Jennifer Snow Romance Author   

Super Sweet & A Whole Lot Sexy...       

Real Life & Romance Blog

Real Life & Romance is about everyday life and  love and the moments that capture your heart. 

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Behind the Scenes of a Cover shoot!

Posted on 19 March, 2017 at 15:00 Comments comments (0)

Most of you have seen the cover for my May release-MAYBE THIS LOVE below, but I wanted to share the behind the scenes photos that my editor sent to me. This looks like so much fun! I'm hoping some day to be able to visit a shoot set:)

The final cover

The behind the scenes shots!

These two are so adorable! And perfect as Olivia and Ben!


Love the white dress! And Olivia wears one similar in the book:) And those shoes!!


MAYBE THIS LOVE releases May 30th. It is avail now for PRE-ORDER:) 

How Play Dates Used to Terrify Me! (And now, slightly less so...)

Posted on 19 March, 2017 at 14:15 Comments comments (1)

I was never a play date or mommy group kind of mom. As a writer, I've always been more of an introvert. Anti-social perhaps lol. I'm friendly and outwardly confident, but the idea of walking into a Mommy Group gave me hives. I always envisioned those things as a baby battle zone, where we compare every aspect of our child's development to the other babies. And every way I parented would be critized or judged. 

No thanks. Not for me. 

And that was okay before my son started school. 

But last year, when he started kindergarten, everything changed. It was no longer up to me whether or not we did play dates. My son now had the control. After all, I wanted him to have friends, right?

Which meant, I needed to make friends. 

Let's just say he had an easier time than I did. 

But over the months and slowly but surely, I got used to the weekly get togethers at play centers or someone's home and surprisingly it wasn't horrible lol. 

Now, almost two years later, I actually initiate the play times. Why? Because, it's really the only way to survive this parenting thing. 

Whenever my little guy has an issue that I'm not sure how to deal with, it's fairly certain that one of his friends have had a similar problem and getting advice from someone who has been there is so helpful. Likewise, I feel like I can help them with other situations. 

In the last two years, I've become part of a group of warriors, silently banded together, having one another's back, keeping an eye on each others kids and just supporting one another as we navigate the school years. 

Yes, I do still shudder slightly at the idea that I have to come out of my shell, let my guard down a bit and leave the house but I'm slowly getting better at it. 

Now, I do it for my son, but I also do it for myself. Being an author is such a solitary, often lonely profession. Parenting doesn't have to be. 

xo

Jen

Coffee Time with Jen featuring Chloe Flowers

Posted on 2 December, 2016 at 9:40 Comments comments (4)

Welcome to Coffee Time with Jen featuring Chloe Flowers!!! Thanks for stopping by Chloe!

What authors have inspired you to write?

Kathleen Woodiwiss, hands down. My favourite historical romance of all time is “A Rose in Winter.” It’s a twist on the Beauty and the Beast tale. The longing and torment, the action and adventure and the sensual romance hooked me as a young girl, and I read every one of her books. She shaped my writing style, although my writing isn’t as flowery or dramatic…

Sherrilyn Kenyon is an inspiration in and of herself. She started with nothing as a single mom and pursued her dream until she achieved it.

What does your writing process look like?

I can’t go on a journey without a general plan and a roadmap. I start with a question, like: “What would compel a nun to kidnap a pirate?” From there, I do nothing but mull it over in my head for a couple of weeks before I write a word. Once I have a movie reel spinning in my mind, I sit down and write an outline. Next, I do a character sketch, which is really fun because I’ll use character archetypes and birthdates. From that point I rip through the first draft pretty fast.

What advice has been the most helpful to you in your career?

Dory always said, “Just keep swimming.” I follow her mantra every day and just keep writing. Love that fish to pieces.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

A grossly underpaid volleyball coach. I have been coaching for almost ten years. I did the math once and discovered that when I divided the total hours into the pay, I was making about $2.37 an hour.

Do you read reviews? How do you celebrate the good, get over the bad?

Occasionally I do read reviews. I think I have one three star and one two star review on my first book. All my books average 4.5 stars on Amazon, so I have to look at it from a business angle. Here’s the thing: I used to own a gourmet cookie company called CookieChix. We made high-end gourmet cookies with the best chocolate, nuts and sugars. We packaged them in gift boxes and tied them with ribbons and bows. Although they tasted and looked awesome, there were some people who wouldn’t buy them because they were too expensive. It worried me at first. Did I price them too high? Would I sell a ton more if I lowered the price? (yes) Could I keep up with the demand? (Probably not) So I had to conclude that those people were not my customers. Same thing goes here. My customers are the readers who enjoy the kind of books I write. Low star reviews come from people who are not my customers.

What type of scene do you find hardest to write? Scary, funny, romantic, sad?

The sensual romantic scenes are hardest for me because I know my mom’s going to read it. My dad called the other day to tell me he’s finished the first two and actually shocked me into silence. When I decided to become a writer, I chose the romance genre because I felt it would be the hardest for me to write. My thought was that if I could write romance, I could write anything…

What is one subject you’d never write about as an author?

Good God, politics.

What is one career goal you’ve yet to achieve that you are striving for?

