I'M HAPPY TO HAVE ROMANCE AUTHOR JENNIFER WILCK IN THE HOTSEAT TODAY. SHE'S INTERESTING, CANDID, AND LOTS OF FUN!
GRAB A CUP OF YOUR FAVORITE MORNING BREW. I KNOW YOU'LL LOVE HER!
WELCOME TO MY MY PLACE, JENNIFER!
I'LL BEGIN WITH SOME SERIOUS QUESTIONS.
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself? Sure, I used to be a magazine writer and editor, specializing in technology of all things, even though I’m SO not a techie! My husband used to joke that I could explain why something worked, but couldn’t actually do it myself. Unfortunately, that seems to be true. I switched over to freelancing when my girls were born—I have two—and now most of my time is spent writing romance, being a mom and serving on the Board of my Temple.
2. What do you do when you are not writing?
When not writing, I spend a lot of time volunteering with my
Temple. I’m an Executive VP so I oversee a
bunch of committees, run special projects and help with its strategic vision. I
also spend a lot of time with my family—my daughters are almost 12 and 14 and
the teenaged years are, um, interesting. When not doing those things, I like to
read, watch TV and travel.
3. Do you have a day job as well? Currently, I don’t.
4. When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book? I feel like I’ve been writing forever, but I think I started seriously about 10 years ago? I wrote at night when my kids went to bed. My first book, A Heart of Little Faith, took about a year and a half to finish.
5. How did you choose the genre you write in? I love reading romance and it just seemed natural to write it.
6. Where do you get your ideas? Everywhere. Sometimes I see a minor character on TV or in a movie that intrigues me. Once an idea came from a billboard on the highway. Sometimes it’s a song. I usually get my best ideas as I’m falling asleep at night, so the biggest challenge is to get them written down before I forget them.
7. Do you ever experience writer’s block? All the time! It’s so frustrating!
8. Do you work with an outline, or just write? No, I just write, although I sometimes fill out an outline as I go along so I have a map of what I’m doing.
9. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult? I love Lynn Kurland. She writes time travel romances and her descriptions are so vivid. I’ll often go back and reread her books just to get a better handle on her technique.
10. How do you market your work? What avenues to you find to work best for your genres? I do a lot of blog tours and have found authors who are published by my publisher to be very generous in sharing their blogs—like you! J For my latest release, The Seduction of Esther, I hired someone to do a blog tour for me and a review tour, so I’m anxious to see how that goes. Additionally, I market myself on my Facebook author page and on Twitter.
11. Can you tell us about your upcoming book? The Seduction of Esther is a bit of an experiment for me. There don’t seem to me to be a lot of contemporary romance books with Jewish characters, especially if you exclude chick lit. I love reading books of all kinds, and I truly have no issue with reading books where the characters go to church, but I’ve always wanted to read a book where the characters were Jewish. So, I decided to write one. Ideally, this is the first in a series. This book takes place around the holiday of Purim, which is a joyous holiday that celebrates the overthrow of a King’s advisor who wanted to get rid of the Jewish people in
Persia a long time ago. One of the
main themes of the holiday is hiding ones identity, which fits very well as a
conflict in any book! So the book is about two people who are so busy keeping
their inner selves hidden from others, they need to learn that love can only
flourish out in the open.
12 How did you come up with the title? Esther is the heroine of the story of Purim (Samara is the heroine of my book). The title was a way of getting Purim in without beating anyone over the head with the idea. J
13 Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with? I’m currently working on a sequel to The Seduction of Esther as well as another contemporary romance—I’m switching between the two, which is a bit confusing, but keeps things interesting!
14 Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans? Ideally, I’d like to have a whole series, with each book taking place around a different Jewish holiday, yet retaining enough of a mainstream romance that anyone can easily read it.
SOMETHING FOR FUN.
1. Do you get road rage? What pisses you off the most about other drivers? I hate stupidity in people in general, so drivers who do stupid things piss me off. I’d have to say the thing I hate most is people driving extra slow (like 10 miles below the speed limit) when I’m in a rush and when they don’t use turn signals (or use turn signals but don’t actually turn that direction). My kids laugh at me because I yell at the cars in front of me quite frequently.
2. Do you go out of your way to kill bugs? Are there any that make you screech and hide? I hate bugs. That being said, I’ve gotten much better. The only bugs I can’t stand and run from are cave crickets—they look like big spiders and hop like crickets—and cicadas. One actually came into my house the other day and I called my dad in tears to come get it for me, since my husband wasn’t able to leave work early to do that for me (can you imagine???? J)
3. Do you go outside without make-up? Or to you put on full make-up to go to the grocery store? I usually go outside without makeup unless I know I’m going to see someone. And I’m going to have to start going to the grocery store in full regalia pretty soon—it’s getting embarrassing.
