I am SO excited to have been given the opportunity to interview one of my favourite Bookouture authors, Jenny Hale. Jenny’s latest novel, A Christmas to Remember is released on 10th October 2014 (click here to get your copy) and something tells me it’s going to be the perfect Christmas read. Over to you, Jenny…
Hi Jenny, a huge, warm welcome to Bookaholic Confessions! Thank you so much for participating in this interview. Would you like to start by introducing yourself…?
I’m Jenny Hale, author of A Christmas to Remember, Coming Home for Christmas, and Love Me for Me. Thank you so much for having me, Holly!
Can you tell us a bit about your new (Christmas!) novel, A Christmas to Remember? (published 10th October 2014 by Bookouture)
A Christmas to Remember is about nanny, Carrie Blake, who has worked so many years as a live-in nanny that she hasn’t ever had a chance to have her own life. She decides to take one final, temporary job watching the Fletcher children for Christmas. It’s here that she meets their father, single dad, Adam Fletcher, who has made himself a quite wonderful life, but he works so much that he doesn’t ever enjoy what he’s built for himself. As his family arrives for Christmas, including his sensitive sister, Sharon, and his fun-loving, elderly Grandpa, Walter, Carrie realizes that she might just have found the perfect allies in her quest to persuade Adam to loosen up. She wants to make this his family’s best Christmas, but in doing so, she may have a quite memorable Christmas herself!
A Christmas to Remember is your third novel but your second Christmas novel. What’s the best thing about writing Christmas novels?
It’s such a warm, cozy time of year and a fantastic backdrop for a romantic novel. The best thing about writing novels set at Christmas is being able to place my characters in a snowy Christmas setting because there are so many romantic moments at that time of year.
What’s your favourite thing about the festive season?
I just love the ambience of Christmas—fires in the fire place, the twinkling lights of the tree, candles, family get-togethers, big suppers, and the meaning behind it all.
I thoroughly enjoyed your second book, Love Me for Me; how did you find writing a second book? Was it more difficult than the first?
Not for me. I think, if given time in the day, I could write endlessly. Thankfully, I’ve never experienced writer’s block! I actually found Love Me for Me quite easy to write because I’m so familiar with the setting and the culture of that area.
Love Me for Me is all about being with family, friends, and finding happiness. What’s your idea of happiness?
My idea of happiness being with friends and family—just like my books—and having time to enjoy each moment in life, however simple the moment may be.
Can you tell us a bit about your journey to publication?
I began the process with not much understanding of how it all worked. I read a lot, and I joined a local writer’s group. I began submitting to agents and publishers in the US, and I was getting good feedback and requests for the full manuscript but no offers. I love reading British Women’s Fiction, and I wondered if, perhaps, my stories would be better suited for the UK market? My assumption was incorrect, but in this moment of self-analysis, I sent my manuscript to Bookouture, hoping to get feedback. I got a contract instead!
Who are your favourite authors and what books do you enjoy reading?
I love Sophie Kinsella/Madeleine Wickham novels! I laugh out loud at those! I also love Harriet Evans and Jill Mansell. I enjoy reading Women’s Fiction, generally.
What do you think you’d be doing if you weren’t an author?
I’m already doing it! When I’m not writing, I’m an elementary school teacher.
And finally – can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on at the moment?
I’m working on another summer book. While things can always change, currently, it’s set in North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
A huge thank you to Jenny for participating in this interview and also to Kim from Bookouture.