Jen has an M.S. in Library and Information Science and, in addition to her work as a librarian, has worked as a conference and events planner as well as an administrator in both preschool and higher education environments (although some might say that there is very little difference between the two; Jen has no comment regarding whether she is one of the “some”). She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and is represented by Sarah E. Younger of the Nancy Yost Literary Agency.
I’m so happy to be working with Barclay Publicity on my newest release, Butterfly Ops. It’s my first book in the paranormal realm, and I am so glad to have you here with me.
I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember but am actually a bit of a newcomer to the romance genre. Relatively, at least. More of a Nancy Drew fan than Sweet Valley High, I’ve been a huge mystery reader for most of my life. But we had just moved into a new house when my now-seven-year-old was born, and all those normal, old house creaks and groans were getting to me a bit too much during those middle-of-the-night nursing sessions, so I knew I needed to find some new reading material. My sister had just read a book that she loved so she recommended I try it. It was Jennifer Crusie’s Welcome to Temptation. Needless to say, a romance reader was born.
I had already been writing for some time at that point—for about ten years, in fact, I’d been happily writing fan fiction and had no plans beyond that. But somewhere around then a friend of mine mentioned to me that I had written the equivalent of at least nine books. Nine. Over a million words, mostly in one epic series. And she suggested that maybe I should think about getting out there into the non-fan fiction world. I dismissed it at first. Me? Write a book? I couldn’t even imagine it.
The more I thought about it, though, the more I thought I should maybe give it a try. So I did. And I’d love to say that that the first thing I wrote took off and I never looked back. But, um, that’s not exactly what happened.
I did write a draft of what I hoped would be my first published book. And soon after I finished it, I saw that one of my favorite authors would be speaking at the NJRW (New Jersey Romance Writers) Conference that year so I decided to go. I signed up for agent and editor pitches, packed up my manuscript (well, metaphorically, since they don’t do these things in hard copy any more), and was all ready for success. Except that when they said that, yes, there was occasionally an exception to the rule that romances novels couldn’t be over 100K words, they didn’t mean that they could be 350K. Whoops! Luckily, I had figured that out before I got into the pitch sessions, so rather than make a complete fool of myself, I was able to start off my pitches with the admission that I’d made a major rookie mistake.
I was even luckier that the pitch appointments I had were with some amazing people who not only were willing to laugh about that rather than get angry that I had wasted their time (which they would have had every right to do!), but they also offered me some words of encouragement as well as wisdom. Thanks to those wonderful individuals—and the incredible sessions I attended at that conference—I had a plan for moving forward. On my way home to Boston I began the first draft of what would become Calling It, published by Carina Press in April 2016.
I went on to write two more full-length novels and a holiday novella in the Calling It series, as well as three novellas in Marina Adair’s (another favorite author of mine) St. Helena’s Vineyard Kindle World. I could never quite get that 350K story out of my head, however, so when I was given the opportunity to rewrite what I consider to be an epic romance about soulmates and true love, I jumped at the chance. I am therefore thrilled to be bringing the first installment of the Butterfly Ops trilogy into the world. I hope you love it as much as I do.
With much love,