I want to write a movie script, or have one or more of my books made into a movie. I am outlining a contemporary series of romantic comedies with this goal in mind.

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

I have a TON, because I’m a klutz. The biggest one is from an experimental surgery on my knee. I tore the ligaments high jumping in a college meet. I had already broken the school record and qualified for Nationals before that jump. I was training for the Olympic trials at the time as well. It was a devastating injury, which threw me onto a completely different life path. Because of it, I chose a different career from writing. Because of it I also met my husband. It’s taken me a while, but I have finally circled back around to the career of my heart: writing. God simply had a different plan for me at the time, and I’m glad that things worked out this way.

Do you have any tattoos? Where & What?

No way. Hate needles. My friend, Michelle did talk me into getting my belly button pierced a few years back, though. I got mine pierced, held her hand while they pierced hers, paid my bill, walked outside and promptly passed out. I have a nice little scar on my forehead as a souvenir. Still have the piercing, though.

What would you like your obituary to say if you could write it?

Flags at the Chateau St Michelle winery in Washington State are flying at half-mast following the passing of Chloe Flowers. The board of directors called an emergency meeting to discuss strategies to soften the anticipated sharp drop in sales. Chloe leaves behind a tall, dark and handsome husband she lovingly called “Woody,” who was responsible for three children, who in turn provided excellent excuses for eating with her fingers, buying a trampoline and watching Disney movies. Cause of death has yet to be determined, but authorities did confirm that large amounts of chocolate pudding and whipped cream were involved. Chloe has requested six players from the Cleveland Browns be her pallbearers so that they can let her down one last time. Her last request was to have her ashes spread over her small ravaged vegetable garden in hopes that the deer choke on them.

 

Ready for the Lightning Round of ‘Have You Ever?’

Yep!

-Grab your coffee and take a sip if you have done any of these things.

Have You Ever…

-Written naked?

Cup paused halfway to mouth…Not yet. (Is that a thing? Maybe I should try it).

-Gotten arrested?

No sip, (never been caught).

-Gotten into a bar fight? No sip. (At least not that I can remember).

-Lied on a resume?

No sip. (The odds work against you on that one).

-Pee’d in public?

Sip and spit? (Does peeing in the woods on a golf course count?)

-Called in sick to work when you weren’t sick?

(Chugging) Well, duh. Who hasn’t?

-Had a crush on a friend or co-worker?

(Choking) Nah. I worked in the fashion industry, and most of the cute guys were gay. I did get excellent advice on accessorizing, however.

-Lied about your age?

Requesting a refill, please. (Consistently. For a long time, my kids did it for me. My college-aged nephew showed me his fake ID at a family party and I asked him if he could get me one that said I was 32).

-Taken candy from a baby?

No, (I always ask politely first).

-Snuck in contraband snacks to a movie?

Sipping inconspicuously. (I have a special purse that can hold 4 bottles of water, 8 boxes of movie candy and a small Pacific seal).

Shwew!

That’s it!! You survived Coffee Time With Jen!

Awesome! Next caramel macchiato is on me!


 


Coffee Time with Jen featuring Anna J Stewart

Posted on 24 November, 2016 at 9:35 Comments comments (1)

Welcome to one of my favorite authors-Anna J Stewart!! Anna and I met and became fast friends at RWA Nationals a few years ago and now she's my date every year for the Harlequin and Berkley Publisher parties lol! I love this woman and her books!


What does your writing process look like?

When I first start a book, I use a number of different writing books to lock in on the characters: Tami Cowden's book on Archetypes, an Astrology book, and the Character Naming sourcebook. I write out all the information I need/think I'll need by hand in a spiral notebook then go back and highlight want I believe connects to the characters. Then I dive in to the first 100 pages, with a character list in front of me and the general conflict between the two. The deeper into the book I go, that's when I research and flesh things out. I hit Pinterest for images to inspire me, where they live, what they look like, what they drive or where they work. The middle takes me forever to get through it seems, but eventually everything clicks into place and the last 75 pages or so just flies.

 

I'm also one of those writers who edit as she goes. If something changes in the story as I'm writing, I immediately go back and fix it earlier. It makes for an easier editing job once the final first draft is done.

 

What advice has been the most helpful to you in your career?

Honestly? Write. Write, write, write. And read. The more I write, the faster the story comes and the words flow. Whoever said writing is like a muscle is absolutely right. When I haven't written for a while, it's difficult to get into the swing of things again.

The other piece of advice is to always keep the internal conflict in mind for whichever character's POV I'm in. Whether they say something, do something, or think something, the conflict has to be on the page, otherwise the reader won't know why to cheer them on.

 

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

I would have loved to have gone to cooking or baking school.

 

Do you read reviews? How do you celebrate the good, get over the bad?

Alas, I do. I've learned to embrace the bad ones as a badge of honor, but it's tough to hear almost cruel criticism of your work. I have a one star review for one of my books and it was my first bad review (from a reader, anyway), but when I read the whole review I realized she'd read the whole book, so, in the end, I won. :) I don't celebrate the good ones and I try not to bemoan the bad ones. Not everyone is going to love everything I write. It's just the way it is.

