featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Friday, October 23, 2015

BOOK CLUB FRIDAY--GUEST AUTHOR JENNIFER FAYE

Contemporary romance author Jennifer Faye joins us for an interview today. Learn more about Jennifer at her website. 

When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
I fell in love with books when I was young, starting with Dr. Seuss. And then as I got older, I devoured the Hardy Boys and Judy Bloom books. I started writing short stories in elementary school and asked Santa for a typewriter. When I was a teenager, I found my first Harlequin at a sidewalk sale. I loved it! I couldn’t get enough romances. It was then that the dream of becoming a romance author was born. It wasn’t until I was nineteen that I made my first attempt at writing a full novel. It was a disaster, but it was a start. And all dreams have to start somewhere.

How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?
I became serious about my writing in 2007. My dream was to be a Harlequin author, but first I had to find the right line for my voice. The funny part is my gut told me that it was the Romance/Cherish line, so I submitted there first. Being inexperienced, I let the form rejection scare me off. When I got the courage to submit again, I concentrated on other lines such as American, Special Edition and SuperRomance. And with each rejection, the letters were personalized and positive. But it wasn’t until I got the courage up to resubmit to my favorite line that I sold. I got ‘The Call’ in October 2012 and my debut hit store shelves July 2013.

Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
I’m a hybrid author. As I mentioned above, I started off writing for Harlequin. But I soon found that I had stories that didn’t quite fit into their guidelines and word counts. So I started out on my own. I must admit that it was a tad bit intimidating at first, but it was so worth the effort. At this point, I’m writing one Harlequin and then one indie title (that goes through the exact same editorial process as my Harlequins.) It definitely takes up all of my free time, but I have all of these story ideas just longing to get out.

Where do you write?
My favorite spot to write is out on the porch with the fresh air, butterflies and hummingbirds, but when the cold weather sets in, like now, I usually huddle under a throw on my recliner with my Writer Kitty.

Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
I like to have music playing. Silence is just so isolating. Unless it’s Christmas time or I’m writing a Christmas title, I play country music. Tim McGraw is one of my favorite singers.

How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
Um, none. At least none that is conscious. But real life influences everyone in different ways. The thing is, I have a very vivid, very active imagination so it doesn’t take much for it to head off on a path of its own. When it comes to writing books, it’s a blessing. When it comes to real life and stressful situations, it’s a detriment. That’s why my hubby is great. He always puts things in perspective.

Describe your process for naming your character?
I don’t actually have a process. Hmm…is that a bad thing? Basically I get to know my characters while writing the synopsis and then I go back and fill in the names.

Real settings or fictional towns?
Fictional settings as much as possible. It’s so much more fun to write about a fictional town such as Whistle Stop or a fictional Mediterranean island nation such as Mirraccino as I’m not hemmed in by the restrictions of reality. And I don’t want to jar the readers out of the story if I take a real town and insert a bakery where there’s a car lot.

What’s the quirkiest quirk one of your characters has?
Hmm…I had to think about this one for a bit. The heroine in A Moment to Love (A Whistle Stop Romance, book 1) has an interesting background. She comes from a wealthy family, but her parents divorced when she was young. Her father retained primary custody of her, but he was a workaholic. So after school, she’d go to his office to wait for him to finish working. His administrative assistant was an older woman who was superstitious—very superstitious. With my heroine being young and bored, she learned the superstitious ways. And as she grew up, some of them stuck. The funny thing is when the hero figures this out about her, he tries to point out that it’s all foolishness. However, the heroine points out just how much superstition people take for granted in everyday life. So she’s not so different after all.

What’s your quirkiest quirk?
Oh my, how much time do you have? You know I might have to consult my family on this one. Okay, the hubby’s answer is my craving for ice cream when it’s snowing out. LOL. Way back when we were dating and I asked him to take me to Brusters for a sundae; it was sleeting. He looked at me like I’d grown a second head. But he did it. Got out in the snowy mess and ordered me a sundae. He’s awesome!

