Author Spotlight: Jess Dee
Describe yourself in one word:
What is your background with regard to writing?
I grew up with a passionate love for reading romance and an absolute conviction that one day I could write my own. When I was 21, I put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) – and proved just how wrong convictions could be. That book sucked! Over ten years later, I decided to give writing another go – and this time the results were way better. J
When did you first begin writing with a view of embarking on a career as a published author?
When I moved to Australia. I was jobless and had a young son. I wanted to work—just not full time. I figured I’d complete a course in journalism and see where that took me. Then fate stepped in. While searching for the right course, I stumbled across a college that offered a diploma in…(wait for it)…Romance Writing! It took all of two minutes to decide to enrol in the course, nine months to complete it and another three months to finish the book I was working on then – Photo Opportunity. Since that day, I’ve never looked back.
Tell us a little more about Table For Two:
Table for Two is the second book in my self-published series, The Sunday Night Dinner Club. The series is based around a group of friends who have a standing dinner arrangement to meet every third Sunday evening. It’s their way of ensuring they remain close in the frenetic day to day lives they all lead. Table for Two is the story about two of those friends accidentally falling in love. It’s a fun, hot read that’ll leave you smiling—and maybe, just maybe, looking at your best friend in a whole new light.
Table for Two is a gorgeous romance set between two friends, and let’s face it, that’s got to be one of the best romance tropes. Tell me though, what was your biggest challenge in writing James and Olivia’s story?
I totally agree. I love this trope—which probably explains why I keep returning to the ‘friends-to-lovers’ theme. With regards to challenges while writing this book, truthfully, there were very few. Often I’ll struggle to map out plotlines or determine where the book goes next. But James and Liv’s story just poured out—making me smile the entire time. Possibly the most difficult part was researching Liv’s work and the problems she encounters there. I spent hours on the net and chatting to my hubby about business policies—of which I have no understanding.
What one character trait will most endear both James and Olivia to your readers? I’m going to say James’s blunt, but oh-so-charming, honesty. It’s typically alpha-male and no-nonsense, but it also shows a wealth of underlying respect and emotion.
You’ve recently taken the enormous step to move from being traditionally published to self-published as well; you must be incredibly busy! Firstly, how is the cross-over going? And, can you share with us your best time management tip?
The cross-over has been terrifying. After writing for over ten years, I feel like I’ve dived head first into the deep-end of a whole different industry. Up until now, writing has been just that. Writing. But with self-publishing, the work becomes more of a self-run business, and I’m responsible for ensuring every aspect of that business runs smoothly. (I guess it’s given me more of an appreciation for all the details publishers usually take care of.) As for a time management tip…the best advice I can give is: Whatever you do, don’t listen to me! My time management skills suck.
What do you want readers to know about the romance genre?
13% of all adult fiction books sold are romances. And there’s a reason for that—romance books and romance readers are freaking awesome!
If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?
Spending time with my family. Or wishing I was writing.
What’s next for you?
For now, my full focus is on the Sunday Night Dinner Club. I suspect the next year will be spent on books in this series.
What book is currently on your nightstand?
Brigid Kemmener’s Elemental series. I’ve just finished reading the last one, Sacrifice, and I loved, loved, loved every book.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Life will throw you curve balls. Lots of them. But you’ll cope – and you’ll be stronger and wiser for them.
It’s almost Christmas (yes, already!), tell us: what are you hoping to find under the tree this year?
Oooh, anything would be a treat. Being Jewish, we don’t celebrate Christmas. But I’m just like my kids on this one. I stare longingly at any Christmas tree I see and wish there were gifts sitting under it…for me.
Favourite Christmas recipe?
I make a yummy savoury pumpkin pie.
Favourite Christmas tradition?
We have a big bbq lunch for friends at our house every year. (The pumpkin pie vanishes!)
Share with us your biggest New Years Resolution for 2015:
2015 is coming? ACK! I’m not prepared. I don’t have any resolutions yet. (See? Me and my lousy time management skills.)
Favourite travel experience?
I have two. 1) We travelled to Alaska last year, and had the best holiday. It is incredibly beautiful. 2) The Kruger National Park Game Reserve in South Africa. It’s my favourite place on earth.
Number one thing to do on your bucket list:
Travel with my hubby and kids to new places. (Tasmania, Europe, Vietnam, New Zealand’s South Island…)
Milk, dark or white chocolate? Milk. And white. Lots of it. Lots and lots and lots. And lots. And lots more.
Red, white, bubbly? Bubbly. I’m on a big Moscato kick at the moment.
About the Author:
Once Jess discovered it was okay to leave the bedroom door open in her romance novels, she decided to leave everything open. Buttons, zips, pants, number of lovers… Which is why her books are all steamy erotic romances. While Jess lived most of her life in South Africa, the last twelve years have been spent in Australia. From the fast paced Sydney lifestyle to the laid back islands and beaches, there’s always another gorgeous Aussie setting for a contemporary romance.
Table for Two
Sunday Night Dinner Club, Book 2
James Elliot never meant to barge into his friend’s bedroom, but now that he’s caught an eyeful of Olivia Taylor, butt-naked, he can’t seem to imagine her any other way.
Liv’s world is falling apart. The goals she’s worked so hard to achieve are crumbling. The only thing she can rely on now is the constant stability her friends provide.
But one of those friends is changing the dynamics of their relationship. James is whipping away everything that’s familiar between them and replacing it with a sensuality and a passion Liv can’t ignore.
With so much at stake, Liv has no time to fall in love—even if it’s with her best friend. It’s up to James to guide her through the toughest challenge of her life and show her that the light on the other side of the tunnel just might burn between them forever.
Warning: Contains all the red-hot loving you’d expect from a Jess Dee romance, and a sexy, sports-mad, muscle-bound alpha hero with a penchant for tossing his heroine over his shoulder.