Please welcome Jennifer Zane to my blog today. Tell us, Jennifer, are you a full time writer or do you have a ‘day job’?
Oh boy! I have a ‘day job’ and a ‘day job’. The first one is just what you think: good old-fashioned work. My other ‘day job’ is Director of HEA for RomCon. I’m the webmistress, one of several blog divas, cover designer and everything in-between. RomCon keeps me busy all year! Between those two ‘day jobs’ I squeeze in my writing…somewhere!
I write contemporary romance because I base my Gnome Novel Series on the time I lived in Montana. I wanted to write from life experience because there’s enough antics, crazy characters and strange happenings in present day for me to skip going back in time, leaping into the future or even making my characters part vampire.
So true! Tell us about your current series/WIP.
I write the Gnome Novel Series. So far there are three books (2.5 really because the third book is a short little teaser for the holidays). There are similar characters seen in the books, but the main hero and heroine change in each one. Goldie West, although not the heroine, plays a pivotal role in all of the books as a meddling matchmaker. She’s not your typical meddler; she runs the town’s adult store and gives boxes full of adult toys to the heroes and heroines to help their ‘relationships’ along. If you’ve ever been victim to matchmaking, you’ll relate to this!
What went into the process of producing your books? Can you share your ups and downs and how you went about it?
My least favorite part of the writing process is editing. Ugh. I truly think little gnomes get into your computer while you’re sleeping and put typos in to mess with you. I’m a graphic designer so I design my own covers. For me, that’s the easy part and I love to make a book have a special ‘feel’ just by the cover art. Self-publishing is great because you really have the control over your work and can promote yourself just as you want. The books are yours, so make them just the way you want them (hopefully without typos!)
It’s amazing isn’t it, how many times you can edit a manuscript and miss errors. Do you have critique partners?
I do have critique partners. Four of them and we’ve been together for over ten years. These ladies know things about me that others don’t. I think there’s a special bond that’s formed in this type of creative outlet. You’re really putting your heart out there and it’s great to know they are there for you—crazy gnomes and all!
Sounds like a great team. How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?
My books? Highly likely. In Gnome On The Range, Bobby and Zach are based on my own two boys and their antics living in Montana. I swear they watered every tree in the yard (and I don’t mean with a hose!) My older son really did get his arm stuck in a patio umbrella stand (don’t know what I’m talking about? Read Gnome On The Range). Goldie is based on two neighbors combined (a great woman who likes everyone’s business and a man who really does run the adult store in town). It may not be the actual people themselves in the stories but things people say, their strange life experiences, etc. In book 4 (coming out in June-yay!), the uncle is a Civil War re-enactor. I love going to Civil War reenactments back East in the summer and think this would be great to do, so I decided to live vicariously through this character.
Do you write under a pen name?
Yes, I write under a pen name. Since I stated further up, I have a ‘day job’ that wouldn’t mix well with my other ‘day job’ or my writing. So I’m like Wonder Woman and no one can tell who I am! On top of it all, it’s kind of fun, having an alter ego. How did I choose it? I wanted something close to my real name (ok, my real name is Jennifer) and if you know me, you’d have to admit, I’m a little zany. My books definitely are!
Give us an elevator pitch for your book.
Book 1, Gnome On The Range– Jane and Ty- Jane and her boys buy garden gnomes at a garage sale that are worth more than they expected. In a very strange way. Someone wants them back and wants Jane dead. It’s a very light mystery (it’s not Agatha Christie!) and lots of romance. Throw in a meddling mother-in-law and lots of insanity.
Book 2, Gnomeless– Veronica and Jack- A plumber, a stalker and a very cold winter.
Book 3 (or 2.5), Gnome For The Holidays– Emma and Sam- A holiday short where Goldie meddles with the mistletoe.
Book 4, Gnome, Alaska– COMING IN JUNE- Violet and Mike- Alaska, pretend girlfriend, Civil War re-enactor, martial arts mother, polyamorous French twins, a desperate thief.
The burning question—Where’s the gnome throughout? For your readers of this blog, I’ll share a secret- He’s what brings all of the couples together. They kiss for the first time in the presence of the gnome. I know, weird, but READ THEM ALL!