Interview with Jenness

Do you have a favorite chocolate indulgence?

Maybe Lindt truffles? Honestly, when it comes to chocolate, I’m not that picky. I’ll go for the chocolate chips if there’s nothing else around.

Give your own definition of chick lit.

To me, it’s a fun story told about and narrated by a sassy woman with a quirky cast of secondary characters. In a way, it's a coming-of-age tale--with or without a romance thread--where the heroine learns what is truly important in life.  

Do you have any chick lit-like moments from your own life that you could share?

I live the klutzy side of chick lit. I don’t wear the stilettos, but I do have some honkin’ shoes. Once on a trip, I took a few books and a single shoe out of my suitcase before my flight in order to keep from paying the overweight baggage fee. It felt a little odd walking around the airport with that lone shoe hanging out of my carry-on…

Do you have any writing quirks?

I have issues with names. I almost always have to go back and change quite a few, because, for some unknown reason, most of my female characters have names ending in “y” or “ie” and my last names tend to be Irish or Scottish. 

What are a couple of your favorite lit novels from the CBA?

Two in my long list of favorites are Flabbergasted by Ray Blackston and Miss Match by Erynn Mangum.

Where would you go on your dream “research” trip, and would you take anyone with you? Who?

I don’t have a story for it yet, but send me back to Antigua, Guatemala, and I’m sure I could come up with one. I was there briefly in high school and loved the cobblestone streets, the cathedral ruins, drinking hot chocolate at midnight in a café while someone walked around playing a guitar…Sigh. I would take my husband. If I could get him on a plane.   

If you could live in a novel, which one would you choose?

Out of the ones I’ve written, I’d choose Bliss. As much as I love writing suspense, I’d much rather live in a fun, happy world. J Out of the ones I’ve read…how about Secrets by Kristen Heitzmann? I’d love to try Lance’s food and see that house.

If you weren’t pursuing writing, is there another dream career you might be chasing?

My dad restores pianos and furniture. My grandpa restores furniture. My sister-in-law paints. And I love finding unique used furniture to fix up. I think it would be amazing to open a business with my family, building and painting and repurposing things to sell. J

Finally, share two pieces of advice—one writing-related and one not.

1. I say this over and over again, but it’s so important. Find other writers. Join writers’ organizations and critique groups. You need the support and the mentoring they offer. I especially love ACFW and My Book Therapy.

2. The best way (for me, at least), to find the willpower to clean your own house is to find an audio book. If it’s a good enough story, you’ll be looking for extra things to clean so you have an excuse to finish it. J


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