A couple of months ago, I met Jessica Jefferson at a Mid-Michigan RWA meeting. I couldn't believe how far she had to drive to get there. Now that's dedication. Jessica writes historical romance in the Regency period. Her latest book, Going Rogue, was just released.
Welcome, Jessica. Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in small town Indiana and now I live in medium town Indiana with my husband and two daughters. I am a full time writer, but I do still work part time in the area of performance improvement for a healthcare system. Currently, I am published in historical romance, but I’ve recently started writing a contemporary thanks to the urging of my Mid-Michigan Romance Writers of America friends.
Where can readers find you?
My books are available for Kindle on Amazon, and my paperbacks are available through retailers like Barnes and Noble. Here are my social media links:
Amazon Author Page- http://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Jefferson/e/B00GI20W2K
How long does it take you to write a book?
My first book, Compromising Miss Tisdale, didn’t take very long to write. The second book took much longer. On average it takes me three months. I try to write every day that I’m not working outside the home, but it’s hard with a four and nine year old running around.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I have to get the kids to preschool and school before I can work. After I drop them off, I get the coffee going and stare at the computer screen for a couple hours. During this time there’s some random social media interactions, but my best writing time happens between noon and four. After that, the kids return home and I’ve lost all focus.
What does your family think of your writing?
I tried not telling my husband that I’d written a book until I had to. I was watching television when I received my offer and after I told him he said, “How much do you have to pay?” I explained that I didn’t pay, that the publisher would give me money, but it didn’t set in until I brought him to the Romance Times Convention in 2014. He recognized some of the names there and just tagging along with me, he learned a lot. Since then he’s really been supportive since he finally understands that this is a real job. My kids aren’t that impressed though.
Have you ever stayed up all night to finish reading a book?
Every Judith McNaught book became an all-nighter. More recently, reading Outlander I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve written four books in total. My favorite is my February 2015 release, Chasing the Other Tisdale. It had a lot of ‘me’ in it.
What do you think makes a good story?
I know what I like, so I’ll base ‘good’ on that. I like characters that are based in reality, meaning they have flaws and contradictions. I like a little bit of drama, but I think sometimes just the dynamics of the character interactions are enough.
What did you learn from writing your first book?
I learned so much!! I think it’s important to have a second set of eyes on the manuscript, outside the publisher. You can never proofread enough and that having a solid business strategy is worth its weight in gold.
Blurb for Going Rogue:
Miss Meredith Castle leaves behind everything she knows to join her great aunt in London and become leader of the infamous girls’ club, The Ribbons. She’s willing to make whatever sacrifices necessary to redeem her ailing mother, even if that means leaving her childhood love behind to scale London’s social ladder.
When Derek Weston’s best friend receives the offer of a lifetime, he encourages her to take it. Unwilling to let her go completely, he chases after her, only to find the sweet girl he loved replaced by a spoiled debutante. A broken man, he leaves London to start a new life at sea.
Five years later, Meredith realizes her reign as Queen of the Ball is about to come to an end, if she doesn’t do something to fix her tarnished reputation. Pairing up with the Season’s newest wallflower seems like the perfect plan, until she finds out her demure friend is being pursued by the very man she thought she’d never see again. Only, Derek Weston isn’t who he used to be. He’s inherited a Scottish title and grown into an arrogant man she barely recognizes; yet in her heart, knows she still loves. Torn between her past and an uncertain future, can she find a way back to the life she used to have and the boy who once adored her?
Meredith opened her fan. “What are you doing here?” she hissed, just loud enough for him to hear.
He leaned toward her. “Watching opera.” His deep, graveled voice raked over her like a cold wind. “Why? What are you doing here?” He raised a thick, dark eyebrow.
“You know good and well what I mean.”
“Do keep your voice down, Miss Castle. You’ll cause a scene . . . again.”
He looked at her, those piercing blue eyes peering out from under a hood of thick black lashes. She took a moment to absorb the features of his face. Gone were the soft edges of youth—now he looked hard, his jaw square. The shallow cleft in his chin peaked out through the shadow of his evening stubble. Despite the dimly lit theatre, she could easily tell the years hadn’t been entirely kind. There was a scar above his left eye, just a thin white line no longer than her small finger. His once straight nose, perfect and aquiline, now sported a bump. His imperfections boasted a life of danger, a testament to his daring new lifestyle.
Damn him for piquing her curiosity!
Meredith folded her gloved hands in her lap, glancing away. “If this is about me . . .”
“Don’t flatter yourself. I wouldn’t cross the street for you, Miss Castle, let alone an ocean.”
She stared back at him, her mouth agape.