Jennifer Wilck

Tell Me Your Story Tuesday

WELCOME

Her new release

will be available June 15th
from
Whiskey Creek Press

A portion of the proceeds 
from 
 A Heart of Little Faith
will be donated to the  
which is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research, and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy.

 AND
Jennifer is offering a contest!  
Check out details at the bottom of the interview!

Let's Get to Know Jennifer!
      Do you have a writing routine? What does it look like? Where do you usually write?

Well, I’m a mom to two girls, aged 12 and 9, so nothing in my life is routine! But, in a perfect world, I usually spend Mondays writing my blog and critiquing my critique partner’s writing. I try to work on my own manuscripts Tuesdays through Fridays. If I’m lucky, I can steal a few extra moments here and there to write as well. I find I’m more productive in the afternoons, so I try to focus on my writing then. However, as I said before, I’m a mom, so my schedule can change at any moment. I usually write at the desk in my husband’s and my home office, but when that gets too distracting—too many opportunities to play on Facebook, check email, etc.—I take my laptop into the family room when no one is around, curl up on our new super-comfy couch and write there.

  Is the life of a writer what you thought it would be? What is different?

I didn’t really have a preconceived notion of what it would be. However, I’m finding that the manuscript I’m currently working on is much harder to write than my previous ones. I don’t know if it’s because more people know about it, so they can ask me about my progress, or if it’s because my critique partner is critiquing me as I go, so there’s more pressure on me to get her something. I suspect it’s because I’m writing using a method I’m not as comfortable with, so it’s not flowing as well as others have in the past. I’m not used to having to struggle with writing, because my two previous manuscripts, A Heart of Little Faith and Skin Deep, came out of my head and onto the page much more easily. They spoiled me!

   Do you have any special time management tricks for working in writing time and living a normal life?

That’s really hard for me, because, as I said, I’m a mom and wife and there are so many things that need to be done! In addition, I am a freelance writer and editor with other deadlines that I have to meet. But I find it useful to plan in my head a set time each day when I’m going to write. I may not get to it at precisely that time, and I may not be able to write more than a few lines, but I find that when I can do it, I feel more productive and more confident in my writing. I also think that I’m better at other aspects of my life because I’ve taken that time for me.

    What is the best advice you have received about this journey?

The best advice I’ve received is to keep writing, even when I’m uninspired or have writer’s block. Just the act of sitting at my computer and writing something down helps me to push through whatever difficulties I’m facing. I may have to delete everything I’ve done that day, but sometimes, the really bad things I write one day make me realize what mistakes I made and give me new ideas of how to fix things.

Oh, and one more, is to write for yourself. Sure, my goal is to be a multi-published author and I’d love everyone to buy my books, but that’s not the reason I write. I write because there are stories playing around in my head and I need to get them down on paper. They may be great, they may be horrible, but I enjoy writing them, and even if I had never sold any of them, or never sell again, I’m still going to keep writing because I love it.

   What advice do you wish someone would have given you when you were starting out?

Not to get too hung up on rules. There are general rules that should be followed, depending on what genre you’re writing, but if you worry about every tiny nitpicky rule, you spend all your time and energy on them, and have nothing left to write. Work on your craft and put your time and energy into that.
  
    What do you do to fight burnout? Do you ever worry about "running out of stories"? How do combat that?

To fight burnout, I usually go back and read a previous paragraph or chapter that really worked for me, that I really like. It usually inspires me to keep going. If that doesn’t work, I read what other authors are doing—in their blogs, in industry publications, in my critique group. Again, that often pushes me over the hump. Reading books by my favorite authors helps as well.

I have lots of story ideas running through my head, usually at night as I’m going to sleep. I try to write them down as soon as possible and keep them as a list to go to in the future. That way, I can go through the list and find something that inspires me and start writing.

    What sources do you use for inspiration? (Music, movies, people watching)

A lot of the time, my inspiration comes from TV that I watch. Usually, it’s a minor character who doesn’t even get credit for performing in the show, but there’s something about them—a look in their eye, the tone of their voice, or even their appearance—that makes me think of a story for them. The other day I actually got inspired by a billboard, although I doubt I’ll be able to make much more than a scene or two from it (but it was fun while it lasted!).

     What do you do when you aren’t writing?

I’m a freelance writer and editor, so even when I’m not writing, I’m writing!  I spend a lot of time with my family and volunteer at my girls’ schools and at our synagogue. I love to read, watch TV and refinish furniture.

  Tell us a bit about your work in progress.

