Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Interview with Jenn LeBlanc and Derek Hutchins

© Romancing Rakes
Oh dear readers, I had quite the time giggling and being inappropriate with the fabulous Jenn LeBlanc, author of THE RAKE AND THE RECLUSE and The Derek Hutchins, cover model and Gideon from THE RAKE AND THE RECLUSE. There was supposed to be a video included with this post but, it's not fit for viewing purposes so I will give you a Cliff Notes version of what went on.

First off, we all had issues signing on to Vokle, then Derek couldn't hear us, there was awesome feedback since he had no headphones, we (Jenn and I) giggled a lot, at the beginning Jenn was a one woman show while Derek and I were frozen, there was something about Words with Friends, there were hand gestures involved but we finally got down to the nitty gritty. It somehow ended up being almost an hour. WOWZA!

So without further ado, here is the abridged version of our wonderful night:

Kati: Hi Jenn and Derek.
Jenn: Hi (waves)
Derek: Hello.
lovely screenshot

K: Jenn, let's talk about your book, THE RAKE AND THE RECLUSE and the Kickstarter project.
J: For those you not familiar with my book, not sure how that's possible if you're on this site since it's plastered all over the page. (points up and to the side) Scroll down and to your right there's an ad, it's everywhere. Anyway, THE RAKE AND THE RECLUSE is an illustrated romance. Derek plays Gideon Alrick Trumbull, 10th Duke of Roxleigh (at this point I whip out the limited edition poster from RomCon).
We are working on the 2nd book, Perry's book. We're trying to get crowd funded to do a fancy studio shoot. We're trying to make it bigger and better than the first book which starred Mr. Hutchins.
Wait, what was the question?
K: Um, your Kickstarter project?
J: Oh right. The Kickstarter project is called Casting Perry. This project would help pay for the studio, the costumes and the models because those damn models, are sooo expensive. I can't even begin to tell you. They cost me a fortune.
D: You get what you pay for Jenn
(cue the giggles and laughter)
J: The great thing about Kickstarter is...
D: How much are you willing to spend?
K: Inappropriate!
J: Hey, hey, keep a lid on it Mr.
J: The great thing about Kickstarter is that you would get great things in return. So if I'm funded and if we get the money we're asking for, you'll get awesome stuff in return. For $1, I'll talk to you on Twitter, for $5 you'll get something else.
K: Okay folks, here's the link. You'll find the prize list on the side for each donation tier.
Click on the pretty picture
J: For $10, $20 you get copies of the original book. It's not like you're just giving me money, you're getting great things in return for pledging money to get this project finished. So, that's the Kickstarter project.
K: Awesome! Don't forget to check out the link above. Okay, Twitter question time.
J: I'm scared.
K: This question is for Derek from Melanie. Twitter handle: kissablysweet1: How did you get into modeling.
D: Hi Melanie. I got my start modeling when I was in college. I was doing some photo shoots, I'm actually a photography major, and so I was doing the shoots on the other side of the camera for some fellow students. I happened to enjoy it a little more. Then Jenn cast me for the roll of Gideon and the career sort of took off from there.
K: Well, thank goodness for that. This question is for Jenn, also from Melanie: What do you wish you had put in the book? What didn't make it off the cutting room floor?
J: Oh gosh.
K: (in which I divert the question. Sorry Melanie.) Pictures?
J: Lots and lots of pictures. I think we shot close to 50,000 images. We're talking about a single image that will have 100-150 variations that go with it so, not 50,000 independent images. Of those, 100-150 are in the book. Some of them are similar or too close. There are also outtakes. The one thing that bothers me most is that there are some beautiful images that did not make it into the book, especially in the printed copy. There's more in the EPUB. This was meant to be an ebook. The printing gets expensive.
K: Are you going to revamp THE RAKE AND THE RECLUSE?
J: I am currently going through major edits. Originally THE RAKE AND THE RECLUSE was supposed to be a 6 part serial novel and right now, the first 4 parts are published. You get the happy ending, which a romance book is supposed to have, but you're left wondering what's going on with Mr. Rake aka Perry. It's going to have additional scenes and a few more images that got cut.

