Sunday, April 17, 2011

Forgive and Forget?

When I first met Jenna Bayley-Burke, I knew we would become friends. Why? She is just one of those people you instantly like. She sees the world as a hilarious place to live--though a bit chaotic. Whether she is chasing her three young children, organizing a baby shower for a friend, or joining in a kiddie party, she truly lives up to her moniker of "domestic goddess."  It's no wonder she writes incredible romances with a bit of humor.  But she can also be serious and very supportive of people in need, as evidenced by her latest novel.
Please welcome Jenna Bayley-Burke as she launches her eighth novel, Private Scandal from Samhain Publishing. Set to release April 19th.

What was the initial spark that put this story in your head?

Celebutants & Rapunzel. No kidding. I've always identified with the story (and not just because I long for the hair!) Circumstances happen to people and they have to find a way out of them. The white knight riding in to save the day is fine, but I like heroines who aren't waiting around for the pounding of hoofbeats and are instead actively looking for ways to save themselves. And while I love the soap operas that are the lives of our reality TV stars, I think they give celebutants a bad rap. Sure, some of them have a boyfriend of the week and have spent enough on their shoe collection to build a dozen elementary schools, but others are using their status and wealth to help others. Lauren Bush's work to fight world hunger comes to mind. Then it started with a what if:: poor little rich girl loses everything - money, family, boyfriend, friends, dog....what does she do? How does she save herself? 

Your reputation is for writing hot contemporaries with a flirty sense of humor.  The blurb on this book seems more serious.  Is this book a new direction for you or is there still some humor too?

I've had an emotional streak going! Writers tend to channel bits of their own mood into their work, and the last two were written when I was in a torn place personally. I had to make some hard choices about what was best for me and it wasn't always the popular choice. Now that I have that squared away (mostly), I'll be returning to stories where I can explore whacky things and crack myself up!
It seems that most authors use something from their own lives, or the lives of people they know as an integral part of the story.  Is there anything in this story like that?  If so, what?

For me it tends to be what the characters eat. If there's food in the scene you can bet that I was dieting and wanted something delicious instead of carrot sticks (not that there's anything wrong with carrots). In this story, Megan is the champion of a handful of women's shelters that her family had always provided for. Without the family's backing, these private shelters are in trouble. I've always been passionate that every soul should feel safe in their own home, and I think I unconsciously chose women's shelters because of this.
Is there a particular scene in this book that you really loved when you finished it? Which one and why?

I love the flying Birkin scene. Oh, and when Megan walks through the penthouse in a towel. And pretty much any scene with Danny in it. The guy might need his own book! I tend to like the funnier scenes, which is why I tend to write them. When I can write something I think is clever, and then read it later and laugh, I know I've done a good job.
I know you have a pretty extensive backlist and you've published widely. Where can readers find all the books you've written?

The Amazon river will come right to your door :) I have novels from Samhain there, but the erotica from Phaze is available at places like Diesel ebooks and Fictionwise. The Mills & Boon romances are nearly impossible to find, which is such a disappointment. I'm hoping I can convince them to ebook them soon.

What's next for you?  Can you tell us about any upcoming releases?  Will you be traveling in the next few months where readers can find you?

I'm re-releasing a reworked version of one of my favorite stories, For Kicks, in late summer with Samhain. Writing the story was therapy for me since I was able to work out my years in retail management. It's about reaching your goal and then realizing it wasn't right for you.

Hopefully, I'll be writing up a storm in the next few months! I don't have any reader events planned until RWA Nationals in NYC in late June!

Thanks for joining us, Jenna!

You can get Jenna's new book, Private Scandals, at one of these fine online retailers.  I personally pre-ordered it and can hardly wait for it to download to my Nook.  I suggest you run and get your copy too.

4 comments:

Paty Jager said...

Great post, Maggie and Jenna! I agree Jenna is fun to be around. Her bubbly personality makes everyone else grin and have a good time.

All you books sound great. I need to get a hold of them.

I've been on a mystery kick lately.

Maggie Jaimeson said...

Hey Jenna, I'm hoping you are getting lots of people interested in Private Scandals. I've been out of town the past week doing grant stuff, but I'm going to start tweeting your book now. Let's get some more people commenting!

Jenna Bayley-Burke said...

eep! I told you not to read that part of the email where I spewed out excuses! @ Zumba this week someone said they didn't know how I managed to write with a workaholic hubster, 3 kiddos, and so much time at the gym. My answer?

I don't know either!!

Sarah Raplee said...

I shall make a foray into the Kobo bookstore from my you-never-heard-of-it Literati eBook and try to buy your new book, Jenna! Private Scandals sounds intriguing. Congratulations on your release!