Hello everyone, and welcome to my stop of the Wounded blog tour! Today, I have two posts: my review for Wounded (HERE), and this interview. Stick around for the giveaway at the bottom of the interview! Thank you for stopping by!
Jasinda: The pleasure is mine, believe me! Thanks so much for having me.
Alyssa: Okay, first question. What was your inspiration for writing Wounded?
Jasinda: Wounded started as a short story, which eventually became the prologue. The rest of the novel fell into place after that short story. I heard someone on TV recite the Hail Mary and it sparked something in me, so I started writing. “The Prayer” was the result. A few months later I reread the short story and realized I just had to tell the girl’s story.
Alyssa: Do you know anyone who has braved the wars overseas to fight for the United States?
Jasinda: My brother is in the Marine Corps, and my grandfather was a WW2 veteran, and I’ve had a few friends who have served overseas in one capacity or another. I have a tremendous amount of respect for everyone in the armed forces, and especially those who have braved combat.
Alyssa: What kind of research did you have to do for this novel? For example, to come up with names, the settings, etc.
Jasinda: Research for this was actually fairly minimal. There are websites that I use to help me come up with names, especially for characters like Rania and the other Iraqis in the novel. The setting flowed naturally out of the original short story, that of a journalist in Iraq during Desert Storm. I examined pictures and old news stories for images to draw the physical descriptions of the city where Rania lived. I chose a couple beta readers who had served in Iraq to make sure my descriptions hit the mark in terms of accuracy.
Alyssa: From an innocent girl, Rania becomes a prostitute. What was it like to write about such a heartbreaking and controversial issue?
Jasinda: Well, you used the word I would have chosen: heartbreaking. It’s a sad reality of life, and Rania’s awful choice is one that no person should ever have to make. I can only hope I did justice to those who have suffered as she did.
Alyssa: What do you think should be done about the prostitution issue today?
Jasinda: I’m not sure I can do justice to that question in the space available here. It’s a topic that can—and has—taken up entire books, doctoral and graduate theses. Prostitution is humanity’s oldest profession. There are records of prostitution in ancient Sumerian texts. As I said in the previous question, prostitution is a sad fact of life. My goal in Wounded was to try illuminate the fact that not every woman who participates in that profession wants to be there. That is the case here in America as well. Sometimes, life leads us to places where we are faced with desperate measures simply to survive. You—we as people, as a society—need to be able to see past profession, mistakes, appearance, economic status, and race; we need to the person behind those things into the soul of the individual.
Alyssa: It is hard for most of us to think about, but Rania did what she had to do. Do you think, under those circumstances, that you could or would have done what Rania did?
Jasinda: We all have made choices we may not have wanted to make. I’d like to think I would do what I had to in order to survive. I’ve been through some pretty trying times in my own life, some of which have found a place in my stories. Life is meant to be lived, to be enjoyed; sometimes, however, we have to struggle through hell to get to a place where life is more than mere survival.
Alyssa: I loved the ending to Wounded. Do you think everyone – no matter how society looks at them – should get their own happy ending?
Jasinda: Absolutely! I thoroughly believe in Happily Ever After. Everyone should find their own version of happiness, contentment, and peace. My stories are my way of giving HEA to people. I hope people read my stories and find escape from their struggles, and more than that, find inspiration to reach for their dreams, to chase after their own HEA.
Alyssa: Do you think you’d ever want to visit Iraq?
Jasinda: Iraq is the cradle of civilization, so in one sense, yes, I do. I would love to see cities that have stood since before mankind was recording history.
Alyssa: Will this story stand alone, or will we see more from these or other characters?
Jasinda: I have plans for Derek to get his own story. I’m not quite ready to unveil much more than that at this point, so you’ll just have to stay tuned to my website for announcements—or better yet, sign up for my newsletter!
Alyssa: Well, that’s it! Thank you so much again, Jasinda! I hope this interview has been informative to all of your readers.
Jasinda: Thank you so much for having me, and I hope as well that my readers enjoyed getting to know me a bit more. Happy reading!
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The Giveaway (tour-wide)