Thank you for joining me on the blog today! I’m thrilled to have the chance to interview author Jessica Patterson 🙂 Afterward check out her latest release SPANISH LESSONS and don’t forget to enter her generous giveaway!
Let’s get started …
What 5 words best describe you?
Romantic, binge reader, introverted, traveler, messy!
Tell us the first thing we’d see if we walked in your front door.
My giant (and very smelly!) Goldendoodle puppy, Martha Bean. She’s very friendly but has tons of puppy energy, so she’ll probably jump on you and try to lick your face.
I love Goldendoodle’s. I have a Golden Retriever and would love to add to my bunch. When did you know you wanted become an author?
I was an awkward, and very introverted, teenager, so I began reading romance at an early age. One particular summer I read something like fifty books. It wasn’t long before I began crafting romances of my own, although it took a detour to college and the financial world before I actually published any of those stories!
What’s the last restaurant you ate out at?
So I grabbed a smoothie at my favorite Vegan restaurant here in Charlotte yesterday morning (Luna’s Living Kitchen, it’s so good!). But in the interest of making myself sound at least a little interesting/romantic, I’ll throw it back to a great little Italian spot in my neighborhood. My husband and I do date night there on the regular. Their wood-fired pizzas are amazing, and the wine never disappoints.
Wood-fired pizzas are yummy! Do you research your stories before you start writing, or while you’re writing?
I’m definitely a “pantser”, meaning I kinda make up the story and characters as I go. I’ve written quite a few books now, and one thing I’ve discovered is that having your characters nailed down—really knowing them and what they want—is far more important than nailing down a plot. If you know your characters, in a way they’ll forge the plot for you. Sometimes this comes together more elegantly than others, but for the most part it’s true. For SPANISH LESSONS, I drew on my own experiences studying abroad in Madrid for inspiration. I also hit up some of my girlfriends who studied abroad with me for their memories/notes/journals. It was fun revisiting such a magical, crazy time!
I love choosing character names. How did you go about choosing yours for SPANISH LESSONS?
So the STUDY ABROAD series is based around a group of girlfriends—American students—who are in Europe for a semester. I actually based this group of girls (the Madrileñas) on the group of friends I studied abroad with. They’re still some of my best friends today. So I actually used their names in this series.
What’s the hardest part about the writing process for you?
Hardest part—gosh, is it too much of a cop out to say “all of it”? Writing is never easy for me. It’s often boring, it’s always hard, and half the time I have such a serious case of “this is terrible” I want to scrap the whole thing. I used to think editing was a breeze compared to writing, but after having rewritten book #2 of the STUDY ABROAD series (coming soon!), now I know that editing can be even harder.
As for the easiest part, writing sex and/or smooching scenes. They’re my favorite scenes to write. I always look forward to them.
What three goals do you hope to accomplish in 2016?
My biggest goal for 2016 is finding clarity. It sounds so Gwyneth Paltrow, I know, but I have a lot I want to make happen this year, and it all hinges on deciding what, exactly, success looks like to me. At the top of this “clarity” list is establishing my career in indie romance. There are so many exciting things happening in the indie world, and I want to be a part of them!
Describe your writing space.
Writing can be a lonely endeavor, so I do like to get out and write at coffee shops and local restaurants every so often. But when I really need to get a big chunk of work done, nothing beats doing it in my home office. It’s a bit of a “jewel box”—a very girly space. Lots of light, some fun wallpaper I picked up at Lowe’s, and of course my dog at my feet. I love it in here!
Would you like to share what you’re working on now?
Sure! I just turned in a (hopefully) polished draft of book #2, LESSONS IN GRAVITY, after rewriting virtually the entire book last month. It was TOUGH, but I really fell in love with Maddie and Javier’s story in the meantime. I’m already brainstorming some ideas for book #3 (this one is about a super studly soccer player!), but this month I’m really focusing on getting book #2 out and ramping up my promo/marketing efforts.
RANDOM FUN : FINISH THIS SENTENCE …
My bathroom is a giant freaking mess.
The last television show I watched was “The Office”—my husband and I are currently binge watching it. I love, love, love the Jim/Pam storyline.
The name of the street I grew up on was Cannon Crossing Way. I loved living there, and to this day I don’t think I’ve forgiven my parents for moving away!
I always like to wake up, make a cup of coffee, and sit down at my computer to go over what I wrote the previous day. I love my calm, quiet mornings!
My first pet was the best dog in the whole universe—a weenie dog named Lucy. We got her when she was a teeny tiny puppy and she lived to be eighteen. She was a total sweetheart and the best lap dog ever. Lucy, we miss you!
I loved our interview. Thank you for answering my questions and making it so fun 🙂
SPANISH LESSONS (Study Abroad #1)
Copyright 2016 by Jessica Peterson
Herds of scantily-dressed people, heels clomping against the cobblestones, filter past us. They laugh and smoke, and a few couples even put on a show, fondling each other like they mean it. I look up; the sky has faded to grey, just light enough to make out wisps of cloud scudding overhead.
Rafa checks his watch. His skin glows in the soft light.
“It’s almost six.” He rises, brushing off his jeans. “We should get going if we want to catch the first Metro.”
I can’t remember the last time I witnessed 6 a.m. on this Earth. Back on campus, a late night usually meant 2 or 3 a.m.; we’d always try to schedule our classes so we didn’t have to wake up before nine. Six was no man’s land.
I feel badass, frankly, for making it out so late. Everyone else left hours ago.
And still it feels too early for the night to end.
Rafa reaches down and offers me his hand. I take it. He pulls me up beside him, my leg bumping against his. For a minute our eyes meet. I will never get used to how beautifully blue his are. They are the K.O. punch, every time.
I want to kiss him, badly. My heartbeat thrums through my body. Do I take a chance? Or do I let the night end on this heady, anticipatory, safe note? I already count tonight among my most favorite nights ever. Why risk a kiss that could ruin the memory of the wonderful hours I spent in Rafa’s company?
It’s a classic case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t. I’ll regret not kissing Rafa. But there’s a chance—a very good chance—that if I kiss him, I’ll regret that more. Maybe he never wanted to kiss me in the first place; maybe he pulls away, tries to be nice in a horrifically awkward way.
Maybe the kiss is so wonderful I’ll start falling for him on the spot. Rafa looks like he would be a lethal kisser, thorough and patient and intense, all at once.
But Lord knows I need to fall for another unattainable guy like I need a hole in my head. I’ve done the sorta-kinda-relationship hookup thing, and I ended up with a broken heart. I’m terrified of getting hurt like that again. If I’m going to get involved with someone, it’s gotta be real, and it’s gotta have forever potential.
Rafa, with his handsome smile and panty-dropper charm, doesn’t seem like the forever type.
He offers me a quirk of his lips. He hasn’t let go of my hand. In fact, his fingers, thick and calloused, slide between mine, locking my palm in place against his. He’s still looking at me, his eyes and his face soft.
LESSONS IN GRAVITY
Releasing March 15th
awkwardness of her teenage years. Having found solace in the likes of Mr.
Darcy, Jamie Fraser (OMG love the gingers!), and Edward Cullen, it wasn’t long
before she began creating tall, dark and handsome heroes of her own.
Peterson, and her smelly Goldendoodle Martha Bean.