Saturday, May 26, 2012


Hello all,
Well it’s that time again and I’m so excited to tell you that I’ve finally joined the 21st century.  Last month I mentioned that I was heading to hospital for surgery.  Well….finally home and had a bunch of wonderful writer friends visiting and what did they bring but a…..(drumroll here)… a kindle.  So much fun!

So while I spent hours browsing the Kindle store, selecting sample chapters to read I finally decided on my 1st purchase.  The Marriage Bargain by Jennifer Probst.  And what a wonderful way to celebrate my new toy.  So here we are a few weeks later and I think what can I talk to you about….I reading heaps, not writing much (sitting at the computer is a tad painful at this stage – to knee not butt!).  Anyway, I’m absolutely delighted to bring USA Today best seller writer Jennifer Probst to you, when she kindly agreed to a short interview.
So here goes:

Hi Jennifer,
Thanks for taking the time to do this interview.

Jane:           On your bio you talk about lessons you’ve learned.  Which lesson do you think has had the most impact on your life and on your writing?
Jennifer:      You are responsible for your own dream and the achievement of that dream. Everyone can give advice, or tell you you're crazy to think you'll ever make a success out of being a writer, or an artist, or an actor, etc. But if you believe in yourself, work hard, and never give up, I know it can happen. But you have to do the work.

Jane;           You’ve had lots of careers and careers via your characters, which was the best?
Jennifer:   Well, if we take out writing, I'd say working as the assistant to the Dean at a college was the best job I had. I had a really savvy female boss who was like a dynamo, and she taught me so much. I met fabulous people, honed my social skills, stretched my brain, and worked really hard. I learned a lot from the professors, and ended up getting my master's degree there. It may not be as glamorous as the others, but I was never bored!

Jane:           Reading about your cross genre writing/publishing, I note that you’ve really worked the social media networks, something I admit im not great at.  Why do you think these marketing tools are important and why do they work for writers?
Jennifer:  I think in this current environment, social media is critical in certain occupations. Writing is one of them. Readers are demanding more and they like a personal touch and to be able to talk to the writers they admire. If they feel that connection, they will probably buy your next book. Or if they see you in various places on the Net, or on twitter or on a blog, they may be apt to try one of your books. My job is to convert them to fans! I also think connecting and supporting other writers is important too, and building a solid community helps keep your foundation strong. I do not believe, though, you should do something you hate. Pick one thing you like and build. Twitter, facebook, blogging, commenting, article writing--concentrate on one thing you can easily do and take it from there.

Jane:           What made you go from writing erotica to a more your more ‘nicer’ contemporaries?
Jennifer:      I love both! Always have and always wrote in each category. My nicer contemporaries were being bounced around to different publishers and hadn't gotten a sale, but the erotica market exploded and I sold my novellas rather quickly. They were faster to write since they were in short form, so I published a few of those first before my nicer contemporary book took off. 

Jane:           Your erotica novels were with Red Sage.  What made you try out Entangled?
Jennifer:    I loved writing erotica but my heart has always been with sexy contemporary. The Marriage Bargain had been rejected by some other publishers, and I heard some wonderful things about Entangled and what they were doing. I decided to submit to them, hoping they would see something special in this book I couldn't seem to give up on. And they did! The rest, as they say, is history!

Jane:           The Marriage Bargain has boomed hitting the USA Today best seller list (go you)  - it was the 1st book I purchased on my kindle. Loved it.  And gave u a five star review.  What do you think about this story has hit your readers so well and to such acclaim?
Jennifer:      Aww, you are so sweet - thanks! I'm thrilled you love it, and I'm amazed at the amount of readers who really took Alexa and Nick into their heart. I always knew the book was special, and I think it's the characters. I dove deep and tried to show the reader the inner workings of these two people who struggled with various obstacles. Love is amazing - it makes people so vulnerable and afraid to get hurt. Using that weakness expands the story. The other part people seem to love is the humor. I find humor in everything and so do most of my characters. Life is too short not to laugh, and I love sketching out different scenes to make people laugh.

Jane:           The road to mastering the craft of writing can be a steep learning curve.  What was the hardest and what was the easiest part of the craft/learning experience?
 Jennifer:  The easiest part for me was voice. I had a strong writing voice from day one, and I never tried to copy or imitate anyone else's. That was half of the battle. The hardest part for me is plot and getting stuck in the middle of a book. I suck at plot and am always trying to make sure I have enough to get to the end of the book!

Jane:           Tell us a bit about your writing day and the way you develop a story.  Where do you get your ideas from?
Jennifer:      The ideas are everywhere in every nook and cranny of the world. I listen to conversations, study people, and am open to the world in all facets. Usually it's a situation or a strong character that leaps at me and I want to know more about. I let the process simmer and eventually it takes shape. The rest is hard work. Sitting endlessly and just plugging away, even when I'm writing crap. I have no schedule! I write all the time, whenever I can, and revolve around my two young boys and my family. I'll write in the morning during pre-k, grab an hour at lunch, work into the evening, or whenever I can free up fifteen minutes. It's crazy in my house!

Jane:           You’ve delved a bit into the world of self-publishing with your children’s stories, will you do this with your adult novels?
Jennifer:      Never say never! It's definitely something that intrigues me so I might take the plunge. I self published my short story about a shelter dog and did very well with that. I'm able to donate a nice check to the shelter with the royalties so that makes me very happy. But for now, I'm thrilled with my publishers, have a great agent, and am happy working with them.

Jane:           What’s coming next? 
Jennifer:      Very excited to say The Marriage Trap is coming out June 15th! It's the second in the series and details Maggie and Michael's story. I'm currently writing the third in the series, The Marriage Mistake, which will be out Fall 2012.

Many thanks to Jennifer Probst for sharing a little insight into her writing world and roller coaster ride to the USA Today’s best seller list!

 Thanks so much for having me Jane!

Jennifer’s details:
Purchase links
Buy The Marriage Bargain Here!       Barnes and Noble                  Amazon

Also thrilled to announce that SECRETS AND SEDUCTION has gone print as well as ebook.  Contains tug-your-heart love, raise-the-roof lust, a marriage of convenience and hot sex that will give a whole new meaning to the word “wildcatter”.  

Go check out HE'S THE ONE - Contains explicit, straight-to-the-heart sex between a hopeless romantic heroine and an abandon-all-hope hero. No need to dress up for this party—just curl up with a glass of bubbly and a box of tissues!

And how about your own Romeo for the summer - ROMEO FOR HIRE - Contains two unbelievably stubborn people undergoing serious cell phone withdrawal, and seriously scorching sex on the beach. Not responsible for reader’s failure to apply sunblock before reading.

Happy reading everyone
Jane Beckenham


Tina Donahue said...

So glad your surgery went well, Jane. Glad to have you back. Wonderful interview. :)

Jane Beckenham said...

Thanks Tina, not quite up and running yet, but on the mend.
And the down time gave me time to find Jennifer Probst's books. Just fab.


Jane Beckenham said...

Thanks Tina, not quite up and running yet, but on the mend.
And the down time gave me time to find Jennifer Probst's books. Just fab.


Barbara DeLeo said...

Thanks so much for bringing us the interview with Jennifer, Jane. Learning about her writing journey was great.

I LOVED The Marriage Bargain and can't wait for The Marriage Trap. I can't believe TMB was rejected by ANYONE but lucky for us that Entangled saw the light!

Great that you've now got a Kindle, Jane!

JaneB said...

Hi Barbara. It's always inspirational seeing how others traverse this rocky writing road. Grit and determination are definitely what is required.