Author Jean Oram Shares Their Story
About the Author
Jean Oram grew up in a small town and likes to pluck real life experiences from her past to slide into her small town Blueberry Springs series. She loves to ski, hike, camp, and toss tennis balls for her dog, cuddle her kitties, and dream up new family adventures for her and her husband and two kids to partake in. Next up–kayaking!
What inspires you to write romance books?
I have no clue. I sat down one day, laughing at myself, and declared I was going to write a novel. Turns out I LOVE IT. I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up and it is to be an author. As for romance, I love the tension and dynamics between the heroine and hero. I love to figure out their weaknesses and strengths and why they should be together. It’s delicious!
Tell us about how you write:
This is a process which has undergone crazy revisions! Just like my writing. It used to be where I had to be alone to write. Now I can write around my family. But I still need to be alone to focus when I edit.
Right now I am trying a process where I write the first draft off a basic outline. That is super fast for me. Then comes editing which takes 3-4 times as long. I go over once with a light edit where I am looking for fluffing out plot and characters. Then I edit again for other such less major tweaks and then a fine edit where I try to make sure every comma is in place. Then off to beta readers and critique partners. Then I edit based on that. Then off to a professional editor. Make those changes and publish! What a process!
Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Only when I haven’t taken my meds. Kidding! My characters have shoved their way into changing the way a story has gone, but in general I don’t walk around with them interrupting me, etc. My writing and real life tends to be separate compartments for me.
What advice would you give other writers?
Make sure your heroine is a loveable gal that readers can identify with. Sometimes you want a story to go a certain way, but listen to your beta readers. I tell ya, Beth wanted to be one way, but beta readers wanted her to be a different kind of gal. So Beth had to have a bit of a personality makeover. Don’t be afraid to rewrite!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I have a very smart friend who had already taken the independent publishing plunge with great results. She told me to ignore those literary agents who were telling me my stories were funny but they couldn’t sell them because chick lit was dead. (And yes, I tried repackaging them as women’s fiction. They didn’t fall for it as my voice was still chick litty.)
She made me a cover–the one for Champagne and Lemon Drops–that gave me little thrills every time I saw it. That was the story I wanted to sell. So I did some rewriting and editing and pulled up my pants and slapped on my goggles and jumped into the deep end of self-publishing.
And it has been amazing. I love how close you can get to readers. There is nothing more rewarding (or at times–terrifying!!). As I said, she is a very smart friend. 😉
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The world is wide open and subject to change. Those who stay still will not find success.
Try something new. Every day.
What genres do you write?
Chick lit, women’s fiction, contemporary romance
What formats are your books in?