The three faces of Jenna Petersen, is a good way to describe this talented author. So let’s meet her two other alter egos, shall we?
For funny urban fantasy, read Jesse Petersen. For erotic historical romance, read Jess Michaels. And for historical romance, read Jenna Peterson books!
Jenna has a degree in Psychology from the University of Washington that she only uses to torture her characters and make their lives a living hell. She is married to her best friend and lives in Tucson with their two cats. Some of her favorite things are traveling, winning her family football pool, reading, her two wonderful nephews and writing, of course!
Welcome Jenna, Jesse and Jess…J I want to thank all of you for taking the time out of what I’m sure is a very busy schedule to be here. I hope you don’t mind me poking a little fun. How about I call you JJ&J?
So JJ&J shall we begin?
Q. Can you tell us some of the pleasures and pitfalls of three pen names? Especially with your historical stories, does the erotic romance side ever cross over to into the non-erotic stories?
A: At this point, my Jenna Petersen name isn’t very active, so I’m really writing erotic historical romance and snarky urban fantasy, so there isn’t much overlap as far as stories between them. I always wrote very sexy stories as Jenna Petersen, but the sexual element is more built into the plot for Jess Michaels, so that always kept them separate. I’m sure if I write something new for the Jenna Petersen name that will help keep them separate again.
Q. Tell us about your latest erotic historical romance release For Desire Alone? (Alter ego Jess Michaels).
A: It’s the second book in my Mistress Matchmaker series (the first was the bestselling AN INTRODUCTION TO PLEASURE). In it, my heroine, Mariah has just lost her protector to a terrible accident and he has left her destitute. She must find a new gentleman to be her lover, but she is constantly thrown into the path of her former lover’s best friend, John. They’ve always had a powerful attraction and finally they cannot help but give in. However powerful, dangerous forces are working to keep them apart… and perhaps take Mariah’s life.
Q. Are there any other genres you like to explore?
A: I love writing erotic historical romance and urban fantasy and I’m contracted for books through next year in both, but if an idea struck me and I was in love with it enough to write it, I wouldn’t rule anything out! It’s all about compelling stories to me.
Q. How do you cope emotionally with reviewers who seemed to have missed the point of your story completely?
A: You know, I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read a book and comment on it. I learned a long time ago that I can’t please everyone, so I write a book I love and I hope most readers will love and the rest of it is really out of my hands. Everyone has a right to their opinion and so I try not to let it bother me.
Q. So what do you draw on as your muse to come up with all those colorful scenes you put together?
A: I don’t really believe in the idea of a muse. I write because that’s my job and I’m driven to do it, not necessarily because of some mysterious power that lets me do it. I try to write stories that fit the characters I’ve created. And that’s what drives me and interests me.
Q. How do you know when a written scene has produced the desired or intended result, sexually and otherwise?
A: I tend to just write, head down, on my first draft and then edit later. So by the time I’m analyzing “did the scene work?” I’ve been away from it for a while and I’m able to look at it with a more detached eye.
Q. When you complete a novel, do you breathe a sigh of relief or do you feel sad the experience has ended?
A: Normally I’m excited to get the work done since that means I normally get a little break. But once a series is done, I tend to be a little sad. Although I’m almost always gearing up for my next book, so that also helps me to let go of a current project and move on. There’s a thrill to ending a book and a thrill to beginning a new one.
Q. What's your perfect ending when writing a series?
A: I try to have an epilogue at the end of a series, especially, to give the readers a touch of all their favorite characters. I like to see the glimpse of the happily ever after we’ve all been working toward.
Q. Your ability to draw the reader into turbulent and sometimes disturbing moments is touched also by your aptitude to bring in humor at the most needed times. Are these planned or just your own wicked sense of wit coming through?
A: There isn’t as much humor in my erotic historicals; they tend to be very dark and sensual. But there are witty lines here and there, for sure. I think very few people are super dark and broody all the time; most everyone has some sense of humor.
Q. How risqué will you allow your characters to go when writing erotica?
A: It’s really about what fits their characters. My innocent heroine in AN INTRODUCTION TO PLEASURE is very different than Mariah in FOR DESIRE ALONE. The heroes are different. But if something makes sense to them as a character, then I wouldn’t shy away from it.
Q. What is the most demeaning thing said about you as a writer?
A: I don’t really pay attention to that kind of stuff. If I hear unkind things, I tend to just move on to the next thing. I don’t keep a tally; it would just drive me crazy.
Q. What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
A: Mostly a recognition that once the book is finished with the editorial process and is coming out, there isn’t any control I have over its performance anymore. That’s something I still work on with every book.
Q. Do you believe a good life is attainable? Or is it something that is out of our control i.e. subject to luck etc.
A: I absolutely believe a good life is attainable. I have a great life and it’s based mostly on decisions my husband and I have made. You have to work for your happiness and choose it, it very rarely falls into your lap out of some kind of ‘luck’.
Q. Before recognizing writing was your calling what other avenues did you try?
A: Actually, writing is the only ‘grown-up’ job I’ve ever had. I worked in retail in college and intended to go back to school for a degree in counseling, but I never pursued that since I started writing full-time at that point. Writing is what I’ve done as my ‘real job’ my entire adult life.
I always like to end my interviews with a question “Just For Fun”. And Jenna this is the question I choose for you.
Q. As a liberated woman, would you nevertheless prefer to have been born a man?
A: No, I don’t think so. I like being a woman. I don’t feel like being female is any kind of disadvantage to anyone, I’ve certainly never felt like ‘gosh, it would be easier if I were a man’. Plus, I like my husband, so if I were a guy we wouldn’t be together. That would be a bummer.
And that brings me to the end of my interview with the talented Author Jenna Petersen.
Thank you again, Jenna for this opportunity to interview you. I hope you had fun.
I would also like to thank those who stop by. Hope you enjoyed this interview too!!
Jenna and I would love to hear from you. So don’t be shy, leave a comment and say Hi!!
Be sure to check out Jenna Petersen to learn more about her http://www.authorjessmichaels.com