CONTEST PRIZE: A digital copy of one of my back list titles – either Secrets Volume 28, Pandora's Gift or Platinum Passion (Gods of Love #1) – winner's choice. To be entered, leave a comment for Jennifer along with your email address in case you win we have a way to contact you. Contest winner to be announced on this post on Feb. 29th.
How long have you been writing? What inspired you to pick the pen up one day and create characters that capture the imagination?
I've been writing since I was young – all sorts of strange creations. Certainly I've been a voracious reader ever since I learnt how! But my interest in romance writing really came about when I was at university and someone dared me to write a "Mills & Boon". I did, sent it off, and while it was rejected I got some great feedback. After that I dabbled for many years as a hobby, but it wasn't until my divorce that I decided I had to stop "dabbling" and really reach for my dream. So I rewrote an erotic romance I'd partly penned earlier, submitted it to Red Sage, and they bought it for their Secrets anthology series (Seducing Serena in Volume 28). The day I received my trade paperback copy of that volume was the day I finally felt like a real writer.
What makes your characters so vulnerable yet strong? Can you describe them to us?
I try and create all of my characters with flaws and vulnerabilities. But I also give them a story in which they have the opportunity to face those vulnerabilities. It is how they handle the challenges I throw at them that makes them strong – or not. In Educating Ethan, both Ida and Ethan are struggling with significant issues from their respective pasts. While their story is a cougar tale on the surface, I hope it becomes a lot more than that. Regardless of their age, this couple has to find the inner strength to face fears that are holding each of them back from a promising future.
What do you do when characters stop talking to you when writing?
So far I haven't had the problem of characters not talking to me – it is more the other way around! When I want to take the story in one direction, the characters say no and lead me along another path altogether!
Do you prefer writing series books over non series or does it matter?
I have four published novellas, of which three are stand-alone. The other is the first in a trilogy. I don't have a preference for one over the other – I really think it depends on the story. Educating Ethan, for example, is a story that I think works perfectly as a stand-alone, as does Pandora's Gift. My Gods of Love series, however, started life as a stand-alone about the Greek god Eros and his interactions with a modern-day couple in need of passion. But as I started to write Platinum Passion and researched more about Eros, I found a version of the myth about a group of gods called the erotes as aspects of Eros. I thought that would make a great series – stand-alone novellas with the erotes as a common theme. So Eros in Platinum Passion became Pothos, god of sexual yearning, and Aphrodite Calling, the next story in the series, will be about Himeros, god of sexual desire.
What do you think is the level of sensuality/heat in your books? What can readers expect from your books with respect to sexual content and sensuality?
Most of my stories I would class as erotic romance, so the heat level is reasonably high in relation to sexual content. Platinum Passion is my first menage and that one is definitely the hottest thus far. Educating Ethan, my latest release from Breathless Press, is a lower heat rating – about a 2 out of 5 heat-wise. But I stress that I write romance, not erotica, regardless of heat level, and there is a high level of emotional connection for all of my characters. I let the characters and their story dictate the heat level, to a certain extent. But sensuality? A must in any romance I write.
Please tell us about your latest release. What is it all about?
Educating Ethan is an older woman/younger man love story, but I like to think there's a bit of a twist on that classic cougar concept. This novella becomes less about an older woman educating a younger man in the ways of love, and becomes more about two people with emotional baggage trying to build a better life for themselves, and learning about the importance of putting the past behind them through the positive power of love. I hope that by the end of this story, readers aren't focused so much on the age difference between Ida and Ethan. I wanted this to be a situation where age becomes irrelevant and the romance is key.
What genre do you write in? Is there a genre you haven't tried yet but want to in the future?
I write sensual and erotic romance, usually contemporary and often with a hint of paranormal. I'd like to try my hand at many different genres, but the two that call to me are historical romance, and young adult. I'm reading a lot of young adult at the moment and really enjoying that genre.
What is the last line of your last WIP you worked on that you wrote?
Gosh, really? Ok, well, it is from Aphrodite Calling, but I'll give you the last two lines or it will sound too weird!
"What the hell was she going to do if Maris didn't detach herself, but insisted instead on meeting the so-called 'fiance'? Maybe I could sit on her and squash her to death."
What do you do for fun/relax? Any hobbies?
I work in medical admin, and I have two teenage children and two young adult step-children. They, and my job, keep me pretty busy! My partner and I are planning to marry later this year, so the planning for that is also taking up spare time at present. But I do love to read! I watch some TV (especially reality shows like Survivor, Amazing Race and Escape to the Country, and also Trueblood and English crime/thriller/mysteries). What else? Hmm, I love the beach in summer, or driving up into the hills in any season to lunch at a café, enjoy a coffee or go for walks among the greenery by the Yarra River. I like catching up with family and friends, too, and see the occasional movie (just saw The Artist – loved it!).
