Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Author Spotlight - Jennifer Shirk

Jennifer Shirk has been a long-time friend of this blog, so we're delighted to have her here today to talk about her second release through Avalon Books, Sunny Days for Sam. This New Jersey mom (who is currently raising four hermit crabs!) is also published by Samhain.

What is your writing process?
Well, early morning I’m online checking email, FB, blogs, Twitter, etc... Then about 10 or 10:30 I start writing and work until lunchtime. If I have time and don’t need to do errands or any cleaning, then I’ll go back and try to write some more until the kiddo comes home from school.

Everyone who writes knows it's not easy - what methods do you use to keep at it on days when it would be so much easier to go shoe shopping?
I haven’t found a method exactly. Some days it’s easy to stay on track because you like the way a chapter is going. Other days, I DO go shoe shopping. LOL

Keeping fit: Do you have an exercise regime to counterbalance all those hours sitting at a computer?
Oh, I’m glad you asked! I am a P90x graduate and have been continuing the workouts still. I love it, because it makes me do weights, which is something that is so important to maintain muscle, but something I would neglect if it wasn’t part of the program. I workout every morning from 8-9AM—unless sick.

Do you believe in writer's block?
No. I think it should be called writer’s procrastination. LOL

Have you ever used an incident from real life in a book?
Yes. I used to work in a pharmacy where there was a high theft of condoms. So I decided to use that as a backdrop scene in my second book, GEORGIE ON HIS MIND.

In what way is being a published writer different to how you thought it would be?
Well, before you’re published, you think everything will be great once that happens. But then you quickly learn there’s more to the story that just that. Now you have different concerns, like sales, promotions, and reviews, which are even more stressful.

Promotion is no longer a dirty word. In what ways do you strive to reach more readers?
With every book, you learn what worked and what didn’t and make adjustments. I always try to add something new. This year, I hired a book tour coordinator—Goddess Fish promotions—to get in front of some new faces that are not part of my normal blog and FB following.

What is your top promo tip for other authors?
Reviews and word of mouth are the best kind of promotions you can get, so when you do a giveaway, always encourage your winner to do a review for you—good or bad. 

What did you learn while writing this book?
That I can write a hero that is beyond your basic good-guy-beta kind.

What was the most fun part of writing this book?
I love writing the children’s dialogue! Kids can get away with anything, so it’s especially fun to write what they’ll say.

And just for fun: what would your hero’s honeymoon destination of choice be?
I can totally see Sam wanting to have Sunny experience Europe. So he would take her on a 10 to 14 day trip to Paris, France and then on to Portofino, Italy. *sigh*

Sunny Days for Sam
By Jennifer Shirk

Sunnyva “Sunny” Fletcher is a firm believer in fairy tales. With the recent debt she’s acquired, the hope of something magical happening in her life is the only thing keeping her going. She needs a job fast. So when Sunny learns the sexy new vacationer in town is looking for a nanny, she starts to believe she just may have a fairy godmother after all!

Internet guru Sam Calloway is only in town for the summer and needs a nanny for his two small children. However, the beautiful and inexperienced Sunny is not exactly the kind of caregiver Sam has in mind. It doesn’t take long for Sunny’s tenderhearted and bubble-blowing ways to soon have the children—and Sam—enamored with her. She’s a dream come true. But after what Sam’s been through, he’s stopped believing in fairy tales long ago.

Sunny manages to work her way into Sam’s closed-off heart, but at the end of the summer, will the workaholic dad go back to his life in New York City, or will he decide his days are much sunnier here with Sunny?

Buy links:
Barnes and Noble


You can find out more about Jennifer at her website or on her blog.


Rachael Johns said...

Great interview. LOL on the condom incident - I SO have to find that book now!

Sutton Fox said...

A P90X grad? I'm humbled.

Fun interview, ladies. Can't wait to read this one!

Nas said...

Loved reading about your processes Jennifer. And so true about reviews and word of mouth for book promotion. All the best with your second book!

Does someone really steals condoms?

Thanks Minxes, as usual, great interview.

Sri Pammi said...

Hey Jennifer,

Thanks for being at the minxes today...And LOL at someone stealing condoms...:-0

Maya Blake said...

Great to have you here, Jennifer! I giggled at the condom anecdote. At least you know the thieves are practising safe sex, right, lol!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Hey, everyone!
Thanks for having me here today!

And YES, we can all sleep easier tonight now that we know that thieves practice safe sex too. LOL

Kathy Bosman said...

Your book looks like fun! Love writing children's dialogue too! Can bad reviews help sales? Never considered that they could.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Kathleen: I think sometimes they do. It's like a train wreck--people can't resist a peek. LOL