Wednesday, February 04, 2015

A Mixure Day - Indy Lights Book Parade Author J.J. DiBenedetto and IWSG Wednesday Post

Indie Lights Book Parade – J.J. DiBenedetto, author

Author Interview:
1.     What inspired you to write your first book? 
DREAM STUDENT came from asking a simple question.  Why, in most mystery stories, do average people try to solve a crime or catch a killer themselves, when most normal people would do the sane thing and just call the police?
I tried to come up with an answer, and what I thought of was: maybe they wouldn’t go to the police if the only evidence was in their heads.  If they saw the crime through the eyes of the killer, and that was the only proof they had.  If they saw it in the dreams of the killer.  So there was the idea: if you could see someone else’s dreams, and that person was committing crimes, what could you do about it?  You’d have no physical proof, the police would never believe you.  You’d have to start investigating yourself, if you wanted to stop them.
Sara, the main character of DREAM STUDENT, came into being along with that idea, and so did the college setting of the book.
2.     Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? 
The actual story of DREAM STUDENT (and the rest of the Dream Series) is not based on real people or events, but the background settings and some of the minor characters definitely are.  In DREAM STUDENT, Sara attends a (very thinly) fictionalized version of my college; the apartment building she lives in in book four, DREAM FAMILY, is basically the building I lived in when I moved down to Washington, DC, and so forth.
3.     What book are you reading now? 
I’m finishing my yearly re-read of my favorite novel ever, “Winter’s Tale” by Mark Helprin.
4.     What are your current projects? 
I’m working on the latest book in the Dream Series.  This is the ninth book, and it’s called SHATTERED DREAM.  I hope to have it released by the end of April.
5.      If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Absolutely.  Every time I read my work over, I see things I would change.  But I think every author feels that way.  Leonardo Da Vinci said it best – “art is never finished, only abandoned.”
6.      Who designed the covers? 
The original covers for my first six books were hand-painted by a local artist who also was the head graphic designer at my old employer, Ami Low.  She did a fantastic job, and gave me exactly what I wanted.  But unfortunately, what I wanted was not what readers in my genre were looking for.  So I had to change the covers, and the new covers were designed by Emma Michaels (, who’s also done an amazing job.
7.      While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters?
Not exactly.  What I feel like, sometimes, is that the characters are actual people, and I’m only passing on the stories that I’ve heard from them, rather than creating them myself.

Author Bio:
J.J. (James) Dibenedetto's fans would swear he's got a sixth sense when it comes to seeing into the minds of others and often wonder if his stories could possibly be fiction. He enjoys suspending disbelief with suspenseful paranormal tales that are a perfect blend of reality meets fantasy.
His popular Dream Series continues to delight readers with each and every exciting installment. 

Born in Yonkers, New York, he currently resides in Arlington Virginia with his beautiful wife and a cat he is sure has taken full advantage of its nine lives. When it comes to the cat, he often wonders, but then again it might just be his imagination.

Sorry for the longish post this month, but wanted to share the Indy Lights Book Parade with you as well. I hope you enjoyed J.J.'s interview and will look into his series. Not to mention seeing the rest of the "parade!"
Now, on to my IWSG post! 
I am a co-host this year on the A to Z Blogging Challenge and am looking for talented "minions" or admin assistants, to help me go through a portion of the signup list throughout the Challenge (the month of April). We would be looking for blog links who aren't participating, or that are advertising only, or have adult content and aren't identified as such. If you are interested in being on my "team" I would love to have you. All you need to do is let me know in the comment section of this post. I think I will need at least 5 helpers, so don't feel shy! If you are interested let me know and I'll give you more informative details once we "meet." Thank you, and please, don't feel shy! Come on and make my day by being on my team! Oh, and we get to name ourselves too, so think of a cool name for our team...
I hope all of you are doing well with the new year goals you set for yourselves. I'm making headway in areas of business, but have just gotten started on revisions to current WIP. I got a "kick" in the rear from my support group and took that as a message that some things just can't be put off! 
Please let me know if you'd like to be on my team this April on the A to Z Blogging Challenge, and please take time to visit other IWSG bloggers, and IWSG's co-hosts this month, Gwen Gardner, Dolorah, Sarah Foster, and M. Pax! Co-hosts always do an awesome job of helping our IWSG Ninja Captain keep up with all of us!

