Wednesday, May 17, 2017

SHE WANTS IT ALL by Jessica Calla Interview & Giveaway

NEW RELEASE! SHE WANTS IT ALL (Book 3, Sheridan Hall Series)

Author: Jessica Calla
Genre: NA Romance
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Publisher: BookFish Books
Cover Designer: Anita B. Carroll, Race-Point US

About She Wants it All...

Happy to sing cover songs with his band and float through New Jersey University with little to no effort, Dave Novak spends the first week of college partying. Then he meets Maggie Patrinski. Performing on stage in front of hundreds is easy for Dave, but the mere thought of Maggie sends his heart racing and turns him into a bumbling idiot. Even so, he can’t get her out of his mind.

Maggie’s not exactly thrilled when her roommate sets her up with Second Floor Dave, the hottie with a reputation. Not only has she just had her heart broken, but she’s vying for a competitive summer internship and studying to become a vet. She doesn’t have time for guys and isn’t interested in falling in love, especially when she may be moving across the country for the summer.

But as Maggie gets to know Dave, his charm wins her over and she falls hard and fast. The problem? Maggie has goals, Dave doesn’t. Maggie studies, Dave doesn’t. Maggie wants it all, Dave only wants her. With their summer plans up in the air and past mistakes creeping back into their lives, their future together is uncertain. The only thing they’re sure of is that when they’re together, they’re better.


Other Books In the Sheridan Hall Series...

SHE LAUGHS IN PINK (Book 1, Sheridan Hall Series)

SHE RUNS AWAY (Book 2, Sheridan Hall Series)

About the Author...

Jessica Calla is a contemporary romance, new adult, and women's fiction author who moonlights during the day as an attorney. If she's not writing, lawyering, or parenting, you'll most likely find her at the movies, scrolling through her Twitter feed, or gulping down various forms of caffeine (sometimes all three at once).

Jessica is a member of Romance Writers of America, involved in the Contemporary, Young Adult, and New Jersey Chapters, and is a member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. A Jersey girl through and through, she resides in the central part of the state with her husband, two sons, and dog.


1. When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer?

I always enjoyed reading, but the thought didn’t enter my mind that I could write a book until I was older. Being a writer seemed like such a daunting task, meant for people smarter and fancier than me! I didn’t find the courage to start writing until I hit a landmark birthday and thought, “It’s now or never!”

2. How long does it take you to write a book?

That depends. The Love Square and She Laughs in Pink took me over a year to write each, mostly because I was new and was writing on instinct. I barfed out those early drafts fairly quickly but spent many months revising, revising, revising. The first drafts of those books look nothing like the final products.I like to think that I now have a little more knowledge and experience, which translates to more efficiency. I organize my thoughts before I start the draft, although I’m very much a “pantser” as opposed to a “plotter.”

3. What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I have a full time day job and two kids, so my writing almost exclusively happens between the hours of nine and midnight, after everyone goes to sleep. Time is my biggest challenge with writing. I wish I had daytime hours to write, but I never seem to manage it. I make it work as best I can.

4. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Hmm. I guess I have more of a routine than quirks. I like to be at my dining room table, with a folded up blanket under my butt, a can or seltzer with a straw (or coffee if I have a deadline!), and a lit aromatic candle. Usually, as soon as I sit to start working, my dog bothers me to go out. She has me trained to give her treats in exchange for her settling down. We have a very dysfunctional relationship J

5. How do books get published?

The industry seems a bit wonky to me. My advice to writers looking to get published is this:Start your book. Finish your book. Revise your book. This is a lot more difficult than it sounds. So many people start but can’t finish, or finish and then aren’t open to revising. Also, publishers hate to see manuscripts front-loaded with backstory. As great as your backstory may be, make the reader care about your characters first and then weave in the backstory later. It’s hard to explain, but just because your mind is full of some big, complicated drama in the character’s life, doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be on the page. So before thinking about publishing options, revise your manuscript and then give it to people to read. Start with people who love you, but then find “beta readers” to give you an honest critique. You don’t have to take their advice if you don’t want to, but often an unbiased reader can tell you where you can improve your manuscript. Then, write a kick-butt query and figure out which publishing path you’d like to pursue: traditional publishing, small press publishing, or indie/self-publishing. Each path has pros and cons.

