I'd like to introduce you to another dear friend of mine. We met several years ago when I was working for a different publishing house than I work at now and she subbed a book to me that I loved. We ended up becoming friends and finally got to meet in person for the first time in August. She's just as awesome in real life as she is on the phone and in email. Now, I'd like you all to experience her awesomeness, too! :D
Jess will also be giving away winner's choice of one of her single author e-books. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment and a valid email address. The winner will be chosen Sunday night, 8pm EST.
Now, grab a seat and come meet Jess!
How did your writing path evolve?
I’ve always told stories, always had them in my head. It was actually in high school that I thought I want to be an author. That was it for me, all I ever wanted to be. I filled notebooks, scribbled on scraps of paper. When my kids were little, I became an expert at one-handed typing while cradling a baby. I got pretty awesome at writing in 15-minute increments—you know, between mom-related activities. Now that all the kids are in school all day, it’s much easier to focus on being a full-time writer. And believe it or not, that was a tough transition. A part of me thought I needed to go out and get a “real job”—admittedly some of that mentality came from well-meaning friends and family—but I’m incredibly lucky in the husband I snagged. He’s encouraged me to focus on writing and making this into a career. So that’s where I am now, working on a career.
What type of research do you do for your books?
I love paranormals because I get to make stuff up, though I do a lot of planning and documenting—making sure the worlds I build are consistent throughout the book and/or series.
When I do research, I imagine I do it much like anyone else. I search online, go to the library—basically a lot of reading.
From what or where do you derive the most inspiration for your stories?
The simple answer is everything and everywhere. A conversation can get the gears turning in my head. Playing a game of “what if” in my head or with someone else. A newspaper or magazine article could be the spark. I’ve even had a story idea come from a dream.
Tell us about your upcoming releases?
I have a holiday release coming out soon with Passion in Print Press. Here’s the blurb for On His Naughty List—
Career-driven Lainey Stewart finally has the position she’s worked so hard for, but finds herself alone and feeling empty at Christmastime. Escaping her work’s holiday party, she attempts to forget what—and who—she gave up for her all important job.
When Ty Sinclair finds Lainey in the hotel bar, it takes little effort to seduce her up to his room. After a passionate encounter, Lainey bolts. But one time in an anonymous hotel room isn’t enough for Ty. He isn’t about to let her go without a fight and goes after her, determined to make her his…for good.
Also Secrets & Spells, a new paranormal will be coming out from Resplendence early next year. I’m super excited about this one. It’s set up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan—one of the most gorgeous, awesome places on Earth. (I’m totally biased as I grew up there, but it’s totally true.) Secrets & Spells has witches, magic, super-hot lovin’, and much more set in the tiny fictional town.:-D
What are you working on at the moment?
Right now, I’m on a paranormal kick. After finishing four contemporaries this year, I’m loving the paranormal right now. I’m working more books set in Parrish—the fictional town mentioned above. I’m having so much fun with it and can’t wait to introduce the town and its residents to readers.
What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like least?
The best—the creating, hands down. The characters, the worlds, building the relationships on the pages, all of it. I adore that part. The part I like least is not being fast enough. I want the story out of my head and on the page now. I get frustrated with the process sometimes, that I can’t get a particular scene written exactly as I have it pictured in my head, and it slows my progress down.
What would you do if you weren’t a writer?
I’m not really sure, to tell you the truth. I have an English degree, and probably would have gone back for my masters, and tried to teach.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
Reading, of course. I also enjoy cooking, traveling, spending time with family and friends…and relaxing when I can fit it in.
Of all of the characters you’ve created, who is your favorite and why?
Oh, picking a favorite. That’s a tough, really tough. I’ve answered this question before, and every time, I have a different answer. It’s not always a character from the most recent book either! Right now, in this moment, the first character that popped into my head was Silas…and that boy doesn’t even have his own book yet! Sneaky bugger. I do love him though. He is a secondary character in my Into the Shadows series. The main characters in the series kind of take this young man in. He’s literally grown up in my head. And is growing impatient with me apparently.
