Jenna agreed to answer a few questions for me and my readers…
Please tell us about your book(s).
Well, as Jenna Petersen I write sexy historical romance set in the Regency period for Avon Books. As Jess Michaels, I write erotic romance also set in the Regency period for Avon Red. I really like ‘the good stuff’, so I love to write books with plenty of it one way or the other. LOL I also really like dark, angsty stories, so I tend to write those, too.
What inspires your stories?
I think something different inspires each books. I am big on character, so lots of times it’s that. Sometimes it’s some obscure research factoid that catches my fancy.
You write under two names, does it ever get confusing?
Only when I’m signing. Occasionally I sign Jess Michaels’ books as JennaP. But maybe that makes them collector’s items??
What are some major differences between writing erotic romances versus writing historical romances?
For me, it’s really the core conflict. When I write erotic romance, the core conflict between the hero and heroine has some relationship to sex. This way the story moves forward and the sex is integral to the plot. I don’t want to write sex scenes that readers can or want to skip.
What is your favorite part of being a writer? Least favorite?
The writing is my favorite part. It keeps my soul fed. My least favorite is wondering how I’m doing when books come out. Being so hyper-aware is something I’m still working on.
How long have you been a writer?
I’ve been writing my whole life, but I wrote my first book/romance in 1996 while I was a sophomore in college. But I didn’t get serious about writing until 1999. So that’s the date I count from.
How many books have you written?
A lot. More than twenty, maybe more than 25 now. A lot. I should really go back and count because I’ve lost track now that I’m published. But as for books I’ve published, four erotic romances, four historical romances, with 2 more (one of each) coming in 2008 and four more (2 historicals, 2 erotics) contracted but not yet scheduled after that. I have a lot of books from my pre-published days that will never see the light of day.
Is there anything you would like to write, but haven’t? For example, any other genre you’d like to try?
Actually, I did a lot of soul searching on this very topic over the summer and determined that the books I was most excited about that really got me going were historical romances. I don’t want to write something I have no true passion for, so unless I get an idea that just blows my mind, I’ll probably stick to what I have.
What would you like to tell aspiring writers?
Don’t chase the market, but learn it. Don’t worry about your books being perfect the first time through. It’s called a first draft for a reason. You don’t know you can write a book until you write one. So finish a manuscript, don’t flit from proposal to proposal. And realize that the business is tough, so you have to be patient and tough with it.
What do you hope readers get out of your books?
I hope readers get an emotional thrill, a few hours of escape, and satisfaction from my books. When my debut, SCANDALOUS, was released in 2005, a lot of people said I made them cry. I loved that! To touch someone emotionally is fabulous!
What do you like to read?
Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, Kathryn Smith, Elizabeth Boyle, Maggie Osborne. I don’t have as much time for reading anymore, but I keep making the resolution to read more, so maybe 2008 will be the year I really do it.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Driven, Smart, Optimistic (mostly. Sometimes not in the short run, but in the long run I tend to believe things work out).
Which of your heroes is your favorite? Heroine?
Oh man, that’s like asking me to pick my favorite kid! Actually, probably the book that is coming out in July 2008, LESSONS FROM A COURTESAN. That’s usually the way since I’m most invested in that book (the next book on the way). In it, I have a real alpha hero, Justin. He’s very dark and highly sensual. And then there’s my heroine, Victoria, who is quite strong, except when it comes to him. It’s a reunited couple story (which I’ve always wanted to do) and I really hope readers like it.
Which of your characters is most like you?
Probably Anastasia from DESIRE NEVER DIES. She’s a bit geeky. LOL
Thank you Jenna for that great interview!
And speaking of characters, Jenna has a great character quiz on her website to find out which Lady Spy you are most like.
I got Anastasia, from Desire Never Dies.
Check it out using the link below and tell me, which character does it say you are most like?
And don’t forget to check yesterday’s post to see how to enter this week’s giveaways.
Check back tomorrow when Jenna guest blogs about my favorite topic…BOOKS!
Oh, and if you have a question for Jenna, feel free to ask!