Q ~ What’s something that you never leave home without?A notebook. Usually for me, but comes in super handy when the six year old is bored to tears and ready to bust out some truly awful behavior.
Q ~ If you could have coffee (or tea) with any author who would it be and what would you ask them?Oooh, would Nora Roberts be too cliché? I’d love to discuss how she writes so many families and is able to give them all a unique feel. And I would also love to know her tax write-off secrets for traveling to Ireland for research on her next series set there. Woot!
Q ~ How do you think people perceive authors?Honestly? I think some people consider authors as flighty folks with their heads in the clouds. Some treat them as celebrities because they are able to do something they consider beyond them (write AND sell a book). But mostly I’ve found that people think writers are a little…odd.
Q ~ Ebooks, paperbacks, or hardcovers?I’m weird. I like bouncing back and forth. Ebooks are awesome for convenience, but nothing compares to the smell of paper. And hardcovers imply the latest in a series. I only splurge on hardcovers for favorites like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, etc.
Q ~ What is your favourite genre to read? To write?I love to read mostly romance and fantasy. Favorite subgenre of romance is time travel! I write romance but am delving into fantasy/paranormal with my next series.
Q ~ How did you begin writing? Was there a single catalyst or a series of events?I wrote a short story in 7th grade that a friend insisted I read in front of the class. The look of shock and awe (it was a horror and the little girl died in the end.) was a heady thing. They were all like “whoa!” Knowing that something I wrote could affect people like that. Not sure how I ended up writing happily-ever-afters…
Q ~ Do you have any writing rituals that you follow? What is your go-to snack while writing? I can’t write without my playlist – must be instrumental – and my noise-cancelling headphones. I will take a break at the halfway point for chocolate of some kind. And of course coffee is a must.
Q ~ What are your five favourite verbs to use during a love scene?Wow, this is hard. Clench, slide, grip, thrust and entwine (Yes, I had to go back and read a few of my love scenes for ideas.)
Q ~ Do you prefer to write in a small town or big city setting? Why?Small town. They say write what you know and my roots are small town deep. Yes, I spent a few years in Los Angeles, but can’t say it left a lasting enough impression that I’d want to write anything set there.
Q ~ When you write, do you lay out a solid outline before beginning, or start writing and iron out the kinks later?I am a plotter, all the way! Staring at a blank screen is too terrifying not to have some kind of plan on how to fill it.
Q ~ Can you tell us a little bit about your latest release, Always My Hero, and what inspired you to write it?In the Scallop Shores series, this was actually the second book I started to write, Trapped in Tourist Town being the first. As you can see, things got quite switched around. I always intended to tell Bree’s story, but the first version I wrote had none of the backstory. She was pretty one-dimensional. So I am glad for the time to develop my craft and give this story a second try.
Q ~ What is your favourite part or scene in the novel?I loved the scene in the warehouse, when they were taking the photos for the calendar. Bree was SO out of her element and it was fun showing some of the hot, shirtless guys were just as uncomfortable in that situation.
Q ~ Have you written an outline for the Scallop Shores series or do you make it up as you go?Nope. As a matter of fact, I sometimes have to cheat and grab one of the older books to remember the name of a store, the town pond or who runs what business down town.
Q ~ What is your process for choosing character names?That is SO not as fun as it sounds. I just go to baby naming sites on the web. I learned the hard way not to choose a name that can be abbreviated. I went back and forth referring to Wesley and Wes in AMH but my editor said I needed to choose one or the other and that, when someone is speaking, they can use the variation, but I had to remain consistent. LOTS of manual changes there. Ugh!
Q ~ What characters did you find yourself especially drawn to and why?
I seem to find myself drawn to characters who have suffered some kind of loss. I just want them to find happiness. And they’ve been through so much that they come to the table a lot more fleshed out.
Q ~ Do you have anything in the works at the moment? Care to give us a hint about it?I am currently working on a trilogy set in the Pacific Northwest that will be part small-town contemporary and part fantasy. There may or may not be wish-granting, matchmaking fairies involved.
Q ~ If you could give aspiring authors one piece of advice, what would it be?Finish the first book and KEEP GOING. Yes, sub it out to as many publishers as you deem appropriate. But keep writing. Because once that first book gets picked up, they’re going to want the next one. And you don’t want to be stuck at square one with nothing to hand them. This will also help you figure out what your writing speed is, so you can sign a contract with confidence that you’ll meet your publishers’ deadline.
Connect with Jennifer
Ryan Pettridge left Scallop Shores a hometown hero with a full scholarship to UCLA and an NFL destiny. Then a freak accident stole his hopes and dreams and turned the all-star athlete into a desk jockey accountant. Now his father's stroke brings him home to take over the family hardware store.
Fate conspired once to keep Bree and Ryan apart. Despite the years that have passed, they still can't resist each other and sparks rekindle between them. But will their difficult past be too much to overcome or can Bree prove to Ryan once and for all that he has always been a hero in her eyes?