Hey everyone! It’s time for Wednesday Wonder Writer and I have the marvelous Jenna Byrnes with us today! Read on for a great interview:
Author’s lives intrigue readers and other writers. Tell me about your typical daily schedule.
It’s not very exciting, really. I have a day job, so normally I’ll get up at 5:30 and try to write an hour before work. If things go well, I can also write about an hour during lunch time. I try to do a little promotion, answer emails and blog whenever I can. I sometimes spend another hour in the evening doing that. That’s a ‘typical’ day, LOL If I can catch a few hours to myself on the weekend, then I’m really lucky.
Do you have a pre-writing routine to prepare yourself to get down to business?
Since I often work on more than one story at a time, I spend the first few minutes of each writing session rereading the last few pages of my work in progress. It gets me tuned back in to the story, and reminds me where I left off.
I’ve changed over the past few years. I used to be quick and prolific, but real life issues have slowed me down a bit. Now I’d definitely say slow and steady.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned since starting work in this industry?
Patience, and vigilance. Things take a while to happen, from submission to release can sometimes take a year. Lots more epublishers have sprouted up since I started, which can shorten that time. But you need to do your research and make sure the publisher is a good fit for you. Ask other authors who have signed with the house and see what their experiences have been. It’s your name out there, be vigilant about who you trust your books with.
What are you working on now?
Jude Mason and I are writing the fourth book in the Kindred Spirits line, Quinn’s Blessing. I also have a couple more Rose & Thorn Society titles down the road for Total E-Bound.
What’s your favorite genre to write?
I love romantic suspense, whether it’s M/M or M/F, but the gay books are definitely more popular right now.
I find a lot of authors like to read outside their chosen genre. What do you like to read?
Young adult is about as far outside as I can get! I’ve always enjoyed YA novels. The Harry Potter series was a huge favorite, and I’d like to read the Twilight books this year when I find the time.
I used to have a favorite mainstream romance author that I read religiously. In early interviews I tossed her name around as someone whose style I enjoyed. Since I’ve come online, I’ve discovered this author frequently comments on some of the big name review blogs, and her comments aren’t always nice regarding other authors. Face it, according to RWA there are more than 10,000 romance authors out there, and they can’t all be fabulous, famous bestsellers. But for a big name author to make fun of the beginners is rude, and doesn’t say much for that person’s character. [Brynn says: Amen, sister!!!]
Tell me your writing story…when did you decide this was what you want to do? How long did it take you to get “the call”? When were you first published? Etc.
I started writing when I was ten (a common story among writers!) My first serious novel took ten years or more to write, because I was raising a family so I started and stopped many times. When I finally decided to do something with the thing, it took me about two years to get published. But it wasn’t that novel. I sold two short stories, then a novel, and a dozen more stories and novellas before that first piece ever saw the light of day. When it finally came out, it had been chopped from 120,000 words to 30,000. LOL
How many books have you had published and for whom?
I’ve had books with four publishers that have closed, some of the books have been re-released with other pubs and some I now use as freebies. I currently have about fifty titles spread between Total E-Bound, Noble Romance, Phaze, Silver Publishing and Freya’s Bower. Some of those are in anthologies, and a bunch are books I co-authored with Jude Mason. I also have a couple audio stories with A Woman’s Goodnight.
On my summer vacation last year I went to visit my writing buddy Jude. We were sitting around her living room discussing a call for submissions from Phaze, called Binary Stars. Two short stories by one or two authors, put together in one book. We came up with two combined stories, the first, mine, about a guy named Willing, and the second, Jude’s story, about a guy named Able. That day, Willing and Able was born. We love the stories and think Michelle at Phaze did a super job on the cover!
What’s your writing space like?
A computer desk in the corner of my kitchen. Works for me, unless too many people pass through to make a sandwich!
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I’m a fan of the cooking reality shows like Top Chef and Hell’s Kitchen. My husband and I like movies, cooking and working around the house together.
I’m all about ‘giving people something to talk about’. We all experience crazy things from time to time. Can you tell us something unusual that you’ve done or had happen to you?
Hopping on a plane to fly 2000 miles to visit someone I’d only talked to online has to rank right up there as my craziest thing ever. (My mom was kinda worried about me!) But meeting Jude and her husband was a blast and a memory I’ll never forget.
Tell us… What’s your favorite movie and why?
I’m a sap for romance, and as long as I thought about this question, I couldn’t come up with anything better than An Officer and a Gentleman. The ending of that movie gets me to this day. [Brynn says: that’s been my fav. movie for years :-)]
I appreciate the support I’ve gotten from authors and readers alike. Thanks so much! Keep reading and enjoy!
Coke or Pepsi? Coke if I must choose between those two. But my fav is diet Dr. Pepper with cherry and vanilla (I love Sonic Drive-In!)
Summer or Winter? Winter
Cat person or Dog person? Dog, allergic to cats
Bronte or Austen? Neither, really. Not much into historical stuff, prefer contemporary.
Team Edward or Team Jacob? Is there a team Harry Potter?
McDonalds or Burger King? McDonalds, hands down.
Jenna, thanks for being here! Readers, you can find Jenna at:
Her Website: http://www.jennabyrnes.com/
Her blog: http://jennabyrnes.blogspot.com/