I am thrilled that the Words at Home featured Indie Author for May is Jessica Crawford Vernold, author of The Keeper. I reviewed The Keeper last week and just loved it.
Being completely awesome Jessica has offered to give 2 ebooks away. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post or my review of The Keeper to be entered (or leave a comment on both for 2 chances to win!).
Bonnie: Jessica thank you so much for taking the time to stop by Words at Home and chat! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself to start with? Who is the girl behind the pen (or computer)?
Jessica: I am a wife and mother of four and a former elementary teacher. I have a passion for stories and am a bibliophile.
Bonnie: Speaking of behind the pen, what do you write on? Are you an old fashioned pen and paper kind of girl or are you electronic all the way?
Jessica: I am a fan of efficiency so I use my laptop and, of course, I back everything up. I can’t imagine what it used to be like for writers before modern technology.
Bonnie: As a mother of 4 when do you find the time to write? Do you have a favourite place to write in?
Jessica: I am a night owl and am most inspired at night. That is also when my house is quiet and I have the most time. I like to write in bed on my laptop.
Bonnie: Can you talk a little about your writing process?
Jessica: Well, admittedly I think I suffer from ADD so I can’t proclaim to be organized. I don’t really plan anything out but instead like to start with an idea and see where it takes me. My writing tends to be character driven so I get to know my characters in my head first. This does make for a lot more editing, though and sometimes I have to completely back track and omit and entire portion and start over.
Bonnie: As a self-published author do you have any advice for other aspiring authors? Would you have done anything differently knowing what you know now about self-publishing?
Jessica: My best advice is to believe in yourself, be thick skinned and never give up. Trying to obtain an agent which is the first step in getting published is very difficult and feels down right impossible. It still has not happened for me and many like me. Being open minded to alternatives like self publishing is important. There are draw backs with that process and it may not be your first choice but you ultimately have to decide what is most important to you and take the initiative yourself. I will likely be self publishing the sequel to The Keeper as well as a third. That does not mean that I have given up sending query letters.
Bonnie: Ok, so let’s talk about your book! Where did your inspiration for The Keeper come from?
Jessica: I love a great ghost story, angels and a good romance. So combining those elements was the goal. My husband said it should be spooky and I wanted it to be romantic. My daughter was the inspiration for the main character.
Bonnie: And what about Zeke? Because he is definitely swoon-worthy! How did you come up with this perfect character?
Jessica: I love angels and I always have. Even though it is fun to read about dangerous monsters turned romantic hero, I wanted a classic romantic hero that also had a supernatural element. He is powerful yet fundamentally good.
Bonnie: One thing that I really appreciated about The Keeper was that Zeke wasn’t afraid to tell Kaylee when he believed she was being mistreated. Can you talk a bit about your decision to include this dialogue that so many authors choose to ignore? Do you have any thoughts as to why it is trendy for male characters to exhibit controlling and stalkerish tendencies?
Jessica: Zeke is an arch angel so he has to be good to the core. Aside from that he is her acting guardian angel. That was the drive behind it. I felt this was how a guardian angel would handle the situation. It was one more way to solidify his true intent and character. The reason I think there is a trend that seems to place the female protagonist in controlling relationships with controlling male leads is that it provides that element of danger. I enjoy reading those types of stories too. It’s that classic bad boy appeal. But I just was not going that direction with Zeke. Azza is another story and there will be more of him in the sequel as per my daughter’s request.
Bonnie: So what’s next? I’m not quite ready to leave Kaylee and Zeke yet – can we expect a sequel?
Jessica: The sequel is in it’s final stages and will likely be out in the fall. The working title is The Sender.
Learn more about Jessica and The Keeper at readthekeeper.com
Don't forget to leave Jessica some love in the comments!