Click here to enter

Rafflecopter Giveaway:

Thanks to our wonderful parade authors we've got fantastic swag baskets for three awesome winners! Prizes include ebooks, gift cards and fun!
Remember, winning is as easy as visiting, clicking or commenting--easy to enter; easy to win!


  1. Congrats on co-hosting the A-Z!. I have not gotten brave enough to try to the challenge yet, maybe next year. Good luck with your revisions too. Happy IWSG day!
    Juneta at Writer's Gambit

    1. Thanks Juneta! Yep, it's a challenge all right! Hope you'll join us and read even if you don't do the challenge!

  2. Hope you get a lot of Minion offers.
    Watch out for Elizabeth - she kicks hard.

    1. Me too Alex! Three so far! Yippee! Thanks so much for your help...

  3. I've asked myself the same thing and come up with the same answer... probably why cozy mysteries never appealed to me. This one does, though, Great interview! :)

    IWSG #143 until Alex culls the list again.

    1. Melissa, I never remember my number on the list! What a great idea... Thanks for coming by and commenting!

  4. This sounds like a challenge I'd like to participate in, and help you with, so feel free to contact me! Glad I came and visited your blog today :-)

    1. Heather you are wonderful! Glad to meet you and I'm glad you came too!

  5. Anonymous9:29 PM

    Hello my darling! :) Is that all I have to do as one of your minions during the A-Z? I thought it involved a lot more, kind of like co-hosting. I'd never be able to do that during my first Challenge. I think I can handle being a Minion though.

    Let me know if you want me. :D Love you girl! Eva

  6. Anonymous9:33 PM

    I think your blog ate my comment, so I'll try again. I didn't realize that being a Minion doesn't require that much. I thought it was more like co-hosting, which I know I couldn't handle my first go. I don't mind being your Minion. Let me know if you want me. Love you! Eva

    1. Thank you thank you thank you! I knew I adored you the minute I "met" you! I will send an email to you shortly to let you know more of the details. Don't worry, I won't make you work tooo hard, I promise!

  7. Hi Lisa! I just saw your comment you left on my blog a few days ago. I'm so sorry I didn't see it sooner, I was out of town for a few days and blogging got away from me! Anyhoo, you can shoot me an email and we can figure out a day for you to be on my blog. Here's my email address:

    Looking forward to hearing from you! :)

  8. Hi Lisa, thanks for your offer to support you in A-Z, but Jeremy has just got in touch and asked me to help again this year. Sorry, but I have accepted to help him. I hope you it all goes well for you.

    1. So glad you're on a team Carolyn! Thanks for dropping by...

  9. The first interview question lines up perfectly with my latest book. If a major theft has happened, why wouldn't a kid just go to the police? I answer those questions in my new urban fantasy MG book. Blackmail, he has the evidence on him, would be falsely accused, to keep his friends and family safe. :) Thanks for visiting my blog!

  10. I've done A to Z a couple of times and really enjoyed it. But I haven't been able to in a while because my life is just nuts. Maybe when I retire I can do it again.

  11. Hi Lisa! I see your life is going well. I'd help you with the A-Z, but I've decided not to participate again this year. Too time consuming when I have so many other projects. I'm setting myself writing goals (like working on my Paris chick lit every day) and will probably close down my blog for April as it's not much good posting. i always choose those who I will read though, depending on the theme. Travel for me!!


    Denise :-)

  12. Great interview. Nice to meet you JJ.

    Sorry, I'm not participating in A-Z, I plan to go offline for the month.

  13. The Book Parade is a great idea and I really enjoyed the interview. Congrats to JJ!
    I have done the A-Z the past four years and loved it, but I think I am going to have to pass on it this year. I hope you have a wonderful time co-hosting!


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