If you could have written any book (one that someone else has already written,) which one would it be? Why?
This is going to be silly, but I would have written One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss. I just love how he can take the English language and make it such fun. And somehow not only do the words rhyme but they tell a story. It makes the people who read his books smile, and I think being able to make a person smile is the greatest gift in the world. I try with each book I write. Sometimes I fail, but then there are those times that readers write to me and tell me something that made them smile in one of my books. Those are priceless moments.

Everyone at some point wishes for a do-over. What’s yours?
I honestly don’t have too many do-over wishes. Has my life been perfect? No. But it’s all of the stumbles, trips and face-plants that have led me to this point in my life. I have the most amazing husband, who is so patient with me. And two wonderful daughters that make me so proud that they call my mom. Now, see if I went back to change things, I wouldn’t have these wonderful gifts in my life. Nope. No do-overs. I love my life, the good and the bad. It’s a gift.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?
You mean other than someone putting the toilet paper roll on backward? (Not naming any names!)

You’re stranded on a deserted island. What are your three must-haves?
My husband. My daughter. My other daughter. Hey, if I have to be stranded I might as well share the fun. Plus, they’re really smart and should be able to figure out how to get us off that darn island.

What was the worst job you’ve ever held?
Working fast food as a teenager. It was boring.

What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
Oh my, these questions are getting tough. Hmm…I don’t know if I have just one book that ranks as my favorite. I remember devouring the Mallory saga by Johanna Lindsey as I was growing up. Those were books I’d read by flashlight under the covers and be bleary eyed for school the next day…after two hours of sleep. I never wanted those books to end. I haven’t read them in years, but I just might have to revisit them as I see there are new additions to the series. Lots to catch up on.

Ocean or mountains?
Mountains. I’m fair skinned so I don’t do well in the sun. I wilt.

City girl/guy or country girl/guy?
I’m a country girl at heart. I love windy country roads, wildlife and the peaceful evenings.

What’s on the horizon for you?
Next up, wedding bells are about to ring out in Whistle Stop. And trust me, it won’t be your typical wedding. It will be done up in Whistle Stop style. And if that isn’t enough, there’s a mayoral election underway that’s about to become rather sticky and not from the honey fresh pastries at the Poppin’ Fresh Bakery either. For years now, Mayor Ortiz has run unopposed, but all of that is about to change. Mason Noble is about to toss his hat into the election. But will his political pursuits endanger his engagement to the beautiful Bella Nez? And are the townsfolk of Whistle Stop ready to do away with tradition? So many questions. So many changes. Keep an eye out for the fourth installment in the Whistle Stop series, A Moment to Cherish, coming Spring 2016.

Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and/or your books?
If you’re new to the Whistle Stop Romance series, for the next week, you can grab the e-book of the first book in the series, AMoment to Love, for 99 cents. 

A Moment on the Lips
A Whistle Stop Romance, book 3

Welcome to Autumn Fest...sweet treats, entertaining company, and a tender romance.

Piper Noble feels like she's going places. Her business, the Poppin' Fresh Bakery, is a culinary success story. Next on her to-do list is expanding the bakery into the vacant shop next door...and starting a new diet, like her mom keeps nagging her to. But when Joe Montoya steps into her life, her grand plans grind to a sudden halt. 

Joe's taken a big risk returning to Whistle Stop. But with his disastrous marriage over, it's time for a fresh start, including opening a coffee shop...and coming to terms with his troubled past. Though his neighbor Piper looks like she'll be a big distraction in getting Fill-It-Up Joe off the ground--with her honeyed smile, curvy goodness, and her unflagging determination to grab his storefront. 

However, when Piper and Joe are elected as co-chairs of a fundraising committee to help the town's revitalization project, the hostilities must cease. Joe's not sure about spending time with a woman who, one moment, reminds him of all the good things he's been missing, and the next minute drives him up a wall with her stubbornness. Meanwhile, Piper's looking for the way to this gorgeous but grouchy guy's heart--maybe serving him one of her fresh-from-the-oven pastries could be just the right start...

Buy Links

2 comments:

Angela Adams said...

Great series!

Jennifer Faye said...

Hi Angela! So glad to hear you're enjoying your visit to Whistle Stop. :-)