Ms. Peterson kindly consented to an interview. I hope that you will find it entertaining and informative. Be sure to check out her newest release, Red Hot Valentine’s Day, which released today!
What first interested you in writing?
I always loved writing and wanted to be a writer for a living for as long as I can remember, really. As for romance writing, I have to say I was one of those horrible people who thought it would be “easy” to write one of “those books”. I learned quickly that “those books” were often wonderfully engaging and well-written and really DIFFICULT to write and sell. But I kept at it and here we are.
How many novels do you currently have published? What genre are they? Where are they published?
As of tomorrow, January 6, I will have 11 books published. Under my Jess Michaels name, which is erotic romance, they are:
A RED HOT VALENTINE’S DAY (Anthology), January 6, 2009 – Avon Red
SOMETHING RECKLESS, May 2008 – Avon Red
EVERYTHING FORBIDDEN, November 2007 – Avon Red
PARLOR GAMES (Anthology), June 2006 – Avon Red (Line Launch book)
SECRETS, Volume 12 (Anthology), July 2005 – Red Sage Publishing
SECRETS, Volume 11 (Anthology), December 2004 – Red Sage Publishing
And I have another one out this year called TABOO, which comes out in May 2009.
Under my Jenna Petersen name, which is historical romance, they are:
LESSONS FROM A COURTESAN, July 2008 — Avon
SEDUCTION IS FOREVER (Lady Spies Book 3), October 2007 — Avon
DESIRE NEVER DIES (Lady Spies Book 2), January 2007 — Avon
FROM LONDON WITH LOVE (Lady Spies Book 1), August 2006 — Avon
SCANDALOUS, October 2005 – Avon
I also have a new book coming out in April called HER NOTORIOUS VISCOUNT.
All my books are widely available in stores and online retailers everywhere.
Do you write full-time or do you have another job as well?
I write full-time and have since I started 10 years ago. I’ve been lucky enough to have a financially as well as spiritually and emotionally supportive husband who believed in my wacky dream.
Where do you see yourself, as far as writing goes, in five years?
I hope I’ll still be an actively publishing author. I really love historical romance and erotic historical romance, so I’m sure I’ll still be writing them.
What goals or dreams do you have for your writing career?
I think I have the same dreams most writers do. I want to keep selling books and growing my readership. Of course I’d love to rise up to USAToday and ultimately NYTimes Bestseller status. But those things are really out of my control in a lot of ways. So my biggest hope is to keep writing and improving my craft and hope that the readers keep coming and multiplying.
What is your favorite genre to read?
I love to read what I write, which is historical romance. I also read outside of the romance genre when I have time (which seems like never right now LOL).
Do you have any favorite authors? What do you like about them?
I really enjoy the sensual storytelling of Lisa Kleypas. I like the sparkling wit of Julia Quinn. I like the emotional rawness of Kathryn Smith. I adore the magical quality of Jacquie D’Alessandro.
How hard was it to become a published author?
Hard. I actually have a diary of my journey from 2001 until… well, this morning, up at my site for writers, The Passionate Pen. http://www.passionatepen.com I think it gives a pretty accurate view of the wonderful highs and pretty crushing lows of five years and over probably… 15ish books or so before I published.
Do you have any suggestions for writers who wish to be published?
I think my best suggestions for writers are at the same site. The Passionate Pen is ten years old this year and we’re having a huge celebration! All kinds of prizes for writers, interviews with top editors and agents, big fun. But the site is, at its core, a site for aspiring romance authors. You’ll find a list of romance publishers there, one for agents, articles I’ve written for writers, links, and of course that famous diary I talked about above. http://www.passionatepen.com
Do you recommend using more than one publisher?
I think it really depends on the writer, what genres they are writing, how quickly they can write and if they have a strong agent. There aren’t really great answers to these kinds of questions because of so many variables. Writing for multiple publishers can give you some level of job security, an increased income and a broader promotional plan. It can also make things complicated and occasionally double your work. So it all depends.
How do you typically promote your books?
I have a website, http://www.jennapetersen.com , as well as a Facebook and a MySpace account (http://www.myspace.com/jennawrites). I do a lot of online promotion, as well as drive-by signings of stock, interviews and whatever my publisher sets up for me.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
I write sexy, emotional romances whether they’re erotic like my Jess Michaels books or highly sensual like my Jenna Petersen books. I write in the Regency period. If that appeals to you, I’m your girl! 🙂