1. Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? What genre do you write in and why?
I’m the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men I know. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, traveling and watching TV. In between chauffeuring my daughters to after-school activities that require an Excel spreadsheet to be kept straight, I run youth group activities, train the dog we recently adopted from a local shelter, and cook dinners that fit the needs of four very different appetites. I also write freelance articles for magazines, newspapers, and edit newsletters.
Currently, I write contemporary romance. It’s the genre I feel most comfortable with and I love the “happily ever after” endings. I always have characters speaking or small scenes playing in my head, and the stories they tell lend themselves best to this genre. When they get loud enough and interesting enough for me to stop what I’m doing to listen, I write them down. Usually, the characters are modern day and the scenes are ones that I’d recognize as occurring now. I sit down at my computer and, if I’m lucky, the characters or scenes will inspire me to write a whole story.
Tel Tell me about your current book which you are promoting.
My first book is coming out this June and is called A Heart of Little Faith.
Lily Livingston is a widow raising her six-year-old daughter, Claire, in New York City. Devastated by her husband’s death three years ago, she’s in no hurry to fall in love again. Besides, trying to balance her career with motherhood leaves her little time for romance. Her life begins to change, however, when she meets Gideon Stone. He’s handsome and charming, and spent all afternoon entertaining her rambunctious daughter. Lily believes he must need rescuing—fast—but finds out the two of them hit it off. Although Gideon and Claire form a fast friendship, Lily and Gideon can’t seem to get it right. Despite mutual obstacles, neither of them can avoid the sparks that fly between them. After a few false starts, where tempers erupt, they settle on an uneasy truce, deciding to be friends and nothing more.
That truce is soon tested when Gideon’s overbearing boss demands he start showing up to work events with a date. How can he do this without appearing to violate their truce—and his own vow to never let a woman get the best of him again?
The answer appears when he helps Claire out of a jam. Although grateful, Lily’s independent spirit won’t let her feel beholden to him. Gideon suggests a bargain—he’ll help Claire if Lily will accompany him to work events. The agreement is supposed to be platonic, but each encounter draws them closer together.
As they navigate the minefield that fast represents their relationship, can either of them overcome the obstacles to find true happiness in each other’s arms? The answer is yes, but the bumps along the way demonstrate that neither of them can go it alone.
How long have you been writing?
It feels like I’ve been writing forever. I’ve been making stories up ever since I was a little girl. I started writing for newspapers and magazines in college, and started writing fiction seriously about six years ago.
What got you interested in writing, and what inspired you to write your first book?
When I was little and I couldn’t fall asleep, my mom would tell me to make up a story. That became the way I’d fall asleep, even when I got older. Eventually, I had certain stories in my head about which I just couldn’t stop thinking. I read interviews with authors who said their characters talked to them in their heads. I thought to myself that maybe that’s what was happening with me, so I started writing their stories down.
Do you outline before you write? If not, what’s your initial process?
That’s a good question. I’ve never been a fan of outlines and I’m terrible at them. In school, if we were ever required to turn in an outline before the finished paper, I’d write the whole paper and then make an outline of it based on what I’d already written. The few times I’ve tried writing from an outline I’ve found that they completely stifle me creatively. Actually, the manuscript I’m currently working on is based on an outline, and I’m kicking myself for doing it that way. As soon as I finish the first draft, I’m just going to have to go back and redo it all! For me, it works much better if I get an idea in my head and just start writing it down. It may be one conversation, one scene, or one description. If I’m interested in it enough though, it’ll build and I’ll be able to make something out of it. I will make an outline as I’m writing so that I remember what information I
put where and can refer back to it easily later.
What comes first: the plot or the characters?
It depends on what triggers my imagination. Sometimes I’ll see a minor character on TV who fascinates me and will become the basis for a hero or heroine. Other times, I’ll get the idea for the plot first.
7. Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why?
My favorite character is Gideon, the hero of my upcoming book. I love his personality and his strength. And in my head, he’s not bad to look at, either ;)
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Actually, the writing wasn’t that hard. This story really inspired me and I had a relatively easy time writing it. The hardest part I’m anticipating is the marketing of it. I don’t like talking about myself or what I do and I have to get over that in order to promote the book. Plus, I’m understandably nervous about what people will think of it.
9. Did your book require a lot of research? How long does it take to write a book for you?
I did have to do some research, because the hero is in a wheelchair and I needed to learn about that to make it believable. I found a very nice man who was willing to talk to me about his experiences. It was a little awkward at first, asking someone I didn’t know about their life, but ultimately, we became friends.
As for how long it takes me to write a book, well, each one varies. But Heart took me about a year to write and then I spent a long time editing and getting people’s opinions about it.
What are some of the challenges in your writing process?
I think my biggest challenge is finding the time to write and having that time coincide with when I’m inspired to write. Since I don’t plot my stories ahead of time, I write when I’m inspired (the downside of not using an outline). Fitting in writing around my regular life is often difficult, especially when that regular life involves being a mom!
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love spending time with my family and friends. I like to read, write and make people laugh.
What books or authors have influenced your writing?
My favorite romance author is Lynn Kurland. Other authors I like are Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen, Shakespeare and Arthur Conan Doyle.
13. What so you see for the future of publishing and e-books?
I think e-books will increase in popularity and appeal to certain types of readers (for example, young adults and people who travel a lot), but I don’t think anyone is ready to give up their traditional paper books anytime soon.
What are your current books out right now and what are the books coming up for
A Heart of Little Faith is coming out in June and Skin Deep is scheduled for release in November.
15. What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
Write what you like and don’t give up, no matter how discouraged you get.
16. Where can people learn more about you and your work?
People can check out my website at www.jenniferwilck.com or read my blogs: jenniferwilck.wordpress.com or heroineswithheart.blogspot.com (I’m the Tuesday contributor, but you should check out everyone—they’re all interesting!). Leave me a comment or note, I love to hear from people!
Name: Jennifer Wilck
Book Title: A Heart of Little Faith
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
When Lily races into her friend’s apartment after a disastrous day at work, she never imagines that the man who will rescue her is sitting in a wheelchair playing with her daughter—especially when that man had vowed never to trust another woman again, and to avoid them at all costs.
However, realizing they each have something the other wants, Lily and Gideon come to a truce and make a bargain. Gideon will help Lily’s daughter if Lily will attend work functions with him. Each event that they attend brings them closer to each other, emotionally and sexually. Although unwilling to break his vow, Gideon enjoys the role of protector that he is able to play for Lily, something he never anticipated.
As Lily battles with betraying the memory of her dead husband, and with learning to trust such a guarded man, she offers up a bargain of her own—a massage for a real dinner date. Suddenly thrown into territory that neither one is prepared to handle, they both back away, until Lily gets sick. In her delirium, she mistakes Gideon for her husband, and confesses all of her deepest secrets and reservations to him. He promises himself that he’ll treat her better, and little by little they begin to trust each other, allowing their relationship to develop and blossom.
Just as things seem to be going well, Gideon’s ex-girlfriend—who abandoned him in the hospital at the time of his accident, and told him no woman could possibly love him—reappears. Her reappearance, and Gideon’s and Lily’s subsequent actions, threatens to destroy everything they have worked so hard to build.