About the Author
Jerica MacMillan is a lifelong reader and lover of romance. Nothing beats escaping into a book and watching people fall in love, overcome obstacles, and find their happily ever after. She was recently named a semi finalist in Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write 2015 contest.
Jerica is living her happily ever after in North Idaho with her husband and two children. She spends her days building with blocks, admiring preschooler artwork, and writing while her baby naps in the sling. Sign up to receive updates on her reading and writing life at www.JericaMacMillan.com.
What inspires you to write romance books?
I love happily ever afters. I’ve been reading romance for years.
I decided that I should put the stories that swirl around in my head on paper (or on the screen, as the case may be).
I like to take situations from real life and reimagine what might have happened if someone made a different choice. Or how I might react in a particular situation. Or at least another way someone might react. And those become full grown stories populated by characters with their own personalities. Once I have the situation started, the characters sort of take over and make the story come alive.
Tell us about how you write:
I’m not really a pantser or a plotter. I do a little bit of both. I always come up with an opening scenario first, and then I let myself stew on the characters and the situation. I figure out a few high points of the story, and then let the characters take over to get me where they need to go.
One of the nice things about romance is that I always know my characters will end up together. I don’t always know how they’ll get there, though.
I write down a sentence that sums up each pivotal scene so I know where I’m heading. I keep notes in a few different places, and I try to keep track of character details as I go so I can quickly reference an eye color or something so I don’t screw up and give the same character three different eye colors throughout the story.
Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Sometimes I ask my characters questions, though that’s usually in my head.
Mostly I just see them doing whatever they’re doing, more like I’m watching a movie. They don’t usually talk to me directly (sometimes, but not often).
What advice would you give other writers?
Keep writing. Read lots of books. Take writing advice form all corners, regardless of the writer’s genre. The basics of storytelling are the same no matter what genre you write in. Make friends with other writers who help you and encourage you.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I chose to self publish because I like having control of the process. Traditional publishing takes a long time to get in the door, and then another long wait to actually get the book published. New authors don’t get big marketing budgets from publishers, so they have to do the majority of the work themselves. I figured if I was going to have to do that much work marketing my book either way, I’d rather keep more of the money.
If you’re a new author, do lots of research into book marketing and self publishing and what it takes to be successful. Know that self-publishing is the same as going into business for yourself. You’re in charge of everything and have to know enough to make good decisions, even when you’re hiring others to do parts for you. You need to be educated enough to find a good editor, a good cover designer, things like that.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think it’s exciting. It’s definitely moving more and more toward digital publishing vs hard copy. But that’s good news for readers and writers, especially indie authors. Story telling has been around since the dawn of language. It’s not going away any time soon, even if mediums change.
What genres do you write:: New Adult and Contemporary Romance
What formats are your books in: eBook
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