K: Awesome! Okay, this question is for Derek from Jamie, who is currently drunk at a birthday-a-thon.
(Jenn laughs, Derek looks a little worried)
J: So warning...
D:  Awesome
K: How did you feel about shooting a romance book? Did you have any qualms about doing it? (Ha! That's a totally Words with Friends worthy word.)
D: Um, the only thing I was concerned with was --how come I was so angry when a girl wanted to pull the covers off of me in bed. (Jenn and I giggle). Otherwise, I was completely comfortable and everything. It was my first big project so it was fun.
J: One of the outtake pictures I was talking about. 'Why am I so angry?'
D: I mean, you know, it was out of character for me. I had to re-adjust.
J: You did. You are nothing like Gideon, that's for sure.
D: What are you saying?
J: Nothing. You know, 19th century Duke, 21st century guy...
D: You're casting THE RAKE next, right?
J: Yes, we're casting for the rake. And he looks a lot like his brother.
D: Is his name Derek?
(Jenn shakes her head.)
K: No, Perry. But he looks like a Derek.
J: Nooo, he looks like Gideon.
K: Sorry. I meant Gideon.

(Then Jenn gets a question for Derek on her Facebook Author Page about something highly inappropriate: Derek's choice of underwear. Derek replies by saying people can find the answer on his website.)
Click picture to go to Derek's Site
K: So Derek, if you weren't modeling, what would you be doing now?
D: I'd be designing clothing.
(Jenn and Derek proceed to talk about a place called lululemon and what Jenn should get Derek for his birthday since it's coming up. I interject with something about fans wanting to send him presents. He counters with having fans send presents to Jenn who will then forward to Derek. There was something about paying for Facebook [see, we were totally going off on tangents]. Derek says something about being just a pretty face. Then, the talk of Words with Friends begins. I mention that Derek is kicking my ass at not 1 but 2 games of WwF--simultaneously. Rude.)
Now back on track...
D: They're waiting for me not to speak and take my clothes off.
(sorry ladies, it doesn't happen or I'd share the screenshot with you)
K: So Derek, I hear you're a singer.
D: I do from time to time. I sound best in the shower.
K: Inappropriate!
D: We could put a link to my song.
K: The angry birds song?

(Then there's a lot of laughter. We talk about his singing. He actually wrote a song and it's great. He still hasn't seen the video for his impromptu angry birds song.)
(By this point in the interview-- 30 minute later-- we're spending more time laughing with a lot of randomness.)
K: So Jenn...
J: Jenn, that's me.
K: Yes. You. So, if you can't find Perry, will you be using Derek again?
J: We thought about Derek for Perry for a while before we found Ross. (For those of you who don't know, Ross is Perry in THE RAKE AN THE RECLUSE. He's off being a humanitarian and teaching children English. Go Ross!) The brothers are basically supposed to look like twins except one's older than the other and, he's had a much more difficult life. It's still an option, I really like the option. First I've got to ask him. I think his rates have gone up. Cause he's all famous and shit.
K: Damn models!
(Jenn proceeds to point out the things that have happened since Derek's career took off. A lot of teasing goes on: how much it sucked working with each other [not really])
D: Girls undressing me makes me upset.
J: I told him a bit about Perry. He likes him more. Perry's not as stuffy...
K: And he plays the piano...
J: He plays the piano, the heroine paints on him and there's a bathtub scene...HAWT!
(Then the interview veers off course. Again. There's a little cussing, some had gestures, something about shooting at sunrise...)
J: Okay, let's talk about Derek's project. Where I went to California and shot him in his underwear.
K: I heard you stopped traffic.
J: If you want to know boxers or briefs, you can find out in the look book. I'm currently in the middle of designing it. It'll be out on Amazon in a few weeks or so. As a digital ebook. Not a lot of words.
K: How about Words of Wisdom from Derek?
J: Derek-isms?
D: Dude, those are the best.
K: They've been tweeted.

