A big welcome back to historical fiction author J. A. Boulet, to chat with me about The Strong Within Us Book 2.
During her virtual book tour, J. A. with be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!
J. A. Boulet is the passionate author of The Olason Chronicles, a historical saga of war, courage, love and strength. The Strong Within Us Book 2 was released on Amazon November 11, 2020. J. A. Boulet was born and raised in Western Canada as a first generation Canadian from European descent. Her father was enlisted with the Hungarian military and fought bravely during the Hungarian Revolution, changing sides to stand up for what he believed in. He was granted asylum in Canada and built his family here.
J. A. Boulet was born many years later, raised with strong morals and values, which she stands behind to this day. She started writing poetry at the age of five and progressed to short stories and novels. She has a keen interest in settlers, healing, family bonds and military history. J. A. Boulet writes with a spine-tingling realism like none other, grabbing your emotions and refusing to let go. The Strong Within Us Book 2 will be the book you’ve been waiting for.
She currently lives in Canada with her two teenaged sons and a crested gecko named Mossio.
Welcome back to Reviews and Interviews, JA. Please tell us about your newest release.
The Strong Within Us is the passionate sequel to Book One. It is the satisfying continuation of the historical family saga with Nath and a newcomer, his grandson, Mike.
What inspired you to write this book?
I feel strongly about the military, the wars from the past, explorers and our ancestors. We wouldn’t be alive now without these brave souls.
What’s the next writing project?
Book 3 of The Olason Chronicles with a slightly different twist. There’s a bad boy named Zack that you will be thrilled to meet!
What was your biggest challenge when writing this book?
My biggest challenge was definitely the war and training scenes. So many edits and historical fact checks went into those scenes. I’m super proud of the end result though. This is an entertaining book with emotions, despair, joy, family, violence, sex and of course, love.
Excerpt from The Strong Within Us:
She was a stunning woman with beautiful long black hair, shockingly rare blue eyes and tanned skin. She was captivating and absolutely gorgeous. Ivan thought that he didn’t have a chance until he found out that she lived down by the pier with her father. He bought fish from her father regularly, trading vegetables and grains some days. Every time Ivan visited the large fishery at the pier, he was always scanning the crowd for the beautiful blue-eyed fisherman girl. He found out that she was almost the same age as himself; she was 18, and he was 19. How she had managed to remain single was something beyond his stretch of knowledge. Maybe she was too beautiful, he thought. No man was courageous enough to approach her. Until this day, he thought.
Ivan straightened his tie and proceeded to the fishery. He ran his fingers through his hair, adjusting his cowlick. The pesky tuft of hair at his crown annoyed him greatly. It seemed to have a mind of its own, especially in tense situations; it would stick up like a fork in a haystack. Otherwise, he thought that he was quite a handsome fellow, standing at six feet tall, slim but fit, with dark blonde hair, a young uneven beard and captivating green eyes. Women looked at him often, so he knew that he was attractive, but he still felt unsure of himself some days, especially around stunning women like her. Ivan pulled the door to the fishery open, unconsciously licking his hand and smoothing down the cowlick again as he stepped inside.
If your novels require research – please talk about the process. Do you do the research first and then write, while you’re writing, after the novel is complete and you need to fill in the gaps?
My routine is to research in the beginning, before I write, to get the dates, events and names right. Sometimes chapter by chapter. If I find that I am not confident enough to write a chapter, I will seek help from interviewing veterans, museums and scholarly research books.
Once I am finished writing and editing the entire novel, I send it out for a historical fact check. This is the most important step but the most discouraging. It’s disheartening to go back and hear of all the historical missteps. But alas, it is not all lost because of the research beforehand, usually, the historical fact checks are just rewording events and phrases or sometimes it’s simply replacing certain descriptive words with others that were used back then.
What’s your writing space like? Do you have a particular spot to write where the muse is more active? Please tell us about it.
Funny, you’d say this. Yes! It seems that I cannot write at a desk! I write on my comfy sofa with my laptop balanced on my thighs. Sometimes I will write at a coffee shop to get out of the house, but I am often kicked out because I often write too late in the evening.
What authors do you enjoy reading within or outside of your genre?
Ken Follett is the author I look up to the most. I am currently reading The Evening and The Morning and enjoying every minute of it.
Outside of my genre, I love Lora Leigh’s naughty romances and Jodi Ellen Malpas. I am a very picky historical fiction reader, but I often change other genres randomly for variety. I was on a romance kick for approximately eight years when I was married. I loved all three books by Steig Larsson, with amazing international intrigue. I enjoyed reading spy books by Tom Clancy, Ken Follett and others for over ten years. Surprisingly, this is how I found Ken Follett.
I have found many talented authors just by randomly picking up a book. I recommend everyone to give a new author a chance. We all had to start somewhere.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers today?
Stay safe, have faith and hope, things will get better. Covid will soon be behind us. Keep your chin up and learn to dance in the rain.
The book will be on sale for $1.99 on Kobo during the tour.
Thank you for coming back to Reviews and Interviews!
You are very welcome and thank you for having me back. It was a pleasure sharing my stories with you!