I'm really honored to bring you the cover reveal of Lucky Number Four the third in the Fortune Cookie Diaries books, along with an interview from the author.
In New Orleans, Louisiana, something with a weird sense of humor is stranding myth in a nonmagical world.
Dr. Tiffany Crews and gang find themselves no longer chasing Damn Duck, running into walls or spilling soup. As a matter of fact, no accidents have happened in the last week.
It isn't until they find Damn Duck sitting quietly on the balcony, Miracai, the carnivorous unicorn, eating greens without flatulence, and her klutz tendencies missing, Tiffany realizes something is up.
Only when her best friend, Janet, begins dating a man named Aiden Murphy, does Tiffany understand - Murphy has been dropped into New Orleans. Not a far stretch of imagination considering the Fairy Godmother identifies him during lunch at Chopstix.
All the years of pent up frustration leads the entire gang into trouble as they decide it is time to get revenge, giving Murphy, and those bloody laws of his, a taste of his own medicine.
If only it was that simple.
I read the first book of TJ Loveless's Fortune Cookie Diaries just the other week, and it blew me away with its inventiveness. A crotchety unicorn with rainbow flatulence. A fairy godmother who is thrust upon some very un-Cinderellaish ladies from the real world in New Orleans. Lucky Number Six was a fun ride, and I eagerly await the release of Odd Number Five, the next in the series.
Thank you so very much! One for hosting me for a day, and two, for reading the book. I really do worry whether or not people liked it. And so far, they have. Thank goodness!
What made you decide to self-publish your first book, Lucky Number Six? And did you always intend to follow it up with a series?
Research decided, really. When the idea popped into my head, I realized they wouldn't be full length novels, but novellas. And traditional publishing was out, as was indie. I'd also been interested in self publishing, and the series was a great opportunity.
Yes, I did, and planned it as a series. I needed breaks between holidays, which is generally the timeframe they are all centered around, and putting it all in one book didn't work. Plus I kind of liked the idea of leaving a few things hanging only to have them continue in another novella.
Odd Number Five will be available on Amazon any day now while Unlucky Number Four releases on August 1st. How did you get so many books ready so quickly? What’s your secret?
Before I started The Fortune Cookie Diaries series, I sat down and listed the ideas for the entire series - characters, plots, holidays, what had to happen in each book to push the series forward, the creatures and the research. Also, with all of them only averaging 24k words, I could type them out faster. I'm not one to do a steady stream of 3k - 4k words a day, I do it in sprints, generally, of about 8k - 12k at a time, with a few days between each sprint.
I also decided to do three in the summer, and the last three out by late fall.
Where do the quirky mythical characters come from? Every reader really loves them; did they have a certain inspiration? I have to know about the rainbow flatulence.
Honestly? I can only credit my 13 yo daughter, Filly, for Miracai. She made an off-hand remark that she would love to have a Great Dane sized unicorn for a pet. So we had a discussion, okay, a Laugh Fest, about what the unicorn would be like. I came up with the rainbow flatulence, which I can credit that idea to Editor Kitty and a certain kind of cat food. She decided on the gold. We talked about personality - and decided that instead of going with the usual "Unicorn is sweet, compliant and always perfect" it was gonna be "Uncle George on salads."
Yes, it is a typical conversation in this house. Wait til you see what Hubby and I came up with for Weird Number Three.
I love the humor in your writing. It is more than just gags; humor is part of your characters’ outlook on life. Would you say that is a reflection on your own character?
Yes, a lot of that is me. Life is hard, and laughs are necessary just to put one foot in front of the other at times. And if I can help others at least smile, well, then I've done what I set out to do. I credit my grandmother and great aunt for teaching me to try and find humor, a smile, something, even in the darkest moments.
Your human characters are very down to earth and real. That makes an interesting contrast with your mythical characters. Was that a deliberate choice?
Yes. I wanted it to be as realistic as possible. I wanted to explore what would happen if all the fantasies I've watched, read, heard, or written, suddenly dropped into my reality. Granted, I would have probably hidden in a closet for a few days first, but eventually, curiosity would take over.
Can we look forward to more crazy characters to come in books two through six?
Oh yes, and for each of the gang to get their day in the sun as well. For example, in Odd Number Five - Mark has the wheel, Janet gets Four, Miracai gets Three ... and so on. Plus, as they close in on Quirky Number One, they begin to explore, and try to understand, why they get to have all the fun of meeting mythical creatures.
Where did the idea for using numbers in the titles come from?
Watching the movie, with Robert Duvall, Broken Trail, believe it or not. One of the scenes shows the girls refusing to be called Number Four. So I researched why - out of sheer curiosity. When I learned how numbers are perceived by different cultures, I couldn't help myself.
Plus, I suck at titles. Seemed a quirky way to go, and that fit with The Fortune Cookie Diaries.
About the Author:
T.J. Loveless can generally be found covered in Muses and Editor Kitty, ignoring the growing herd of dust bunnies and trying to put the HD movies of her imagination into a document that makes sense.
Writing in the Spec Fic genre, she's usually trying to figure out how to put a dragon into every book, and how to twist old myths for her own nefarious purposes.
You can find T.J. Loveless all over, usually showcasing the lack of brain - mouth filter normal people seem to have in abundance.