Oct 14, 2014

A Short 'N Sweet Interview @Jill_Blake_ #MFRWauthor

A Short 'N Sweet Interview with Jill Blake
Jill Blake loves chocolate, leisurely walks where she doesn’t break a sweat, and books with a guaranteed happy ending. A native of Philadelphia, Jill now lives in southern California with her husband and three children. By day, she works as a physician in a busy medical practice. By night, she pens steamy romances.

Why did you decide to write romance novels? 
The guaranteed HEA.
My daily life consists of what physicists call entropy – that state of ever-expanding chaos:  busy medical practice, three little kids…
Writing gives me at least the semblance of control over characters and their fates.  On paper, I can create a world where, no matter what else happens, my characters will get their happily ever after.

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
My characters—especially the female ones—have many of my personality quirks.  They’re driven, a little prickly, and often out of their element.  My medical background informs some of the situations in my books.  For example, the heroine in my second novel, Taking a Chance, is a burnt out physician looking for a break.  My third novel, This Time for Keeps, deals with a physician whose career is blown to bits after she falls victim to an act of workplace violence.

What kind of research do you do for a book? 
Google, I love you!
I also tap into the expertise and advice of friends and friends-of-friends when needed.  For example, my heroine in Without a Net is a graphic designer.  I know zilch about the field, so I am indebted to several acquaintances who work in graphic design and marketing who were kind enough to answer my questions and do a beta-read of the book.  

When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?
As a kid, I used to watch old reruns of “Bonanza.”   Even at age seven, I got annoyed over the fact that all the women seemed to move away or get killed off within one episode.   None of them ever came back for a recurring guest role, so no “happily ever after” for the Cartwright boys.  I rewrote the scripts, with yours truly in the starring role, and for several seasons I lived a double life:  by day, elementary school kid, by night, daring and heroic foreman (forewoman?) running the Ponderosa ranch in 1870s Nevada.

Fast-forward a few decades, and I had accumulated several boxes of miscellaneous writing—most of it unfinished manuscripts.   With each move due to job change and/or growing family, those boxes came along.  At my husband’s repeated prompting, I finally pulled out those moldering pages, and started reading.  I remembered how much I loved the whole writing process.  I enjoy it even more now that research can be done online, and storage requires no more than an itty-bitty flash drive.  So here I am, back to scribbling (typing) away…

What genre is it? Would you like to write a different genre than you do now, or sub-genre? 
Contemporary Romance.
In future, I’d like to try my hand at medical thrillers.  Max, my hero in Without a Net, writes a thriller that delves into the psychology of high-stakes competitive sports and the seamy side of corporate politics.  Sounds like an intriguing start…

Tell us about your latest book. What motivated the story? Where did the idea come from?
I often think about what would happen if the things I take for granted were suddenly taken away…
Without a Net is about a woman who thinks she has it all:  loving husband, fulfilling life as a stay-at-home mother to her son, financial security.  Then her husband gets ill, and she finds out that the perfect life was not-so-perfect behind the scenes.  Everything comes crashing down.  She finds herself widowed, a single mom, and saddled with massive debt.
Then her best friend’s brother, the ultimate playboy and adrenaline junkie, offers her a job.  And she embarks —however reluctantly—on what may be the biggest adventure of her life.

Jill Blake most recently released Without a Net, an Erotic Contemporary Romance.

Eva has always played it safe…and where has it gotten her?  Betrayed by her husband, left alone to raise her young son, and fighting to hang on to what’s left, the last thing she needs is another philandering male.

Max has always pursued adventure…until he gets sidelined by an accident.  While recovering from his injuries, he discovers that the biggest adventure of his life may be closer than he ever imagined—in the form of Eva, his baby sister’s best friend.

The problem?  Convincing Eva to risk it all…without a net.