Do you find it difficult to keep love/sex scenes fresh and interesting?
Yes. Definitely. But I figure just like in “real life” relationships, keeping things fresh and interesting takes work. But the effort is totally worth it in the end.
What genre of books least appeals to you and why?
Horror. That kind of goes across all media. A horror movie is the last thing you’ll find me watching, and a horror novel isn’t something I’ll pick up if something else is available. I don’t have anything against the genre; it’s just not my cup of tea. I don’t enjoy being scared. LOL
Do you listen to music when you write or do you need quiet? If you listen to music – what kind?
Quiet is a rare and precious commodity in Chez Jarman. If I waited for it to happen, I’d never get anything written. Listening to music is definitely preferable to the bickering or the television blaring or just loud conversations. It also signals the family that I’m writing, not just checking email or playing around on Facebook. If I’m on the computer and the earbuds are in, I’m working.
I prefer instrumental music when I write, because I will get distracted by lyrics. LOL I have a lot of soundtracks/scores from movies, like Pride and Prejudice, Braveheart, Last of the Mohicans, Pirates of the Caribbean, and many more.
What makes a man sexy?
How he treats the person he loves. (A tight butt doesn’t hurt any, but mostly how he treats the one he loves)
Do you family and friends know you write erotic romance – if so, how have they reacted?
I think most of them know. I haven’t had any bad reactions. I think if someone has a problem with it, they’ve been kind enough just to say nothing. And I appreciate that. :-D
What’s your favorite food?
My favorites shift. Right now, I’m loving Indian food—naan, tikka masala, curries. If I had to choose an all-time favorite? Fresh baked bread. A thick slice, still warm with a smear of butter or homemade jam…omg. *drool*
Do you have any bad habits?
Oh yeah. Queen of Procrastination at your service. I let myself get distracted easily by family stuff and things going on around me. I’m working on it.
If you were stranded on a desert isle, what five things would you want to have with you?
The practical answer? Pocket knife, fishing gear, flint, first aid kit, a survival book.
The fun answer? A hot, intelligent man who knows survival—I will not be conversing with a volleyball thank you! And I’m certain I will survive longer cuddli…I mean, sharing body heat with another person during the cold nights. Sturdy rope—there are just so many uses for this. You know, for survival! Still want the fishing gear, flint, and knife—cause we have to eat and make fire, but now I don’t have to do it all by myself. Yay.
Do you have any pet peeves?
Most certainly. Making promises you know you can’t keep. Saying one thing, but acting in a way that indicates the opposite. People who impose on your time, making it clear they don’t value you or your time. Those are the big ones for me. Would those be considered more than pet peeves? (I now feel the urge to look up “pet peeve”.) Okay, a smaller one… When someone says “supposably” instead of “supposedly”. :-D
What do you like about where you live?
I love the Midwest. I will heartily bitch about the snow and cold, make no mistake on that, but I’m happy I’m where I am. I’m near my family and can easily travel to see them. I even enjoy the nature of it all—the fact I can get to a lake and swim with minimal effort, the beauty and variety of the changing seasons. But you don’t think you will ever hear me happily announce I’m going camping; there will always be cursing in those instances. The only thing I don’t enjoy about being here is how far most of my friends are—they’re scattered around the country. :( Not cool.
If you could travel back in time, would you? If so, what time period would you visit and why?
I know how lucky I am to live now. I don’t think I’d actually survive without running water, indoor plumbing and convenience food. However, if I had to, I’d live in the late 1700s, early 1800s—as portrayed in a Jane Austen movie. I’d be the daughter of a gentlemen and my life’s work would be embroidery and finding my Mr. Darcy. He would be a single man of good fortune with, oh, nine, ten thousand pounds a year. It wouldn’t take me long at all, because we all know such a man must be in want of a wife—and I would totally be that wife.