What type of scene do you find hardest to write? Scary, funny, romantic, sad?

No contest: I have the worst time writing love/sex scenes, LOL. It might be why I like writing sweet romance so much, but when I finally lock in on what the hero and heroine have at stake emotionally by being together, that usually makes it easier.

What is one subject you’d never write about as an author?

If you'd asked me a few months ago I probably would have said writing about a hero or heroine who had lost a child, but given I recently sold a book that will deal specifically with that subject, can't say that anymore. Probably something having to do with injuring animals. I tend to go for as much happy life as possible...the conflict will just have to suffice.

What is one career goal you’ve yet to achieve that you are striving for?

I want to be writing single title print books. I've come close, and written single title books that were released digitally, but...yeah. That's still the dream!

 

Moving on to the Fun Questions:

Do you have a recurring nightmare?

I used to have one when I was growing up, about ants carrying my family away from the house. Giant, people sized ants. *shudder* I hate ants.

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

I have a small scar across the bridge of my nose from when I was about a year old. Apparently I fell and hit my face on the edge of a toy chest.

Do you have any tattoos? Where & What?

Not yet, but I'm planning to get one soon! I'm hoping it'll be a thistle (in honor of my Scottish heritage) with a few symbols from my favorite TV shows thrown in.


 

Ready for the Lightning Round of ‘Have You Ever?’

Definitely!

Grab your coffee and take a sip if you have done any of these things. 

Have You Ever…

-Written naked? No sip

-Gotten arrested? No sip

-Gotten into a bar fight? No sip

-Lied on a resume? No sip

-Pee’d in public? No sip

-Called in sick to work when you weren’t sick? Sip

-Had a crush on a friend or co-worker? Sip

-Lied about your age? No sip

-Taken candy from a baby? No sip

-Snuck in contraband snacks to a movie? Gulp

 

That’s it!! You survived Coffee Time With Jen!

Thank you for being a guest author!



Coffee Time with Jen featuring Dana Volney!

Posted on 17 November, 2016 at 9:45 Comments comments (0)

A big warm welcome to Dana Volney!! Welcome to Coffee Time with Jen:)


What does your writing process look like? A little chaotic I start by deciding which type of story I’m going with to next: holiday, contemporary, suspense. Then jot down notes in a book (or on sticky notes, random to-do lists, or on my phone) for a couple of days while a plot brews. Eventually I fill out character worksheets and form an actual plot (timelines, arcs, ideas on ending) on a long sheet of paper. After that I basically try to write at every opportunity and get the first draft done so I can get to the fun part of editing and polishing the characters and story!

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be? A baker! I have a serious sweet tooth and would like to learn the craft of baking a whole lot more (I just ordered “The Dollop Book of Frosting” by Heather Saffer to bake my way through—wish me luck!). I’d open a bakery and work on serving different, delicious treats you don’t hear of every day!

Do you read reviews? How do you celebrate the good, get over the bad? I’ve gotten a lot better (less obsessive) about reading reviews—I usually just look at the total number now. I will skim the newest ones, and if they look positive then I’ll take a peek. We all need a little boost now and then and reviews can certainly keep me going on days where writing isn’t coming as easily! The bad reviews can actually be helpful, too—that’s how I like to think of them anyway . If there is a pattern then I take that as constructive criticism and try to better that particular weakness in my current manuscript.

What is the best marketing strategy you’ve ever tried? Participating on blog and Facebook parties—like actually having conversations with other authors and readers. I love to be social and don’t just post and walk away when I join those parties. This seems to be the best way to meet awesome people and readers who actually want to keep in touch through social media or my newsletter.

What type of scene do you find hardest to write? Scary, funny, romantic, sad? I like the humor in my stories to be organic, so I don’t put pressure on myself to make dialogue funny. However, there needs to be romance in a romance story, so, sometimes it’s a challenge to make sure to get the right amount of romance in a novel so that it’s not cheesy, but real, and there’s enough to make sure the couple falls in love organically. The story needs to always feel real, have the right pace and flow, and stay true to the characters—nailing that mix can be the hardest.

What is one subject you’d never write about as an author? I’m still new in my career and exploring all types of stories and scenes. So, I’m not sure I can say “never” to anything at this point.

What is one career goal you’ve yet to achieve that you are striving for? I have big ultimate goals like being on best sellers lists, as I’m sure all authors do, and a couple achievements that are steps to get there that I think about a lot. Right now I’ve got my eyes set on cracking the Amazon Top 100 list (which I’ve done bundled with other authors but not solely) in any of my categories—that drives most of my marketing decisions at this point.

Do you have any scars? What are they from? I do have a scar on my stomach from having my appendix removed as a child. It’s not one of those neat little scars that people have nowadays because my surgery was done years ago before laparoscopy. So, it’s pretty prevalent on my lower right side.

Do you have any tattoos? Where & What? I don’t, not yet! I think about getting one a lot—especially when my sister and I watch shows like Master Ink—but I haven’t found anything that means that much to me yet to go through the pain. Then there’s the question of where to put it – wrist? ribs (apparently this is super painful!)? foot? If one of my author goals is accomplished I do have a couple ideas in mind!

 

Ready for the Lightning Round of ‘Have You Ever?’

