Friday, October 17, 2008

Interview: Jenna Petersen

The Morgan Diaries are going back in time. Well, we’re dressing up in funny clothes this week. No, not for fun but seeing MorganO cinched up in a bodice is a wonder to behold. Well, Jmo in those tights and frock coat might not be a wonder, but it does make one wish for a Digital Camera. Today at The Diaries, we’re all about celebrating our guest Jenna Petersen’s arrival to the offices. If you’re not familiar with her work, where the heck have you been?!

Whether you love your romance just plain Scandalous, or want know for a fact Seduction is Forever, or you need Lessons From a Courtesan, this is one author you need gracing your bookshelf and we’re so happy to have her with us today.

TMD: Jenna welcome to our offices. Please sit down and ignore Jmo’s codpiece. He thinks he’s Black Adder. Have some tea and crumpets while you get settled.

JP: I’m trying not to look at the codpiece. I may have to burn my eyes out to erase that image.

TMD: We’d love for you to tell our readers a little about your newest release.

JP: Sure! My latest release came out in July 2008 and it is Lessons From A Courtesan. In it my hero and heroine, Justin and Victoria Talbot, married and shared one fabulous wedding night, but then Justin deserted her (he was forced into the marriage). Flash forward 3 years and all the men of the ton are talking about the Best Courtesan in London, Ria. Imagine Justin’s surprise when he realizes she is his estranged wife. It’s probably the sexiest historical romance I’ve written, as Justin and Victoria happen to be a very physical couple as they try to work through all the betrayal in their past.

My next historical romance comes out in April 2009. It features a former underground fighter who makes a bargain with a fallen lady to teach him how to be a gentleman again when he unexpectedly inherits a title. I loved writing a bit of a twist on a My Fair Lady idea. Plus, it’s very sexy and the guy is a fighter. What more could you ask for? It’s called, Her Notorious Viscount (and you can pre-order at Amazon already).

TMD: Historical Romance has been the bread and butter of the industry for a long time. Do you find it hard to come up with original storylines with such the wealth of authors who came before you?

JP: Not at all! The wonderful thing about writing is that you can give five authors the same premise and they’ll come up with five very different stories. The characters and the circumstances end up making each story fresh. Plus an author’s voice keeps things different.

TMD: Your Lady Spies series is certainly at the top of the heap when it comes with Historical Romance. What inspired you to take James Bond historical?

JP: Thanks! I did love writing the Lady Spies. I pitched the series as Charlie’s Angels in Empire Waists. I really loved writing three women who from the outside might look like your typical Society ladies, but in reality were something very different. Plus, the three of them have such a strong bond of friendship, so that was a great theme to explore in each book, as well.

TMD: As a lot of authors do today you divide your efforts into two different personas. Jenna Petersen for historical romance and Jess Michaels for Erotica. Do you find a division in your readership between these two names or do your fans cross over to enjoy both genres?

JP: I think there is cross-over. My historical romances have always been quite hot, so many fans who like them are also drawn to my erotic historicals. And if you like my really steamy erotics, you’ll probably enjoy my regular historicals. Occasionally I’ll find a fan who just doesn’t like erotic, but they like my historicals. But for the most part I think many go from one to the other easily.

TMD: Both Historical and Erotica take a certain mindset to write. Which do you find easier to write? And more enjoyable to write?

JP: I don’t really separate the two into like or easier. I really love writing both and since I seem to be on an alternating schedule (erotic, historical, erotic, historical) with my due dates, that actually gives me a little break in between each one, which is very nice. But each type of story is something I have a great amount of passion about.

TMD: When you’re focusing on the Historical side of your split personality how do you set the mood to get into the book? Morgan tugs on her corset and we’re ignoring what Jmo is tugging on.

JMo: Hey, this codpiece itches! I can’t help it.

Morgan O: That’s what all men say. Try breathing with a vise around your torso and then you can bitch.

JP: I don’t listen to music or burn candles or anything like that. I actually need it to be pretty quiet to write (though I am getting better at that). I just put my behind in the chair, put my notes in front of me and go.

TMD: We’re not sure if you’re familiar with the way these interviews of ours go, but it’s time to test your meddle in the fires of insanity!

