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Meet soldier and author, Jessica Scott with giveaway of UNTIL THERE WAS YOU

Thanks for taking the time to visit Manic Readers.

First things first, how’s your dad?

Thanks so much for having me at Manic Readers! I’m thrilled. My dad is doing just fine, thanks so much for asking!

Why the Army?

Honestly? I’m a product of the 90s army. Economy was doing great but I didn’t really have the grades or the money to go to college so I figured I’d join the army, get out of small town Maine and figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up. Turned out it was a good fit and it stuck. Best decision I ever made.

I really enjoyed your POV posts.  A bit about your spot on Point of View for those who aren’t familiar with it, please.

Back in 2010 when I first came home from Iraq, I was invited to blog at PBS Point of View Regarding War Women and War. We discussed a couple of opposing view points about women and war and I was the only currently serving active duty female presenting any ideas. It was a great experience getting to see how different women view the military.

What are the main differences between being a company commander and being a Mom?

A romance writer?

Oh the differences are legion. Being a commander is an awesome responsibility, just like being a mom. You’re responsible for everything your team does, good or bad, just like being a parent. I used to think that being a writer was like being a mom in that you raise your kids/book to go out into the world without you but I’ve changed my mind. Writing is in no way like being a parent. You develop a story to be told and you let it go. While others might disagree, identifying a book as your child is only going to set you up for emotional abuse when someone hates your book. So I don’t recommend thinking of your book as your child or using parenting analogies for writing. It’s vastly different but your mileage may vary, you know?

Are you ever teased about your books?

Only when my husband decides to do dramatic interpretation of my books. I laugh my tail off when he reads them out loud. Needless to say, it is somewhat challenging to write a deeply emotional scene with him over my shoulder.

Bet that is a hoot!

Plans to retire at twenty years?

Nope. I love my military career and I get to make a difference in ways I’d never have in the civilian world. I’ll stay as long as the military lets me.

How do you juggle so many balls?

I’m somewhat OCD about my calendar. Seriously, if its not on my calendar, it’s simply not going to get done. I was originally really excited about reminders from apple but they don’t work for me. For some reason, it has to be calendar. I’ve also developed – probably not the best techniques – for managing my to do list. I’m always up for better ideas on work flow improvement though!

Favorite place you’ve been stationed?

Germany, hands down. There was so much history and literally everything in Europe was 6- 8 hours away (except Italy and Spain).

Are your military romances a way of high lighting the special challenges faced by soldiers and their families?

They are but then again, I’m too close to the issues and it ends up being very challenging for me to write about the military in ways that civilians can understand. Just getting the language right can be a challenge, you know?

Please, do tell about UNTIL THERE WAS YOU.

UNTIL THERE WAS YOU is the story of two soldiers coming home from war and starting to unpack their ruck sacks of all the baggage they’ve carried around with them. Combat changes a person and one of the things I love dealing with in my writing is how combat changes you. Not everything is PTSD, you know?

Here’s the official blurb!

He plays by the rules, she’s not afraid to break them. Now these two strong-willed army captains will prove that opposites attract . . .

A by-the-book captain with a West Point background, Captain Evan Loehr refuses to mix business with pleasure—except for an unguarded instance years ago when he succumbed to the deep sensuality of redheaded beauty Claire Montoya. From that moment on, though, Evan has been at odds with her, through two deployments to Iraq and back again. But when he is asked to train a team prepping for combat alongside Claire, battle-worn Evan is in for the fight of his life.

Strong, gutsy, and loyal, Captain Claire Montoya has worked hard to earn the rank on her chest. In Evan, Claire sees a rigid officer who puts the rules before everything else—including his people. When the mission forces them together, Claire soon discovers that there is more to Evan than meets the eye.

He’s more than the rank on his chest; he’s a man with dark secrets and deep longings. For all their differences, Evan and Claire share two crucial passions: their country and each other.

 

Here’s the Prologue, Chapter One and Chapter Two of UNTIL THERE WAS YOU for your reading pleasure and titillation!

Does it stand independent of Because of You and Back to You?

Yes, UNTIL THERE WAS YOU is not connected to BECAUSE OF YOU and BACK TO YOU.

Here’s the Prologue and Chapter One of BECAUSE OF YOU for your reading pleaure.

How many books do you have planned in your Coming Home series?

 I won’t say I’ve got a number in my head, honestly. There is at least 1 more book under way and well, we’ll see where the story takes me after that.

Why a military romance instead of say “literary” or just plain fiction?

 I have no idea how to answer that question, lol! My books don’t fit neatly into the boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back genre niche but then again, they are focused on the relationship between one man and one woman. I will confess to having a hard time finding a home for these books because when people say military romance, they think romantic suspense and Navy SEALS and these books are not those books.

Is there another genre or sub-genre you’d like to explore?

 It dawned on me today that while I love a good paranormal, I absolutely suck at it. My world building skills are just terrible. So ultimately, I’d like to get better at that and there are several kinds of stories I’d like to explore. Right now, I’m focusing on the Coming Home books, you know?

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

 Getting the opening of the story right. Man openings are so hard for me. After that, it’s revising without ripping the book apart and starting over.

Easiest?

Revising that almost final draft when it’s just layering and tweaking. Favorite part.

Who’s in charge, you or the characters?

My characters. I’m not an instinctive plotter so I have to work on it. I’ll have one idea for the story but I continually end up surprised by how much my story will change once I get a really great feel for my character.

Do you have a writing schedule or is it whenever the mood/opportunity presents itself?

I sit down on my computer usually by about 8-9 pm every night and try to write at least 2000 words. Some nights, this is easy peasy. Other nights I just give up. But I try to stay on target, you know?

Does your muse require music, chocolate, caffeine, chips, or anything at all?

I can really rock when I’ve got a song stuck in my head. I don’t know why but something about having a song on repeat taps into my muse I just start nailing words to the page. It’s really awesome when things flow that way.

Do you have a favorite genre to read? A favorite book?

I read a lot of non fiction, trying to find the answers to the billion questions in my head. I loved the Hunger Games books because they made me think, you know? Plus I was left with an emotional hangover for DAYS at the end of that series. I mean, totally and completely destroyed me. So so good.

For those who don’t know Fluffy, could you share a bit about her with them?

Fluffy is the dark hamster of the apocalypse. She was the pre-k class pet last year who continually kept coming back to our house and moved in at the end of the school year. She is constantly escaping and threatening to kill the cat. She’s a funny little hamster. She has her own facebook page now for all the shenanigans.

What can readers look forward to from you?

I’m not sure what next year will bring. BACK TO YOU is coming out in September and that will close out this portion of the Coming Home series. I’ve got a couple of ideas dancing around in my head so we’ll see what happens. I’m also releasing a book from my blog about my year in Iraq so readers can look for that as soon as I finish cutting through some red tape!

Thanks so much for having me on Manic Readers!

Thank you for taking the time to visit, Jessica.

Y’all are sooo lucky.  Sue at Romance at Random is graciously offering one lucky commenter a print copy of UNTIL THERE WAS YOU.  Giveaway ends @12 am est on 10-15-12.  Sorry, US only.  Meaningful comments only.  Good luck!

Manic Readers Review of UNTIL THERE WAS YOU.

 

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