Jen Winters is an independent author, entering the world of self-publishing through digital media formats. Her first book, Kissing Demons, is a paranormal romance and available for Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.
Jen is a mom, a wife, a homeschool teacher, supporter of indie authors and a lover of paranormal romance and urban fantasy. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and enjoy a diversion in to homeschooling on her other blog, The Slamdunk Homeschool.
Jen, when did you first think about writing for publication?
Six years ago I found myself at a loss. I had an 8-month-old and my husband-at-the-time had left us to pursue a different life. I had zero marketable skills and a bachelor degree that was utterly useless. The only thing I had was a lot of people who encouraged me to publish some of my writing. So, I decided I wanted to try my hand at writing for a career and I put my pen to paper. That was March 2009.
Tell us one thing about yourself that you think might surprise us.
I am so utterly normal, but I do homeschool my children and I think that surprises some people because we are so utterly normal. We don’t give off that homeschool vibe.
Your first novel, “Kissing Demons” was released this past December. Tell us a bit about this book and the inspiration for it.
Kissing Demons is a paranormal romance that takes place mostly in the Dallas/ Ft. Worth area. I had been reading Sherrilyn Kenyon’s dark-hunter series at the time and she very much influenced my writing. The Guardians are women who during their first life lost a child and are now in their second life protecting others from the same loss. I based my main character on Beatrice Marguerite de Geneve, and called her Geneva Archer. I think you’ll like her!
As this is the first book of the series, give us an idea of what we might see in future installments.
The second in the series is called Falling Angels and it is written from the perspective of a fallen angel named Ambrose. He is good to the core, but bitter about his fate, sarcastic, and temperamental. This novel will give the reader a chance to get to know Yuruch (the antagonist in Kissing Demons) better as well. Lavinia will get her respite and Ambrose will figure out what destiny and redemption really are.
The third is called Raising Hell, and it will be a story of redemption for Yuruch. I haven’t gotten far along it, yet, but I do know that there will be a bit of archeology involved. How’s that for a teaser?
What drew you to write in the paranormal romance genre?
I love PNR! I love the escape it provides, the hope for magic and romance, and I love the idea that love can come from the most unexpected place. My own story of love could be written into a PNR if I embellished the angelic interference a bit.
If there is one character you’ve written or are writing that you would really like people to meet, who would it be and why?
Joseph of Aramithea. People need more unconditional, enduring, undeserved love in their lives.
What made you decide on self-publishing versus traditional publishing?
James Patterson’s huge success as an independent novelist has been a great driving force for me. That and my mother who thought indie publishing would be good for me.
What about the book industry in general has most surprised you?
As an indie author I have found a huge support network with other indies. It has been amazing and I didn’t even know that we were such a tight-knit group before I published. I hadn’t read a single indie book and now I can say that I have read more indies this year than traditional. The support, reviews, help and friendship I have found has been amazing!
Is there someone you can point to as being your biggest encouragement in moving forward with writing?
My father has kept on me since I decided to write for publication until today saying, “Finish the book, Jen.” Love that man.
Is there a particular genre other than paranormal romance that you might like to try someday?
I am thinking about writing a New Adult novel with an old writing partner. We have other books we are finishing up right now, but as soon as we are in a good place, we are going to write together.
What other things do you have bouncing around in your head for the future?
This is a funny question. Everyday a new idea comes to me. I’ve been considering doing a BBW PNR for a while, and it is slowing making its way to the top. I even have a character name and setting: Mitchell (werewolf), Rosie (human), and Great Bend, NE.
To close the interview, I have ten questions for you, plus one. Here they go!
- What is your favorite word? flabbergasted
- What is your least favorite word? C@nt
- What turns you on? The smell of oil and gasoline on my hubby (he’s a mechanic).
- What turns you off? Metro-sexuals are completely unappealing to me. Nothing personal to my metro-friends, and they know that.
- What sound or noise do you love? My favorite is when one of my kids is playing pretend all by themselves.
- What sound or noise do you hate? My son’s screech when he’s mad (working on that).
- What is your favorite curse word? I don’t really have one, but I do let the bird fly when appropriate.
- What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? I think I might like to be a mortician. Macabre, I know, but…
- What profession would you not like to do? Pest-control…ewww
- If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? Well done.
- What question have you never been asked, that you wish someone would ask you? Were there moments that you found difficult to write? What were they?
Jen, thanks so much for spending time with us. Can you let us know where to follow you, and where we can go to purchase your books?
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Follow my BlogFind my book, Kissing Demons on Amazon