Hello and welcome back to my blog! Today I have a wonderful treat for you guys! I got the AMAZING, GLORIOUS pleasure of interviewing one of my FAVORITE authors and wonderful friend (thanks to booksta). Not only is Jennifer hilarious, she is such a kind person. We always have such amazing conversations.
Jennifer and I talk quite a bit about her new release, coming September 1, 2022, “The Fake Dating Trope”. Jennifer was such a kind, wonderful human and gave me about one week early access to it (I and I devoured it in about 2 or 3 hours! I definitely recommend pre-ordering yours! I’ll link it below!! Thank you so so much Jennifer for doing this interview. I had so much fun, and I love getting to know about you!
Jennifer Ann Shore is an award-winning, bestselling author based in Seattle, Washington.
She writes romance stories that go a little deeper than the standard tropes. Her lineup of more than a dozen books includes standalones, a dystopian series, and a vampire series—with titles such as “Perfect Little Flaws,” “Young at Midnight,” and “Metallic Red.”
Prior to publishing, she led an impressive career in New York, first as a journalist and then as a marketing executive, gaining recognition for her work from companies such as Hearst and SIIA.
Be sure to visit her books and your preferred social media channels to stay in touch.
LIKE ALWAYS REMEMBER- THIS IS NOT JENNIFER’S AND I’S FULL CONVERSATION. I’M NOT HERE TO GIVE YOU GUYS OUR GOOFY RANDOM SIDE CONVERSATIONS (IF YOU’D LIKE THEM LMK!!), BUT I AM HERE TO TELL YOU ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND HER NEW RELEASE.
Liz(me):When did you first start writing?
Jennifer: My love for writing didn’t really start until eighth grade—which I think is late in the game compared to some authors I see who talk about spending their childhoods crafting little stories with adorable pictures accompanying them.
I, however, remember falling in love with writing during this poetry unit where we had to create a “found poem” and create our own works out of cutting phrases out of a newspaper/magazine article and go from there. As weird as that sounds, it kind of clicked for me how I could put words together, and then I started getting into writing my own original poetry (some of which actually shows up in “Young at Midnight” YEARS later in book form) and then I went on to enter writing contests in high school and went on to study journalism in college.
Liz: Where did you get your inspiration for The Fake Dating Trope
Jennifer: This is actually kind of funny (to me) but there’s a baseball field by my house that I walk by sometimes, and one day I passed it while listening to music and just trying to give time for my brain to breathe.
I’m not a baseball person (although I’ve been to a few Yankees and Pirates games in the past), but I was thinking (as romance writers do) what it would be like to date a baseball player. The long days sitting in the sun, all the talk about the game and statistics, etc., and I kind of unknowingly started to create Lucas’s character.
At that time, I also had a realllllly packed schedule and having almost daily migraines and heightened sensory issues, and it all kind of spun into writing an opposites attract “girl with no interest in baseball dates baseball player.”
So, then I was sitting with it, and I knew I couldn’t talk about baseball for a book (so sorry for all the baseball slander, fans of the sport!) but thought about what I do really love—and that’s book tropes!
And I really, really started to shape Kate’s character and it tied in nicely for her to be a romance-obsessed employee at Books & Beans (a store I have used in a few of my novels) and then tell the story of how they came together.
Thus, “The Fake Dating Trope” was born!
Liz: In most- if not all of your books- you include LGBTQIA representation. We love it, well I certainly do. Have you ever received backlash because of it?
Jennifer: That is so kind of you to say! It’s really important to me as a queer author/human to always represent the world I live in even though (at the moment) I mostly write typical “boy and girl falling in love” stories.
I’ve never gotten huge backlash, per se, but I have gotten negative reviews—I just got a one-star review the other day actually for one of my books about “pushy activism” that I can only assume is for having a non-binary character and a very healthy/appropriate correction when someone uses the wrong pronoun.
I’ve always been pretty upfront with who I am as a person and what I stand for in all of my marketing and social media, and I hope that it draws in the right audience of folks who will appreciate my books. (But occasionally algorithms have their own way with things!)
Liz: What cover out of all of your books is your favorite?
Jennifer: I love a book cover question! Because this is something I put a lot of pride in doing for my books—and something that actually both helps and hurts me as an author.
I, personally, don’t want to put people on the covers of my books even though that’s a big trend in romance—because my stories and characters give a little more than just a straightforward love story. I love to work in coming of age subplots and character growth and family conflicts and all sorts of real-life issues, and I feel that I’d be doing a disservice to potential readers if I led them astray with the covers and it’s not what they’re expecting.
But as far as my personal favorite cover? The camera on the cover of “Perfect Little Flaws” along with the soccer ball and ice cream on the back makes me giddy to look at, but I also am obsessed with the red lips on the “Metallic Red” cover. It’s so hard to pick! What’s your favorite?
