1. How did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always expressed myself more eloquently in the written word than the spoken.
2. Tell me about your journey as an author… where did it start?
It started in the fifth grade when my teacher needed to keep me occupied while she worked with reading groups. I would read poetry magazines, copy and memorize the poems, then write my own inspired by those I’d memorized. I began keeping a diary after that, which I kept up for years…until I married and life became too busy. Years later, I decided to pursue romance writing seriously upon my daughter’s insistence that I follow my lifelong dream of becoming a published author. Six years ago I joined a local chapter of Romance Writers of America here on Long Island, wrote five pages of my first book over and over until my critique group wanted more, then finished the book within a year. That book’s first chapter won an award, but I’ve yet to pursue publication with it. (Maybe I will one day. LOL.) I wrote three-quarters of the second book in that series, but didn’t finish it, frustrated in general with my lack of originality. I spent the next year focused on building my imagination and learning the craft and industry. Toward the end of that year I came up with the premise for my Mystic Escapes Series.
Since then, I’ve written six more romances, four of which have been published. My debut was a contemporary romance novella, Christmas Light. The second was His Kiss (retitled as The Rebel’s Redemption). Text Me, Maybe released on August 8th, and I’m excited that One More Sunset—first published last autumn by a now-defunct publisher—has found its home with Foundations LLC and will release on October 3rd.
3. Are you a “plotter” or do you fly by the seat of your pants?
I’m what you might call a hybrid. When I first began writing seriously six years ago, I created a personal writing template, which includes the story’s working title, the setting, character details, a logline, tagline, and brief synopsis. Once that handy form is all filled out, I sit down and let my imagination take care of the details as I alternate between brainstorming and drafting. However, on my most recent two WIPs, I’ve begun to be far more detailed, and am making sure I’ve nailed down all the major beats and have woven in the subplots and romance arc BEFORE drafting. So far, this is making the drafting part go much more quickly.
4. Where do you get your inspiration from?
5. What has been the greatest challenge in being a writer and becoming published? What lessons would you share with new writers?
The greatest challenge has been deciding which genre fits me best. I love so many types of books that I’ve struggled with settling into just one genre. Also, I’ve learned I’ve had to say no to projects that I knew didn’t fit me so that I could focus on projects that I feel strongly about. As far as advice, I’ll suggest that aspiring writers relax and be true to themselves, writing and reading a lot, and focus on their own creative journeys rather than comparing themselves to other authors.
6. What you working on at the moment?
I tend to be a multi-tasker when it comes to writing. Currently, I’m drafting a small town contemporary romance, a flirty urban-set romance, and am in the edits process for the next book in the Mystic Escapes series called One More Touch. I’m also percolating ideas for One More Chance, the third story in the series which will be set between Long Island and Bermuda.
7. What should readers expect from your books?
Generally speaking, I write complex, emotional storylines but with a dose of humor and a guaranteed happily-ever-after.
8. What’s on your bookshelf? Do you have favorite authors?
Pretty much all subgenres of romance. I don’t generally read horror or psychological thrillers (real life is scary enough for me), although my curiosity has been piqued by the movie trailers for The Girl on a Train. I might just have to get up the nerve and read that book and see the film. (I’m a sucker for fast-paced mysteries.)
9. And of your own books, which is your favorite?
I love them all in different ways, but the one I’ve reread most just so happens to be One More Sunset. Perhaps that’s because I adore Key West so much and all those details allow me to relive wonderful couple getaway memories via Abby’s adventure.
10. If you could write in any other genre than your own, what would it be?
I’d write middle grade fantasy or mysteries.
Thank you for a great interview and answering all the questions. Here is how you can reach Jolyse Barnett.
Author Name: Jolyse Barnett
Author Website/Blog: http://jolysebarnett.com
Author Profile Page on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jolyse-Barnett
Author Profile on Smashwords: NONE
Goodreads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9788820.Jolyse_Barnett
Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJolyseBarnett
Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/JolyseBarnett
Pinterest Account: https://www.pinterest.com/jolysebarnett/
B&N Print: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/christmas-in-new-york-jeannie-moon/1120676053?ean=9781942240044
The Rebel’s Redemption (formerly His Kiss)
Text Me, Maybe
B&N Print: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/text-me-maybe-jolyse-barnett/1123671813?ean=9781682811887
One More Sunset