My name is Jessie Donovan and I live in the Pacific Northwest of the USA with my two cats. I love to travel (on a shoestring) and have even lived abroad for five years in my twenties. I also enjoy reading, photography, hiking, and yoga. I’m a full-time author and loving it.
Q ~ If you could have coffee (or tea) with any author who would it be and what would you ask them? And what would you have?
Hm, this is a hard question. Some authors have social anxiety, so I don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable! But I always have tea with milk.
Q ~ How do you think people perceive authors?
I don’t know, really. I interact quite a bit on social media and readers tell me I’m more down to earth than some other authors. But I do know that sometimes people forget authors have feelings and attack them personally. I’ve never understood this as I abide by the rule: Treat others how you wish to be treated.
Q ~ How do you feel about self-publishing?
I love it! I write connected, almost saga-like paranormal romances and that’s something a traditional publisher probably wouldn’t touch (because it requires a long-term commitment and usually you’re contracted for three books at a time). I love the freedom to release when I want, write follow-up novellas when I like, and to have control over my covers.
Q ~ What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?
I have too many!
Q ~ What is your favourite genre to read? To write?
My favorites to read are historical and paranormal romances. I used to read a lot of mysteries, too, but haven’t recently. While I only write paranormal right now, I have plans to add science-fiction romance and historical romance to my plate in the future. Possibly even cozy mysteries as well.
Q ~ Are there any new (or new to you) Authors that have grasped your interest recently and why?
I don’t have as much time to read as I used to, so most of the books are from authors I follow. I do have a few cozy mysteries from new authors I want to tackle, but I’m not sure when I’ll get to them.
Q ~ How did you begin writing? Was there a single catalyst or a series of events?
I’ve been writing since I was a child. My best friend and I had “story wars” in junior high school and I wrote anime fanfiction as an undergrad at university. I didn’t become serious about writing and trying to be published until about 2009. Four years later, I published my first book.
Q ~ Do you have any writing rituals that you follow? What is your go-to snack while writing?
I have a very structured schedule and write five days a week, Monday through Friday. I have to write in 25 minutes sprints, with small breaks in between. Just writing when I feel like it means nothing will get done! I also try not to snack. I drink a lot of water and tea, though.
Q ~ Do you prefer to write in a small town or big city setting? Why?
It really depends on the story. I have books set in both.
Q ~ Can you tell us a bit about developing the different worlds for your dragon shifter series? What about your other shifters?
I have a degree in Social Anthropology, which is basically the study of culture. Because of this, I try to think about all of the little aspects of my made-up societies. But just like if someone were studying my culture, I reveal them bit by bit. The longer you’re in the world/culture, the more you learn.
Q ~ Can you tell us a little bit about your latest release and what inspired you to write it?
My latest release was Flare of Promise, the fourth book in my Asylums for Magical Threats series, and it deals with elemental magic and other unique magical abilities. I set up the story back in 2014 in book three. However, it was delayed for nearly two years to focus on the series that pays my bills. J I usually set up future stories in whatever I’m writing at the time.
Q ~ What is your favourite part or scene in the novel?
I love when I get to write the happy endings. But I also enjoy any scene with banter and heated arguments, too.
Q ~ Can you tell us a bit about the process that went behind the cover artwork for this novel?
All of my covers are done by the same artist. I fill out a detailed questionnaire, she gives me a mock-up, and I suggest any tweaks. Nine times out of ten she has it pretty much done with the first go. It really shows that we’ve been working together for two years now, I think.
Q ~ What is your process for choosing character names?
I find most of them on britishbabynames.com since most of my books are set in the UK. For the others, they usually just come to me or I surf names from the Social Security database for the decade they were born. (You can look it up there by year or decade. It’s pretty cool!)
Q ~ If you were stranded on a desert island with one of your characters (from any novel you’ve written) who would you choose and why?
Oh, dear. This is hard. As of today, I’d probably pick Rafe Hartley from the soon-to-be published Surrendering to the Dragon. He likes to tease and would definitely keep me on my toes. Finlay Stewart, from Healed by the Dragon, would be a close second.
Q ~ You’ve written works outside of this series as well. For you, do they compare to one another? Do you have a favourite or do they all stand out in their own way?
Each series is a little different. My favorite series to write is probably Lochguard Highland Dragons right now because everyone is crazy, funny, and over the top. The most difficult to write is the AMT series because it’s paranormal romantic suspense and keeping the reader on their toes takes a lot of work!
Q ~ What are you working on next? Care to give us a hint or a sneak peek?
I’m in the editing process for Surrendering to the Dragon and am about two chapters into The Dragon’s Heart. Since I’m a perfectionist, I’m not sure I want to share an excerpt that could potentially have mistakes in it, lol.
Q ~ Do you have any conferences/book signings/events coming up?
Unfortunately, no. I rarely do them because they take away time from writing.
Q ~ If you could give aspiring authors one piece of advice, what would it be?
Read a lot and write a lot. I wrote an entire novel that will never see the light of day (in addition to many short stories) before I published my first book. Don’t publish too early, but also don’t put it off for too long.
About the author:
After living abroad for five years and earning degrees in Japanese, Anthropology, and Secondary Education, she buckled down and finally wrote her first full-length book. While that story will never see the light of day, it laid the world-building groundwork of what would become her debut paranormal romance, Blaze of Secrets. In late 2014, she officially became a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author.
Jessie loves to interact with readers. When not reading or traipsing around some foreign country on a shoestring, she can often be found on Facebook.
And now, enter to win in this giveaway where
1 lucky winner will receive a signed paperback of The Dragon Guardian
& 1 lucky winner will receive a signed paperback of Sacrificed to the Dragon
Contest is open internationally, where applicable by law.
Entries close at 11:59pm May 13/15.
Winners will be drawn May 14/15.
Winners will be notified via email to the email provided to the giveaway and will have 72h to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn.