Win a copy of FOR KICKS by Jenna Bayley-Burke (ebook)
We’re excited to have Jenna Bayley-Burke on Guilty Pleasures.
We hope you enjoy Slick’s interview with Jenna as much as we did!
Slick: First off, welcome to Guilty Pleasures! I have to admit, I have a little bit of a fan girl crush on you. So, imagine me jumping up and down and waving my arms over my head because I’m really excited to be interviewing you!
Jenna: What? Really? I should have gotten dressed up or something. I’m all schlumpadinka over here.
Slick: What inspired you to begin writing and how long have you been at it?
Jenna: I hate when stories get it wrong. I still want to rewrite Cinderella. Since I can remember, I’ve made up alternate endings (and middles, and beginnings) for stories. I always said that someday I’d write a book. But it wasn’t until a health scare that I got serious about it. Now or never and all that.
Slick: I enjoy book covers a lot. But, my absolute two favorite covers of yours are from Compromising Positions and from Drive Me Crazy. Don’t get me wrong, I love covers with sexy male bodies on them but something about these two covers just jumps out at me. I noticed as I was preparing for this interview that they are similar in that we see two pairs of legs (male and female) but not much else. I’m curious if these covers were shot by the same photographer? Do you have a say in which covers are picked?
Jenna: Thanks! Those are my favorites as well. I found the image for Compromising Positions on a stock photo site, and I’m guessing the cover artist had similar luck with Drive Me Crazy. You’ll love the new cover they did for For Kicks. They wanted something more eye catching for the print edition…more legs. I think I am a leg girl.
With my current publisher, I get input on the covers. I like to think I have veto power, though that’s not contractual, more of a respect thing. Sometimes, we’ll go through a half-dozen tries before something starts to gel.
Slick: I loved the road trip aspect of DMC, have you taken a similar trip that inspired you to write this book?
Jenna: Yes, but my trip was not sexy. Plus, we had a very angry cat with us that we kept smuggling into hotel rooms. And it was unforgivably hot. The driving in bikinis thing is real, a must without air conditioning. My best friend went to dental school in Nebraska, so cross-country drives became routine then. That’s actually where the line about having a summer route and a winter route came from. Most of the events in the book were inspired by billboard signs.
Slick: I know a lot of authors have other authors at critique partners or just someone to bounce ideas off of, do you have any and who are they? If not, is there someone else you use or do you strictly write solo?
Jenna: There are some fun author groups out there, both for critiquing and plotting. When I first started I had two great critique partners. Then one decided to go to law school and the other became a tri-athlete! I’ve tried on others since, but it becomes a timing issue. Sometimes you don’t have time to let someone else go through it before your editor needs it, and that trust builds with an editor. Right now I’m working with a local group where we all write different things. Linda Aicher writes dystopian shape-shifters and BDSM, Cassiel Knight writes paranormals, I’m schmexy contemporary, and our aspiring gals are small-town romance and horror.
Slick: Speaking of other authors, do you read other romance authors? Who are some of your favorites and why?
Jenna: Oh, I live for romance novels. I consider them as necessary as vitamins for a healthy life. At least for me. My favorite is Vicki Lewis Thompson. I really like category romance, especially the RIVA/Presents line, which is where I got my start.
Slick: What is a typical day like in the life of Jenna Bayley-Burke?
Jenna: There is this plan where my husband waits to leave for work until I am out of the shower. He seems to have forgotten this plan because I usually get at least one boy talking to me through the bathroom door, or they send the princess in to fetch me. Good times.
I’m downstairs with wet hair before 7, to make sure the boys eat something and get on the bus. Some mornings the princess has preschool (sweet!) so we have to find her something to wear. She’s four, and it is a fashion show. Totally my fault since I am her personal shopper.
Carpool, preschool drop-off, a quick errand and back home for work. Today I was on the ball and online in record time. Though, as I am doing this interview I keep thinking I have vertigo, but no…it’s from sitting on this exercise ball cross-legged. My chair has been giving me backaches, so I changed it up. Might need to change it back.