4. What celebrity do you have a secret crush on? If I told you, it wouldn’t be secret anymore. ;)
5. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? That depends on what I’m doing. Spending the day running errands—maybe 15 minutes. Seeing friends or going to out somewhere, 45 minutes?
6. What’s your favorite dessert? Anything with chocolate, and the more chocolate the better.
7. If your latest release was made into a movie, who would you cast in the lead roles? I’d have Mark Feuerstein as Nathaniel and a young Amy Irving as Samara.
It's great getting to know you, Jennifer! Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
Samara Goldberg has a problem even the most beautiful singing voice can’t fix. She’s a walking disaster, especially when she’s around handsome men. To make matters worse, she’s in desperate need of someone to play the character of Mordecai for the Purim spiel she’s producing and the new congregant, Nathaniel Abramson, is a perfect fit. Nathaniel is a divorced dad who’s recovering from the biggest public scandal of his life. The last thing he needs is a relationship with the choir director at his new synagogue, who also happens to be playing the lead female role of Esther in the very play he’s been coerced into joining.
Woven around the Jewish holiday of Purim, The Seduction of Esther is a story of two people whose lives mirror the plot of the Purim story. Like Esther, who had to hide her Jewish identity from the King of Persia, Samara and Nathaniel are hiding key pieces of themselves. Evil Haman wanted to destroy the Jews, and the nasty Josh will do anything to keep Samara and Nathaniel apart. Will their love survive, like the Jewish people in
, or will
their fear keep them apart? Shushan,
Nathaniel logged out of Facebook and leaned back in his desk chair. It squeaked in protest. The application had suggested a number of potential “friends” for him and as usual, he’d ignored them. But this time, the names filled him with a twinge of unease. Both names had been from his old synagogue. Both people knew of his past. The past he’d do anything not to repeat. Which is why today’s time with Samara puzzled him.
He couldn’t deny his attraction to her. The past few weeks he’d tried to deny it and it hadn’t gotten him anywhere. Her appearance at the Met had surprised him, although he wasn’t sure why. He was bound to run into people he knew in the city—it was big, but crossing paths wasn’t unheard of or unexpected.
His heart beat faster as he remembered the warmth of her hand in his, the syncopation of their steps as they meandered through the galleries, the mutual looks they’d exchanged at a comment of Zoe’s. She was real, natural and warm. She made him feel things he didn’t want to feel, wasn’t ready to feel, but couldn’t deny. When they were together, electricity filled the air. His senses went on hyper-alert. The scent of her perfume filled his nostrils and he longed for more—and he didn’t even like perfume. His skin tingled at her nearness, every hair on his arm and neck stood on end and it was as if he could determine her exact position in the room in relation to himself like a compass. He could stare at her for hours, read every emotion on her expressive face, gaze into the endless pools of brown liquid as she looked back at him. He knew her emotions from the tone of her voice and her singing made him forget who and where he was. His mouth went dry at the thought of kissing her, tasting her skin. He shook his head to clear it. At this rate, he’d never get any sleep tonight. As he rose and went to bed, the only thing he could think of was Samara.
When I was a little girl and couldn’t fall asleep, my mother would tell me to make up a story. Pretty soon, my head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Each character had a specific personality, a list of likes and dislikes, and sometimes, even a specific accent or dialect. Even as an adult, I think about the characters and stories at night before I fall asleep, or in the car on my way to or from one of my daughters’ numerous activities (hey, anything that will drown out their music is a good thing).
One day, I started writing them down (it was either that or checking into the local mental hospital—the computer was way less scary). Since then, I’ve published two contemporary romances with Whiskey Creek Press. The Seduction of Esther is my first book with Rebel Ink Press, and I’m excited to be part of their team.
In the real world, I’m the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men I know. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, traveling and watching TV. In between chauffeuring my daughters to after-school activities that require an Excel spreadsheet to be kept straight, I serve on our Temple Board and volunteer for way more things than I have time to do. I also write freelance articles for magazines, newspapers, and edit newsletters.
When all of that gets overwhelming, I retreat to my computer, where I write stories that let me escape from reality. In my made-up world, the heroines are always smart, sassy and independent. The heroes are handsome and strong with just a touch of vulnerability. If I don’t like a character, I can delete him or her; if something doesn’t work, I can rewrite it. It’s very satisfying to be in control of at least one part of my life.
I can be reached at www.jenniferwilck.com or http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jennifer-Wilck/201342863240160. I tweet at @JWilck. My blog (Fried Oreos) is www.jenniferwilck.wordpress.com and I contribute to Heroines With Hearts at www.heroineswithhearts.blogspot.com.
It's great getting to know you, Jennifer! Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.