Author Interviews

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Jennifer McKenzie Interview

Posted by Michelle on March 7, 2008

Jenn was a Featured Author on the forum, and these are some of the highlights..

Q. What got you interested in writing or has it been something you always intended/wanted to do?

A. Weeeelll, you know how you always hear about those people who were writing stuff when they were ten?
Not me.
I was a sporadic writer and only for my own pleasure for most of my life. I journaled, I wrote articles for newsletters and things like that. But I didn’t take my writing seriously.
I’m a bibliophile, however. I love to read. The idea of writing something that would give another reader enjoyment was persistent. So, I started to WORK at my writing.
It’s amazing how much better my writing has gotten in the last two years.

Q. How do you classify your books (genre-wise)? Do book shops/sellers tend to classify them the same way, or do they classify them differently?

A. I have a tough time classifying my books. I’m a romance writer. I am classified as romance first. It’s the sub genres that get tricky.
For example, “Singled Out” was a romance I wrote for my best friend when we were joking around about why she was forty-three and still single. We decided her Guardian Angel must be a drunk. Thomas, the recovering alcoholic Guardian Angel was born and “Singled Out” began The Divine Intervention series.
It’s classified as romantic comedy. I guess it’s funny, but I hadn’t thought of it in that genre. Its sequel “Double Trouble” is considered paranormal. Mmmm.
Honestly, I don’t know WHAT affects sales of books. The Divine Intervention series sold itself. I don’t think the genre really made a difference.
I do notice that suspense titles sell well second only to erotic romance.

Q. How do you plan your day when you are writing? Any sort of time you find better and where do you write, or are you one for jotting down notes, whenever?

A. I have days set aside for writing (usually in the morning when the kids are at school). I try to keep focused on writing and not get distracted. Which is VERY difficult. I LOVE to visit blogs and I find I have to leave my internet closed while I write.
I need to be alone when I write. (It might be because I’m writing sex scenes on occasion. That’s difficult with Thomas The Tank Engine or Scooby Doo in the background). I don’t always need quiet and I often have music on.
I see all my stories in scenes, which means I don’t really “take notes”. A really good scene will stick with me until I’m able to write it down.
I’ve handwritten entire short stories when I was away from my computer however.
I think my biggest flaw is being too distracted by “new and shiny” stories or blogs or the phone or the fly on the wall……

Q. My question is, where do you get your ideas from? And do you ever get stuck with a particular part of your books?

A. I think if I told you where my ideas came from, they’d sent the men in the white coats for me. Mostly, my ideas come in scenes with a character that talks to me. For example, I had one character who insisted on dog sledding. In Alaska in January. I thought he was crazy. Come to find out he was right on. It was a little freaky to google dog sledding and discover that January is the best month to dog sled in Alaska.

Some ideas, like “Heart Of The Storm”, begin with a true story. My husband was a drag fisherman for ten years and heard a story about a boat and it’s five man crew that was “lost at sea”. Five years later, one of those missing crew men was arrested for murder in Arizona. That premise started the story for “Heart Of The Storm”.

And yes, I do get stuck. A lot. Mostly, in the middle of it. It’s usually because the story has gone “wrong” somewhere. It’s kind of like knitting. If you “drop a stitch” somewhere, it can really mess up the whole thing. For me, it’s usually a plot hole.

Q. Did you plan on the sequels for Heart of the Storm from the beginning.. or did they come about afterwards?

A. I did, actually. Once I realized how the plot was going to turn in “Heart Of The Storm”, I knew I was writing a sequel for one of the characters.
I love sequels.

To read the rest, including discussions about writing erotic literature, and the differences in covers, visit the thread

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