A year ago I had the great fortune to become steampunk anthology sisters with a wonderful lady by the name of Jenny Schwartz. In our group we all had our roles to play—I usually (and totally on accident) played the role of comic relief, while Jenny became the heart and soul of who we are today. Without this incredibly talented, multi-faceted woman, we probably wouldn’t be the tight-knit group we became. *hugs Jenny*
SG: Jenny, welcome to my humble blog home!
Jenny: Stacy, as bright and funny as you are, you weren’t “comic relief”. Nope. You’re totally an adorable goof … and an extremely talented author that I’m honoured to call a friend. Thanks for having me on you blog, and for the kind words that have made me cry. Good tears. Kinda like the tears I cried reading “How The Glitch Saved Christmas”.
SG: (*sniffles* I LOVE YOU, JENNY!) Okay back to the interview... *dons professional hat* Have you noticed you seem to always be busy this time of year? Last December you launched WANTED: ONE SCOUNDREL, the first steampunk novella in The Bustlepunk Chronicles series published by Carina Press, with the 2nd book, COURTING TROUBLE, releasing this past October. And now here you are again, with yet another December release on the horizon! This time, though, you’re flexing your contemporary romance muscles with a brand new publisher, Escape Publishing. Can you tell me a little about this new publishing house?
Jenny: Escape Publishing is Harlequin’s Australian digital romance imprint. It’s all about bringing Australian voices to the romance world, and wow, some of those voices are amazing. When I read the launch books, I knew I’d joined a great group of authors.
Something that American and Canadian authors probably don’t think about much is the timezone challenges of communicating with their editors. For me, in Australia, I tend to be about half a day ahead of my editors. So conversations have a day’s lag. Editors answer my questions while I’m sleeping. With Escape Publishing, editors are pretty much in my timezone and we can chat through the day (ahem, yes, Twitter is my procrastination tool of choice).
|LOVE this cover. Kiss her, Nick! <3|
SG: I’m so over-the-moon excited to read your latest work, DRAWING CLOSER! You have such a strong writing “voice”, I know I’ll be happy to devour anything you write. Can you share a little bit about the plot? (No spoilers!)
Jenny: Well, Nick’s a potter. What is it about potter’s that make them so sexy? Is it the clay, the muscles from heaving the clay around or is it their creativity? Whatever it is, Nick is my dream man. And have you seen the cover for “Drawing Closer”? Yeah, definitely dreamy.
Um. I think I got a bit sidetracked. I’m like Zoe: Nick-obsessed. At least I haven’t sketched him naked—yet!
Zoe’s another artist, a painter. She and Nick share studio space. He’s a long-time friend of her cousin, but she’s desperate for him to see her as more than a “kid sister”.
I adore the friends-to-lovers trope and had great fun writing Zoe and Nick’s bumpy journey.
SG: (Great, now I'm distracted over thoughts of drawing a hunk like Nick in his birthday suit *sigh*) Was it difficult switching mental gears from steampunk to contemporary?
Jenny: I cheated. I used the same setting for my contemporary romance that I used in my Bustlepunk Chronicles: Fremantle, Australia. It was fascinating to write romances over a hundred years apart, but walking the same streets.
SG: I wouldn't call that cheating, I'd call that brilliant! Now, let's focus on your other main character...Zoe Loyola is the heroine in this latest project, and I have to say I LOVE that name. Can you tell me a little about her, and is there any significance in her name?
Jenny: Zoe is a name I’ve been wanting to use for a while. It means “life” and I think romances are life-affirming. So Zoe named herself when it was time to write “Drawing Closer”. The only problem was finding an Italian surname. I guess my Catholic upbringing then revealed itself: Loyola floated up from the memory banks and sounded so good with Zoe that it got the tick of approval.
SG: If you were told to describe your hero, Nick Gordon, in just one word, what would that word be, and why does that one word typify him?
To be a successful creative artist, like a potter, you have to be a hundred percent committed to your craft, and Nick is. He’s also committed to his family and friends. His dad’s pretty much a billionaire, but all that wealth doesn’t define Nick. He could have been a playboy. Instead, he’s a guy who says what he means and delivers on his promises.
SG: If there was one thing you’d like every reader to know about DRAWING CLOSER, what would it be?
Jenny: “Drawing Closer” is a short story, about a fifth as long as a category romance. That makes it a great length for a stolen hour of reading. What I’m hoping people get from “Drawing Closer” is that shorter doesn’t mean less emotional intensity. The romance is there, the characters are struggling, hoping and fighting for one another. In fact, the passion burns brighter for being condensed.
SG: I couldn't agree more. Thank you so much for dropping by today to talk to me about DRAWING CLOSER, Jenny! With all the rush-rush chaos during the holidays, it’s nice to carve out a little quiet “me” time with a story that’s long enough to help us escape the madness, but short enough to fit the holiday schedule. DRAWING CLOSER is a perfect mental getaway for this time of year, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
Jenny: Thank you, Stacy! and Happy Holidays, everyone J
I’m giving away a copy of “Drawing Closer” and a couple of Aussie art bookmarks to celebrate the season. Just leave a comment on this post, as well as an email address. I wish I could shout you all holidays for an Aussie summer Christmas. One day!