Meet Author Jennifer Conner

Posted on February 22, 2012


Have you ever met someone who blows glass beads blow torch? How cool is that! Seriously though… Actually I was being serious, that’s cool. I’d like to introduce you to yet another great author I happened upon.  I love holiday themed books and Jennifer seems to be doing it up right. Be sure to check out her work.

Tell us a little about yourself. I’m an award winning Northwest author and just completed my thirteenth manuscript. My stories are published by Books to Go Now. I write contemporary romance, historical romance, paranormal and romantica. My manuscript, Shot in the Dark, was a finalist in the Emerald City Opener, Cleveland, and Toronto RWA contests. I write for the news site, The Seattle Examiner, to help others accomplish their career goals in writing.

When you’re not writing, what do you do to relax and have fun? Spare time or not writing… I remember that. I support what I call my ‘boys in shorts’ my local professional football (or soccer, as some call it) teams. This does not make me a soccer mom! I also blow glass beads with a blow torch and keep up my vegetable garden.

Tell us something few know about you. I’m a little OCD about Phantom of the Opera. Love it! The ultimate angst hero.  And the new show/sequel Love Never Dies, the Phantom and Christine have a secret baby! How can any romance author not LOVE that?

What genre(s) do you like to read? I read everything. I think you need to if you want to be a rounded as an author. If you only read one thing, you won’t be able to add additional elements to your storytelling.

What is your favorite novel and why? The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. She weaves such amazing characters with description and passion. It’s not just the hero and heroine, you remember ALL the characters. Even the dog, Rollo, has his place. I love her characters because they are vulnerable and human and do REALLY stupid, human things. Again, it adds that depth. Perfection is no fun to read about because it doesn’t exist.

What was the last novel you read that you enjoyed and why? Chris Karlsen’s Journey in Time. This is the second in a series, and both books are great. Chris has a knack for weaving history in with highly passionate characters. Two knights killed at the same moment, one accidently. Their souls are stuck as ghosts. Great concept. I read someone told her, “Ghosts can’t be sexy”… well they are very wrong.

When did you begin writing? In junior high I started a very exciting and intriguing Starsky and Hutch fan fiction series. I got out of writing with raising kids and then got serious about seven years ago.

What genre(s) do you write? Contemporary romance, historical romance, paranormal and erotica. Novels, novellas, but mainly short stories.

Where do your concepts for your novels come from? Many places. My historicals, hearing all the recent news about the soldiers, it started my wondering, what if soldiers returning from the Crimean war had PTSD a hundred years ago. There would be no name or cure for it. The Christmas Horse came from a newspaper article.

How long does it typically take you to write a book? The short stories a month. Novels four to six months. I have a VERY hard-core critique group. I love the pain they send! If it gets past them, I figure my work is good to go.

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write? I am somewhere between a plotter and pantser. I have to know the beginning the middle and the end (especially the end!) I don’t write out a long plot outline, but do jot down the ideas. I have short attention span and forget the great ideas I came up with.

Tell us about your latest book? At Christmas, Kara Hayward makes a pack with her girlfriends She’s wearing a headband of mobile mistletoe until a man kisses her. The problem is it’s now Valentine’s Day.
Will Kara be stuck wearing the headband of shame the rest of the year, or will she find Mr. Right in a place she never expects?

If I can get it written, the next will be St. Patrick’s Day.

Tell us a little about your main and supporting characters of your current book? Kara’s working three jobs, one at the local mall for Make-me-a-bear. When a fight breaks out and spills into her store, she’s accidently sprayed in the face with pepper-spray by her ditsy co-worker.

Jack leaves his niece at Build-me-a-bear for a few hours of carefree shopping. He’s a busy police detective who doesn’t have time to date.

You just never know where you’ll find love.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination? A little of both. A friend gave me a shirt that said, ‘be careful or you’ll end up in one of my books’. So true.

Tell us who or what was the inspiration behind your latest book? The Mobile Mistletoe series I got the idea from a friend who bought a Christmas headband with the dangling mistletoe. She said, “Hey, this is mobile mistletoe!” I through, that’s a GREAT name for a series.

Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story? Depends. Probably more with the historicals. Settings are more a part of the story.

Where can readers purchase your latest book?

What other titles have you written? Valentine Surprise, Valentine Encounter, Cupcakes and Cupids, Do You Hear What I Hear?, New Year Resolution, The Duke and the Lost Night, The Reluctant Heir, Christmas with Carol, Auld Lang Sigh, Rush of Love, Fields of Gold, Christmas Chaos, The Christmas Horse, The Music of Christmas, All I Want for Christmas is You, Weddings First Chance, Kilt by Love

If you could change one thing about your writing career thus far, what would it be? I would have started writing seriously a long time before I did.

What do you find to be the best and worst part of being an author? Not enough time. It would be the perfect world to do it all day and stay up 24-7!

When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route? Small press.

How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

It’s a great feeling. I was more serious than the press. They went out of business, but I’m still here. You need to make sure that your work is the best it can be, and that is why it’s good to go through a press with editing. The process is very important.

What was your reaction the first time you saw your book in the bookstore? A few weeks ago my eBook was in the top 40 Kindle books. I was ahead of Stieg Larsson. I was very excited. My husband said, “who’s Stieg Larsson.” He just doesn’t understand.

Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author? I’ve grown a million miles. I think if you don’t learn something new everyday, it’s a shame. I hope I grow and learn until the day I die.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors? Read, learn ask question, find mentors. Join a GOOD and supportive critique group. It is essential. You need others to read your work and tell you what is wrong with it and how it can be better. I think this is the problem with some self-publishing. You need to ask yourself, is this my BEST work? Is it ready for others to read? If you’ve only had your mom and your best friend read your work, it may not be ready.

What do you have on the burner for the next year? Many. I am still working on my historical series, The Regimental Heroes. The Wounded Nobleman is next to go up. The Mobile Mistletoe series. My full-length, Shot in the Dark.

How can readers reach you?,

Do you have anything else you’d like to add? Thanks so much for the opportunity!

Dee here. Thank you, Jennifer, for taking time out of your day to tell us a little about yourself and your books. We’re all read-aholics here and I look forward to your future works. Come on back any time.