Thanks for being here Jennifer! It’s a pleasure.
Thanks so much for having me, Kelly!
#1- Tell us a little about yourself outside of your writing career…
I have a master’s degree in education, and up until the time my second son was born, I taught elementary school in the inner city. Education is one of my (many…too many, perhaps!) passions. I really love studying what makes kids tick and how kids of all backgrounds can get excited about learning. I’m of the camp that believes every child is gifted, and that it’s an educator’s responsibility to foster that gift.
#2- A Hint of Wicked, I believe, is your first published title. What was the process like for you with the agents and editors, and what would your advice be for other aspiring authors?
I was fortunate enough to click with a wonderful agent, whom I “met” the traditional way--a blind query led to a request for full manuscript, which led to revisions requests, which led to an offer of representation. My agent is Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Agency, and she’s energetic and fantastic--a real go-getter.
After I signed with Barbara, interest in my work started slowly simmering. Editors began to call me and asking for tweaks in the story. My excitement level mounted every day, because I felt like something was happening. And then, a couple of weeks before Christmas in 2007, I got the call! I had an offer! Even though I’d felt something might happen, it threw me for a loop. I think Barbara had to repeat the news about ten times before it would register. I remember saying things like, “What?” and “Are you sure?”
My advice to aspiring authors--well, I think it boils down to: Write what you love, keep learning about your craft, and most importantly, stick with it. Don’t give up, ever!
#3- As you know, I reviewed your title A Hint of Wicked for Bookpleasures and loved it. But how do you handle the negative reviews and critiques you receive?
Thanks so much for taking the time to read A Hint of Wicked and for reviewing it! I’m always so thrilled and grateful when someone reads the story and “gets” it, but I know not everyone likes everything, and negative reviews and critiques are part of the business.
A Hint of Wicked might be particularly challenging for some, because not only might some readers take issue with the dynamics of the love triangle, but there are certain elements in the story that don’t exactly follow some of the standard “rules” of romance. Of course, like any writer, I hope that everyone enjoys my book, but I expect there to be a little controversy about A Hint of Wicked (hopefully not too much!). That’s okay, though. Everyone is different and everyone is entitled to their opinion.
#4- You grew up in Hawaii and now reside in California. Did that have any impact on your writing and what inspires you to keep at it?
I think so. We moved around quite a bit when I was young, and for a while we were in the middle of the ocean sailing and I had no interaction with other children at all. I think all that “alone time” might have led to me being inside my head a little more than most. And I definitely became a huge bookworm during that time.
All the positive support I’ve gotten from everyone (especially my husband) encourages me to continue writing, definitely, but I think even if I had no encouragement whatsoever, I’d still write for myself, though maybe not on the schedule I’m on right now! I think writers are born wired a certain way, and there’s really no way to disconnect that circuit we have in our brains (except, maybe, by torture…).
#5- Assuming you get any time to read, what authors do you like to read, and were there any books that stand out from your childhood as favorites?
I don’t get enough time to read, and I rotate through author-loving phases. Right now, I’m on a historical romance kick and enjoying Laura Kinsale, Julie Garwood, Loretta Chase, Anna Campbell, and Julia Quinn. I know I’m forgetting a bunch of other fantastic authors I’ve recently read! But, throw a good historical romance my way, and I’m all about devouring it like chocolate!
As a child, historical fiction resonated with me as well. I really loved series--getting to know characters so well they felt like part of my family: the Little House books, Anne of Green Gables, the Chronicles of Narnia… Maybe that’s why I’m enjoying writing a series now!
#6- Are there any upcoming releases we would like to know about, and could you give us your web site so readers can check it out?
You can always find me at my website: www.jenniferhaymore.com
A Touch of Scandal, the stand-alone sequel to A Hint of Wicked, will release in April, 2010 (I just got the cover and can’t wait to show the world! I’ll post it on my website as soon as I get the thumbs-up.) and the untitled book three of the series will release in late 2010 or early 2011--I’ll post a firmer date as soon as I know it.
#7- This about concludes it. Thank you again for joining us. Is there anything else you would like to share?
Thanks so much for having me, Kelly! It was my pleasure!
For those of you interested in learning more about A Hint of Wicked, please stop by my website, where I’ll be offering some fun freebies and some really great contests as A Hint of Wicked’s release day approaches! I’m also partnering up with RITA-nominated Christine Wells (www.christine-wells.com), whose July release is entitled Wicked Little Game, for a wickedly fun contest in May!