Thanks for joining me today on Night Owl Romance.
Tammie King of NOR: To get us started can you please start by telling us a little about what you are working on or have coming out?
Jenni Holbrook: I just turned in a short story that will come out October 2010. It is a paranormal romance titled I DIDN'T HEAR ANYTHING about a young woman who partners with her dead grandmother to land the perfect man except a pesky raccoon and nasty robber keep getting in her way.
I'm also currently working a book titled LEGACY OF LIES which is about a young woman who has believed her entire life that her mother was murdered by her uncle, except she finds out her mother is alive and well and living 60 miles away. She then teams up with her ex-flame to put all the pieces of her past together hoping the truth will set her free if it doesn't destroy her first.
Tammie King of NOR: Could you please tell us a little about yourself?
Jenni Holbrook: Whenever anyone asks this question I always lead off with the fact that I am a hockey mom times three. My daughter currently plays D3 college ice hockey and I have two boys who play travel. The older boy also plays for his HS JV hockey team. We average about 170 hockey games a season. It's a full time job.
I have a degree in Business Education and have taught HS and currently teach creative writing at a place called Writers and Books of Rochester. I also travel to various writer conferences where I give workshops. For years I taught dance part-time and have worked as product and sales trainer all while crafting my next romantic suspense novel.
Tammie King of NOR: Who or what influenced you when you wrote this book? Did you have a CD, Songs, environment, etc?
Jenni Holbrook: Everyday life influences me. I am a people watcher not a people interacter. Or at least that is what my family says about me. I much prefer to stand in the corner and watch than participate. I study my surroundings. For example, the other day the sun was shinning on my front yard, but when I looked out the back, there was this dark, almost black cloud hovering over my house. That became a setting in my current manuscript.
My husband cracks his knuckles. It drives me crazy. I gave that quirk to my hero Travis Brown in Jane Doe's Return and it drives Shauna, the heroine nuts.
The old saying "be careful what you say and do it just might wind up in my book" is very true in my case.
I also tend to watch the news and get a lot of ideas from there. I'm always thinking. My characters are always taking to me.
Tammie King of NOR: Can you please give us a sneak peek into the book?
Jenni Holbrook: Here is a sneak peek into Jane Doe's Return, my latest release:
Somehow the killer just upped the ante, making this even more personal.
"What does he know?"
Soft sobs fell from her lips. "He's close," she whispered.
"Shauna." He took her by the shoulders and shook her. "What does he know?"
Abruptly, she stood and started to pace.
"Come on. What's going on inside that head of yours?"
She stopped and glared at him. "He has my personal thoughts about who I think he might be. My profile of him. How I've gone about looking for him most of my life."
"Whoa, there. Hold up. Rewind that." He cracked his neck. "Most of your life? As in years?"
"Years." She stared him down, as if she was daring him to say something. "Those journals. He might be able to use them against us."
"What is in them that I don't know? What are you keeping from me?" He took out her suitcase and placed it on the bed, dumping the clothes on the floor in it.
"I've jotted down what we've been up to." She placed her hands on her hips. "What are you doing?"
"Packing.what does it look like?" He held the suitcase open and in one swift motion, he dumped the things lining the top of the dresser into the suitcase. Her birth control pills didn't go unnoticed.
"And just where am I going?" Much to his relief, the confidence in her voice had come back.
"To my apartment." He turned to her. Stunned didn't describe her gaping jaw. He nodded. "No way in hell do I want a lecture from my mother if she ever found out I let you stay here after this."
Tammie King of NOR: Please tell us what you have planned next?
Jenni Holbrook: My goal is to finish LEGACY OF LIES by the end of the year and submit to agent. After that I plan on going back to two dark suspense books that I wrote a couple of years ago and cleaning them up.
Tammie King of NOR: What kind of research did you do for this book? Did you enjoy the research process?
Jenni Holbrook: Every book is different. For my State Trooper Series I hung out with a lot of State Troopers. Actually, I have two very close friends who are Troopers. If you ask them, they are my inspiration for the books.
I love to read and learn, so research is always fun for me. When I narrow my topic down, I tend to try to find as many books on the subject as possible and read them, both fiction and non-fiction. One book I was working a few years ago dealt with Gaslighting so I rented and old movie with the title. Very interesting.
