Friday, September 18, 2009

A Big Petit Fours and Hot Tamales Welcome to Jennifer Haymore

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.


Emmanuelle said...

Hi Jennifer,
Welcome here at PF&HT !!
I heard a LOT about a Hint of Wicked and I've been thinking about reading it for quite some time now. I understand it is one of those gut-wrenching stories and I'd better be prepared !!lol
I'm very happy that the poor loser will have his own HAE soon ;-)
Congratulations !!


Tammy Schubert said...

Thank you for blogging with us today.

This is the first time I have heard of your book HINT OF WICKED. I can't imagine having to make the choice the heroine has to make. This is one book I definitely have to pick up.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Morning Jennifer:
I can relate to needing the extended periods of uninterrupted time. I do my best work at a dedicated writing day with my critique partner and a timer (no talk zone) or at a local coffee/tea house where they just keep the pomegranite green tea coming!
Thanks for being here with us!

Debbie Kaufman said...

One more thing: I may be the only one on the planet who didn't know about google books! Thanks for the heads up. I'm plotting an historical set in Mobile, AL and quickly found relevant volumes!

Maxine Davis said...


Thanks for the words of wisdom (Google books).

A Scottish romance - my type of book. I will definitely read Highland Obsession.

Thank you for posting on PF&HT. I do like your web site!

Marilyn Baron said...

Thanks for blogging with us today. I am obviously the only other one on the plant that didn't know about Google books.

The premise of your new book sounds wonderful. Can't wait to read it.

I entered the contest on your Web site. My entry wasn't selected but it really helped me hone my tagline, etc. I will definitely be back for the February contest. What a great idea.

You've really lead an interesting life.

Marilyn Baron

CiCi Barnes said...

Thanks for visiting us today.

And thanks for the advice about google books.

Your poor heroine. How to choose between two loves? I can't wait to see how she handled it.


Anna Steffl said...

Thanks for blogging.
What a awful situation for a heroine! Smile. I love it.

Jennifer Haymore said...

Hi Everyone! Thanks for your comments! It's true--Sophie is in a horrible predicament, and there's no easy answer. I just love putting my heroes and heroines into these situations...((insert evil author laughter, lol))

Anyway, Google books is really fabulous. You can find just about anything there, written in whatever period your writing, and usually books written afterward that cover that specific period in history. The URL is and you can click on "advanced search" to look up books written in a specific time range, different combinations of words, etc. I'm on there almost every day! I love it! :)

Jennifer Haymore said...

Ooh, ooh, another thing! I've been reading the blog this month and saw that the theme was The Mature Heroine, and that got me thinking about the heroine in A HINT OF WICKED. At almost 30, she is very mature compared to to most of the heroines in historical romance. And what she's been through--death of her husband, raising her child on her own, managing the dukedom, etc.--has really added to her maturity.

Anyway, I just wanted to put that out there. So my presence here does follow this month's theme to some extent! LOL!

Sandy Elzie said...

Hi Jennifer,

Hey, I moved from California to Georgia three years ago...and I love it here! (Sorry...I now think CA is just a great place to visit)

I always enjoy new authors on Fridays as it introduces me to new books.

Thanks for spending the day with us and using some of your valuable writing time to blog with us.

Sandy Elzie

Linsey Lanier said...

I want to say thanks for being with us, too, Jennifer. Your book looks hot (everyone check out the rollover on the cover on Jennifer's site!) and the premise in intriguing.

I wasn't aware of Google books, either. Thanks for the great tip!


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed reading the comments. This book sounds so interesting-I can't wait to read to see how she picks between her 2 husband.
Did you ever read LaVeryl Spencer's Twice Loved-that was a similiar story and interesting how she resolved her dilemma.

Susan May said...

Thanks for being here with us today. Your book sounds great. I look forward to reading it.

lrwirum said...

I think the books under both your names sound fantastic. I love the premise for a Hint of Wicked. :-)


Karin said...

I really enjoyed the interview. The contest you ran, Jennifer, sounds like it was a lot of fun. I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for the one coming up in February. Have you ever considered writing something other than historicals?

Have a great weekend!

Carol Burnside said...

This is the first I've heard of A Hint of Wicked as well. It sounds like a book I'd enjoy and is now on my buy list.

I'm a big fan of connected books and will look for those to follow.

susan said...

I would like to enter your contest for A HINT OF WICKED as I missed out getting a copy at the store and was very disappointed. I I saw it one day and next day when I went to get was gone. susan L.

Jennifer Haymore said...

Sandy, I'd probably love Georgia, too! There are many things to love about California (cough--weather!--cough), but home is where I hang my hat and I love to try new places. Unfortunately, though, my husband's job is here, so I'm guessing we'll be here for at least a few more years!

Anonymous--I haven't read Twice Loved, but as of right now, it's been added to my TBR! Thanks for mentioning it! I really do love my love triangles--especially the angsty ones. ;-)

Karin, as Dawn Halliday I've written two paranormals and two contemporaries. Historicals are my first love, but I really do love dipping my toes in other genres. (And I really love the versatility in language when I write contemporaries! It's such a relief not to have to worry about being historically accurate with every sentence! ;-))

Thanks so much, everyone, for your lovely comments! :)

Mint said...

It was nice reading your blog. I can't wait to read your book. Thank you for all the information.

Linda Henderson

Scarlet Pumpernickel said...

Interesting interview! I love historical romances. This sounds like a keeper.

Tami Brothers said...

GREAT Interview, Jennifer. I am soooo sorry I didn't make it over here to visit with you in Friday. But I definitely thank you for blogging with us. I will be keeping an eye out for those books.