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Q&A with Jenna Bayley-Burke

Jenna, Thank-you for agreeing to an author interview today.

Can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

Can I make it up? I’m much more interesting when I play make-believe. By day I cook, clean, and carpool. When the kids are sleeping, I can do anything, at least on the page.

How long have you been writing?

Forever? I’ve always written, but I got serious about it in late 2004 following a health scare.

What is your writing process like?

Evolving. I sold my first book before I realized I didn’t know how to write. I can tell a great story and that carries me through (so far!), but being a good writer is another task entirely. So, I’ve been trying on different techniques to find what works for me.

Can you tell us about your newest release Pride and Passion?

I was watching Beauty and the Beast with my boys while cleaning out old college files. I couldn’t seem to let go of any of my notes and papers on Jane Austen and her stories — Elizabeth Bennett and her preconceived notions, Emma Woodhouse and her sheltered devotion to her father. The Beast roared from the television and the boys demanded it be turned off, and so while they turned their attentions to Hot Wheels, my mind spun a story that combined Beauty & the Beast, Emma and Pride & Prejudice…with a sexy spin.

Do you have any other books releasing this year?

Um…yeah. Pride & Passion was the last book I wrote pre-baby. I’m inching back in the game. So, not yet, but hopefully we’ll get one on the schedule soon. I just need to finish writing it.

What are you currently working on?

Shattered Expectations. It takes a bankrupt heiress and the corporate raider who ruined her family, and exposes all their dirty little secrets.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?

Anywhere…MSN.com had a headline about exploding toads and WHAM, they found their way into Par for the Course. Thank goodness there was a golf course with a few water hazards, or it might have been awkward. Good Morning America ran a piece about new exercise routines – aerobic striptease, couples yoga…and then The View had someone on talking about using Kama Sutra to reenergize your sex life. The two ideas blended together in my why-won’t-this-child-sleep-through-the-night haze and VOILA, Compromising Positions had a Sensational Sex yoga class — couples yoga to ease the more demanding postures from the Kama Sutra.

As an author, you must be an avid reader. What books do you enjoy reading?

Who are your auto-buy authors? Lori Foster, Lori Wilde, HelenKay Dinmon, Lucy Monroe, Jill Shalvis…I have a serious book addiction. I always need a Happily Ever After. Life is too short for me to be worrying about characters once I close the book.

What books are on your keeper shelf?

So…confession time! I have 3 bookshelves…and I um, don’t donate very many. If I like it, I’ll loan it out, but I want to keep it. I really need an ereader, just to cut down on the clutter! But then, I’d probably wind up buying old favorites like all the Brava Bad Boy collections.

What was the first romance book you read or the one book that has stood the test of time for you?

My grandmother had a subscription to Harlequin Romance. When there was nothing to read at her house one summer, she decided they were fine for my ten-year-old self. I’m glad she did…they set my standards for men far too high for adolescent boys and opened my world to places and careers I’d never dreamed of.

If a book of yours was made into a movie, which actors would like to see as the lead characters?

Oh. This is fun! I use pictures to help me visualize characters. Pride & Passion was Carrie Underwood and Christian Bale.

When you are not writing or reading, what do you enjoying doing in your spare time?

I would love to sleep. How sad is that? I have three kids and one is awake on either side of midnight, so that’s my dream right now. I wish I could say I love to travel…someday it will be true. But not until one of my babes sleeps through the night!

If you could ask readers anyone question, what would it be?

Every year I attend the local Romance Readers Luncheon and get to ask all kinds of things! Usually, I ask what makes them buy a book. It’s the same things that pull me in – title, cover, blurb…all things the author has no control over. I know this, and yet I’m still a sucker for marketing!

Where can readers find you on the internet?


***Leave a comment answering Jenna’s question for a chance to win a download copy of Pride and Passion. Good Luck 🙂


19 Responses

  1. Hey Jenna,
    Congratulations on your new release!

    I’m always drawn to a book by its blurb…that’s pretty much the only thing I use to judge buying a book. I appreciate a great book cover but it doesn’t persuade me to buy it unless the blurb draws me in.

  2. The cover may get my attention but it’s the blurb that makes me decide to buy it or not. If the blurb doesn’t sound interesting I usually won’t buy it.

  3. I’m glad I’m not the only one who goes by the cover and blurb 🙂

  4. A great cover will pull me in but so will a great review!

  5. Hi, Jenna! A cover might make me pick a book up, but if the blurb and excerpt hook me, that’s what will make me buy. That or if I already know the author–I tend to glom all their stuff 🙂

  6. Great Interview, Hi Jenna! You are a new to be author but I have to say you have def. captured my attention!


  7. I buy a book by author and/or recommendation.

  8. Oh! Estella makes a good point about reccomendations. I do pick up most new to me authors on reccomendation. And then I love them, because you don’t reccomend it unless it’s fab!

  9. For me, what really cements a book for me, is the excerpts available. When I go to a brick and mortar, I’ll take a look at the cover and blurb and but I decide after I thumb through the first few pages and then somewhere in the middle to see if I like the story. If I do, I’ll get it. If not, even if the cover is fabulous and the blurb sounds great, it’ll get put back on the shelf. Shopping online for books, ebook or paperback, I’ll try and find as many excerpts as possible to determine whether or not it’s something I think I’ll like.

  10. I’m first caught by the cover. It’s definitely the blurb that helps me decide on purchasing it or not though. If it’s a storyline I like with fun sounding characters then I’ll purchase.

  11. I used to just do what seems to be the theme….grabbed by the cover, and then convinced by the blurb and some excerpts. Since I started reading book blogs, I have become way more dependent on trusted reviewers and author interviews to make my list to take to the store with me.

  12. It’s the blurb that actually convinces me to buy a book. Sometimes I’ll buy a book based on a recommendation from a favorite author or other bloggers.

  13. Congrats on the new release. I have to admit that the title and cover of a book draw me in as well, but it’s the blurb’s job to get me to buy the book. I was bookshelf challenge up until Christmas when my family bought me an eReader. Best present they’ve ever given me!

    This was a great interview. You are an inspiration to aspiring writers like me with little ones. You make me feel like I can do it too!

  14. If I’m shopping at a bookstore a cover will draw my attention then I’ll read the blurb and if that interests me I’ll open the book and read a few pages. I’ve bought books based on recommendations from trusted friends and from reading excerpts online at different blogs or reader loops.

    I like the cover to Pride and Passion – congrats on the release!

  15. A cover and a great excerpt!

  16. A great cover draw my attention and then I look at the blurb…If I like it, I will try it…and if I love the book…I’ll be searching out all the other books the author has published. Your book has a fabulous cover!!! I’d love to be entered in your drawing for your book. I’m always on the lookout for great new authors.

  17. Gorgeous cover! I try not to judge a book by its cover. But I’ll admit to being human and I’m probably a little influenced by it. But when it comes to handing over my money, prior experience with the author is top on my list.

  18. Congrats Jenna on your release. You are a new to me Author but you won’t be after this. I love the cover. For me the cover is first, thn the blurb on the cover. And also the Author,
    Thanks for sharing with us.
    Carol L.

  19. Hi Jenna 😀
    thanks for a very interesting interview – your auto-buy authors are mine too *gg*
    the most important thing is the very first impression about the book – sometimes it’s the cover, sometimes the blurb and sometimes just the title which gets my attention…
    wish you all the best,

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