Q&A Interview with author Jessica Lauryn
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What is the worst thing you’ve written, how did you learn or know it was bad, and what did you learn from it?
The worst thing I’ve written…hehe. For the sake of time, let’s narrow this down to just one piece—the original version of Dangerous Proposal. Originally titled “Loveless Moon,” and later “Moonlight Path,” Dangerous Proposal was the first piece I wrote with the intention of getting published. It was also the one that gave me the most grief.
In the original draft of DP, I opened with Lena making her escape to North Conway, and being lured into the woods by the witch we later come to know as Seraphina Madera. Doesn’t sound so bad, considering this wound up becoming a great flashback later in the story. But I was having a very, very difficult time figuring out what should be the starting point. And I knew something was off when I started reading other romance novels by published authors on a regular basis. (No, I wasn’t doing it before then!) Once I started to read romance regularly, I got a much better feel for the order in which events should be taking place.
Why did you start writing and when did you decide to go professional?
I’ve always been writing in some form or another, ever since I was a kid. As a child, I would use dolls to act out the stories I made up. They “resided” in a fictitious place called “Dolltown,” similar to Genoa Cityon the Young and the Restless. Only, my characters never had sex. At least not then they didn’t…;)
Fast forward to college. With the opportunity to (finally!) choose some electives, I enrolled in creative writing in drama, and poetry. I didn’t get the chance to take a fiction course and I regret that to this day. But with the little bit of a background I gained from these courses and the knowledge I acquired with practice, I decided to join my peers in a critique group after graduation. With the choice to be writing whatever I wanted, I gravitated toward romance like a magnet and it wasn’t long after that I decided I wanted to get published and wasn’t stopping until I got there.
Do you read other author’s books when you’re writing? If so, do you read the same genre or something different?
I do as much reading as I can when I write, though writing is always my first priority. As far as genre goes, I will read any type of romance, not only the one I’m writing in. This way, I feel I have a chance to soak in the best of all worlds, inspiring me to write the best book I can.
What is the most difficult part of the entire writing process for you? Queries, pitches, editing..etc.
Prior to being published, queries were the most difficult part for me. It all came down to a single piece of paper—a four paragraph letter that was going to determine the fate of my entire 350 page manuscript. In time, I learned that great writing shines through…even from the bottom of the slush pile!
Nowadays, it’s editing that seems to have my head in a spin. Particularly when I’m going at a piece I wrote years ago, where there is an especially large amount of “telling” at play. It may seem easier to start the entire piece over from scratch, going at it with a new pair of hands and eyes. But easier isn’t always better. Remember that in moments of frustration—we all have them, and they do eventually pass! 😉
Do you write in more than one genre? Which ones and which do you like the best?
As of yet, I’ve written only romantic suspense, but you’ll notice that I have a tendency to let a taste of sub-genre slip between the pages. My stories are not so much about occasional bloodshed as they about the romance, and consequently I sometimes classify them as “contemporary romance” versus “romantic suspense.” I don’t write historical, but I’ve been told my stories have a historical feel as well.
As for me, speaking as both a reader and a writer, I don’t really have a sub-genre preference, so long as the romance between hero and heroine takes center stage, and the hero’s web of seduction heats up the pages for hours to come 😉
Author Bio: At two years old, Jessica became a devoted fan of both listening to and reciting the books her parents would read to her at night. When she was a little older (about four), she sought a greater challenge in her life, and began making up stories of her own, acting them out with her dolls. “When the dolls got “boyfriends,” she says, “I knew I was getting too old for dolls!”
As a romance novelist and a reader alike, Jessica is most intrigued by dark heroes, who have many demons to conquer…but little trouble enticing female companions into their beds! She feels that the best romances are those where the hero is already seducing the heroine from that first point of contact. “Isn’t it the hero’s job to seduce?” she says with a grin.
Jessica loves to see the sparks fly when a stubborn, domineering hero crosses paths with a bold, feisty heroine, and uses the combination frequently in her stories.
When she’s is not writing, Jessica enjoys listening to as much80’s music as possible, watching the same re-runs of Smallville over and over, shopping for exceptionally unique cameos, and taking long walks in nature where she can daydream about anything romantic. Though she resides in Central New Jersey, her heart belongs to the White MountainNational Forest in New Hampshire.
Find her online:
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/jessica-lauryn/2a/9ba/761
Blurb from Dangerous Ally:
For five lonely years, diamond smuggling kingpin Lucas Ramone has hidden himself from the world. With a father who has baited him all his life, made a game of trying to trip him up at every turn, Lucas will do whatever is necessary to protect what is rightfully his. What he isn’t prepared for is Lilah Benson…
Upon accepting a job in the home of her sister’s maniacal ex-fiancé, reporter Lilah Benson believes she has finally found the perfect way to make her mark on the world. Exposing the criminal endeavors of Lucas Ramone won’t soon be forgotten. But as she comes to know the man who was supposed to be her adversary, Lilah is tempted by a passion far stronger than the desire to see her name in print…
Power and control are tools of survival, critical in a world of thievery and deception. Lilah, an innocent in a land of criminals, may be the one person capable of bringing Lucas to his knees. But Lucas will stop at nothing to keep his empire secure.
He will have it all: His Fortune, His Legacy, and Lilah Benson in his bed…