Hello Jenna and welcome to Booky Ramblings of a Neurotic Mom
What inspired you to write your first book?
It was a very realistic dream. I don’t want to reveal the premise, because the book is not yet released. The dream stuck with me, and I ran with the story over a period of about two weeks. I decided to write it all down and when I did, I realized I had a rough draft of a pretty good novel.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I like to write POVs from both the hero and the heroine. I think it adds another dimension when insight is coming from both MCs and it makes the reader connect and understand what each character is feeling. I also write most of the story in my head, before actually putting it on paper. Unfortunately, my fingers don’t work as fast as my imagination!
How did you come up with the title?
There are a number of different factors that play a role in picking a title. Sometimes, while writing a scene, a specific line will jump right out as the title. When it hits you like that, you know it’s right. Other times, I play around with a few working titles, then sit on them for a couple of days until a variation settles in and claims the book. And then there are those titles that just pop into my head and I say to myself “That would make a really cool title – now I just need to write a book that goes along with it!” I have quite a few of those!
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, I think every book has a message. It’s there. You just have to look for it. And I think it probably means different things to different people. The message in Jealousy is clearly one of love and acceptance.
How much of the book is based on your life experiences?
Actually, none. It’s a question that I get asked all the time, but, no. Every bit of my books are purely fictional and conjured up by my imagination.
Are your novels based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Not really, but I have encountered random people that fit the description of some of the characters in my books exactly. I’ve actually stopped short and stared at people with my mouth open, like one of my characters have come to life before my eyes.
Which of your novels have influenced your life the most?
It would have to be the first novel I wrote. It was the one inspired by my dream. I haven’t published it yet because I wrote it a long time ago and it needs to be revised and polished. It was my first real attempt at writing and it is definitely my “baby”. It gave me the courage and confidence to actively pursue getting published.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I know this is going to sound vey dated, but it would have to be Jackie Collins. I’ll never forget the first time I read Chances. I was very young and I think she really pushed boundaries with powerful female MC Lucky and explicit sex scenes – for the time period. They probably would be considered tame and boring by today’s standards!
What book are you reading now?
I just finished reading Triad by Cat Grant. It was the last book in a five- book series, The Courtland Chronicles. It was a lot to take on, but I loved the books so much that I read all five in a little over a week. So I am taking a little break right now!
What are your current projects?
I am currently working on m/m/f ménage rock star series. I am editing book one and drafting book two. Working on one book at a time is just not challenging enough for me – lol!
Do you see your writing as a career?
Networking, promoting, writing, editing – it’ a full time job. I think it’s every writer’s dream to make a lucrative career out of it. It certainly is mine! But, only the readers can make that happen.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I think, as a writer, there is always something you would change. But there has to be a time when you stop editing, otherwise you risk harming the content. I’m very happy with Jealousy. I don’t think I would change the story line, but there are plenty of times I open the book, read a paragraph and think, I should have used this word instead of that one, or structured a sentence differently. It’s a never ending battle!
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
It stems from an overactive imagination. For as long as I can remember I wrote stories in my head, always about romance. Even as a young child, I created elaborate scenarios and fictitious love triangles with my Barbies. They were always fighting over Ken – LOL! One day, I said “I should write this stuff down and make a book out of it.” That planted the seed, but it was years before I actually put anything on paper.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I think it’s going to be a series of three books, but still unsure. I don’t want to give away too much because it’s still in the editing stage and I might change things around a bit. As I said, it’s it’s a ménage, m/m/f, centered around a rock band, and it’s hotter than hell!
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Sequence is critical. I don’t always write in the correct order of events. I might write a scene that is very important to the plot, after most of the book is already written. Then I have to figure out where to place it so it has the best impact on the story.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Only through cyberspace. It’s all at our fingertips. But I have visited a few places that I researched on the internet and that are in my books. It was a little bit surreal, like I just stepped into my book.
Who designs your cover(s)?
My publisher, but I have final say. I’m seriously thinking about modeling for my next cover.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part for me is saying “The End”. It is bittersweet. I don’t want to say goodbye to the characters that have been my constant companions for months on end. They’re part of me, and I’m a little lost when they first leave my side. But then they get replaced by a new set of characters and the cycle starts all over again.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
For aspiring writers – please write your thoughts down! It doesn’t matter if its an elaborate outline to a novel or a single fragment of a scene, or even a line of dialogue that you find particularly witty or interesting. Chances are you won’t remember it later on. I always carry a pad and pen with me.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I want to extend a special thank you to the people who have contacted me privately to say that my book touched them personally and who have shared their story with me. And to all my readers – THANK YOU!! I LOVE YOU ALL!!
Thank you for your joining us today.