This is some text inside of"My publishers are Double Dragon, Medallion Press, Novel Books, Inc., Ellora's Cave, Loose Id, Changing Press, and Cerridwen. I'm an American living in France. My husband is French and we have three children; twin boys and a daughter. We live in a very small village about an hour from Paris. It's a rural area with lots of farms and forests. I love to go for walks, and there are lots of hiking trails around here. My other passions are horses, writing, drawing, and gardening. My garden is vast and needs constant attention so I can mostly be found in the backyard chopping weeds." You can visit Jennifer's webpage here.
What drove/inspired you to get started?

My husband and I were in Argentina for nearly six months. We were way out in the countryside, with no one around and really nothing to do but ride horses. The twis were only two, so I stayed with them all day and while I watched them, I started to write a book. That book, written in longhand on lined paper, is still somewhere in a drawer, but that started me writing short stories and eventually other novels. I'd found something I could do while we traveled, and as a polo player's wife, I traveled constantly.

Do you have any specialized training?

My mother is an English teacher, and I took literature and writing classes in junior college. I think my mother has helped me the most as far as editing goes. Thanks to her, I can usually hand in a pretty clean copy to my publishers. She also taught me how to pare down my writing and take out what is unnecessary or confusing, and most importantly, to distant myself from my writing which helps enormously.

Has this been something you've always wanted to do?

No, actually, I wanted to be a veterinarian, but studies were not, alas, my strong point.

Have there been any obstacles along the way?

Of course, it's incredibly hard to get anything published. I started with short stories and magazine articles about travel and polo, then branched out to fiction. It's been a fascinating and enriching journey, but terribly difficult. I had to learn not to be crushed when the rejection slips arrived. That took a long time, and it still hurts! But at least I've learned to separate myself from my writing. It's like riding --you have to get back up, dust yourself off, and get on the horse again. Well, when the rejection slip comes you pick your ego up, dust it off, and send the story out to another editor. It's hard, but worth it in the end.

Before you got the all important contract, how did your friends and family react to your goals? Were they supportive?

My family has always been supportive, no matter what I decided to do. I never really had a "goal". I never said, I'm aiming to be a best-selling author. I started writing to occupy myself on our voyages, and when I started getting the short stories and articles published, it was like a bonus. When I decided to try to publish my novels, that was different. Both my parents helped by printing up letters and manuscripts, sending them to agents and publishers. They even opened my rejection slips for me (I remember my father calling me in France one day and apologising because I'd received a rejection slip from an agent for a book heÕd printed up and sent in. IÕm sure he felt as bad as if he'd gotten the rejection himself!) So yes, I'm very lucky because my parents and family have been very supportive of me.

Now that you have a book/books in print, do you get different reactions from friends and family?

No, thank goodness! I wouldn't know what to do if that happened! I come from a huge family and my accomplishments don't stand out at all. I have sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, and cousins who are musicians, professors, teachers, counsellors, woodcarvers, etc., whose work I admire. I married very young, didnÕt finish school, and never had a "real" job. My family has always seen me as an artis--either drawing and painting or writing. Since I've always done that, since I was a child, they're used to me. They're happy for me--of course--but don't act any differently towards me. (I'd be pretty embarrassed if they did!)

How did you land that very first book deal?

I sent my book to about every agent in NY and got resounding rejections from all of them. I think I was a little ahead of my time --it's a time travel book about Alexander the Great, and no one had thought to do a movie about him yet. After about three years I sent it to Australia, where it was accepted by an award winning small press, Jacobyte Books. It did very well in Australia- my editor called it "an underground best-seller." But Jacobyte was bought by another company and I got all my rights back. I'm looking around for a publisher now. A very big publishing house is interested in it, but this business is mostly about waiting, as I've discovered.

Did you have any misconceptions in the beginning about the whole book process?

Yes. I had no idea that the process was so complicated, or that contracts were so hard to interpret, or what an advance was, or how an author got paid--It has been interesting, thatÕ's for sure. I ask a lot of questions and my publishers have always had the patience to answer me! Im lucky, I have great publishers and I can't say enough good things about all of them. How would you describe your work? What's the most important thing you'd like others to get out of it? I write to entertain. I write because I want to tell a story. I want to make it fun and full of romance, adventure, and interesting characters. I try to make people think about subjects like redemption, forgiveness, war, the different facets of love, children--life. I want my readers to be enriched by my writing, no matter the genre. I hope I succeed, even in a very small way.