Liz: “Just For You” is definitely my favorite cover. What is an under appreciated book that you love?
Jennifer: I’m thinking through all the books I usually come back to whenever I need a comfort re-read, and I’m definitely going to have to say Katie McGarry’s “Nowhere But Here” book…actually, all the books in her Thunder Road series are excellent.
It’s a young/new adult motorcycle club romance, and it’s got the brashness you expect from that type of story, but the characters are all vulnerable and lovable—and I just really love it so much.
Liz: What advice would you give to someone writing their first book?
Jennifer: DO IT.
I cannot emphasize that enough.
I regularly get DMs from people asking for this type of advice, and I always say something along the lines of: Carve out an hour, sit by yourself in front of a notebook/your laptop, and just get your idea of your head.
Because the biggest thing that seems to stop people from actually writing one is that they’re not giving themselves permission to get started. I’m not sure whether it’s fear or nerves or some sort of other trepidation, but if I never parked myself in front of a laptop after having a weird dystopian dream, “New Wave” would have never gotten written—and I wouldn’t be here today.
It all starts with one idea, line of dialogue, jumble of words, etc., so just put it outside your head and see what happens! Editing and other revision can come later, but you just have to get started and keep going.
Liz: What are your favorite and least favorite parts of publishing?
Jennifer: This is going to sound a bit fake and cheesy, but I actually love all parts of the publishing process.
I mean, just like any other writer I have moments midway through a chapter where I’m frustrated because I feel like something isn’t working or whatever, but generally, I love all of it.
And this is actually why I’m an indie author. I published my first book as just a total creative project with no expectations, and over time, when I doubled down on research and my craft, then having that “I want this to be my career” moment, I decided to stick with indie instead of pitching to agents/publishing houses.
I really love playing around with keywords in ads and brainstorming content and writing email newsletters and staring at my royalties just as much as I love dreaming up romance scenes and writing itself.
It’s actually kind of nice to be able to switch gears every day and get in different headspaces!
Liz: If you were to write a spinoff about one of the characters from The Fake Dating Trope, what character would it be?
Jennifer: ABSOLUTELY Zoe. She absolutely has main character energy, and I could see her going on all sorts of adventures and getting into trouble post-high school.
I like to write my books nowadays as complete standalones, but I always end up falling in love with the side characters and someday would potentially love to expand on some of their stories—but for now, I just get giggly writing bonus scenes or dropping Easter eggs in other books to give updates.
Liz: I was really hoping you’d say her! How do you process and deal with negative book reviews?
Jennifer: I think one thing that REALLY helped me was studying journalism in college and starting my career dealing with internet trolls picking my work/reporting apart.
You have no choice but to get thick skin in that case, but it’s a definitely a different world when you’re sharing your original fiction rather than writing something for a publication.
I had a professor in college who really helped me frame my mind around criticism, though, and his advice was: “Only accept criticism if it’s valid.”
So, for example, if someone comes on and says, “This book is garbage, and I hated it.” (Thankfully, I don’t think I have encountered that yet.) There’s legitimately nothing for me to do or reason to even “accept” that in my life. But if someone says, “I really would have loved to seen X Subplot expanded because of X,” then I can definitely process that feedback.
Writing and reading is so subjective, though, and I know going in that people who even LOVE my writing aren’t going to like every book—it’s the same with authors I love to read, too, so I try to keep that in mind.
After a certain point, usually about a month or two after a book comes out, I mostly stop reading reviews unless people tag me in them on social media because it’s not usually a healthy or productive activity for me. I will say if I do happen to read something that guts me, I’ll make myself feel better by looking at bad reviews of my favorite all-time books to remind myself of everything I just said here!
Liz: Last question! When you finish writing a novel, how do you celebrate?
Jennifer: I wish I had a better answer for this, but every single release day I am a mess of nerves and sensory overload and nail-biting—so I try to distract myself with treats or throwing myself into another project or scrolling through TikTok!
As you can see, Jennifer is one of the most laid back people to have a conversation with. She’s super sweet and always has such great things to say. I got a lot out of this interview, and I’m so glad that I get the chance to do these author interviews. Thank you again so much Jennifer for agreeing to an interview. Thank you so much to my readers for all the support and love you guys give!
If you haven’t yet, check out Jennifer’s instagram and go get a look at her ADORABLE dog, Juicebox. Oh, and make sure to pre-order your copy of “The Fake Dating Trope” today!
Check out some of my other Author Interviews! Check them out under the “Author Interviews” tab above!
Is there an author you’d love to see be interviewed? Comment their name down below as well as any social media- so I know its the right person.
Are you an author that’d like to do an interview to talk about an upcoming release or to connect with your readers? Comment your instagram or email down below! I’ll get back to you as soon as I see it!
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