by Janelle Jalbert
GENRE: Contemporary Paranormal Women’s Fiction
A struggling veteran reads about the mysterious death of a local athlete and wants to learn more. He meets the owner of the business linked to the crime and discovers others have “disappeared”.
All stories include a man with dark hair, blue eyes, and a strong jaw.
Then, it’s his turn.
The mysterious forces at Bliss change everything. What brought them all to Bliss is not as it appears and their lives are powerfully interconnected across space and time.
Introducing Setting and Second Primary Character
Greg opened the backdoor to Bliss. He forced himself to stop thinking about how the name of the place made him think of a day spa rather than a barbeque joint. The tell-tale wood smoke greeted him, causing his stomach to growl and suspending his thoughts about the name of the place. Musical chimes sounded above the door as Greg’s eyes adjusted from the glare of the fall sun to the darkened interior.
Figures, he thought. Why wouldn’t there be chimes at a place called Bliss?
Once his eyes adjusted, the bar area didn’t seem to be out of the ordinary. Greg stopped at the partition just inside the door. It was covered with a list of sayings:
Follow Your Bliss
Happiness Is an Inside Job
Be Careful What You Wish For
There’s No Better Time to Claim the Future You Want Than Now
A half-laugh escaped him. He thought it was a menu board at first and the philosophizing caught him off guard. Still, the final statement hit close to home, and he took a deep breath.
Greg headed to the long black bar. A smaller party room was to the right with about a dozen tables to the left. It had the feel of a contemporary jazz club or maybe a speakeasy. Beyond the tables, bright daylight streamed into the lounge from a passage between the front diner area and the bar. No creepy Twilight Zone feeling here, he thought.
Two muted, flat screen TVs hung on either side of the wood shelves stocked with bottles of all sizes. He eyed the taps and sports coverage while surveying the place. Though there were no windows in the back area, yet it didn’t feel claustrophobic. Between the lighting, mirrors and glass, there was elegance to the place that radiated a different type of light. Poster-sized black and white pictures hung on the walls, showing the history of the place. Greg guessed they were from the 1940’s. Smaller pictures of patrons and notable artifacts related to “Our Place” dotted the walls. Greg knew from his early research that Our Place was the name of the restaurant until a few years earlier.
Greg settled in, still getting a sense of the place, when a woman with graying dark hair approached him. Though he talked with Lois on the phone, this was the first time he saw her. She was not remarkably tall, but definitely commanded the bar and carried herself in a way that betrayed her real age. She had a look of knowing, or maybe it was just cheer that she had a customer on a dead afternoon.
An Interview with the author:
- How long have you been writing?
Well, if you want to get technical and define writing as producing for others to read, then I’ve been writing since I was 10. When I the writer bug bit I began writing series stories personalized for friends as a one-page installments delivered before class started.
It wasn’t until 2009 that my writing really began to come to the forefront. I used my passion for racing and took a leap from teaching to motorsports reporting and photography. It was a highly unlikely move for a high school English teacher in Los Angeles to become a national motorsports reporter who traveled the country covering various tracks, but by the end of 2009, I was in the pits and covering the red carpet for Jimmie Johnson’s 4th Sprint Cup title.
Flash forward to the fall of 2013. It was a life changing point in time. I hadn’t thought about fiction writing in decades, and an idea I could resist sprang to life. Mere weeks after I dedicated myself to the task, my dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer. His passing strengthened my resolve to do what I had wanted to do since I was 10. I began copywriting for major internet businesses, and it led to ghosting for international clients. I submitted a story to a flash fiction magazine where it was accepted, and I was asked to be a regular contributor. I was awarded book contract for another passion of mine, wine, and set out to complete that task as well. I have been going full-throttle with my writing since then.
- How long have you been a published author?