Jamie Murawski Words of wisdom from "you can rock anything as long as you believe it."Jamie Murawski Words of wisdom from "be a rule breaker not a heart breaker"

J:Yup, tweeted and re-tweeted. Multiple times. So maybe we'll put some Derek-isms in there but it's mostly pictures.
K: So people will get to take Derek everywhere with them. Slightly creepy.
J: This question is from Elena Brown: Where did you get inspiration for the novel? And there's a second question but hold on, I'll answer the first question. So the inspiration for the novel... this is going to sound cheesy but I woke up with the first line and scene in my head. The hounds running after the girl, the horses...
D: Did you see me Jenn?
J: I did. It was so creepy. You were handling those horses quite well and you kept them from killing the girl.
D: I'm quite a good handler.
J: I wanted to write a book for my mom because she had a really great adventure in her life so I was going to give her this adventure. Now Derek's question: How is shooting for a novel different from your other modeling ventures?
D: First off, I've got ask Ms. Brown when she's gonna stop blaming me for the times she couldn't meet up with me in San Francisco. (there's a bit of ooh-ing going on). Now, I'll answer the question. The novel was different because you had to get into character a lot more. All my other shoots were kind of me, being me and showing my personality. The hardest part was getting angry. I'm not an angry person. It was a good learning experience.
J: Seriously, trying to get you and Cora (Francine) angry was ridiculous because Cora laughs at everything. I had her tied up, and I was yanking on ropes and she was still giggling. I'm like--'Cora, pissed. Derek, you're not happy about the naked girl.' Seriously, my job was so difficult.
(There's a bit of randomness then we talk about Twitchy-- the working name for Jenn's next story.)
K: Speaking of Twitchy, let's talk about it.
J: It's a novella, supposed to release in January.
(Jenn is trying to come up with the word to describe the relationship between the characters. I throw out some words but they're not the correct ones. Then Derek interjects asking if he could be cast as the hero. We laugh.)
J: It's a love triangle! It's a difficult one because people love the characters of Hugh, Amelia and Anders. (Then Jenn realizes what Derek just asked.) Are we turning this into a thing? Is Derek going to shoot all my brunette heroes?
(I start babbling about cover models who have shot quite a number of romance covers. I ask Jenn if Twitchy will be illustrated.)
D: It is. It is if I'm the model.
J: It's part of an anthology. So no. I don't it to take away from the other 2 authors work's. However, that doesn't stop me from putting the pictures on my website.
(Another bout of randomness: having Derek on Romance Lately. To which Derek replies--'I'm in.' I reenact what each of the girls on the show would be doing if Derek was a guest.)
J: Let's talk about Trainer Derek. He's been helping me with the Romance Biggest Winner competition that Ashley March started but you're not on my team.
D: Don't give away any of your secret weapons Jenn.
J: I'm not giving away any secret weapons. Nu-uh. I just want to say Derek has been awesome in giving me inspiration and keeping me from eating fried chicken once in a while.
D: Good job Jenn.
J: Thanks Trainer Derek.
K: And you can follow Trainer Derek on Twitter through the hashtag.
(We talk about all the various hashtags on Twitter pertaining to Derek.)
J: He likes to have stalkers. He likes to have people following him at all these places.
K: I guess I'll have to unfollow him now.
D: Uh-oh.
J: He has a fan page on Facebook. We'll link to the 5,000 ways you can find us and we'll have a conversation with you.
(At this point, my video freezes but Derek and Jenn keep talking. I have to reload my browser. Derek thinks about taking his shirt off. Yeah. Nope. Doesn't happen. Then the video blacks out.)

Phew! What an interview. Seriously, after watching it, I asked myself (even Jenn asked me after I told her how long the video was) what in the hell did we talk about for that long???

As you can see from the transcript, we talked about:
WHERE TO FIND JENN: Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Author Site | Goodreads
WHERE TO FIND DEREK: Twitter | Facebook | look above for his websites...
Anddd... stalk.

CONGRATULATIONS if you've made it to the end of the interview.

So there you have it. The fabulous Jenn LeBlanc and the ab-tastic Derek Hutchins. Got anything you want to ask Derek or Jenn? Leave it in the comments section. 

I'm also giving away 1 (one) ebook copy of Jenn's book, THE RAKE AND THE RECLUSE. Fill out the rafflecopter widget thingy for a chance to win. No, Derek is not part of the prize.

A HUGE thank you to both Jenn (slightly sleepy, mostly giggly) and Derek (for finding a not so random webcam) for taking almost an hour out of their Sunday evening to shoot the breeze with me. 

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