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June 19, 2012

Get to Know: Jess Michaels & An Introduction to Pleasure

Jess, it is a thrill to have you at the Plotting Princesses today.
Let's get to know more about you!

Jess Michaels

How did you get from your day job to writing romance?  After graduating from University of Washington in 1998, I intended to go back to school and get a master’s degree in psychology to begin counseling, but my husband could see I was happier writing. He told me I should do that and I did. I’ve been writing full time ever since.

What are your three favorite books of all time? That is way too hard a question to answer. Favorite books and movies for me are very moody. Something that comforts versus something that invigorates. A childhood favorite versus an influence on me as a writer. I can tell you that the best book I’ve read lately has been THE HAPPINESS PROJECT, which I read for my book club.

Morning, afternoon, or evening person? I’m probably most productive in the morning as far as writing. I love finishing my pages before ten when I can and then have the rest of the day for my own choice, whether that’s getting extra pages in, doing promotional work or hanging with my husband and nephews.

Music--with or without? What kind?  Without. Music tends to break my focus.

First or third POV? Third for all my romances. First has been the case for my urban fantasies.

How's tricks? Do you juggle multiple projects? I do when it’s necessary. I would much rather focus on one project at a time, but most published authors have to have juggling skills. You’re writing a book while editing another. Or finishing one book while starting a new project. With multiple names and publishers, sometimes those lines blur even more. It’s all a matter of being able to switch focus and change the tone of the voice you’re writing in if need be. In some ways, it can be very cleansing.

What's harder: beginning, middle, or the end? I plot, so I don’t often get stuck in the middle. Probably the beginning when I’m still trying to get a handle on the sound of a character.

Revisions: Love 'em or hate 'em? Love them! They make the book better.

How did you come up with that title?  Best advice anybody every gave you? The titles I present to my publishers are usually related to the book and its themes or even a line in them. Sometimes, they take them, often they have another idea, usually for marketing purposes. I never get married to the title in my head. Best advice was from Jenny Crusie, put your head down and write.

Fill in this blank: My ideal fictional hero would think me gorgeous no matter…   No matter what? I mean, that’s sort of the pivotal thing isn’t it. A hero loves his heroine and sees her as beautiful even if that isn’t the case across other characters.

What's your favorite dessert? I’m big on key lime pie right now.  I have desserts pinned on my pinterest board and I stare at the key lime pie cheesecake bars with great lust in my heart.
Here's an excerpt from An Introduction to Pleasure:
          “Miss Manning, I assure you that while I may not be as experienced as some of the women in your acquaintance, I do know what I’m asking of you. And I can only hope that you will help, for my alternatives are far more unpleasant.”
          Vivien’s eyes shut, and she sat like that for almost a full minute before she sighed. “I suppose if you are in such dire straits then those alternatives would be quite terrible. I would hate to be the one to place you in their path. So yes, if you insist on this course of action, I will help you.”
          Lysandra was seated, but she gripped the arms of the chair as dizzy relief washed over her in an almost uncontrollable wave.
          “Thank God,” she breathed.
          Vivien smiled again, but this time there was a sadness to the expression. “I will need to ask you a few questions in order to best help you.”
          Lysandra refocused and bit her lip. “Of course.”
          “This is delicate, but what kind of experience do you have?”
          Lysandra tried to focus over the increased throbbing of her heart. Here was the difficulty. If she told Vivien the truth, she could easily lose the opportunity she had finally won. If she lied, she could end up far over her head. But better the second than the first.
          “Not much, as I said,” she finally answered. “But I am aware of the expectations placed upon a mistress.”


Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Good morning, sweetie pie, and thanks for sharing your day with the PP girls. Congratulations on your book!

Sylvia said...

Hi Jess,
Your book sounds great. You're published by Samhain publishers. What kind of promotion do they do for your books? Just wondering.

Thanks for blogging at the PP.


Elizabeth Essex said...

Hey Jess,

THanks so much for popping by. I am totally on board with your best advice from Jenny Cruisie: "Put your head down and write." Great.

And I'm entirely intrigued by your snippet. AN INTRODUCTION TO PLEASURE sounds fabulous. Can we expect this to be fairly erotic as it's written under your Jess Michaels name?

Thanks again for joining the Plotting Princesses today.

Liese said...

Thanks so much for dropping by with the Plotting Princesses! The excerpt is intriguing! Best of luck!

Cynthia D'Alba said...

Hi Jess! are are writing solely under the Jess Michaels pen name? Or does Jenna Peterson has something brewing?

Is this your first book with Samhain?

Good luck. Great excerpt.

Jess Michaels said...

Thanks so much for having me, Vicki. :)

Sylvia, they have a pretty good machine on their website, they do an ad on the Times Square big trinitron, reviews, etc.

Elizabeth - Yes, it is erotic historical romance (all my Jess stuff is). I'm excited to be getting back to it.

cynthia, at present Jenna doesn't have a publisher, so Jess is doing stuff and Jesse is doing stuff. Still looking for a new historical publisher, though. Hoping maybe to have something happen in the next few months.

Thanks for having me here today! It's release day, so having things to fill the time helps the jitters. :)

Alisha said...

So wonderful to have you here! Times Square Trinitron Ad?!!! That's awesome! Wow! Now that's marketing!!! I love your books! Congrats on your latest release! Have a beautiful week!

Janice Seagraves said...

The Mistress was quite a hook. Makes me wonder what the story is about.


Kathy Ivan said...

Well, as usual looks like blogger ate my previous comment.

Welcome to the Plotting Princesses, Jess! It's great to have you spend the day with us.

Your book looks terrific and that teaser/excerpt really whets the appetite for more. Good luck with sales and happy release day!

Liz Lipperman said...

Let me extend that welcome to the Plotting Princesses, Jess. The excerpt is intriguing, and I want to know what happens next. Guess I'll have to add this one to my TBR pile.

Sasha Summers said...

Great cover and yummy hook = beach read for sure! Thanks for the nibble Jess and good luck on this Book's Birthday!