Thursday, 22 September 2011 | By: Nicole @ Nicole About TOwn

[Interview + Giveaway] Reena Jacobs , author of I Loved You First

Hi Guys!  So we have a big day on blog.  Reena Jacobs, author of I Loved You First has taken the time out of her seriously busy schedule to provide us with an interview.  She has also set up a giveaway of some super cool swag for us.  Seriously, how amazing is that?  

So without further ado, let's start the interview!

N: Nicole
RJ: Reena Jacobs

N: Tell us a little bit about yourself?

RJ: I'm not overly fond of animals, but for some reason they love me. I'm guessing animals sense I'm not one of those people who'll break into the "I'll love you and hug you, and I will call you George" routines. I'm safe, but if they need a little attention, I usually will give them a pat on the head... then find the closest place to wash my hands.

N: If you were going to pitch the book to someone to get them to read it, how would you do that?

RJ: If you love me... Oh wait! That only works on my husband. How about: I Loved You First takes a show like Queer As Folk and presents it entirely from the straight girl's perspective. Consider those times when Daphne was out of the picture. Now readers get to see what was happening in her life, discover her thoughts and feelings about the situation.

N: Who or what inspired you to write 'I Loved You First'?

RJ: The college rock station from the Sims 2 University. Some of the songs are even mentioned by title in the book, plus Steadman gave me permission to feature a few lyrics from their song Come On. Wicked cool!

N: What made you decide to put this twist on the theme of 'unrequited love'?

R: I honestly have no idea. I wish I'd written down what I was thinking at the time so I could share it with readers. Seth was straight and quite the womanizer in the original outline. My best guess is I might have been on a gay movie spree when I finally sat down to write.

N: I found myself feeling sympathetic for Seth even though for the most part I found his behaviour selfish.  Do you think that as a character, if he had been heterosexual instead of homosexual, that readers would have still felt that same sympathy for him based on his behaviour and treatment of others (namely girls)?

RJ: I don't know. From the feedback I've received, people aren't excusing Seth's behavior based on his sexual orientation. Gay, straight, or bi - a jerk is a jerk, right? I didn't realize his personality was so unpleasant until my beta reader mentioned it. I truly tried to temper his attitude a bit, but he wasn't having any of that. Some characters just know who they are.

N: I found that you tackled the issues of homosexuality, bigotry and self-discovery with a lot of tact and sensitivity.  How difficult was it to do that?

RJ: Let me just say, thank you for being kind. :) In truth, I didn't go out of my way to be tactful. Instead, I tried to write realistic characters and situations. There are no perfect solutions in life. People make mistakes, and people get hurt. My stories portray imperfect people in an imperfect world.

N: Watching Alex go through her journey of self-discovery was quite interesting.  How important was it to show that struggle and journey?

RJ: Extremely important. I don't think Alex's story is unique. I'm sure we'd find at least one girl in every school (high school and college) who settles for less than she wants. Despite being externally complacent with her situation, Alex truly wasn't internally. She wouldn't straight out admit to herself that she deserved a better life, and that caused her a bit of bitterness. Much of her growth focused on aligning the inner with the outer self and reducing some of the dissonance which held her back from being a whole person.

N: If there is a lesson you would like someone to take away with them after having read 'I Loved You First', what would it be?

RJ: Dare to be yourself. Not everyone is going to like the true you. Then again, not everyone will like the fake you either. So why not just let people get to know you for who you are?

N: Finally, what can we expect next from you?

RJ: The bane of my writing career is editing and polishing a work once the first draft is finished. Right now, I have the next two books of the Stripe Ones series written, but in desperate need of polishing. Likewise, I finished Control Freak: Regina's Story this week, and it also needs polishing. :) Once I get those out of the way, I plan to work on a Trilogy featuring Trinity. Her first book is partially written. It was a work I started before the muse called me to write I Loved You First.Thanks for having me, Nicole.

I would like to thank Reena for the interview.  If you haven't already picked up a copy of I Loved You First, you really should.  It's a wonderful read!

 On to the Giveaway!

Reena is offering up some pretty cool swag!  Included in the Swag pack is the following:

  • A signed rack card
  • Stickers
  • Signed postcard
  • Mini-bookmark
  • A Magnet

This giveaway is open internationally (as long as the USPS ships to your country).  

This giveaway will run for exactly one week.  No entries will be accepted beyond Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 2 pm (EST)!


Reena Jacobs said...

Thanks for having me over, Nicole.

Goodies X 2! Readers who comment here can enter themselves and Nicole in additional giveaways at the kickoff post ( for Signed copies of I Loved You First.

Wishing you all luck. I'll be end and out, answering additional comments.

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