I have two books being published by
Whiskey Creek Press.  
A Heart of Little Faith is out June 15th and Skin Deep is coming out in November. I’ve never been published before, so I’m really excited. Here’s a quick look at 
A Heart of Little Faith:

When Lily races into her friend’s apartment after a disastrous day at work, she never imagines that the man who will rescue her is sitting in a wheelchair playing with her daughter—especially when that man had vowed never to trust another woman again, and to avoid them at all costs.
However, realizing they each have something the other wants, Lily and Gideon come to a truce and make a bargain. Gideon will help Lily’s daughter if Lily will attend work functions with him. Each event that they attend brings them closer to each other, emotionally and sexually. Although unwilling to break his vow, Gideon enjoys the role of protector that he is able to play for Lily, something he never anticipated.
As Lily battles with betraying the memory of her dead husband, and with learning to trust such a guarded man, she offers up a bargain of her own—a massage for a real dinner date. Suddenly thrown into territory that neither one is prepared to handle, they both back away, until Lily gets sick. In her delirium, she mistakes Gideon for her husband, and confesses all of her deepest secrets and reservations to him. He promises himself that he’ll treat her better, and little by little they begin to trust each other, allowing their relationship to develop and blossom.
Just as things seem to be going well, Gideon’s ex-girlfriend—who abandoned him in the hospital at the time of his accident, and told him no woman could possibly love him—reappears. Her reappearance, and Gideon’s and Lily’s subsequent actions, threatens to destroy everything they have worked so hard to build. 

    What is next for you?

I’m trying something new and I’m writing a contemporary romance with a Jewish theme. The story takes place around the holiday of Purim. That lends itself very well to the idea of hiding one’s identity, so the conflict is already built-in. There’s a single dad, with an adorable 6-year-old girl and a choir director with an amazing voice. I’m still playing around with it, but I hope to have it finished within a few months. It’s going to need a lot of editing and I’m hoping my critique partner will be very patient with me!
 

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Jennifer.
 
June Sweepstakes
To celebrate the release of A Heart of Little Faith, I am offering a giveaway!
Comment on this blog post and include your name, email and favorite thing to do during the summer. 
Everyone who does will be entered into a drawing. One name will be randomly selected on June 30. 
The winner will receive a free copy of A Heart of Little Faith (paperback) and a $10 Amazon gift card. 
Entrants must be 18 or older, please!

Dancing with Words

Tell Me Your Story Tuesday:
Dancing with Words

Featured Author:



LINDA GRAVES
 Linda Graves, 
author of the newly released  
Shimmying Faith.

Dancing with Words

First, a big thank you to Dawn for inviting me to share the story of my writing journey. Like many writers, I began at a very young age. In elementary school my stories were simple, usually about horses. As a city girl, it was my greatest desire at the time. However, life got in the way and writing fell by the wayside as other interests took over. My passions moved to include softball, choir, band and drama by middle school. Those love affairs continued until long after high school until another passion swept me into its grasp.

In college, I discovered Belly Dancing. Middle Eastern dance swallowed me whole. For thirty years it was the joy of my life. During that time I married and had a family. I love them dearly, but it was dance that moved my soul. I loved every aspect of dancing, the performing, the teaching, the costume design, the choreographing. Like choir, band and drama I loved the entertaining.

After a few years, I became co-director of Scheherezade’s Fantasies. For the next eighteen years, even finding enough free time to read a book seemed to be a near impossibility. When a few years ago we disbanded the troupe, I found I had tons of free time to fill. While chatting with my teenage daughter and one of her friends about boys, I started telling them the PG13 stories of the many zany dates/relationships I was involved in during my twenty-six single years. They convinced me to write them down, which turned out to be my first completed manuscript, Trying on Shoes.

I knew little of the art of writing, only the art of entertaining. Still, I was excited about the new form of entertainment that had presented itself. After attending a lecture by Candace Havens at a nearby library, I realized that romance was the direction I wanted to head. As much fun as my dating life had been, reality was who would be interested in my love life? So I decided to break up the ‘Boyfriend’ stories and weave them together to make some interesting, and of course totally “fictional” characters to grace my overactive imagination.

Over the years, dance has given me a gaggle of fun, rather unique experiences. When maneuvered around to protect the not so innocent, then combined with the boyfriend stories, I had plenty of fodder for tons of stories. Now that I had material, my next step was education.

I began taking on-line writing classes and non-credit college courses to improve my craft. After less than a year, I submitted my first completed manuscript Shimmying Faith to more than twenty publishers. I knew little about them, but ignorance is bliss. Several months after receiving multiple, “Interesting concept, but not what we’re looking for.” or the simple form rejections, I finally opened an email that said, “Congrats! We would like to offer you a contract.”

Needless to say, after ten or so minutes of jumping up and down and heart palpitations I settled down to read the email. Yes, they really wanted it! Even with the still much needed editing they wanted Shimmying Faith. Now, eight months from that most welcomed email, I am a published author with Whiskey Creek Press.

The classes, blogs and conventions are always there to help me hone my craft. I am somewhat A.D.D. so I have at least ten manuscripts in the works. My erotic Raqs Rory, is in the ‘submit’ process, my paranormal Jaguar’s Dance is in rewrite. I’m lovin’ my current venue to entertain. Now my favorite thing is to get my groove on, Dancing with Words!


Linda Graves

Check out SHIMMYING FAITH’s book trailer on YouTube

Linda, thank you so much for sharing your journey with us on Tell Me Your Story Tuesday.  

*If you are an author (published or still in waiting)  I would LOVE to feature your story.
  Email me at writerinwaiting (at) gmail (dot) com*