YES!

-Grab your coffee and take a sip if you have done any of these things. 

Have You Ever…

-Written naked? Sip

-Gotten arrested? No Sip

-Gotten into a bar fight? No Sip

-Lied on a resume? No Sip

-Pee’d in public? No Sip

-Called in sick to work when you weren’t sick? Sip

-Had a crush on a friend or co-worker? Sip

-Lied about your age? No Sip

-Taken candy from a baby? Sip

-Snuck in contraband snacks to a movie? Sip

 

That’s it!! You survived Coffee Time With Jen!

Thank you for being a guest author!

 

Silver Morgenstern had her entire life figured out—be a surgeon. That’s all she ever wanted. When her dreams are cut short with one flick of the wrist, she moves back home, and takes on an administrative role at the local hospital. Dealing with paperwork is nothing compared to saving lives.

Fisher Tibbs successfully started and has operated Combat Children’s Hunger for the last five years. Giving back to children has always been important to him especially after losing his own child at a young age. He’d love to see it through, but instead he’s planning a future for CCH without him.

When patient Fisher Tibbs’s paperwork comes across Silver’s desk, wishing to no longer be on the heart transplant list, she gets sucked into the moment—deciding to convince him life is worth the fight. With the focus of saving his heart, she never expected him to save her own. Time has always been an enemy for Fisher, though, and this holiday season is no different. Love might be too late.

 



Coffee Time with Jen featuring EC Bell

Posted on 11 November, 2016 at 13:45 Comments comments (8)

Welcome to the blog E C Bell!! 


What authors have inspired you to write?

Stephen King, Janet Evanovitch, Thomas King, Christopher Moore. In no particular order. They are all so good at what they do--I try to make my work sing the way theirs does.

What does your writing process look like?

It looks terrifically messy, to start! White boards and post-it notes as I try to wrangle all my ideas into some sort of coherent whole (while making that pesky murder mystery work). From that, I outline the plot. Usually it’s more writing out the beats of the story--a line or two per beat--that gets me from the beginning to the climax to the end. Then, I write the first draft, as fast as I can. (When I’m really cooking, I can write 10,000 words a day.)

I leave it for a bit (a week to a month, depending on deadlines) and then go over it with fresh eyes to catch plot holes, make sure all scenes are in the right place and needed, and clean up other bits of organizational ugliness. I go over it again to get rid of flabby words and other nasties. (Like making absolutely certain that character names stay the same throughout the novel. And yes, it happened to me, which is why I really check.) I read it out loud, to make absolutely certain all of it works. (You’d be surprised what you catch, this way. Especially clunky dialogue.) Then, I do a final clean and polish to get rid of tiny mistakes like extra spaces or little typos. And then, finally, off it goes!

If I feel that there’s a problem at any stage, but I can’t figure out what it is, I have a couple of trusted friends who will read it over and help me fix.

What advice has been the most helpful to you in your career?

Write the first draft for yourself and the second draft for your reader. I don’t know where I heard it, or who said it first, but I use this bit of advice every time I write another book. If I try to write the first draft for my reader--and I did try, once--it comes out flat and lifeless. Don’t know why, but it does. So, the first draft’s for me.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

I would probably work for some do-gooder not-for-profit organization somewhere. That’s what I did before writing took over my life, and I still volunteer some time to various organizations. (I focus more on animal welfare lately, because animals have no voice, and I do.)

Which book do you wish you’d written and why?

I wish I’d written A Town Like Alice, by Nevil Shute. It’s still my favourite love story, and the characters go through hell before they end up together. (Which is why I have no problem putting my characters through hell. If Mr. Shute could do it, so can I!)

Do you read reviews? How do you celebrate the good, get over the bad?

I try to stay away from reviews, if I can, because I find that I obsess about them, whether good or bad. None of that helps my mental well being, so, I just leave reviews alone. I DO count them (and obsess about that, too!) which sounds strange until you remember that (on Amazon at least) more reviews give books access to better marketing opportunities. Which I obsess about...


What type of scene do you find hardest to write? Scary, funny, romantic, sad?

Sex scenes. Oh goodness, I have SO much trouble with them! Once, I wrote a sex scene--well, it wasn’t sex, really, but it was VERY sensual--and I closed my eyes as I typed the first draft! I didn’t have as much trouble when I was editing, thank goodness, but that first draft was hugely difficult to write.


 

On to the Fun Questions!

Do you have a recurring nightmare?

Just the usual. Alien invasion and whatnot. (I should really write a story about it, someday.)

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

Oh, my scars are boring! They are from child bearing (I‘m talking about stretch marks, which I count as scars!) and from a back operation I had twentysomething years ago. (Interesting fact: The specialist who performed my back operation performed the same operation on my father, twenty years before. Apparently farmers have this operation earlier than everyone else who needs it.)


 

Ready for the Lightning Round of ‘Have You Ever?’

YES!!

-Grab your coffee and take a sip if you have done any of these things. 

Have You Ever…

-Written naked? No sip

-Gotten arrested? No sip

-Gotten into a bar fight? No sip (but dreamed about it a few times, when I wasn’t dreaming about alien invasion...)

