Welcome to my first Wine Time interview! What is “Wine Time” you ponder? It is where I sit someone down with a bottle of wine and get them to spill their guts to me. Enjoy!
Today’s special Wine Time guest is Romantic Women’s Fiction author Jenny Hale! I’ve known Jenny for going on two years and she’s one of my favorite people to tweet. We do writing sprints together and share a love of country music. Every one of her books brings a smile to my face and pulls on my heartstrings, like a little kid buying his sister an ice cream cone in pennies or a ridiculously cute cat meme.
Okay Jenny, now that I’ve given you the
cheapest screw cap best wine I have, tell us about yourself! only
When I graduated college, one of my friends said, “Look out for this one; she’s going to be an author one day.” Despite being an avid reader and a natural storyteller, it wasn’t until that very moment that the idea of writing novels occurred to me.
Sometimes our friends can see the things that we can’t.
While I didn’t start straight away, that comment sowed a seed and several years, two children, and hundreds of thousands of words later, I completed a novel that I felt was worthy of publication. The result was Coming Home for Christmas.
I also have three other novels: Love Me for Me, A Christmas to Remember, and my recent release: Summer by the Sea. (I am currently at work on my next novel.)
When I’m not writing, I’m a District Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages, a mother of two boys, and a wife to a very supportive husband.
What about your writing background, anything exciting?
I’m an English teacher. I had courses on how to teach writing to young children, but I’ve never had a creative writing class. Writing just came naturally for me. I’ve always been a storyteller, but it didn’t occur to me until adulthood to write. I started reading books about writing, reading other authors in my genre, I joined a writers’ group in my city, and started writing. Then, I began submitting for publication. Seven years after I started writing and two years after I started submitting, I found my way to Bookouture and the rest is history.
You just had an awesome new book release, Summer by the Sea! I could not put it down. Was this book based on a real place? (Are most of your books based on places you travel?)
It is! It’s based in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, a place I’ve spent many family vacations. All the locations in the book are real except The Tides Wine Bar. And yes, you can really get a fishbowl cocktail at Sunset Grille! 😉 (THE FISHBOWL COCKTAIL IS REAL?! Truly a miracle on Earth.)
Most of my books are based on places where I’ve been because I feel that it’s the little things about a place that I notice when I’m there that I can put into my writing to make it feel real. For example, the way the sand from the dunes covers the curb of the street on windy days isn’t something that I’d find, necessarily, in research, but I’ve seen it, so I can write it.
What tricks do you use to get the book done on time? You know, besides me Tweeting you “wanna race?”
I write 1,000 or more words per day and edit 4,000 or more if I’m in editing. I simply take the days until my deadline and divide by the approximate number of words I think I’ll need to write to get the story finished. That’s how I figure how many words I need to write/edit to be done on time. Then I make it happen.
From our friendship, I have learned that you do not love to cook. What is your favorite kind of take out?
I love Mexican, sushi, or southern cuisine like crabcakes or seafood of some kind.
(This is why we’re friends. I’d sell my siblings for a taco. #noshame)
Wine or beer? Soccer or Hockey?
Beer! (But wine in the summer is nice.) Soccer.
Favorite genre to read other than romance?
I’ll give any a try, but I like travel writing.
What are some fun, unknown facts about you?
When I was little, age 3 or 4, my mom put me in ballet and in the recital, I did everything backwards. Every dance move! (This is still the story of my life…)
I don’t like mushrooms. (I’ll pick around them if I have to.) (I also think mushrooms belong nowhere near my mouth. No wonder we get along so well!)
I had a cat named Pepper who would talk! She would meow every morning and it sounded just like, “Mom, milk.” (“Maaaawwwwm. Meeeeeeooook.”) Swear. (I’m very jealous right now.)
Do you have a funny writing/publishing story? If not, share any embarrassing story.
I’ve always gravitated to outgoing activities even though I’m the least outgoing of any of my friends. In middle school, I tried out for a solo in chorus and I got it! I was so nervous singing on that stage that my whole song sounded like a lamb singing because I was shaking so much.
(Jenny, thank you so much for sharing your embarrassing story with us so I may preserve it forever on the World Wide Web!)
Now that you’ve clearly fallen in love with Jenny like I have (in a completely non-creepy, non-stalker kind of way…probably…), check out her latest book Summer by the Sea!
Summer by the Sea is about that one summer that changes everything. For Faith the one summer she can’t forget is when she fell in love as a teenager—only for her sister, Casey, to steal her man. Now, at the request of her beloved ninety-year-old grandmother, Faith has agreed to a family vacation—at their childhood beach house, where it all began.
Faith hasn’t seen her sister in years but is finally ready to forgive and forget, enjoy the sunshine, and relive happy memories. What she’s not ready for is meeting Jake Buchanan—the owner of the beach house—or the long-forgotten feelings he ignites in her.
Make sure to drop by and say “hi!”
Fun fact alert! July 9, 2015 is known for:
I have the sudden desire to bake something…
Wishing You Laughter & Good Books,
Bold. Bewitching. Breathtaking.
Author of Hunting Witch Hazel featured in Falling Hard (A New Adult Anthology).