Review from Jennifer Hines:
Eva thought she had a good life. She had a husband who worked hard, a wonderful son, and the enjoyment of being a good mom and wife. It wasn’t until a deathbed confession did her world turn upside down. It changed the way she looked at her husband, her life, and her entire look on life and relationships.
“It wasn’t every day that a man offered his heart to the woman of his dreams.”
Trying to get on her feet without anyone knowing she had fallen off them was a small challenge for Eva, but she had the help of her sister and best friend.
Max had been intrigued by Eva ever since the first time he laid eyes on her. It didn’t matter to him that she had been married at the time and for some crazy reason it didn’t matter that now she had a seven year old son. For the playboy he’d always been his desire to be more with Eva was a first, but he was up for the challenge.
“He wanted to be part of her charmed inner circle. Wanted to wake up with her every morning. Wanted to kiss her whenever he felt like it, regardless of who might be looking.”
I loved the humorous banter between Eva and Max. It weaved throughout the pages…right down to the very last page. Mix in some steamy sex and a kid who speaks his mind and you’ve got a really good story. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more by Jill Blake.
My Favorite Moment: The ending. Everything from the moment she goes home until the last sentence. I loved the humor, the trickery, and the ‘need you now’ vertical sex. 
Do you feel humor is important in fiction and why? 
Absolutely!  Even when dealing with weighty issues, fiction ought to provide some comic relief.  Without it, reading would be more a chore than a pleasure.

What is your writing routine once you start a book?
I’m a planner. With a full-time job and three small kids, I wouldn’t survive if I didn’t plan ahead. This approach carries over to my writing, from carving out dedicated time for writing, to doing the “foundational work” of research and outlining. I prepare character sketches, chapter-by-chapter outlines, timelines (on an actual calendar!), and individual files for background information (aka research)–all before I even begin chapter 1.

Who are some of your other favorite authors to read?
Contemporary Romance: Nora Roberts, Jill Shalvis, Sarah Mayberry, Kate Hardy, Maya Banks.  Historical Romance: Stephanie Laurens, Julia Quinn, Johanna Lindsay.  Other: Leon Uris (Exodus: Ari is still one of my all-time favorite alpha heroes!). Howard Fast, Irwin Shaw, John Updike, Joe Konrath, Jasper Fforde.
 
Enjoy an Excerpt from Without A Net...
"Eva had forty minutes to handle the most urgent messages, finish shopping, unload the groceries, and race to school to pick up her son. 

That was why she nearly ran the man down.

Of course, it didn’t help that the shopping cart had a wobbly wheel and a mind of its own, veering left when she steered right. It wouldn’t have mattered had the aisle remained empty. Or if she’d been better at multi-tasking. The last six months had taught her a lot, but not how to manage a renegade shopping cart while catching up with emails on her iPhone. 

“Whoa, there.” 

She glanced up in time to see the man stagger back, straight into a display of organic, gluten-free quinoa flakes. Boxes went flying. 
Eva froze. “Are you okay?”

He glanced around at the mess and then turned a pair of startling green eyes her way. “There’s a law against that, you know.”

“What?” 

“No texting while driving.”

“I wasn’t—” she broke off as he grinned. She experienced a sense of déjà vu. She’d seen him before, she was sure of it, but couldn’t remember where. “I’m sorry. Are you hurt?”

“Nah,” he said, setting his basket on the floor. “Been through worse.”

That was when she noticed the cane, and the stiff way he held his leg as he bent to pick up a box. She dropped the phone in her bag and skirted around the cart to help with the clean-up. “I really am sorry.”

“No worries.”

“Is your leg okay?” She glanced at the twin furrows between his brows, the light sheen of sweat on his forehead. It was a balmy sixty-eight outside, a little warmer than average for Santa Monica in mid-May. But inside, the air-conditioning kept the temperature much cooler, enough to raise goose-flesh along her bare arms. If he was sweating, he was probably in a lot more pain than he was letting on.

“It’s fine,” he said, leaning awkwardly on the cane as he reached for another box. “Another month or two of rehab, I’ll be good as new.”

“Wait,” she said. “I’ll hand them up, you stack them.”

Their fingers brushed as he accepted the boxes, and she felt a frisson of awareness. It was so unexpected that she fumbled and one of the boxes fell again. 

“Sorry,” she murmured. And then to cover up her confusion, she said, “What happened to your leg, if you don’t mind my asking?”

“Tibial plateau fracture. I was skiing, and that tree—I swear, it came out of nowhere.”

She winced. “Trees can be tricky that way.” 

He laughed, a warm, mellow sound that set off a fluttery sensation in her belly. “Next time, I’ll try to give the trees a miss.”

Connect with Jill Blake
blog ~ http://jillblake.blogspot.com/
FB ~ https://www.facebook.com/jill.blake.3386
twitter ~ https://twitter.com/Jill_Blake_
Amazon ~ http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00B1ZIHKS
Goodreads ~ https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6899971.Jill_Blake

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