Today I have fellow Rebel, Jennifer Wilck here answering some questions and sharing a little about her new release!
Tell us a little about yourself:
I’m a New Jersey native, although I went to college in the Midwest (where I learned to flatten my accent, at least temporarily). I’m married with two girls (aged 11 and 14) and there is a LOT of drama in my house! I’ve been writing pretty much my entire life. Prior to writing romance, I was a magazine writer and editor and I did some freelance work for a while as well. I’ve published two contemporary romances and The Seduction of Esther is my third.
What was the querying/agent/publishing search process like for you?
It was a very long process originally. Like everyone else, I did a lot of research into agents and editors who were appropriate for me to query. I am a member of RWA, and I’ve taken many classes and about querying, etc. This time around, I spoke to my writer friends about their experiences with their publishers, and I heard such great things about Rebel Ink Press that I decided to go to them with this book.
What genre do you enjoy writing most? Is there another genre you would like to try at some point?
I love writing contemporary romance, but if I ever get brave enough, I might try historical. The research is what scares me though, because everything has to be exactly right. But I have a story in my head that one day I may try.
Do you have a writing ritual or a certain way you like to get ready to write?
Honestly, my time is so limited that I just sit down and start to write. Not that everything I write is any good, but I don’t have time for rituals. This past February, I participated in a 30K writing challenge, which meant I had to write approximately 1,000 words a day. For that, I made sure to write first thing in the morning so that I’d be sure to get my writing in each day, rather than get distracted by other things. The discipline was terrific!
Tell us about one of your characters you loved writing:
In The Seduction of Esther, the heroine is a klutz whenever she is around attractive men, and I had such a good time writing her! There’s one scene where Samara is getting ready for a date with the hero, Nathaniel, and first she gets the hiccups and then her hair gets caught on a button and, well, it was just a lot of fun getting her into troublesome situations and having to figure out a way to get her out.
Was there ever a time you felt like giving up? If so, what changed?
Oh my gosh, every time I get a rejection letter I am convinced that I’m horrible! But it’s forced me to at least pretend that I have a thick skin and eventually, I’m able to convince myself that I can do this. Writing is subjective; just because one person doesn’t like something, doesn’t mean everyone dislikes it.
What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Write because you love it. Write because you can’t imagine not writing. Learn your grammar, but don’t get caught up in the millions of “rules” that everyone talks about. Use common sense and be professional. And don’t stop writing.
What is your current obsession (absolutely anything)?
You mean aside from shoes? Um, I’d have to say I have certain TV shows that I love—like Game of Thrones, Dr. Who and Criminal Minds. I don’t know if I’m obsessed with them, but I really enjoy watching them and look forward to them every week.
Tell us about one of your recent releases:
My newest release, which came out June 3, is The Seduction of Esther. It’s a contemporary romance around the Jewish holiday of Purim. Here’s the blurb:
Samara Goldberg has a problem even the most beautiful singing voice can’t fix. She’s a walking disaster, especially when she’s around handsome men. To make matters worse, she’s in desperate need of someone to play the character of Mordecai for the Purim spiel she’s producing and the new congregant, Nathaniel Abramson, is a perfect fit. Nathaniel is a divorced dad who’s recovering from the biggest public scandal of his life. The last thing he needs is a relationship with the choir director at his new synagogue, who also happens to be playing the lead female role of Esther in the very play he’s been coerced into joining.
Woven around the Jewish holiday of Purim, The Seduction of Esther is a story of two people whose lives mirror the plot of the Purim story. Like Esther, who had to hide her Jewish identity from the King of Persia, Samara and Nathaniel are hiding key pieces of themselves. Evil Haman wanted to destroy the Jews, and the nasty Josh will do anything to keep Samara and Nathaniel apart. Will their love survive, like the Jewish people in Shushan, Persia, or will their fear keep them apart?
Sounds fantastic, Jennifer!
Find Jennifer on Facebook
She in on Twitter @JWilck
And on one other blog to which she contributes www.heroineswithhearts.blogspot.com
The Seduction of Esther is available at these retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble and ARe
Here is an excerpt:
Samara stared at her reflection in the mirror, closed her eyes, and took a deep breath. The breath was supposed to relax her—to calm her nerves, lower her blood pressure and help her handle Nathaniel’s impending arrival. However, her body didn’t get the message, because all she achieved was a case of the hiccups. Terrific. Her stomach flopped and her hands trembled. She took another deep breath, opened her eyes and hiccupped.
This was not happening. She could not go out on a date with Nathaniel with a case of the hiccups. No way, no how. She turned on the tap, filled a glass and took a sip of water. Hiccup. She brought the glass into the kitchen, put a spoon in it and took another sip. Hiccup. She drank from the opposite side of the glass. Hiccup. Moisture on her chest made her look down. Wonderful, now I’ve spilled on my blouse. She put the glass in the sink and raced back into her bedroom to change into a sweater. She undid enough buttons to fit her head through the opening and yanked.
Her hair caught on a button. As she lowered the blouse, more hair got stuck. Now the blouse hung in front of her face, neither fully on nor fully off.
She reached her arm in front of her, felt for the bed so she could sit and untangle her hair. As she floundered, the doorbell rang.
Please, please, please don’t be Nathaniel. The three days since his phone call asking her out had made ketchup falling out of a Heinz bottle seem quick. Despite her manner on the phone with him, she’d been so excited for today. Her mind wandered to him at the most inopportune times, like when she sang, worked on the spiel, walked down the street. She examined every note she sang and wondered how he’d receive it; she contemplated, and refused, moving scenes around to give Esther more time with Mordecai; she examined every man she passed and compared him to Nathaniel.
No matter how she hid it or reason it out, she could no longer deny her feelings for him. He made her laugh, he made her relax and he made her feel like the most important woman in the room. She could stare at his hands all day and watch the way they moved when he spoke. When they touched her, her whole body tingled. The air she breathed with him was fresher, filled with more oxygen. Time froze, yet at the same time, sped by. Her worries faded away; he made her feel invincible. If he were here now, he’d laugh and have her untangled in an instant. But she would be mortified. There was no way she could let him see her like this. There was nothing she could do—she’d have to skip the date and make up some excuse later. She held her breath as her stomach dropped with disappointment. She didn’t dare move, for fear of alerting him to her presence. The doorbell rang again, accompanied by a scratchy, jingly noise.