Today I have the pleasure of talking to Jessica Nelson, inspirational historical romance author and current Vice President of SSRA. I also met Jessica at the infamous SSRA workshop where I met Loretta Rogers and Dylan Newton in August 2012. Multi-published Jessica has experience with both traditional publishing and Indie, and you can be sure I’ll be picking her brain about both.
Me: Jessica, thank you so much for spending time with me today. I know you’re so busy as a writer and full time working mom. How do you create your schedule to accomplish everything during your day and still have time for the fabulous writing you do?
Jessica: Ronnie, thanks so much for having me! First, thankfully I only work part-time. I don’t know how I’d get writing done if I worked more than that, and my hat is off to all the full-time moms out there who also write. Because I do work outside the home, I have to be more scheduled with my writing. When I started writing, I was a stay-at-home mom and I wrote more words a day than I do now. I was also much more active in the cyber world, especially blogging. But even with my busyness now, I have a nice little rhythm. Work during the day, pick up the kiddos and while they’re at taekwondo, I read fiction. Then home, dinner, chores and when the kids go to bed, I write and deal with writing business (like e-mails, edits, etc).
Me: How did you decide on writing your genre and heat level?
Jessica: My genre and heat level are organic. Although I started a historical because Love Inspired was opening a historical line, it came naturally as a genre I enjoyed reading. Whether I write contemporary or historical, God is in all my books because He just is. 🙂 I prefer writing whatever comes out, Hahahaa, but when you’re a commercial novelist (and a career writer), you do have to write to a deadline and a market. With that in mind, I write the story that seems the most promising at the moment. I will probably finish a paranormal at some point in my writing life and also a suspense. I’m working on both another historical and a contemporary. My readers will see another historical on the shelves in September 2015. The Matchmaker’s Match already is up on Barnes & Noble.
Me: As writers we always have parts of our own personalities in our novels. I’m both the psychopathic killers as well as the protagonists. What parts of Jessica are in your characters and who are they? Give examples so people get a good taste of your books.
Jessica: Oh boy, great question. I’m not sure! Probably this part is me:
She’d have to eavesdrop if she was going to have information. A small niggling of guilt edged her conscience as she crept into the hallway, but she suppressed the feeling.~ Love On The Range
“I don’t know. I guess I kept my head in the sand, too afraid to know the truth.” ~Katrina from Remember Love
Me: I love little Josie in Family On The Range. I have children in mine, as well. In Gemini, the little boy is five year old Ricky who was rescued by the forensic psychiatrist, Dr. John. Trenton, in a hostage situation. And in Aries, forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Frank Khaos is a widower with a seven year old son. How did you create Josie and what part did you want her to play in the novel?
Jessica: Josie just came to me but…My sister’s name is Josie and her daughter is very bright and bold. So when I thought of the little girl Josie, I thought of my niece. 🙂
Me: Your novels are inspirational and family oriented. What is the theme of your novels and what message do you want to convey to your readers about family, relationships and God?
Jessica: I never start out with a theme or a message, but by the end of the story, it seems to have snuck in there. So far, forgiveness appears to be something my characters wrestle with.
Me: That’s very nice. Forgiveness is something many need to learn. I know your first books are traditionally published. What made you venture into Indie Publishing? Which do you prefer? And how will you continue to publish?
Jessica: I plan to continue being a hybrid author. I ventured into Indie because I had three full manuscripts that no publishers wanted. Since I was traditionally published with one publisher (Love Inspired Historical), I wanted to put some eggs in another basket. Part of my reasoning was experimental, to have a learning experience. But I also feel a smart author will look at the opportunities available and use knowledge and wisdom to guide her career to where she wants it to be. I do still prefer traditional publishing. I don’t like having to make my covers or to hire line editors. LOL
Me: What events do you have coming up where our readers and your fans could meet you?
Jessica: I will be signing at the Homosassa library with some amazing authors on April 16 10 a.m. -2:30 p.m. and will also be participating in the Ocala library’s book feast on April 18.
Hope to see you there!
Bio: Jessica Nelson began writing her first historical romance after quitting her day job to stay home with her children. Many years and manuscripts later, Love On The Range was bought and released by Love Inspired Historical in April 2012.
Jessica writes historical and contemporary inspirational romances. She is a member of both Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers. Her work has finaled in several RWA contests, as well as double-finaling in the esteemed American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2011 Genesis contest.
Jessica believes the greatest, most intense romance comes from a God who woos people to himself with passionate tenderness. When she is not chasing her three beautiful, wild little boys around the living room, she can be found staring into space as she plots her next story. Or she might be daydreaming about a raspberry mocha from Starbucks. Or thinking about what kind of chocolate she should have for dinner that night. She has been blessed with an amazing life and hopes to continue publishing for years to come.
Here’s Jessica at our Sunshine State Romance Authors Christmas party! If you’re writing with a goal of publication and there’s romance in your novel, we’d welcome you! Find out more on our site. If you’ve read the interviews with Loretta Rogers and Dylan Newton, you know we’re one serious about writing and successful group!
Find out where to buy Jessica’s books on her website!
As you can see Jessica loves presents and chocolate!!!! So she decided to give away a book and some chocolate to one person who comments between now and Thursday, March 18th to 10 PM ET. All you have to do is answer this question in the comments! What is your favorite genre to read or write, and who is your favorite author! Jessica will randomly choose the winner! Ready! Set! Go!
Please feel free to ask Jessica and I questions. She’ll be responding tonight!
The Sign Behind The Crime,