I'm excited today to have multi-published romance author Jenna Jaxon as my guest. She agreed to answer some of my serious and a few of my fun questions.
1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’ve been writing for a little over four years now. I started because I read an historical romance book and literally said, “I can write one of those.” And sat down and did it. I published my first short story two years ago, and to date have seven books out total.
2. What do you do when you are not writing?
I have a day job--I teach theatre at a local liberal arts college. So I spend a lot of time directing plays. And then there’s reading, movies, some TV. But mostly I just write.
3. When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book? I started writing in January 2009. I had recently gone gluten-free and suddenly I got a huge burst of energy and creativity. No other creative outlet was availble, so I sat down to write a romance novel, set in my favorite time period--the middle ages. It took me six months--I wrote “The End” at 11:38 on July 28 2009. It was complete at 187,000 words.
4. Where do you get your ideas?
A lot of my ideas come from songs on the radio. Katy Perry’s Last Friday Night inspired my erotic novella 7 Days of Seduction; I have a wonderful contemporary novella I’m plotting out based on listening to Maroon 5’s Daylight. I have two Regency novels I’m plotting based on songs from Les Miserables. And sometimes my characters just come up and start whispering in my ear. The Marquess of Dalbury did that to start me writing Only Scandal Will Do.
5. Do you ever experience writer’s block? I say not, but with me I think it’s just a matter of knowing when I’m ready to write. I’ve never sat down an not been able to write, but if I don’t feel it’s right, I procrastinate. Kind of like winding up my spring until it’s tight enough, then I can let ‘er rip and make the keys sing.
6. Do you work with an outline, or just write? I have to have an outline. I figure out the plot, then write a detailed outline chapter by chapter. Then I go back and start filling in the narration and dialogue, writing the first draft. I don’t always stick to the outline--I let some things evolve--but I have to have the outline before I can begin.
7. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult? I give Kathleen Woodiwiss credit with inspiring me to write romance. Her book, Wolf and the Dove, was the first romance novel I read and her final book, Everlasting, was the one that I read before deciding to become a romance writer. Both were set in the middle ages. J
8. Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published? My first book, Time Enough to Love, at 187K was pretty much unpublishable as it was. Even with cutting it down to 160K, I was advised that it was too long. I also had trepidations about some of the content as it breaks several unwritten rules of romance. So, although this book is the book of my heart, I didn’t think it would ever be published. Then someone advised me to chop it into three parts and publish them separately. Betrothal, which I just self-published on April 19, is the first part of the Time Enough to Love Trilogy. So my dream is coming true!
9. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? My favorite part of Betrothal to write was Geoffrey and Alyse’s first fight. I really liked the tension and the inevitability of the fight. I also learned a lot about Alyse during that scene. It’s always fun to discover your characters.
10. What project are you working on now? I am currently revising the second book of the trilogy: Betrayal. I’m also finishing revisions to the second of my House of Pleasure series, published by Lyrical Press, called Only Marriage Will Do. It should be off to my editor ASAP.
11. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers? What my mentor, author Judy McCoy said to the day I first met her: You can fix crap; you can’t fix nothing. Keep writing, because as long as it’s written, it can be fixed.
1. Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point? Make your bed? Like with a hammer and nails? LOL
2.Be honest, how often do you wash your hair? Every other day. It’s dry.
3. Do you get road rage? What pisses you off the most about other drivers? I get fussy at other drivers who go too slow on the interstate or who take forever to make a turn because they come to a complete halt before turning. Pet peeve.
4. Do you go out of your way to kill bugs? Are there any that make you screech and hide? Most things make me scream and run--from spiders to granddaddy longlegs to mice and voles. But I hate to kill anything. Except flies. I’m death to flies.
5 If you were stranded on a deserted island with one of your characters, which one would you want to be with? Why? I would most want to be with Geoffrey Longford from Betrothal/Time Enough to Love. He’s always been my perfect hero of mine. I would least want to be with Viscount Phillippe de Valere from Only Marriage Will Do, who is the blackest villain I’ve ever penned. He’s cruel and vindictive.
6. Do you go outside without make-up? Or to you put on full make-up to go to the grocery store?
I haven’t worn make-up
in probably six months. I’d rather write
than put on make-up. I will take the
time, however, when I’m in
for RWA this year. J Atlanta
7. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? Because I don’t wear make-up, it only takes me 15-20 minutes
8. What’s your favorite dessert? Apple bourbon bread pudding (but I can’t eat it any
more); of the ones I can eat, Mexican flan.