-Lied on a resume? Sip

-Pee’d in public? No sip

-Called in sick to work when you weren’t sick? Sip (and got fired for it, too. So now you know whether I can lie or not...)

-Had a crush on a friend or co-worker? Sip

-Lied about your age? Sip

-Taken candy from a baby? Sip

-Snuck in contraband snacks to a movie? Sip

 

That’s it!! You survived Coffee Time With Jen!

Thank you for being a guest author!

E.C. Bell is giving away 1 print copy and 1 e-copy to two lucky commenters below!!


Coffee Time with Jen featuring Margaret Locke

Posted on 3 November, 2016 at 10:55 Comments comments (0)

Welcome to Coffee Time with Jen! So thrilled to have Margaret Locke here for coffee today:) 

Hi Margaret!! 


What authors have inspired you to write?

LaVyrle Spencer, Johanna Lindsey, Lisa Kleypas, Lynn Kurland, Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, Sabrina Jeffries, Sarah MacLean…the list is long and I add more all the time. But if I can provide a reader with even half the enjoyment and emotional experiences these authors give me, I’ll consider it a win!

 

What does your writing process look like?

Sporadic, haphazard, and at the moment, not happening.

Yeah, I wish I were one of those authors who’s so driven to write, I had to get Le Butt in the chair, or was so organized and committed to write, I made myself get Butt In Chair, Hands on Keyboard. But my butt likes to dance around and do a whole bunch of other things – though at least characters are chatting to my brain at the same time.

Generally speaking, I’m a binge-writer, like I binge in so many other ways. I write a book during National Novel Writing Month (November), spend several months honing said book, and then brainstorm other projects, etc, for the rest of the year.

So, uh, still working on developing that regular writing practice so essential to successful authors.

 

What advice has been the most helpful to you in your career?

“Don’t write in a vacuum.”

That’s what Sabrina Jeffries told me when I met her at the Festival of the Book in Charlottesville in 2014. I’d confessed I’d begun writing romance after decades of devouring it, and those were her first words: find a critique group, some beta readers, a Romance Writers of America chapter, something. Just don’t write in a vacuum, because you need the support, the accountability, and the knowledge other writers provide to get anywhere in your writing.

 

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

Well, I thought I was going to be a professor of medieval history when I grew up, and I did everything but write the dissertation to get there. Then I changed my mind.

What I never thought I WOULD be was a stay-at-home mom, and yet that’s been my main title for over fifteen years.

But if I weren’t writing fiction, I’d likely find some other way to be involved with the written word. I worked for a year as a technical editor, so perhaps something in that area, or in library services. Bring on the books, baby!

 

Which book do you wish you’d written and why?

There are too many great books to answer this question. Seriously.

LaVyrle Spencer was one of my first great romance author crushes, because she always wrenched my heartstrings. I’d love to have written any of hers.

Sarah MacLean is funny and clever and leaves me with the “How did she DO that?!” vibe I’d love to be able to replicate.

And Lynn Kurland writes amazing time-travel romance and romances with a paranormal twist, and if I’d penned her Stardust of Yesterday, I’d be a happy woman.

Oh, and maybe Harry Potter. Because then I’d be brilliant and rich!

 

Do you read reviews? How do you celebrate the good, get over the bad?

 

Compulsively, even though I know I shouldn’t. I admit, the good ones get me hopping around and occasionally I’ll share them on Facebook or quote one in promo material. The bad ones aren’t fun, sure, but amazingly I seem to be developing a thicker skin than I used to have (can you say paper-thin?).

I’ve been lucky, though, in that the balance of my reviews definitely tips toward the higher end. I think if I were consistently getting predominantly 2s and 3s instead of mostly 4s or 5s, I’d seriously reconsider my career choice. So I look, but mostly I move on. Mostly.

 

What is the best marketing strategy you’ve ever tried?

I read a lot about marketing and enjoy it more than I ever thought I would. Notice I don’t claim I’m GOOD at it, however.

I’ve had some luck with Facebook ads and being a part of Facebook parties and the like, but my biggest success to date came via a BookBub newsletter ad, which I know I was incredibly lucky to land. I sold more of all three of my books that day than I ever have in a month, much less a single 24 hour period.

I think it’s good to keep your eyes and ears open and trade stories with fellow authors about what seems to work and what doesn’t. Because we’re all in this together.

 

What type of scene do you find hardest to write? Scary, funny, romantic, sad?

Huh. I don’t know if I’ve ever thought of it this way. Does that make me super lame? (Don’t answer that.) I tend to write my stories from beginning to end – I don’t jump around in scenes, and don’t really think of them in terms of the funny one, the crisis one, etc. I LOVE to write funny, but that can be very hard. I think I’ve written funny, romantic, and sad – but not so much scary. Maybe that’d be the hardest for me. Boring answer, I know, but it’s true.

 

 

What is one career goal you’ve yet to achieve that you are striving for?

I write because I love to write. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care a whit about earning some moola. I’m not in this to make a million dollars (because that ain’t happening), but it WOULD be nice to make enough to feel confident and competent and pay for the production of the books themselves (editing, cover design, proofing, etc) and maybe earn enough for a trip to England. And I hear repeatedly how the majority of authors make less than $10,000 a year. So, well, I’d like to make at least $10,001 for at least one year, just to show I beat the odds.