6. Where do you get your information or your ideas for your books?

Ideas come to me from everywhere! Talk to different people. Ask questions. If something fascinates you, think about using it in a book. For example, at a work party one of my coworkers was talking about how she was a debutante and had a debutante ball. I had no idea that this was a thing in modern society. I asked a million questions and did a google search. In my writer’s mind, I’m thinking, “This would make a great YA story…where can I take it?”

7. When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I was old. I had babies, a husband, and a career already. I hate talking about age! I will say this: When I start to regret my late start, I remind myself that there’s no way I would have had the drive or discipline to be an author back in my 20s. I’m glad I started as an older adult because if I’d started younger, I’d have given up.

8. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Most of the time, I’m working or running around with the kids. I enjoy going to the movies (my dream job is to work in a movie theater) and reading. Story-based activities are my favorite, I guess! I’m a homebody, so I’m happy being home and spending time with myself and my family.

9. What does your family think of your writing?

At first, I was nervous that my family would disown me for writing romance. But then, honestly, I decided I didn’t care. The family that loved me before still does (I think!), and they seem proud that I’m doing something that I love.

10. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

I was shocked to learn that writing is such a feat of mental strength. Getting the words down, sharing them, listening to constructive criticism about them, having them rejected time and time again by agents and publishers, and then the edits. Oh, the edits! During edits, I always doubt myself. You have to be able to put on your big girl or boy author pants and GET IT DONE!

11. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I’ve written seven books (with a couple half-written), three screenplays, two novellas, and tons of blog posts! It’s so hard to pick a favorite. It’s like choosing between your babies. I love them each for different reasons!

12. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

One thing that always helps me is to follow the three-act structure. Look online for this and take heed! If your story is too long, too short, lacking focus, or seems too slow or too fast, go back to the basic three-act structure and apply it to your manuscript to see if that helps you get back on track. Also, know the reader expectations for your genre. For example, a 200K word young adult novel is probably too long. A 45K word fantasy novel is probably too short. Even if you can’t afford to join writer’s groups or take classes in the craft or the business, follow writers on social media and you’ll be surprised at how much you learn. I’ve also found that the writing community is one of the most generous groups around! There’s always someone willing to help.

13. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I LOVE to hear from readers, both on social media and through reviews! It motivates me like nothing else. Mostly readers say nice things. I’ve had a couple negative reviews where I’ve been shouty-caps yelled at, but for the most part, people seem to like my stories. Makes me warm and fuzzy inside. : )

14. Do you like to create books for adults?

YES! Very much so! I’d love it to be my full-time mission: Create books for adults! Unfortunately, for me, my books don’t generate enough cash to pay the bills, so my day job is necessary. But someday…. (*wistfully looks to the sky and dreams…)

15. What do you think makes for a good story?

I love a story that makes me ache for the characters. As a romance writer, I love a happily ever after. At the same time, if I close a book with tears running down my face, that’s a good story to me! I don’t need crazy plots or fancy words. Connect me with a character and I’m all in!

16. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I wanted to be a dancer, or a dance teacher, or dance on a cruise ship. How I ended up a lawyer, I’ll never know J

17. What would you like my readers to know?

I would like your readers to know that romance is more than swashbuckling pirates and Dukes and Duchesses. Of course, those books are fun, but readers might enjoy a contemporary romance in the new adult genre too! There are so many good stories out there. Keep reading! Sometimes immersion into a fictional world can keep you sane in the real world. J

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting! I enjoyed doing the interview :)