As a historical author if you were a damsel in your own book who would you rather be saved by a knight in shining armor or Colin Firth wearing nothing but Jmo’s codpiece? After it had been disinfected of course.

JP: Colin Firth. I’m not much into medieval. Mr. Darcy wins my heart every time. Though I’d say lose the codpiece. It’s not really fitting with the time period anyway.

TMD: We can’t forget all the HOT, HOT men on your covers. How do you get the most beautiful men for your books? Do you get a choice in the decision on cover model? Like take them for a test drive to see how to get their motors running, out on the highway? Looking for adventure?

JMo: Calm down Morgan. I think that corset has cut off all the blood flow north.

MorganO: No way, I’m still drooling over Tristan on the cover of From London with Love (looking at the book upside down) he’s just so… so… *sigh*

JP: The Avon Art Department is the one responsible for all those fabulous covers and I have been extremely blessed by everything I’ve gotten from them. With the Jenna books, I send them cover info about a year before the book comes out. Things like: hair color, eye color, pose I’d like to see, scene I’d like to see… and often I send them a picture if I have one of something I’d like to see. I’ve been very lucky that they’ve been open to that. The From London With Love cover was exactly what I wanted (and yes, Tristan is delish on that cover).

And the cover glory continues! I’ve just gotten a sneak peek at my April 2009 cover for Her Notorious Viscount and my cover for my May 2009 Jess book, Taboo. I can’t share yet, but I will say that they are my two best covers to date, I think! And that’s saying something!!

TMD: Before she starts licking Tristan off that cover again, thank you for joining us today Jenna. We’ve loved having you and can’t wait to sample more of your books, so feel free to leave any WiPs with us. We just love sneak peeks.

JP: Well, in 2009, I will have three releases:

A Red Hot Valentine’s Day: This novella collection contains my Jess Michaels erotic historical story called “By Valentine’s Day”, which is a friends turned to lovers/trapped in a snowstorm story.

Her Notorious Viscount: I’ve talked a bit about this one here, but my hero is a pugilist (a boxer) in the Underground. He inherits a title and enters into an agreement with my heroine to learn how to be a gentleman.

Taboo: A Jess Michaels full-length erotic romance. In this one my heroine is a seamstress who also designs erotic toys on the side. The hero is the man who thinks she threw him over years before. It’s got blackmail, revenge and lots of hot sex. LOL

TMD: Don’t forget to let our readers know where they can find you plastered all over the net like MorganO is plastered on that cover.

JP: You can find me at . If you are a writer, I have site for aspiring authors called The Passionate Pen, . And I have a very active MySpace, .

MorganO: Oh Tristan, take me, I’m yours!

Jmo: See what I mean. Now I’ve got to get the Jaws of Life to get her out of that corset before she passes out. Thanks for joining us this week!


JennaPetersen said...

Hi everyone! It's so nice to be here. I hope you enjoyed the interview and I'll be around all day to answer questions. :)


Helen said...

Hi Jenna

I have read everyone of your books and I love them all and am always glad to hear when more are being released you are an auto buy for me whether it is Jenna Petersen or Jess Michaels.
Your heros are to die for and your heroines are just so great I love their personalities and I always feel part of the stories you have taken me on some wonderful adventures and there will be many more.
Thanks Jenna
Have Fun

JennaPetersen said...

Aw, thank you Helen! I'm so glad you've enjoyed them.

Suprina said...

Jenna, I love the strong heroines that you have in your lady spies series. It's refreshing to read historicals that don't adhere strictly to the whole damsels in distress thing. I can't stand weak, wimpy women!


Sorry about all those W's. lol

Keeping doing such a great job, Jenna.


Catherine Bybee said...

Jenna, Jess or whatever we may call you today. Lovely interview. I'm looking at three of your latest releases on my desk right now and can't wait for the next. You really don't need to sleep, my dear. You can just type away for us folk that love to read what you write.

Okay seriously, Jenna you've inspired me not only to read your awesome books, but also to write as I've always want to. Keep it up!

JennaPetersen said...

Thank you so much, Suprina and Catherine. That means so much to me! Actually, just this morning I typed "The End" on the first draft of a Jenna book that will probably be out some time in early 2010. So I'll keep writing as long as anyone wants to keep buying! LOL