V- Tell us about your most current release and what inspired you to write it?
J- My current release is Last Rake Standing, a Victorian e-book novella. I started writing the character of Marcus one day and he just crawled in and started taking over. I had Emma already in another story and when I brought the two of them together, they just hit it off. This was my first shorter book (I always used to be much longer-winded!) and I had never tried to write a novella before, so it was an interesting adventure/experiment.
V- When did you start writing and what was your road to publication like? Do you have any advice for new writers starting out?
J- I started writing years ago - just for myself. I never intended to let anyone read what I wrote. Then, one day, I got brave enough to show a few friends who I trusted to give an honest opinion. They gave me enough encouragement and support to keep going and then I started looking into actual publication. I sent out my first book in 2001. Now, looking back, I realize it wasn't ready, but at the time I was proud of it. I had some interest from agents, but that all fizzled out. Then I put my writing away for a few years. About five years ago I picked it up again and got the fever back. I was able to go from working full-time to part-time and that was a huge help for my writing. I started looking for an agent again and after about a year (and several manuscript revisions) I actually landed a top New York agent. She was wonderful, very enthusiastic. I thought that was it and I was finally on my way! Then I started to open my eyes and realize that it's not the way it happens in movies. Writing is a business. It's creative, but it's a business. You can't just write what you want to write, unless what you want to write happens to be what's selling. You have to learn to tailor your writing to the market. It's important to adapt, not be afraid of change. Eighteen months later my agent hadn't been able to sell my first two books and I sensed her motivation waning, which was understandable. Mine was too! It was so frustrating to get that close and to have editors keeping us on tenterhooks, telling us they loved the manuscript one day and then shooting it down the next. So my agent and I parted company and I was back to square one. I was, however, more determined than ever to get published. I think the experience with that agent - who gave me some invaluable writing advice while I was with her, by the way - just set me on the path and gave me the push I needed. Two months later, working on my own, I had my first book contracted to Lyrical Press (Seducing the Beast will be out in August 2011) and a month after that I had "Last Rake Standing" contacted to Evernight Publishing (released in January this year). My advice to anyone writing out there is to persevere. Believe in the characters you write and keep pushing. If one door closes, find another. Crawl in through the window if you have to! Don't be afraid to go it alone. Agents are great, but even getting one doesn't guarantee a sale, so be prepared to do some work on your own and take chances.
V- What other things interest you besides writing?
J- I spend most of my time writing and don't have a lot spare for other things at the moment. I like going out to dinner occasionally, mostly just relaxing. I used to workout all the time, but sadly that's fallen by the wayside lately!
V- What are you currently reading and what books can be found in your to-be-read pile?
J- I'm currently re-reading Far From the Madding Crowd. I never keep a to-be-read pile. I read a book as soon as it catches my eye and I don't put it down until I'm done. Unless it bores me.
Now for some less formal, fun questions!
V- If you had one wish, what would it be?
J- To have my own charter plane, complete with crew, so I could fly anywhere in the world with my dogs. Oh,and quarantine restrictions would have to go, but I guess that's another wish!
V- Name one item you cannot do without in life and why.
J- Computer - obviously.
V- Cats or dogs?
J- Dogs. Love cats too but I've never owned one, so the pooches have to come first.
V- What’s your ultimate indulgence?
J- Cognac Pumpkin Cheesecake from Shari's Berries.
V- What can we expect to see from you in the future?
J- I have a series of three Victorian novellas coming up, Engraved, Entangled and Enraptured. The series title is A Private Collection and it follows the erotic adventures (or misadventures) of the Blackwood brothers who have to find the three women who once posed in scandalous nude portraits for their eccentric father. Each book follows one of the brothers. Engraved is the youngest son Adam's love story. It will be available in March from Evernight Publishing . Information about upcoming books can be found on my website at http://www.jaynefresina.com/ .
V- Jayne, I wish you the best of luck with your writing career, and thanks again for joining us at, Write Outside The Box.