 

 

Fun Questions

Do you have a recurring nightmare?

Wait, this is a FUN question??

I have dreams all the time of being late and not knowing how to get to the place I’m supposed to be. Sometimes it’s a final for a class I never knew I was taking, sometimes it’s running through an airport, sometimes it’s trying to find my kids. And just for fun, these dreams often take place in Germany, so I’m speaking German and fully aware in the dream of how rusty my language skills have become (I lived there for a few months in 1989 and 1999, as well as majored in the language in college, but, well, it’s been a number of years since I’ve had opportunity to immerse myself in Deutsch.)

 

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

Tons. Apparently I was a clumsy child (stitches several times, though I’ve never broken anything). I’ve got a bunch on my legs from childhood adventures. I have one on my forehead earned at the tender age of three when the neighbor kid tipped over his dresser. The corner got my head (though the rest of it broke his arm, so maybe I got off easy). Unfortunately as an adult, deep creases have formed around said scar. I’d like to claim I look like Harry Potter, but really, I think I just appear constantly pissed off.

 


 

What secret talents do you possess?

Not sure if it’s a talent as much as a physical oddity, but my elbows are weird – I say they’re double-jointed. I can bend my arms in positions people say they shouldn’t go, all while keeping my hands stationary.

Also, I make a really good snickerdoodle cookie.

 

What would you like your obituary to say if you could write it?

“She loved deeply and was well-loved in return.”

Because that’s all that really matters in the end.

 

Lightning Round of ‘Have You Ever?’

-Grab your coffee and take a sip if you have done any of these things. (Write sip or no sip next to the question)

Have You Ever…

-Written naked? Sip

-Gotten arrested? No sip

-Gotten into a bar fight? No sip

-Lied on a resume? No sip

-Pee’d in public? Sip

-Called in sick to work when you weren’t sick? Sip

-Had a crush on a friend or co-worker? Sip

-Lied about your age? No sip

-Taken candy from a baby? No sip

-Snuck in contraband snacks to a movie? Sip sip sip sip sip!

 

That’s it!! You survived Coffee Time With Jen!

AUTHOR BIO:

 

A lover of romance novels since the age of ten (shh, don't tell mom!), Margaret Locke declared as a teen that she'd write romances when she grew up. Once an adult, however, she figured she ought to be doing grown-up things (such as earning that master's degree in medieval history), not penning steamy love stories. Turning forty cured her of that silly notion. Margaret is now happily ensconced back in the clutches of her first love, this time as an author as well as a reader. Margaret lives in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley in Virginia with her fantastic husband, two fabulous kids, and two fat cats. You can usually find her in front of some sort of screen (electronic or window); she's come to terms with the fact that she's not an outdoors person.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

 

Website: http://margaretlocke.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorMargaretLocke

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/MargaretLocke

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/margaret_locke

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/Margaret_Locke

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Margaret_Locke

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Margaret-Locke/e/B00W62NPC0


 


Coffee Time with Jen featuring Harper Dell

Posted on 20 October, 2016 at 9:35 Comments comments (7)

Welcome to Coffee Time with Jen! This week I have the lovely Harper Dell:) She's giving away 5 e-copies of her book A SOLDIER'S KISS! Be sure to comment below to be entered!

What authors have inspired you to write?

The Earth’s Children series by Jean M. Auel, Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds, Isabel Allende, Ken Follet. On the romance side Lesley Pearse, Bella Andre and Marie Force. Also Helen Brain, who writes children’s and young adult books. Of course there are more, but this is coffee time, not lunch time, so best I stop 

What does your writing process look like?

I work best in the morning, so I try to get a chunk done when the kids are at school. I aim for at least 2000 words a day. I tend to outline half the book and then let the rest take me where it wants to, but I am trying to do fuller outlines so that I don’t waste too much time thinking. I tend to waste far too much time on social media but I also use it as a marketing tool.

What advice has been the most helpful to you in your career?

Write the damn book! However much research you may do about the best way to publish, market and sell, you are not going to get anywhere without completed manuscripts.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

Maybe a midwife.

Do you read reviews? How do you celebrate the good, get over the bad?

I’m just delighted if anyone takes the time to read and comment on my work, be it good or bad. This little cartoon sums it up for me.

 

What is the best marketing strategy you’ve ever tried?

Getting to know my readers on Facebook.

What type of scene do you find hardest to write? Scary, funny, romantic, sad?

Sex scenes. Especially if there is more than one in a book (which there usually is ;) ). You want to keep them emotional, interesting, relevant, sensual, hot and distinct from one another.

What is one career goal you’ve yet to achieve that you are striving for?

To be able to make a full time living off my writing.

 

That is definitely the dream! :) On to the Fun Questions!!!

Do you have a recurring nightmare?

When I am stressed I dream about being trapped in large bodies of water, like a dam, and trying to get out.

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

One on my leg from not dressing warmly enough walking around London’s West End on a visit to the UK. I was so cold I didn’t lift my leg high enough over a chain barrier which had spikes on it. I’m sure you can figure out the rest.