When carpool returns the girl, we’ll lunch and then it is reading and nap time. For her. If she sleeps, I go back to work. When the boys get home it is homework and chores, then a quick dinner because we have to return books at the library before taekwondo. Princess plays in the kid room while I elliptical through an episode of Chopped. Then it’s home for showers and bedtime. And back to work for me. I try to put in a full day, every day. I work those eight hours around everything else, and one of these days, it will seem easy.
Slick: Any upcoming projects you’d like to share with us today?
Jenna: I just got word that my Caribbean set holiday story is a go. Sailing, sunshine, and sex on the beach. I can’t wait!
Slick: Starting with this interview, I’m asking a new question of each author? Do you prefer to read e-books or “real” books? Why?
Jenna: It depends? I tend to read fiction in e, and non-fiction in print or audio. Though, I have started buying reference books in e because they are searchable. In my perfect world, if you buy a hardback, the e version would be included.
Slick: Last but not least, what is your Guilty Pleasure?
Jenna: Reality television. But, I’ve decided it’s okay as long as I watch it while on the elliptical or treadmill.
Slick: A last word, I have to admit I was really excited about getting to review Drive Me Crazy because Compromising Positions is one of my all time favorite reads. After reading Drive Me Crazy, it’s right up there with it. I love the main characters in these two books so very much. I also have to thank you because after reading Compromising Positions, I started taking yoga (not the kind in the book but it did inspire me to try) and it has changed my life. So, in effect thanks to you and your book…you changed my life. Thank you so much for being with here at Guilty Pleasures today; it has been an honor to interview you and to review your fantastic new release!
Jenna: Oh. My. Lands. Thank you! That’s awesome. I absolutely fell in love with David from Compromising Positions. I consider him my muse now, trying to get any other hero to measure up. (Ha!) They all do in some ways, but thank you so much for thinking Xavier is on the same level. They are very different, so knowing he resonated in the same way means a lot.
And yoga is amazing. My favorites are the ones with meditation at the end.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read the book and review it, and then like it enough to create interview questions. I truly appreciate the effort, and I’m glad the books could brighten your day J
College confused me. I went in determined to become an orthopedic surgeon, and came out with a triple major – Psychology, Religious Studies, and English. Thank goodness organic chemistry mystified me, or my life might have turned out completely different. Or not. I always wanted to write, it just seemed like a far away goal – a someday not a today.
After managing department stores and executive recruiting, I got lucky and had my first of three children. After two years of fertility treatments, I wanted to be with him as much as I could and opted to stay home. I started writing then, and developing recipes for magazines like Cooking Light and Better Homes & Gardens.
After my second son was born I had a health crisis, and as I lay in the ER I worried about what my boys would make of the things I’d left behind. Stories started and never finished, notes on novels never written, not to mention the rolls of film I’d yet to develop and put in albums. Grateful for life and high on pain meds, I was making some brave decisions. Like writing a book in a month for National Novel Writers Month (NaNoWriMo).
That book (after much editing) became my first romance novel, JUST ONE SPARK, published by Mills & Boon in 2006. COOKING UP A STORM followed, as have a series of single-title romances from Samhain Publishing (HER CINDERELLA COMPLEX, PAR FOR THE COURSE, COMPROMISING POSITIONS, PRIDE & PASSION, PRIVATE SCANDAL, FOR KICKS, and DRIVE ME CRAZY).
COMPROMISING POSITIONS will always hold a special place in my heart, not because it sat atop the Amazon Bestseller list for two weeks, but because it was the story I was writing when I got sick, the half-finished book I worried my boys would find and wonder why I hadn’t completed it. Nothing compares to showing my kids that when you have a dream you chase it, catch it, hold on with both hands, and never let go.
Visit Jenna’s website
Which do you prefer, Road Trips or Flying?
One lucky commenter will win a copy of FOR KICKS (ebook). Winner will be selected using random.org on 6/5.
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