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© 2018 by Romancing the Coast.

Interview with Haley Jenner

June 4, 2018

 

A blonde. A brunette. A tea lover. A coffee addict. Two people. One pen name. We're pals, besties if you will, maybe even soulmates. Consider us the ultimate in split personality, exactly the same, but completely different. We’re first time novelists, but long time storytellers. We love a good laugh, a strong, dominating alpha, but most importantly, know that friendships, the fierce ones, are the key to lifelong sanity and fulfilment.

 

Now, on with the interview...

 

ME: What is your favorite childhood book?

H and J: We had so many. Charlotte’s Web, then Sweet Valley High and the Babysitter’s Club as we got a little older, and Goosebumps. LOVED those books.

 

ME: What is the first book that made you cry?

H: The Outsiders. I read it for an English assignment and it hit me pretty hard. It definitely kick started my love for reading.

J: Charlotte’s Web. After I read the book, I would watch the movie every morning until on Saturday I woke up to find my dad had taped over the movie with Friday night football #Devastated

 

ME: Is writing your primary 'job' or do you have another source of income?

H and J: We both work fulltime and spend our nights writing. We’re incredibly sleep deprived, but it’s totally worth it.

 

ME: Do people around you know you write romance/erotica and what do they think about it? 

H and J: Our friends and family are slowly starting to discover that we write in our ‘free’ time. We were very closed lipped about it when we started, but we’re more open with it nowadays. 

 

ME: Do you believe in writer’s block? If not why not? And if so what suggestions do you have to start the juices flowing again.

H and J: We definitely believe in coming to a road block in your writing. Writing during release week is a struggle. In those times, we listen to music to fire our inspiration. We also read a lot too.

 

ME: Let's talk process for a bit. Are you a plotter or fly by the seat of your pants kind of writer?

H and J: As a duo, we talk in depth about our storyline and characters, but we don’t plot every chapter. We definitely write by the fly once we have our general ideas storyboarded. Our characters write their stories, so if we try to stick with a set plot, our work wouldn’t flow as easy.

 

Me: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

H and J: It’s really dependent on the story. I guess I’d say we research as we go. Each book we write has an array of disorganized order in the lose sheets of paper that encompasses all our research notes.

 

ME: Would you rather write standalones, standalones with connections to your other works, or multi book series with no true conclusion until the very end?

H and J: We like writing stories that interconnect. Characters and storylines that overlap. We find letting go of our characters really difficult.

 

ME: Where do your story ideas come from?

H and J: *Clears throat awkwardly* Our characters speak to us on the regular. They tell us their stories, they dictate the way their story plays out. We’re more often than not having conversations with fictional characters. Promise we’re not completely crazy though.

 

ME: Sounds like the norm for author life. Do you ever base your characters, events or locations on real people, events or places?

H and J: Locations, yes. People, not intentionally.

 

ME: Is there a character in one of your books loosely based off yourself?

H and J: We’ve discussed this on the regular, working to decide who we each identify with in our books. We’ve come to the conclusion that we can definitely see a little bit of ourselves in each of our heroines.

 

ME: What process do you use for selecting the names of your characters?

H and J: *Smiles awkwardly* They already have names when they start talking to us.

 

ME: Hmmm, who are these crazy people... JK. Who has been your most difficult character to write so far?

H and J: Luca St. Kelly. We’re in the process of writing his book right now, and let’s not worry about writer’s block, this guy is a brick wall. He lets us in when he feels it necessary but he’s testing us, that’s for sure.

 

ME: Have you ever killed off someone who pissed you off in one of your books?

H and J: No, but we’ve only released 4 books to date, the night is still young ;)

 

ME: What was your hardest scene to write?

H and J: There is a death scene in one of our upcoming releases and trying to make sure it was as impactful and emotional as it needed to be was tough. We’ve reread it too many times to count to make sure it connects the way it needs to.

 

ME: Does writing energize or exhaust you, and why?

H and J: A little of both. Writing fires something inside of us that makes us giddy with excitement. Watching our characters grow as their stories unfold is so rewarding. In saying that, it can be exhausting; the sleepless nights, the rewrites all add to your self-doubt as an author. There are moments when we question whether we’re good enough and I think that’s the most taxing aspect of being an author.

 

ME: As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal, and why?

H: Professor Sybill Trelawney from Harry Potter – possessed by my own mind when a story hits.

J: A sloth. Slow. Methodical. Eats a lot. 

 

ME: So very different to each other. Let's impart some advise on to the budding authors out there. If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?

H and J: Everyone questions themselves. Everyone. It’s not a bad thing, it fires your want to learn more, to improve your art.

It’s hard not to compare yourself to the highly respected authors in the industry. It’s important not to do that. You write like you, not them. Your voice, your stories, your characters – they’re yours. No one else can write like you, so embrace that.

 

ME: What are common traps for aspiring writers?

H and J: Managing everything you need to do is hard. Writing. Marketing. Social media. It can be so consuming. Prioritize. Make lists of what you need to do so you don’t feel like you're drowning.   

 

ME: What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

H and J: Our editor. God. Once upon a time we thought because there is two of us, we could do it ourselves. WE COULDN’T. Spending money on a good editor will transform your stories. Find the editor that fits with you, that you connect with. Ellie is one of the most important people in our lives; she’s direct, honest and we respect the hell out of her. 

 

ME: Thanks for your time girls. We look forward to meeting you at RTC2018!

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