Today we’re sitting down with indie author Jess Carpenter, her social media links will be down at the end of the interview so if you want, you can check her out and she might just be your next favourite author. Anyway, let’s get into the interview.
Tell me a little bit about your book. Let’s focus on your characters. Who are they? What are they doing in your novel?
My book is a romantic comedy that happens at a fictional college named West University, which is located in Northern California. Les is the main character, and the book follows her throughout her first semester of freshman year. Right when she walks into the last class of her first day, she’s hit with a blast from her past- her ex-boyfriend, Ben. She teams up with her friend Candy to get away from Ben, but then meets Candy’s twin brother, Carter! He’s way too cute for his own good, and he whispers sweet nothings in Spanish in Les’ ear, so of course, she falls hard.
It’s a really fun, light-hearted book about finding yourself in that formative first year of college. Les falls in love, grieves has fun, cries, goes to college parties, and ends up right where she’s meant to be at the end of the story. What’s special about this story is that Les actually talks to the reader (you) as her studio audience. So, she will call out common romance tropes and talk about herself making stupid decisions, but she still hopes you root for her throughout the book.
What and who inspired you to write this book?
I absolutely love romance and comedy, so that was really what inspired me to write this story. I also grew up in Northern California, so I wanted to pay homage to my old stomping grounds. Reading contemporary romance opened me up to writing in this genre, and I credit my work to all the awesome indie romance authors that I read and love.
My favourite authors are Elle Kennedy, Kennedy Ryan, Colleen Hoover, and Whitney G. However, my books are slightly less-steamy than theirs!
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I’m a mom of two young kids, so my schedule is pretty crazy! I usually write very late at night (like midnight!). I also tend to write in bursts, like a full chapter or two in one night, and then I won’t touch the book again for a week. One of the many perks of being a parent!
If you had to give one piece of advice to a newbie writer, what would it be?
Learn everything you can about the craft. Absorb everything given to you. It’s so important to constantly be learning and growing, especially when just starting out. Read books of fiction, books on the craft of writing, resources on the internet—absorb as much information as you can.
When did you write your first book/story and how old were you?
I was 21! My first book is actually a paranormal romance, and I’m not sure I’ll ever release it, haha. But, the characters are adorable (if you can’t tell, I write character-based novels!) and it really opened me up to the writing process. It was much harder than I had originally thought!
Do you only write for books or do you have plans to possibly branch out into writing for other mediums?
I’m a bit different than other indie authors possibly because I write for a living! I started out in SEO writing, and then I transferred over to content writing. Now, you’ll find me as a writer for multiple parenting sites, and most of my bylines are creative non-fiction or op-eds.
Do you have any shout outs to any fellow writers or writing groups?
I’m a huge fan of the site Scribophile! I met my writing group on there (and even though they are all men and I’m the only romance writer), I definitely recommend getting on there for detailed critiques.
Thanks for having me interview, Rohan!
Thanks for the interview, Jess! Jess Carpenter is an author, wife, and mother of two. She enjoys long games of hide-and-seek, eating endless dark chocolate, and bingeing reality TV while writing. Her latest novel, Les is more is available here. She’s active on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and you can check her blog posts at her website here. Make sure to check her out!
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Have a great day,