Is there a story that you’d like to tell but you think the world isn’t ready to receive it?
Is there a story that you’d like to tell but you think the world isn’t ready to receive it?
Not really. I think these days the world is open to all sorts of stories. I don't think there's anything I've got planned that is so far out there it couldn't find an audience somewhere!
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
I think there's a little piece of me in all of my characters, and I don't want to play favorites and pick one over another. I like certain attributes in each of them – Pandora's calm acceptance of what will be in Pandora's Gift. The inner strength of Jeannie in Platinum Passion. The determination to overcome the past that Ida shows in Educating Ethan. No – can't pick one. I love them all!
What do you do on a typical writing day?
I don't have a typical writing day, unfortunately. I work, and have family commitments, so I just try and snatch writing time when I can. I find as a writer there is also a fair chunk of the day taken up with maintaining a web presence as well – whether it be posting on my blog, guest posting on someone else's blog, working on edits, updating my website, being interviewed J or keeping up with social media like Twitter or Facebook. Some days I don't write at all, others I might grab an hour, or if I'm really lucky, three or four hours dedicated writing time. I'm often on the computer at strange times, like midnight or 5am, as I occasionally suffer from insomnia.
Can you please give us an idea what you are working on for the future?
I'm currently working on #2 and #3 in my Gods of Love series. Aphrodite Calling is about Himeros, god of sexual desire and his developing relationship with modern-day career woman, Gina. I'm hoping to have that one out end of March or early April (though I threw out part of the story that I didn't think worked properly, and am currently rewriting it now. So we shall see!). The final novella in the series is tentatively titled Sex Club Secrets, and tells the story of Anteros (god of requited/unrequited love) and a couple's unexpected adventure in his club.
What’s better to write about-perfect characters or flawed ones? And why?
Flawed, definitely! Otherwise, how are readers going to relate to them? We are all human, and therefore essentially flawed. I want characters in my stories who speak to me as an author, and more importantly, who speak to my readers. And by that I mean that something about the character – whether their life, their personality or their story – resonates on a very personal level. Perfection in my view might be nice to look at, but not necessarily interesting to engage with!
When you have writer's block how do you break free?
With great difficulty! I take a break, come back to it fresh and try again. If that doesn't work, I try starting a new project. So far, I've been lucky enough that eventually the spark reignites and I can keep going. But it can take a while sometimes.
Few fun ones:
If you could travel to any time period, where would you and why?
Victorian England, just to get a taste of a time and place in which women were not empowered by having their own career, money or lives. I can't quite imagine having to take work as a governess to avoid living on the streets (I can't sew, so a seamstress job would be out!). As long as I can return to the present-day. If that's not an option, then I'd happily stay right where I am!
Hollywood has come calling and is interested in Educating Ethan. You get to pick the actors to play the main characters Ida and Ethan. Who do you choose to play these characters?
Julianne Moore – beautiful, red-haired, slightly older woman, and Chris Hemsworth – young, gorgeous and muscled. And a local boy! (I live in Melbourne, Australia).
What is your one favorite food to enjoy?
Seafood – fish, prawns, scallops, lobster. With an avocado salad. And French dressing. Yum. Not a sweet tooth in my head, I'm afraid!
Any weird cravings when writing?
Only for peace and quiet. Is that weird? I like to hear the ticking of our clock – it means the family is either out or asleep, and I can relax and work in peace!
Anything else to add?
Thank you so much for having me here as a guest at Love Romances & More. If any of your readers want to visit my website, I'm at: http://www.jenniferlynne.com.au or you can find me at Twitter http://www.twitter.com/JenniLynnAuthor or Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jennifer-Lynne-Romance-Author/297504180262670
Educating Ethan by Jennifer Lynne
Ida Deloraine intends to build herself a new life and a new catering career after a painful divorce. When the much younger Ethan Holt moves in across the street, an innocent flirtation quickly becomes serious when the two realize their age difference is no barrier to all-consuming passion. But Ethan is the exact opposite of what Ida is looking for in a sexual partner. In her eyes he is young and vibrant, with his life and his dreams still ahead of him, whereas hers are all in the past. Can Ethan, who is fighting his own demons in the form of a car accident, failed marriage, and forced career change, convince Ida to overcome the past and live for the moment? And just who is educating who in this cougar encounter?
Platinum Passion by Jennifer Lynne
Gods of Love Book 1
Three people. One erotic fantasy. And a twentieth wedding anniversary like no other. Jeannie yearns for the return of passion in her marriage. Jake craves new excitement in the form of another man. Pothos is one of the erotes, an aspect of Eros, the ancient Greek god of love, and this couple’s distinctive yearning has called to him. By the power of the erotes he intends to rekindle the flame of Jake and Jeannie’s passion in a night of desire that will be the ultimate platinum anniversary gift. And when the gods of love decide your marriage needs a boost, they never do it by halves.