February 8, 2009

Welcome Author Jenni Holbrook

Today I am pleased to have my very dear friend Jenni Holbrook as my guest. I met Jenni a few years back at RWA National conference in New York and right away I knew she was a very special person. The kind of person you don’t meet everyday. The kind you’re proud to call friend.

Jenni’s romantic suspense, REKINDLED, releases this week from The Wild Rose Press. The print version will be in stores this May, but I for one, can’t wait that long. Help me in welcoming Jenni Holbrook.

Welcome Jenni. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I live in Western NY with my husband and three children. I got my degree in Business Education with a concentration in Marketing and Sales, however I spent most of my adult life teaching dance part-time and working as a product and sales trainer for various companies while being a full-time mom. My first priority has always been my family. Recently, I quit my part-time job to write full-time and I love it! When I’m not carting my children from ice rink to ice rink for hockey, I can be found in my office writing. It’s the best job I’ve ever had!

How did you start writing?

I’ve always loved to read. I generally read 1-3 books a week, although in the summer months it’s more. I like to sit out on the front lawn at the lake and lose myself in a good book. In the summer of 2003 I opened a notebook and started writing. I really had no idea what I was doing, just that I kept hearing these two characters in my head demanding that I tell their story. Truthfully, I have always had characters living inside my head. I would play out their stories like a mini movie and decided why not write it. When I first wrote “the end” I realized I had written a novel and felt something I had never really felt before – complete satisfaction. Well, it was more than that. A passion to do it again. So I did. After completing the next novel I asked myself what I should do with them and joined a writers group. From the first moment I walked into that group, I felt like I had finally found my niche. Home. I learned about the business and started submitting. I haven’t stopped since.

Why did you choose your genre?

I started writing romance because deep down I’m a sap. I love the Happily Ever After. I had spent that first summer reading a lot of Romantic Suspense and that’s what I started writing. It just felt right. I’m not sure I chose the genre, I think it chose me.

Who are your favorite authors?

Always a tough one, because I’m afraid I’m going to miss someone. I love Harlan Coben, Suzanne Brockman, Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner, Catherine Coulter, MJ Rose, Bob Mayer, Stephen King, Brenda Novak, Sandra Brown, Anna DeStefano, Joan Johnston, Tim Maleeny, Laura Benedict, DP Lyle, Tami Hoag, Ridley Pearson, David Morrell, Clive Cussler, Lee Child, Terry Brooks, Nelson DeMille, Michael Connolly, Stella Cameron, Jordan Dane, Carla Neggers, Diana Palmer, Linda Howard… to name a few.

I also love category romances. Mostly the Romantic Suspense and Blaze lines.

What do you find is the hardest part of writing a book?

The first draft. Getting the idea on paper and staying the course. I much prefer to go back and revise and make better. I can’t judge my work while I’m in the middle of writing the draft, it’s only when I go back can I see where I’ve made mistakes and how I can make the book better. That’s the part that excites me the most. The draft is daunting to me.

Do you ever base characters on real people?

Not really. I will use certain characteristics from real people. Like my husband always cracks his knuckles. Drive me nuts. My hero in JANE DOE’S RETURN cracks his knuckles. But other than that, I don’t.

What writers have influenced you the most?

A lot of writers have influenced me over the years. I study a lot of writers and their work.

Do you have any 'must haves' with you while you're writing?

Just my computer and my nails. I have really long fake nails and the noise they make against the keyboard is very soothing for me. Keeps me focused, if that makes sense.

What's next for you?

I have four books coming out with The Wild Rose Press and I’m currently working on another one for them, along with a straight suspense novel.

Where can we find you on the web?

Lots of places. My website is http://www.jenniholbrook.com/. I have a blog: http://www.jenniholbrook-author.blogspot.com/ and another blog: http://www.murdermayhemandmore.blogspot.com/.


Mary Ricksen said...

Good luck Jenni and your book looks wonderful! I love the authors blogging other authors, it's just sooo cool!

Helen Hardt said...

Hi Jenni, your new book sounds great! You mentioned one of my favorite authors, Joan Johnston. She's a chaptermate of mine, and a really fun person. I also enjoy the Blaze line. Good luck with your release!


Emma Lai said...

Great interview. Good luck on your releases Jenni!

Jenni said...

Thanks everyone!