It’s been a while since I’ve done an author interview, and I’m excited to welcome Jennifer Wells to the blog today to answer some fun questions. She is the author of two novels, Magick Charm, published in 2010, and Practically Dreaming, which just came out last week.
In a Zodiac-based world, finding a mate is easy. Falling in love is the hard part.
Astrology influences almost everything, from career choice to where people live. Even romantic matches are based solely on astrological compatibility and determined by the infallible Council of Venus.
Animal psychic Tierra has every reason to trust the Council—save one. Her match with fellow Virgo, Evander, works better on paper than in person. But she stubbornly hangs on, believing their relationship will grow and develop, all the while trying to rationalize her feelings for Lachlan.
Veterinarian and Reiki master, Lachlan, hides a secret, which has kept him single for more than two years. This Pisces dreams of a happily ever after with Tierra, but believes it’s impossible for him.
Tierra and Lachlan must confront their doubts, differences, and society’s belief in the Council. Will they defy the odds and choose each other? Does astrological certainty eclipse the chance to fall in love?
Pretty cover and interesting blurb. I’m hooked! And now on to our questions!
Q: Where were you born? Are you the kind of person who likes to move around a lot, or do you prefer to live in one place?
A: I was born in Reading, Pennsylvania (yep, that’s the Reading Railroad from Monopoly!). Since I got married, my husband and I have moved ten times, but I much prefer to stay in one place! We’ve been happily settled in Northern Virginia for eight years.
Q: What sparked your interest in writing? How long have you been writing?
A: I’ve always loved books! When I was a kid, I would create short stories – usually tragic romances or horror tales. After college, I tried my hand at a full-length novel writing with my best friend.
Q: What provided the inspiration for your novel, Practically Dreaming?
A: I love books almost as much as I love animals, so it was a lot of fun to add plenty of four-footed characters to this book! What could be better than adorable dogs and cats… except being able to understand what they’re thinking? My main character is an animal psychic as well as a vet. Sometimes she doesn’t always appreciate knowing her pets’ thoughts, especially when they don’t like the guy she’s dating!
Q: How long did it take you to finish it? How many drafts did you write before you were satisfied?
A: I wrote the first draft in about two or three months. Editing took about five or six passes through the book before I was satisfied with it. I’m a Virgo, which means I’m a perfectionist! It’s always difficult for me to declare something perfect enough.
Q: And congrats on Practically Dreaming launching CMP’s new signature line, Sabian Symbols! How did you approach that project?
A: Since the Sabian Symbols line is inspired by astrology, I relied quite a bit on my favorite astrologer’s help. Luckily, that’s my husband! He always pointed me in the right direction when I bounced ideas off of him. I wanted my characters to act according to their zodiac signs as much as possible. I also added in as many astrology-driven details as I could – some are obvious, but there are some more subtle details only a student of astrology might notice.
Q: How would you describe your path toward publication?
A: It took several years. I couldn’t find a home for my first novel, but the second one was picked up rather quickly. I received The Email while I was on the road on the way to visit my parents for Christmas. It was the best holiday gift I’ve ever received!
Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
A: Never ever give up! It can be a long, difficult process to find the right publisher, but it’s all worth it. Start writing a blog too. It’s a great way to work on your writing, and it’s one of the ways you’ll reach out to your audience once you are published.
Q: Name a few authors who have inspired you and describe why.
A: Stephen King had famously received dozens of rejection letters, but still persevered. He’s the perfect example of what a writer can accomplish by believing in himself. I also love Diana Gabaldon’s work. I admire the way she weaves historical research in her novels and the way her characters become so real.
Q: What are you currently writing?
A: I’m returning to the world of my first book, Magick Charm. I’m writing a short story mystery about the sassy police officer, Megan, and a full-length novel in which the quirky twin, Rachel, finally finds the right guy.
Q: Coffee, tea, or hard liquor? (or all three?)
A: Coffee is necessary to the safety of everyone around me! But I have a tiki bar in my house, so I love to kick back on the weekend with a Mai Tai!
Q: What books are you currently reading or on your to-be-read list?
A: What’s not on my list? I have a pile a mile high, and yet I keep buying new books! A Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison and Double Dexter by Jeff Lindsay are at the top of my TBR list. I’m also looking forward to the next Pendergast novel from Preston and Child and the final novel in the Just Breathe trilogy by Kendall Grey.
Q: And now for the bonus fluff question: If you could be a character in your one of your favorite novels, which character would you be and why?
A: Claire from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. I admit, the eighteenth century world is less than glamorous and certainly dangerous, but the hero, Jamie, is well worth it!
Jennifer Wells has been writing since she was in middle school. When she discovered romance novels in junior high, she knew she wanted to write them someday. Her writing remained a hobby while she studied biology and forensic DNA science. She worked as a molecular biologist and published cancer research before finally leaving the lab and taking up her laptop full time.
She currently lives in Northern Virginia with John, her husband of sixteen years. John is a professional tarot card reader and astrologer. John and Jen have three children who happen to be cats: Josephine, Morgana Madison, and Luna. Jo is a beautiful black Siamese mix who rules the house. MoMo is a possessive Scottish Fold who loves to knead Jen’s hair. Luna is the baby, an affectionate Scottish Fold who thinks her name is “Cute.”
Jen’s website, blog, and contact information can be found at www.jennifer-wells.com.