Hey fellow readers! Today I am glad to introduce, guest author, Jessica Scott.
Here's more with Jessica Scott and her latest novel, Because Of You,
• Tell us a little bit about your latest novel.
My debut novel BECAUSE OF YOU asks the question who are you when you no longer have the rank on your chest. So many soldiers, myself included, identify very strongly with the uniform. My hero, Sergeant First Class Shane Garrison, ends up badly wounded and has to figure out if he’s still the man he thought he was.
• Are any of the characters or situations in the novel based on real people and real events?
If you mean is there a real Shane Garrison running around out there? Probably but in name only. He’s an amalgamation of some of the guys I serve with. Like most writers I pull a piece of characterization from here and there and compile into the person we end up creating. But no, there’s no real Shane Garrison, at least not that I know of.
• Though romances are usually just to read for pleasure, do you have a message you wish to let readers know from your novel?
I guess you could say that. I’m writing books that I want to read. The military is something that we live and breathe so when authors downplay the massive role that military life plays in a military character’s life and choices, it gets under my skin. And I also wanted people who wouldn’t necessarily pick up Martha Raddatz The Long Road Home or Thomas Ricks’ Fiasco to get some insight into life over there. Not the battles and the patrols but what it does to the person. I wanted to avoid a lot of clichés, though, too, in that I wanted to write about normal men and women in uniform, not Special Forces.
• What was the hardest part about writing this novel?
Finding someone who was willing to buy the book. It’s a hard book to classify. Technically, it’s a contemporary romance but in the romance genre, anything with soldiers is usually a romantic suspense. So when agents and editors read “military romance” what they expected was romantic suspense and if you read it, it’s not a suspense. Plus, this was also the 2nd novel I ever wrote, which means I did a lot of learning (and by learning I mean rewriting) with it.
• I know some authors deal with the dreaded Writer's Block. While writing this novel, did that happen to you? And what did you do to overcome it?
I’ve learned over the years (I’ve been writing for publication now for about 5 years) that when I’m stuck and I can’t seem to figure out where to go next, it usually means I’ve taken a wrong path in the story somewhere. I’ve either advanced the plot too quickly or I’ve got a critical scene in the wrong place. Chuck Wendig has an awesome piece about writer’s block (he swears it’s a myth & I’m inclined to agree with him but only to a point) and how to over come it. For me, it’s a matter of walking away and then coming back to the story, rereading from the start to figure out where I took the wrong turn. It usually ends up with vast swaths of material deleted.
• Who do you consider as your most favorite character?
Sergeant Vic Carponti, hands down (no pun intended. He’s a lower arm amputee in BECAUSE OF YOU). He’s got a smart mouth on him and he’s never serious but when you need someone to go to the wall with you, he’s there. He kind of took on a life of his own.
• Some authors use music to help them write. Do you listen to music while writing, or do you find other inspirational outlets for your creativity?
I am absolutely a music listener. I find I get the most writing done when I have a good earworm. And it can be anything: alternative, country, rock or metal. I listen to a lot of rock music and some of my favorites to write to are Digital Summer, Signs of Betrayal, Evans Blue and Tragedy Machine.
• Who designed your covers, and do you get any say on the final outcome?
The art department at Random House designed the cover and I loved it. The only thing I asked them to do was to make the uniform pants greyer to match current army uniforms. We haven’t work forest green in half a decade!
• Who or what gave you the inspiration to write this novel?
The first time I ever left my children, I started writing as a way to keep myself distracted. I was at Fort Benning GA for Officer Candidate School, my husband was in Iraq and my kids were with my mom. I didn’t really think that hanging out at bars was the appropriate place for a married mom of 2 so I took up part time residence at the local Barnes and Noble. And I just started writing one day and well, you know how the rest goes. Five years later, I got “the call” and it was every bit as awesome as everyone says it is.
• Do you have any future works planned?
I’m currently under contract for 2 more books with Loveswept. UNTIL THERE WAS YOU is with my editor right now and it set for October 8, 2012. BACK TO YOU is set for a release of March 2013 as it stands right now.
Thanks so much for having me here today! I’d love to give away a copy of BECAUSE OF YOU to one commenter.
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