9. If your latest release was made into a movie, who would you cast in the lead roles?
Clive Owen as Geoffrey, and Jemima West.
10. Are you a reality show fan? The only reality shows I watch with any regularity are
Project Runway and Pawn Stars. Mostly I cannot stand them. I want a plot! LOL
Blurb for Betrothal:
Lady Alyse de Courcy has fallen in love with Lord Braeton, a nobleman in King Edward III’s court and a man to whom she has barely spoken. Fate, however, has decreed her betrothal to his best friend, Sir Geoffrey Longford—a handsome and imposing knight, yet hardly the man she wants to wed.
When Sir Geoffrey is bound in betrothal by his father, he could not have expected the beautiful stranger to win his heart the moment they meet. Nevertheless, the fascinating Lady Alyse has done exactly that, and his feelings for her only grow as he learns more of her gentle yet spirited nature. But Alyse’s infatuation with his friend casts doubt on whether she can ever return his regard and their wedding day is fast approaching…
Will he have time enough to win her love?
Excerpt for Betrothal:
“What do you require of me, Majesty?” Her mouth so dry she could taste sand, Alyse fought to speak in a normal tone. With a sigh of relief, she dropped into a deep curtsy, hiding her face in the folds of her skirt. If only she could remain bowed thus before His Majesty for the remainder of the evening.
King Edward laughed. “Obedience, Lady Alyse, as I require of all my subjects. As your father requires of his daughter.”
Her heart thumped wildly in her breast. That could mean but one thing.
“Rise, my lady.”
She did so on unsteady feet. “I am ready, as always, Your Majesty, to obey my father as I would you.”
Holy Mary, let it be Lord Braeton.
King Edward lifted an eyebrow toward Alyse. “A very pretty answer, my lady. And are you ready to accept your father’s decree for your betrothal? His messenger has today reached me with the contract, as I am to stand in his stead in this matter.”
Alyse took a deep breath and hoped her voice did not tremble. “Yea, Majesty, I will obey my father.”
King Edward nodded and leaned over to whisper something to Queen Phillipa, who sat beside him, heavy with their twelfth child.
Mere seconds before she learned her fate. She could scarce affect an indifferent pose before the court when inside every inch of her quivered with anticipation of the name. His name, pray God, on the king’s lips.
In her mind, she heard the word.
The king straightened, glanced at her then at the man by her side.
“What say you then, Sir Geoffrey? Does the lady not speak fair? I vow she will make you a proper wife and a dutiful one as well.”
Alyse turned, until that moment unaware that Geoffrey Longford stood beside her. Chills coursed down her body as the king’s words echoed in her mind. The sensation of falling backward assailed her, as though she rushed away from the tall man at her side even as his figure loomed larger and larger in her sight.
Not Lord Braeton.
Her numbed brain repeated the phrase, trying to comprehend that instead he would be her husband. Geoffrey Longford.
God have mercy on me, for by the look of him, this man will not.
Fearful, she cringed as her gaze climbed higher, over his chest, over his chin, finally resting on the dark blue eyes turned toward her.
Geoffrey returned her appraisal, his gaze sweeping her figure as a smile crept over his face. “Your Majesty.” He spoke to the king but his attention remained fixed on Alyse. “When my father told me of the betrothal contract before I left his home, I resolved to play the dutiful son. Now, however, I find I do not wish to act that role after all.” His eyes held hers as he paused.
Dear God, does he mean to renounce me here before the entire court?
Alyse stared at the man beside her, willing herself to remain upright, despite the waves of ice and fire alternating through her body.
“Now I find I would rather play the ardent lover.”
An amused murmur ran through the Hall at his words. Sir Geoffrey grinned, his eyes sparkling with humor and something more. Despite the uneven light, Alyse saw an unfathomable promise in their dark depths. She took a shaky breath and looked away.
Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance. Her historical romance, , the first in a series of five interconnecting novels, was released in July 2012. Her contemporary works include Hog Wild, Almost Perfect, and 7 Days of Seduction. She is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America as well as a member of Chesapeake Romance Writers. Her medieval romance, Time Enough to Love, is being published this summer as a series of three novellas. The first book, Betrothal, released on April 19th.
Jenna has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in
with her family and a small menagerie of pets. When not reading or writing,
she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a
director. She often feels she is directing her characters on their own
private stage. Virginia
She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.
Thank you for a wonderful interview, Jenna! Where can we find you?
Thank you for a wonderful interview, Jenna! Where can we find you?