What secret talents do you possess?

My kids think I have eyes in the back of my head. I also have a very good sense of smell 

What would you like your obituary to say if you could write it?

Gosh, that one would take some editing. I just hope when it’s my time I am happy and fulfilled and the people I love know they are loved.

 

Ready for the Lightning Round of ‘Have You Ever?’  YES!

-Grab your coffee and take a sip if you have done any of these things. 

Have You Ever…

-Written naked? No sip.

Do pajamas count? I did once watch some French Firemen skinny dipping in our pool on holiday while the forest burnt down around us. Hmm… maybe there’s a story there.

-Gotten arrested? No sip.

-Gotten into a bar fight? No sip.

-Lied on a resume? No sip.

-Called in sick to work when you weren’t sick? Sip.

Afraid so.

-Had a crush on a friend or co-worker? Sip.

Yes and yes.

-Lied about your age? Sip.

Except the year I thought I was a year older than I was!

-Taken candy from a baby? Sip.

Only my own babies.

-Snuck in contraband snacks to a movie? Sip.

That’s it!! You survived Coffee Time With Jen!    Thank you for being a guest author! 

Congrats on your release!! And readers-be sure to enter the giveaway by commenting below! 


Coffee Time With Jen featuring Erika Kelly

Posted on 13 October, 2016 at 9:40 Comments comments (17)

Welcome to Coffee Time With Jen! So excited to have Erika Kelly here today! 

What authors have inspired you to write?

I’ve told stories in my head since I was a little girl, so I didn’t know it was a thing. It was just something I did. And I didn’t tell anybody because it’s not like other people talked about the stories they were telling in their heads! But then one day a close friend uttered the five magic words: you should be a writer. And the clouds parted, birds draped me in vines of cotton candy, and the future opened up for me. But the funny thing is that I didn’t write the stories I told in my head because I didn’t think anyone would want to hear them. They were all kissy-kissy. So, to answer the question, when I FINALLY discovered romance, it was Rachel Gibson, Jenny Crusie, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips that inspired me to write down the actual stories in my head!

What does your writing process look like?

It takes me some time to write a book. I need several months of pure development. Just letting the ideas, characters, and arcs blossom into a story I MUST tell. For all that time, I’m scribbling furiously—racing out of the shower, jolting out of bed at 4 AM, or pulling over to the side of the road to get down ideas and bits of dialogue. And then I’m really good about writing a quick first draft—just letting the words flow out of me and onto the page. KIDDING. That first draft is pure torture. But I force my butt in the chair and drag out each sucky stupid horrible word. Once I’ve got the draft written, the pain subsides. Revisions take me a couple of months. I quit when, after about 7 million passes over the book, the words start looking like hieroglyphics.

What advice has been the most helpful to you in your career?

Just write. Don’t focus on publication or winning contests or anything other than writing. Write in your journal, write letters/emails/notes/poems/stories. Write write write. It’s a craft, so the more we write, the more fluid it becomes. The only way you won’t get published is if you give up.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?

I wish I were one of those people who could say, Oh, I’d front a rock band for sure. Or, I’d go back to practicing law. In other words, I’ve written my entire life, so I’ll keep on writing even if I’m not a published author cuz I can’t really do anything else.

Which book do you wish you’d written and why?

I’m not sure there’s a book I’d have written, but there are always characters or author voices that I admire. Take Kristen Ashley for example. I’d read her laundry list. She just has the best voice.

Do you read reviews? How do you celebrate the good, get over the bad?

I totally read reviews. Every single one. I’m an absolute craft junky, and I always want to be a better writer. I’m not going to change what I do to please every reader—because we all read through a unique lens—but if something rings true, I’ll definitely think about it going forward. I celebrate the good ones by racing out of my office to share it with whoever happens to be nearby, and I get over the bad ones by giving myself a few minutes to calm down enough to see if I can get some good stuff out of it.

What is the best marketing strategy you’ve ever tried?

Sometimes I feel like I’ve tried everything. Paying for ads, blogging, giveaways, parties…but I can’t say any of that has worked. I’m a hard-core believer that my best marketing tool is the next book.

What type of scene do you find hardest to write? Scary, funny, romantic, sad?

Every single one is hard. Finding the goal, making the tension escalate, making the dialogue interesting…OY!

What is one subject you’d never write about as an author?

Because of the way stories develop for me, I can’t say there’s something I’d never write about. I can say I’m not inclined to write about certain subjects that I feel would be too intense for me and my readers.

What is one career goal you’ve yet to achieve that you are striving for?

I would love to win a RITA!

 

On to the Fun Questions!!!

Do you have a recurring nightmare?

Yes. That I’m in a lecture hall with my bluebook in front of me and a pencil in my hand. Everyone around me has her head down, writing like crazy, and I’m drawing a complete blank. It’s actually happened!

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

The side of my pinkie. A bowl slipped out of my hands while I was washing it, and I scrambled to grab it but it broke, and the edge sliced me deeply. I’m not ashamed to admit I passed out.

Do you have any tattoos? Where & What?

Nope! But my characters do, and I always get such a kick out of finding the meaning in them—making them deeply relevant.

