JENNIFER HAYMORE's first historical romance, A HINT OF WICKED, was released in June, 2009. Jennifer grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii, where she surfed, learned how to fly airplanes, raced bicycles, and developed a love for sailing. Jennifer holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from UC Berkeley and a master's degree in Education from UCLA. Before she became a full-time writer she held various jobs from bookselling to teaching inner-city children to playing bit roles in soap operas.
You can find Jennifer in Southern California trying to talk her husband into yet another trip to England, helping her three children with homework while brainstorming a new five-minute dinner menu, or crouched in a corner of the local bookstore writing her next novel.
Jennifer, tell us about your latest release, A HINT OF WICKED.
A HINT OF WICKED is about a woman who spends seven years grieving for her husband lost at Waterloo to finally remarry. Less than a year into her new marriage, her first husband returns. He wants his life back and he wants her back, and he’s not taking “no” or even “maybe” as an answer! The heroine’s husband, of course, is determined that he and the heroine are best for each other, and he’s not about to give her up. The heroine doesn’t know what to do—she is completely torn between her first love and her new love.
Your stories are often linked. What is it about linked stories that appeals to you and how do you manage the continuity between stories?
As a reader, I love “checking in” with characters I’ve grown to love in previous stories. And as a writer, I love exploring how the characters from previous books end up. I’ve grown to know the characters from A HINT OF WICKED so well that the subsequent books (A TOUCH OF SCANDAL and A SEASON OF SEDUCTION) just seemed to flow from it. I think together the three books form the complete story of this family.
So what’s next after A HINT OF WICKED?
My next book, A TOUCH OF SCANDAL, starts a few months after A HINT OF WICKED ends. It’s the story of the “losing” hero from A HINT OF WICKED and how he ultimately finds his true love after the heartbreak he suffered in the first book.
I’m sure you get asked this a lot, but how did you go from your eclectic and rather technical background to writing historical romances?
I’ve always been sort of a Jack of all trades, but I’ve always loved to write!
Any favorite sites or books for research that you can share with us?
Google books, all the way. :)
Do you have any writing rituals?
In order to get in the writing “zone,” I need extended periods of uninterrupted time. I do my best writing locked away in my office or camped out in the corner of a local bookstore with my iPhone on shuffle mode (although when “Whistle While You Work” comes on, I usually fast-forward!). I typically need a cup of coffee to keep me going, and I try to turn off my laptop’s wireless modem so I’m not distracted by the internet.
What advice do you want to convey to unpublished authors?
Never stop reading, and never stop writing. Don’t let rejection stifle you—rejection is a milestone, not a failure!
Tell us a little about your alter ego, Dawn Halliday. We’d love to know why you use the two names and how you manage both.
I’ve been writing under Dawn Halliday for almost three years. Dawn writes “racier” stories and also lets me explore other time periods and genres. Under Dawn Halliday, I’m currently writing Scottish romances (my first Scottish erotic romance, HIGHLAND OBSESSION was released in August). Dawn has also written contemporary, medieval, and contemporary romances as well.
You’ve had one of my favorite writers’ contests of all time at your Dawn Halliday website. Tell us about the contest you ran, how you came up with the idea, and how successful you feel it was promotionally.
My wonderful agent, Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Agency, came up with the prize and the tagline idea. She offered to review the manuscript of the winner of a contest that I designed. My husband and I developed the mechanics behind the contest. We went back and forth and decided, to get people coming back, there would be a few phases to the contest. First, the entrants would post a tagline, then the title of their book. These would be narrowed down into a group of semi-finalists who posted the first five lines of their books. The final round consisted of the finalists posting their second five lines.
It was enormously fun! And my website had tons of hits during the contest period. That was my goal—I really wanted people to visit the site and become familiar with Dawn’s name.
I’ve decided to repeat the contest in February, 2010 to help promote A TOUCH OF SCANDAL. It will have a similar prize, but I’ll probably tweak the mechanics a bit… So stay tuned over at my site!:)
Jennifer is generously providing a copy of A HINT OF WICKED to one lucky commenter today. Please leave your question or comment for Jennifer today.