As far as writing for publication and pay goes, I did my first book, Success Skills for Middle & High School Students (2001, Word Association) as part of a teaching position. Years later, I contributed a chapter to Conscious Entrepreneurs (2008, Love Your Life Publishing), but the true regular publishing started with my motorsports reporting in 2009. I’ve been going like gangbusters with book publications across several genres since early 2014.
3. What titles do you have available?
Currently, Triangulating Bliss and the companion guide, The Backdoor to Bliss, are available as eBook pre-sale on Amazon, with a full release in eBook and paperback on September 28th. Triangulating Bliss will also be available through major retailers and most bookstores then.
My fictional debut, Flash 40: Life’s Moments is a collection of flash fiction stories that celebrate the beginnings, middles, and endings in life as well as exploring what lies beyond. It is available through Amazon in eBook and paperback.
Wine for Beginners (For Beginners Publishing, 2015) is available on Amazon and B&N.
4. What made you choose the subject of this book?
Triangulating Bliss is a story about second chances and learning what really matters in life. It explores the notion that there is more to this crazy thing called life than we can see with our own eyes and often the only things stopping us from what we hope and wish for are how we view ourselves, our experiences, and our beliefs in our abilities.
Triangulating Bliss has been a life-changing journey from the moment the lightbulb went off with the story idea. In 2013, I was struggling with reorganizing my life and was at a loss for how to get my proverbial poop in a group. As I was leaving a restaurant with my childhood friend, the idea of being able to walk through a door and into the life you were meant to be living popped in my head. I couldn’t let it go and ran with it. Of course, the characters had other things in mind when it came to actually telling the tale, but the two years that it took to get my “Bliss Baby” out into the world were redefining and in hindsight mirrored my own journey to find what bliss is to me going forward. It was only in the countless rounds of editing that I realized that many of my own challenges and struggles were worked through and addressed by the characters in the book. As more people have read Triangulating Bliss, I have also come to see that there are many people of all ages in the middle of finding and following their bliss to achieve a better life.
- How does Triangulating Bliss fit as part of the Mystique of Living Series?
Originally, Triangulating Bliss was going to be a one-off, standalone book. It was story that had to be told, and I figured that would be it. As beta readers finished the early drafts, they began to ask about the other characters and wanted more. Then, I got interested in the background and purpose of the “guardian of the Bliss Triangle” in the form of the man with dark hair, blue eyes and a strong jaw. That’s when I realized there was more to tell.
Ultimately, we are all searching for Bliss, in the form of what makes us happy. That’s where the title and premise of Triangulating Bliss rests. While it is customary to refer to a collection of books around a similar topic as a series, the Mystique of Living Series is not truly linear. The follow-up book, Triangulating Self is what I like to refer to as a tandem rather than a sequel or prequel. There are insights into both what happened before and during Triangulating Bliss, but it is also a story all unto itself.
To truly find and follow your bliss, there are several things that a person has to master: knowing yourself, wisdom, love, and abundance among them. That’s how the series took shape. Bliss is both at the core and is also the end goal, but wisdom, love and abundance are the tools to get there. As a result, each character’s story folds back into Bliss while being its own unique journey.
6. What is the Bliss Challenge all about?
Over the course of time it took to get Triangulating Bliss out into the world, it grew into something more. I fell in love with the character of Lois. She’s the type of woman I hope to be as I grow older. One thing that she says in the novel stuck with me. She talks about how she never really believed in fairy tales but always liked the idea of a Fairy Godmother helping others and granting wishes.
That struck a chord with me, and I have always tried to assist causes that I believe in through any of my work. As a result, I created the Bliss Challenge in honor of Lois’s character. The goal of the Bliss Challenge is to fund the wishes of children facing medical challenges. 10% of the proceeds from the novel and 100% of the proceeds from the companion guide will go to the Bliss Challenge. It was made even more poignant with the loss of my dad as I completed the initial draft of the novel and the unexpected passing of my disabled sister only months later.
7.Do you have any new titles coming soon?