What secret talents do you possess?

Listening to people—hearing them—and helping them find their way through their problems.

What would you like your obituary to say if you could write it?

I’ve already written it: she got shit done.

Love that!!!

 

Ready for the Lightning Round of ‘Have You Ever?’

Yes!

-Grab your coffee and take a sip if you have done any of these things. 

Have You Ever…

-Written naked?

NO SIP for goodness’ sake!

-Gotten arrested?

No sip!

-Gotten into a bar fight?

No sip!

-Lied on a resume?

No sip

-Pee’d in public?

Um…sip.

-Called in sick to work when you weren’t sick?

Sip!

-Had a crush on a friend or co-worker?

Sip!

-Lied about your age?

No sip!

-Taken candy from a baby?

NO SIP! What do you take me for? A monster?!

-Snuck in contraband snacks to a movie?

Sip! (And made all 4 kids bring it in, too!)

 

That’s it!! You survived Coffee Time With Jen! Thank you for being a guest author!



Coffee Time with Jen featuring Andrea Barbosa

Posted on 6 October, 2016 at 9:35 Comments comments (1)

A big welcome to Andrea! Thanks for joining me for coffee today! 



Award-winning novelist and poet Andrea Barbosa is an avid reader, soccer fanatic and a tourist at heart who took Creative Writing classes at Texas Tech University and was a contributor writer for Yahoo Contributor Network. She made a few twists working as a public relations for an international jewelry company in Brazil, as a tour guide for Space Center Houston, and as a medical interpreter for major hospitals. These fine places introduced her to new people, big ideas and global concepts that helped shape the writer she is today. When not writing or working a full-time job, she will travel around in search of history, museums,and tourist attractions, or will be involved in scrapbook projects trying to tell the stories of her travel adventures through pictures.

 

Her poetry collection, "Holes in Space" is the recipient of the 2015 Silver Medal Award in Poetry from Readers' Favorite and is featured in the 50 BestBooks of 2014 at ReadFree.ly website, voted top 5 in poetry by readers. It has been rated as a #1 top seller poetry book in the UK and was ranked within the 5 top sellers in poetry in the US.

Her work has been influenced by contemporary authors Paulo Coelho, Fernando Sabino, Sylvia Plath, Erica Jong and Joyce Carol Oates, among others.

She currently serves as Author Events Director for the Houston Writers Guild.

 

For more of her writing, follow her: Blog: massiveblackholenovel.blogspot.com/   Follow her on twitter - @andyb0810


 

What authors have inspired you to write?

Joyce Carol Oates, Erica Jong, Paulo Coelho, Fernando Sabino, and Anne Rice, among others.

What advice has been the most helpful to you in your career?

"To write something, you have to risk making a fool of yourself", by Anne Rice. This quote is, for me, a great advice, because we need to be thick skinned, bold and courageous to write and to deliver our writing to the public.

Do you read reviews? How do you celebrate the good, get over the bad?

Yes, I read reviews. It is exciting to receive a good review and realize what you wrote made a good impact and pleased someone out there. Regarding bad reviews, no one likes to receive them, but I learned that this is part of the trade, and not everyone is going to enjoy or appreciate what you write. It's just that simple. If you look at any best-selling, award-winning, Nobel Prize winning authors books, there are always 1-star reviews. The first time I received a bad review I was upset. Then I looked to see if the reviewer had any hidden suggestions I could use to improve my writing or correct errors. That reviewer stated that they read every word of the book. And didn't like it. And I realized something important – this person read every word of my book. This person didn't stop reading the book half way through. This person was curious enough to read the story from beginning to end to find out what was going to happen. And this person didn't like the story. Fair enough. And for a writer, mission accomplished- what I want is for people to read the whole story and get caught in the plot till the end, whether they ultimately like it or not. And the bad reviews validate your work. After all, as I said above, every best-selling author has bad reviews. Everyone has different tastes.

What does your writing process look like?

It's all over the place. I don't make a plan, I go with the flow. I let the characters talk to me and lead the way.

What type of scene do you find hardest to write?

Sex scenes. When I'm writing romance, I can visualize what I want to write – it's like a movie going on in my mind, but to put the steamy scenes into paper is the hardest for me, as I try not to write in a vulgar language, and try not to be repetitive, which ends up being challenging, after all there are just so many ways to describe some body parts without being ridiculous.

What is one subject you'd never write about as an author?

Child abuse. There are, unfortunately, too many real stories about this subject, and it's too sad to make fiction out of it.

If you weren't a writer, what would you be?

If I had followed some of my other childhood dreams, I'd be either an astronaut or an archaeologist.

Now on to the Fun questions!

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

Yes, I have several scars, from falls and from surgeries, in several areas of my body.

Do you have a recurring nightmare?

I've only had it about 3 times, so maybe I can say it's recurring, but it's a weird one. Aliens come to Earth and install a massive laser gun that is shot at the moon and cuts it in half, so the moon is seen in 2 perfect halves in the sky and everyone is panicking because no one knows what the consequences will be relating to tides, etc. It never goes past this. I think it means I have to finish the story...

Thanks for being here today!! Congrats on the book release! 


 


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