Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Today, Jessie G. – Like many readers, the dream of being a writer has been with me a long time. After three decades of trying, I’d begun to doubt. Thanks to social media, I followed my favorite authors hoping to glean some words of wisdom as I pounded out half-formed ideas with alarming regularity. Two repetitive themes emerged: to be a great writer you must read a lot and your butt must be in the chair every day like it’s a job. The more you write, the easier it will be to write and the better you will be at writing. I took that advice to heart and write every day.
Thanks so much, Jessie, for joining me!
J. Scott Coatsworth: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Jessie G.: Rich and thin. Still working on both.
JSC: When did you know you wanted to write, and when did you discover that you were good at it?
JG: I knew I wanted to write when I was ten. It took another thirty-two years to get up the nerve to show the world. I haven’t yet decided that I’m good at it.
JSC: Do you have any strange writing habits or superstitions?
JG: I can’t write at my desk where I do all the writing adjacent work (promo, edits etc.). The actual writing gets done on my MacBook anywhere else (my balcony, recliner, kitchen table, coffee shop). No idea what that is, but I’ve accepted it.
As for superstitions, I can’t tell anyone when the story will be done or I’ll immediately have writer’s block. It took me a little while to realize that was my issue. But every time I’ve announced a release date before I was done, I blew it. So, I keep it all to myself until the book goes to the editor.
JSC: How would you describe your writing style/genre?
JG: I write gay romance in both the contemporary and romantic suspense genres. That’s the nice answer, I suppose. Basically, I find myself writing broken characters looking for a second chance, redemption, revenge…some of my books have BDSM elements, some deal with past abuse, while others deal with military issues (PTSD, disabilities). Someday, I’ll write comedy.
JSC: If you could sit down with one other writer, living or dead, who would you choose, and what would you ask them?
JG: Randy Pausch, author of the Last Lecture and I would ask them what it was like to be a Disney Imagineer.
JSC: What was your first published work? Tell me a little about it.
JG: Past Hurts was my first published novel and is about a cop and a trust fund baby. It’s a second chance story with a crime drama feel, a power exchange relationship, and abuse themes. It’s flawed beyond belief and I’ve grown tremendously since then, but I love it wholeheartedly and the response to it was amazing.
JSC: Tell me about a unique or quirky habit of yours.
JG: I don’t know if it’s quirky or unique, but I absolute cannot work or write unless the things around me are aligned. They don’t have to be perfectly neat, though that’s preferable, they just have to be symmetrical with straight lines, even distribution, etc. This makes me that crazy writer at the coffee shop because, yes, I do arrange the table there too.
JSC: What’s your writing process?
JG: I’m a total panster who writes in clusters, meaning multiple works in progress. I have no idea who’s going to talk to me at any given time or what they’re going to say, so I hop from document to document and am just as surprised as everyone else by what makes it to the page.
JSC: What’s your greatest weakness as a writer?
JG: I go back and reread/rewrite every chapter multiple times until it feels good enough to move on. Everyone says write through it, go back at the end, but I cannot. The words get stuck until I absolutely love what I have.
JSC: What are you working on now, and when can we expect it?
JG: Now that Treading Water is done, I’ve got Taking the Top, Unmasking Nik, Saving Saul, Forever More and The Moments That Define Us in progress
10% of the royalties will be donated to the Gary Sinise Foundation. In addition, I have a fundraiser set up on the Foundation’s website and every $10 = 1 entry to win signed paperbacks (so $20 = 2 entries and so on).
1 Grand Prize Winner will receive all 8 paperbacks
5 Runner Up Winners will receive a signed copy of Treading Water
Fundraiser link: https://donate.garysinisefoundation.org/jessiegbooks
And now for Jessie’s new book: Treading Water:
After devoting eighteen years of his life to the US Navy, Petty Officer First Class Shane Parker is struggling with the very real possibility of becoming unnecessary. If he doesn’t make Chief Petty Officer before his twenty—and it doesn’t seem likely that he will—he’ll be retired from active service and placed on the Fleet Reserve list until his mooring lines are officially cut forever. While it would all be very honorable and ceremonial, he simply wasn’t civilian material.
Before even swearing-in, Julian Brand knew he wasn’t cut out to be a soldier, but refusing wasn’t an option. Generations of Brand man made careers in the military and the expectation of every Brand son was to follow in those prestigious footsteps. Though the prospect of being rolled back dodged his every step, somehow he made it through boot camp and did his time. Six years after not reenlisting, Julian still struggles to find familial acceptance as he fights to live life on his terms.
On the surface, they couldn’t be more different, but when Jared Ramos calls, neither are capable of refusing. If they can find a way to work together, they might be able to save a wounded warrior and each other in the process.
Like many readers, the dream of being a writer has been with me a long time. After three decades of trying, I’d begun to doubt. Thanks to social media, I followed my favorite authors hoping to glean some words of wisdom as I pounded out half-formed ideas with alarming regularity. Two repetitive themes emerged: to be a great writer you must read a lot and your butt must be in the chair every day like it’s a job. The more you write, the easier it will be to write and the better you will be at writing. I took that advice to heart and write every day. With three series in the works and a full schedule of releases planned for the next two years, it’s been amazing to have made this dream my reality.
I am a firm believer in marriage equality, love at first sight, power dynamics, and happily ever after. I’m a lover of strong secondary characters, and series filled with families—biological or chosen. All are themes you’ll find throughout my books.
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