Do you have an agent? If yes, please explain how you acquired your agent and how do you think having one has helped you? If you don't have an agent, would you consider getting one?

I don't have an agent. I'd love an agent. But I think all the agents in NY (and the US) have rejected me. If I missed an agent, (and youÕre reading this) let me know so I can send you a rejection slip form to fill outÊand send to me.

Describe your relationship with your editor (s) (art director if applicable).

I have great editors. I feel so lucky in that respect. We have a good relationship because I listen to them. They are the ones who take my rough diamond of a book and polish it to dazzling perfection. Without my editors, I'd have dangling participles, illogical commas, ridiculous typos, and silly alliterations. Editing is an exacting task, and my editors are both talented and dedicated. It's not easy. It takes patience, knowledge, and a real love of books and literature. So thank you Mom, (my first editor) Allie, Erin, Helen, Jody, Deron, Miraya, Meredith, Martha, Patricia, & Pamela--without you my books would not be as wonderful!

How do you most often communicate with your publisher––e-mail, phone, or snail mail?

I guess about once every three or four months. When we do edits, it's more, of course. But otherwise it's limited to queries for new book ideas I have, submissions, or my questions about the publishing industry. I don't like to be a bother, and I think they have enough to do without having to baby their authors. Besides, our jobs are very different. I create, they refine and market. I help with all the processes, of course, including marketing, but I am an indepentant sort of person who prefers to be left alone and work by myself. So writing is the perfect job for me.

What books do you have in the works now?

Good question! I usually have two or three going at once. Right now I'm in the middle of a YA fantasy and about to start another one. I have two books plotted and outlined that I need to write. So there are four books in the works I'd like to finish by next summer!

Is there anything you'd do differently with your new projects?

Well, my dream is to get an agent and just send my books there, while I sit back and write. But unfortunately, when I finish a book I have to market it myself. I'm also implicated in the publicity part of the business, so when a book appears I spend a lot of time advertising, doing book signings and conferences, (my favorite because I get to meet the readers face to face) and trying to make my website look professional. It means I have a lot less time to write than I would like-- but it does make me proud of my own accomplishments. At least I can honestly say, "I did it by myself!"

Do you do any author events? If so, please describe what they generally consist of.

I have been going to the Booklover Convention in Germany since it started. ( ItÕs the only romance book convention in Europe, and it's great fun. I have met some wonderful people there, and look forward to going back each year. It consists of authors, agents, publishers, and readers getting together for workshops, forums, and photos with the gorgeous male cover models. (Can you tell what my favorite part is?) I give one or two workshops there, and as I'm a sociable person, it's fun for me. I'm going to the Romantic Times convention this spring, and I'm all excited about that. I'll be on the Young Adult panel, and we'll be discussing the pitfalls of publishing YA books (pitfalls?) and sex in teen book. (Which should be very interesting!)

How important do you think author appearances are for you and your book(s)?

For me, author appearances are vital. You know, I work in a vacuum. No matter how many critique partners one has, or critique groups, it's still a lonely job writing a book. I sit in front of the computer screen and type away all day, alone, except for my dog lying at my feet. So getting out in public and meeting the people who read my books is vital. They help keep me focused, they give me a goal to strive towards, and it's a lot of fun meeting new people. I think it helps my book sales too, in that people like to be able to put a face and a personality to a name on the cover of a book.

What's the best thing about publishing a book? What's the worst?

The best thing is getting fan letters from children for my YA books. I just love it when a child writes and tells me how much he or she loved my book. I think I grin like an idiot for days after that. The worst thing about publishing a book has to be waiting to see how it will do. You know, some books make it and some flop. I have one out there that I love, but it's not really doing anything. I don't know why--too dark, too sad, too complex? So that's the worst part-- waiting.

Any last words of encouragement for beginners?

Everyone was a beginner once. Writing is a long learning process  I'm nowhere near finished and I'll probably be learning forever. It's important to keep an open mind and be flexible, and to distance yourself from your work once it's finished. When you're done with one book, start another. And when the rejection slips come, remember, dust off your ego and get back up on that horse! It's worth the ride in the end.