The very next project after Triangulating Bliss and the companion guide, The Backdoor to Bliss, is a slight deviation. Wing Dog: Soul Pup is what I like to call a Magical Mutt Memoir highlighting a special relationship with a guardian angel in a fur suit. If you like The Art of Racing in the Rain, Marley & Me, and A Dog’s Purpose, it is a must read that will be released in spring of 2016.
The next installment of the Mystique of Living Series, Triangulating Self, which is Phil’s story, is due out in summer 2016. The two-part third installment in the series, Triangulating Wisdom, features Mikel’s and Dee’s stories and will be out in late 2016.
8. What is your favourite genre and why?
I read just about anything and everything (though I have to admit that I am tired of the whole vampire, werewolf, and zombie craze). Personally, I gravitate towards books that mix or cross genres – which mimic my own writing, I suppose. Pieces that include elements of the paranormal, supernatural, and Magical Realism always catch my eye, but I have to admit that my favorite curl-up-in-bed-with-a-book genre is romance in its various forms. Life can be crazy and a little H.E.A. at the end of the day tends to make things better.
9. What, to you, is the most exciting part of the writing process?
Hands down, without a doubt, my favorite part of the writing process is when the characters take over and begin to tell their stories for themselves. I have a general idea of where the plot is going and what I am writing for the day when I sit down to draft, but sometimes I get to go on a fun and surprising ride as well. It’s exciting to see how the stories and characters develop, and I am pleasantly shocked when the characters add twists and turns that somehow all come together to make the story even more powerful that I had originally foreseen.
One of the last things my dad said to me about writing in general was after I told him about such a situation, where the characters went on a date and did something I hadn’t planned at all. He said “Those are the best stories…the ones where characters take charge of their own lives and tell their own tales are the ones that work the best.” I have to say that I agree.
10. If you could co-author a book with anyone, who would you choose and why?
That’s a good question. I guess it would depend on the genre that I was writing. If it was memoir or travel related, I’d probably say Elizabeth Gilbert. For romance, it would likely be Ava Miles, Julianne MacLean, or Marie Force. In my niche of Magical Realism and visionary fiction, I’d have to say Paul Coelho.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Janelle Jalbert has ghostwritten 15 nonfiction books on topics ranging from productivity, money management, marketing, cooking, and relationships. She also worked as a copywriter for some of the biggest online names and worked as a motorsports reporter covering NASCAR. Jalbert enjoys bringing stories to life that celebrate the magic in everyday living. To learn more about her current and upcoming releases and promotions visit http://www.janellejalbert.com. Jalbert currently lives in Southern California, though she regularly returns to her second home in North Carolina when her pack of pups grants her a vacation.
Those readers who purchase the book by 9/30 will receive be able to buy Triangulating Bliss for $0.99 (which will be the lowest price offered…ever), and they can receive the ebook Companion Guide to Triangulating Bliss for free by clicking on the presale promotion link. Starting 10/1 the Companion Guide will be available for $1.99 ebook and $6.99 paperback.
The “Bliss Challenge” is an effort to take the spirit of the novel’s beloved character, Lois, and help make wishes come true. Ten percent of the proceeds from Triangulating Bliss and 100% of the proceeds from the novel’s companion guide, The Backdoor to Bliss, will be given to a Make-A-Wish program voted on by readers. Selections are based on reader votes for their favorite characters: Los Angeles for Greg, Henri, and Mikel; Chicago for Lois; Charlotte for Jen; and New York for Richard. The goal is to grant at least one wish for a child in the winning city based on funds raised from the novel and guide. Voting and challenge updates can be found at www.TriangulatingBliss.com/BlissChallenge
Author Website: http://www.janellejalbert.com
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/Janelle_Jalbert
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Janelle-Jalbert/e/B00Q5MD7AW
BN Author Page: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/janelle-jalbert
Author’s Extras!: http://synchron8publishing.com/triangulating-bliss-launch
Janelle will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: