Before we get started talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, what you do for a living (if you’re not a full-time writer) what hobbies you have, etc. Whatever you’d like to share to introduce yourself.
I am a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance who has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. I usually try to incorporate all of these elements into my stories. I live in Virginia with my family and a small menagerie of pets. When I’m not reading or writing or watching Outlander, I teach theatre at a university.
1. What genre(s) do you write and why?
I write historical romance in a number of periods and erotic contemporary. I write historicals because I love history and research (history major in college). I love reading them and writing them. The erotic contemporaries I kind of fell into when a member of one of my loops was launching his e-publishing house and sent out a request for erotic Fractured Fairy Tales and I came up with a fun take on The Three Little Pigs called Hog Wild. So I’ve been writing that genre as well ever since.
2. If you were to choose one superpower, what would it be?
Probably flying so I could get over my fear of heights. 🙂
3. Do you ever get stuck when you’re writing a book? What do you do to get “unstuck”?
I’m not usually stuck and I’ve never had writer’s block (knock on wood), but the one time I did get stuck, I just kept writing, no matter whether it was good or not. The first thing my mentor, Judi McCoy ever said to me was “You can fix crap, you can’t fix nothing.” So I guess I just power through, no matter what.
4. What is your least favorite part of writing?
Marketing. I love to create and revise, but then I hate having to stop the fun part and go on SoMe or figure out new ways to get the word out because it takes time away from the real work. A necessary evil, though.
5. If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?
I would likely fix my best Old Southern Sunday Dinner: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, collards, squash and onions, and strawberry shortcake for dessert.
6. What is your typical day like?
That depends on the time of year it is. If it’s during the school year, I get up early, maybe 6am, make hot tea and sit down to check email and do my duty on social media. If I have time, I may write a little before heading out to work. If I’m not in a production, I’ll be home by 6pm, fix dinner, make hot tea and head to the bedroom to write until midnight or 1:00am (maybe 2am). If I’m in a production, I won’t get home until midnight or 1am, so I have very minimal writing time. During the summer, however, I get up at about 7am, make my hot tea, sit and do SoMe, then start writing. I write as much as I can (with inevitable interruptions on the phone), take a break at noon for lunch. Back at the computer by 1pm, write all afternoon, fix dinner, socialize with my family, then back to writing until 2am or until I fall asleep at the computer. 🙂
7. What is most difficult for you to write? Characters, conflict or emotions? Why?
I think characters are probably the most difficult of those three because by the time I sit down to write, I know the characters so intimately that I unconsciously assume that the reader knows them too, so I leave out stuff about their background or reasoning for their actions, only to have my beta readers say, “What the heck is going on here?” Thank God, for beta readers!
8. How likely are the people you meet going to end up in your next book?
Their names are more likely to end up in my books than the actual people. In fact, the villain of Only Marriage Will Do, has the name of two of my students from long ago. I just thought St. Cyr was a cool looking name, and Philippe sounded wonderfully French.
9. Tell us about your hero. Give us one of his strengths and one of his weaknesses.
The hero of Only Marriage Will Do, Captain Amiable Dawson, is one of my favorite characters. He is everything a hero should be, dashing, handsome, brave, and resourceful. His strength lies in his sense of honor and what is right. That is what grounds him. His weakness is his penchant for saving damsels in distress. He cannot resist rescuing a lady, which leads him into trouble from the beginning of Marriage.
10. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?
My next book, Crashing Through Time, is a time travel novella, set in the present day England and 1868 Victorian England. It’s the story of a woman researcher who accidentally travels back to find the subject of her research and must decide if she will let history continue as written, which means the man must die, or if she will save him and risk changing the future as she knows it. Crashing Through Time is part of a boxed set, Crashing Into Love, with six other extremely talented authors, all writing stories involving a plane crash that leads to love. It releases July 1, 2015.
Links to Jenna’s website, blog, books, etc.
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BE SURE TO COME BACK to read more about Jenna, her release, and an excerpt from ONLY MARRIAGE WILL DO on Wednesday’s Karen’s Killer Book Bench. Happy Reading!
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Thanks, Jenna, for sharing your story with us!