. My drive comes from the desire to constantly improve my place as an author. I don't have any rituals, per se, but I love to write in cafes and work in the same one every week.

5) Clearly, your book will be optioned for a multi-million dollar film deal! Who would you cast as the leads, if you were given creative control?
I would love someone like Eva Mendes to play the heroine. I think she's sexy in a fun way and could totally pull of a Cajun girl. For the hero, I'm thinking David Duchovny because I always loved him in the X-Files.


Eileen said...

This is such a great premise for a book. I've only gambled once and I won a few hundred dollars. I'm convinced I used my card luck up in that one night.

Trish Ryan said...

This book sounds great--it's officially in my to be read pile :)