Tammie King of NOR: What would you like to tell your readers?
Jenni Holbrook: Thank you. Without all of you I wouldn't be published and continue to be published.
Tammie King of NOR: Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
Jenni Holbrook: I did. It was both good and bad. At first, I did everything everyone in my critique group told me to. Problem with that, I lost my focus and my voice. The book became a hodge-podge of my critique partners.
Today, I occasionally "critique" with other writers. Mostly I use readers once my draft is done. They tend to focus more on story and characters than other writers do.
Tammie King of NOR: Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
Jenni Holbrook: Here is a sneak peek at my October 2010 release I DIDN'T HEAR ANYTHING:
She ignored him for the moment as she scooted past him. She pushed the tipped over cans aside. "Crap! That cake took me forever to make. I promised little Nicky Dalton I'd bring it to school for his Halloween party." She kicked the open freezer. "How the heck did those mongrels get in there?" But she knew the raccoons couldn't have gotten in the refrigerator without a little help, and dead women didn't eat cake. Damn. When she'd offered to give Jake McNally, Owen's nephew, any sweets he wanted to help with her little plan, she hadn't meant the cake in the freezer. Actually, she had specifically told him that was off limits. He wasn't even to look in the damn freezer.
Owen reached from behind her and moved the freezer top up and down. "That's a very good question," he said, before closing the freezer. "That top is heavy. Too heavy for a raccoon to open it. Could you have left it open?"
She could have, but she didn't and neither did the ghost breathing down her back. Courtney pictured Jake's guilty face covered in a combination of chocolate and green slop.
"Maybe unlatched, but not open like this." She was going to have to have a talk with that young man. Maybe you shouldn't have brought that kid into your plan. Maybe you should just tell Owen he's your soul mate. You never know, he might be more receptive than you think.
Right. Maybe you should just mind your own business, Grandma.
"I noticed your garage door was open when I came home, earlier. When did you close it?"
"Maybe a half hour ago, or so." A warm sensation filtered through her bloodstream. He noticed something, and that was better than nothing, considering he'd been ignoring close contact with her ever since she'd moved back. A stolen glance or two, but that was it.
Tammie King of NOR: What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
Jenni Holbrook: My website is www.jenniholbrook.com.
On the website are my latest releases and information about my teaching, workshops, and scheduled events.
I also have a blog www.jenniholbrook-author.blogspot.com which is where I rant about this and that.
I am also the Rochester Writing Examiner where I write articles about everything writing related http://www.examiner.com/x-22536-Rochester--Writing-Examiner
Tammie King of NOR: When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step?
Jenni Holbrook: My local RWA Group -- Central New York Romance Writers. This group of people held my hand and encouraged me every step of the way. They still do.
Tammie King of NOR: What was your first published work and when was it published?
Jenni Holbrook: My first published novel REKINDLED came out February 2009 with The Wild Rose Press.
Tammie King of NOR: What is the best and worst advice you have ever received?
Jenni Holbrook: The worst advice I ever received was to find out what was hot and write that. Um, no. What is hot today won't be by the time you finish the book. Besides, if you don't have the passion for it, it will show up in the writing. I
have received a lot of sound advice over the years, but nothing ever rang truer to me than when I took a retreat from Bob Mayer (www.bobmayer.org). It's hard to pick out one thing from his many lessons. Besides what he teaches, which will benefit any writer at any stage of their career both published and unpublished, he was able to help me focus in on what my fears were, what was holding me back, and how to go beyond that.
Tammie King of NOR: Do you outline your books or just start writing?
Jenni Holbrook: I'm a plotter. I'm an outline drama queen. My office is filled with charts and graphs and all sorts of goodies. But it's not a do it all before you write kind of thing. It happens in stages while I write the book.
Tammie King of NOR: Who is your perfect hero? And why?
Jenni Holbrook: I love the deeply flawed, yet deeply devoted man.
Tammie King of NOR: Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet?
Jenni Holbrook: Actually, I wrote it. I just need to fix it. A thriller.
Thank you for this opportunity!/strong>