MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR JENNIFER WILCK!
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
Hi, my name is Jennifer Wilck and I’m a contemporary romance writer. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but my first published book appeared in 2012, I think.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
In the Moment was one of my favorite books to write. I came up with the idea after going to an open house with my daughters. The house that was for sale was a Victorian mansion built in the 1860s and it was gorgeous! The previous owners had restored everything but the top floor—the servants’ quarters—and the moldings and ceilings and floors were amazing. We all fell in love with it and I could just picture the people who lived there through the years. Since I couldn’t afford to buy it, I decided it would be the perfect setting for my next book, a small-town romance. I created a heroine who grew up in the house as a foster child and ultimately purchased it after her foster mother died. She’s in the process of restoring it so that she can raise her own family there someday. The hero is not into permanence of any kind, but helps her over the summer. And because this is a romance, of course, they get together by the end of the book.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I’ve always loved reading romances. I love that the hero and heroine are guaranteed to live either happily ever after or happily for now. It provides me a much-needed break from the uncertainty of the real world.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
Well, I did a lot of research about the house, obviously, and consulted photos of the different rooms and period decorations and architecture. Additionally, my hero is a war photographer, so I researched that as well.
Can you tell me about your Series?
In the Moment is a standalone, but I also published Book 1 in my Serendipity series, with Book 2 coming out this spring. Book 1, Addicted to Love, is also a contemporary romance, but features Jewish characters and takes place in Hoboken, NJ and New York City. The hero is a widowed father who’s focused on raising his daughter. The heroine lives with her grandmother and is looking for Mr. Right. She never expected him to show up in the form of a father to a teenager. And then a secret from his past is exposed, which puts their relationship in jeopardy. Book 2 is titled Five Minutes to Love and features two people who meet at a speed-dating event, hate the event, think they are completely wrong for each other, but fall in love anyway.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
Ugh, that’s like asking me to pick my favorite child! J Actually, from the Serendipity Series, I have to honestly say I like each book, but I do have favorite characters. My favorite hero is Dan, from Addicted to Love, because I’m a sucker for the tortured hero. My favorite heroine is actually Dina, the heroine from Book 3, which is currently in the editing phase. If you watch Criminal Minds, she’s like a female version of Matthew Gray Gubler’s Dr. Spencer Reid character (except she’s neither tall nor skinny)—and for those who aren’t fans of that show, she’s a genius who spouts random facts whenever she’s nervous.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
Well, I’ve always wanted to write romance featuring Jewish characters. Diversity is important and it’s nice to be able to relate sometimes to the books you read.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
Most of these didn’t require a ton of research. Five Minutes to Love enabled me to research speed dating, which was a TON of fun. My daughter and I stumbled upon an actual event, so we spied on it so I’d know how it worked. And I was able to ask a friend for funny “disaster” stories.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Yes, I went into Serendipity with the intention of making it a series.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
Well, one of the coolest parts of being a writer is that no two days are the same—some days I’m writing, some days I’m editing and some days I’m working on marketing. However, it does require a lot of discipline. So in general, I spend my mornings connecting with readers, editors and writers on social media, as well as doing blog posts. In the afternoons, I focus on writing or editing, depending on what stage I’m at in my work. I try to squeeze in errands—no matter what’s going on, my family insists on eating every single day—and random things that need to get done. My office is in our living room, so sometimes I write there, but I usually move around a lot—desk, dining table, sofa, depending on my mood. And the best part is in the warm weather when I can write on my deck. When I’m writing, I usually try for about 1,000 words a day. When editing, well, I go until I get tired.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
Yes! My upcoming book is Five Minutes to Love and it is due to release this spring. I’m waiting for an exact date from my publisher, The Wild Rose Press. Here’s the blurb:
Aviva Shulman has had enough of the dating scene. Her father valued his high-powered career over his wife and family. She wants something more, someone who values her. But her roommates are determined to find her the perfect match.
Jacob Black doesn’t have time for relationships. A third-year law student, he’s focused on studying and getting a high-paying job with a top-notch law firm. But his overbearing mother wants him to find someone and settle down.
Their paths cross at a speed-dating event and sparks fly. But is five minutes long enough to determine a future together?
How important are character names to you in your books?
Is there a special meaning to any of the names? Great question! The answer is, it depends. I usually consult baby naming books or websites for my character names. I look for either names from a certain time period (usually the 90s), or with certain meanings. For my Jewish books, I look at either Biblical names or traditionally Jewish names.
Where do your ideas come from?
Everywhere! Literally. I’ve had ideas pop into my head while watching TV, reading a billboard or walking my dog. Sometimes it’s just an outline of an idea, other times a character starts speaking to me and occasionally it’s an entire scene that just begs to be written. Depending on how well I can flesh it out will determine whether or not it becomes a story idea. I also have a friend/critique partner who is a plotting genius. She and I meet for coffee and iron out our plot issues.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Conflict. I hate conflict and confrontation in real life, so my automatic response is to solve whatever the problem is easily and quickly. I’ve had to learn to draw it out and let my characters explore it a bit and not always take the easy way out.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Getting published. It’s taken a heck of a lot of work to get here, and it’s not something I ever take for granted.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Getting my stories and characters onto the page. I love seeing them realized in actual form, rather than just hearing their voices in my head.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Do it. Learn, practice, and never give up.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I’d love to be an archaeologist. I’m fascinated by how people used to live.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I always read them, but I never respond. Writing and reading are subjective. There is no way that everyone is going to love my books. If they do, I’m honored. But if they don’t, that’s their prerogative.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Marketing. I want people to read my books, but it’s really hard to toot my own horn.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on Book 3 in the Serendipity Series and I’m also writing a different series that I have to figure out what to do with. It’s about four wealthy, tortured men who use their money for good, and the women who bring them to their knees.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
How about an excerpt from Five Minutes to Love:
Aviva grabbed her ball, patted his arm, and aimed at the pins. Strike. She didn’t move. Jacob couldn’t figure out why she stood still, until her shoulders began to shake.
She was laughing. At him.
She turned around. Tears ran down her face. She inhaled. “I’m sorry. I swear I have no idea how it happened.”
“Sure you don’t.” As his grin widened, he bit the insides of his cheeks, folded his arms and did his best to look sad. “What a way to get a guy when he’s down.”
“You’re not down. You just challenged the bowling gods. They don’t like human challengers.”
“Of course. How else do you think we recreational bowlers manage it?” She stepped toward him. Her green eyes were wide with fake innocence.
“Exactly. You challenged them.” At this point, they were toe-to-toe. Her floral scent wafted around him. He refocused on her words.
“As you like to say, Aviva, technically, I challenged you.”
“Yes, but with bowling skill, so you actually challenged them too.”
She looked supremely satisfied with her circuitous bowling logic. Jacob had an urge to kiss her. Her lips were full and pink and tantalizingly close.
Where did your love of books come from?
I’ve always been a big reader and grew up reading a ton of books. Family members would gift them to me, my dad read to me and every week during the summer I’d go to the library and return with a huge stack of books to read.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I’ve met a lot of authors through social media and through the New Jersey Romance Writers chapter of Romance Writers of America. They’ve provided tremendous support, whether it’s through critiques of my work, encouragement or advice. Writing can be a lonely endeavor, and having access to people who understand what you’re doing is essential.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
She Never Thought She Could, But Then She Did
Where can your fans find you and follow?? I love talking to readers! Here’s where to find me:
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️