PLEASE WELCOME THE AMAZING AUTHOR BEHIND THE READY SERIES, JENNIFER BERG
Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a little dorky, incredibly clumsy and perhaps a bit of a dreamer.
How would you describe your books?
Emotional stories with just the right mix of fun and steam thrown in. I like my readers to feel everything all at once!
What genre is your work mainly? Do you tend to stay in the same vein or are you hoping (if not already) to explore new ventures?
I started out writing the Ready series, which is contemporary romance (adult romance). My latest standalone, Within These Walls is New Adult however. I enjoy both equally, although it does help that they are so closely linked within the genre.
Share with us a quote from one of your favourite characters in your books
“Love had brought me to her and there, within her arms, I had found a reason to live again. She was my angel, my Lailah, my love.”
Is it hard to come up with new ideas and / or plots?
No. It’s hard to decide which one to write first. Coming up with an amazing idea and realizing you can’t write it for another year or more—that sucks.
What inspired you to write your book?
So many things inspire me. My family and friends, experiences I’ve had—people I’ve met or hear about. Pure randomness I think or dream up. An author’s brain is a scary, scary place.
Who is the easiest character to write for and why? Hardest and why?
Easiest – probably Leah. She was written based on my real life friend Leslie so whenever Leah is in a scene, it’s like just sitting around having a conversation with my bestie.
Hardest – Lailah. The only reason for this is because of her innocence. She was the youngest character I’d ever created. Her life was incredibly sheltered and making sure that came across in a way that didn’t make her appear weak or immature was a challenge.
Without giving anything away, what is / are your favourite scenes in your book(s)?
I love writing emotional scenes. The scenes where people are screaming or crying—those are the times I really feel connected to the characters I create.
Do you have any hobbies?
When I have time, I love to read. I’m also obsessed with yoga and Pilates and try attend classes a few times a week. I’m pretty boring so most weekends, you’ll find me curled up on the couch with my husband and kids watching a movie.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I write full time, so I try to cram in as much as I can while the kids are in school. When they get home, I usually shut down for the day and focus on family. When I’m close to a deadline however, things get a little murky and I tend to just start working every minute I can find.
How did you come up with the title?
Titles are easy for me. I don’t know why but they tend to come with the general idea for the book. I’ve never gone into a book, not knowing what it was going to be called.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Of course. I don’t know any writer that doesn’t give bits and pieces of themselves or their lives in their writing. It’s impossible not to. Every one of my female characters has bits and pieces of me woven into their personality. I’ve written many of my own life experiences into my books. The most well known one Is the opening to When You’re Ready when Maddie hits her head on the ballet barre. That actually happened to my youngest daughter. Since then, I wrote a short story about Leah and Declan and nearly all of that is a combination of both of my birth stories thrown together.
What books have most influenced your life most?
So many. I remember the first self-published book I read. It was written by HP Mallory and is still to this day one of my favorite series. I love paranormal and urban fantasy and as I was scrolling through the beginning of the book, I randomly stopped on the copyright page and saw she had published it. I was amazed that someone could this own their own! That really changed how I viewed my own writing.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Carey Heywood is one of my best friends. We live in the same town and I was lucky enough to meet her right after my first book was published. I wouldn’t call her a mentor exactly, but she is definitely my right hand when it comes to all book related topics.
What book are you reading now?
The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
What are your current projects? If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your books?
I am currently finishing Ready or Not (Ready #5) and then will be starting Beyond These Walls (WTW #2). And no, not a single word. It’s all a learning process.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Childhood. I loved writing when I was younger. In journals, diaries, school assignments…anything I could get my hands on.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
The world was not a safe place to us anymore. It had taken the one thing that was pure and good. And all that remained was despair.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Sex scenes. No joke. They are the hardest thing for me to write. It’s like a brick wall for me every time I have to write one. Give me a good emotional crying scene any day!
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Diana Gabaldon! She created Jamie Fraser…need I say any more?
Who designed the covers?
Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Letting go of the characters when it’s all over. I think it’s why I keep writing series!
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Every time I write a love story, I’m reminded of how lucky I am to be living one.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Stay positive. Don’t let the negative pollute your craft.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I love my readers hard
What is your favourite genre to write?
What is your favourite genre to read?
Romance…any sub genre.
How long have you been writing for?
I have been professionally writing for a year and a half.
What is your favourite movie?
It really depends on my mood and the day of the week! Right now, I’ll go with The Princess Bride.
How difficult is it to come up with one of your amazing plots?
Sometimes they just come and other times, I really have to twist and manipulate them to get them to work just right. My husband has actually helped me work through a few of them!
How about characters? Are they easily born and developed?
They are fairly easy for me to create. They kind of just show up and make themselves known. It’s getting them to shut up that is the hard part.
How long does it take you to complete a novel from concept to completion?
3-4 months to write it. Another month or two to edit and finalize for publication.
What was your first published piece? And how was it to publish your first book?
When You’re Ready was my first published book. It was insanely nerve racking and frightening. The feeling is exactly the same each and every time I’ve hit publish since.
Have you ever trashed a novel or story before or after finishing it, feeling it wasn't turning out as you planned?
No, thankfully/ Although, the thought has crossed my mind a time or two.
Out of all your brilliant characters Which ones were you favourite?
Jude. I love his complexity and high swoon factor.
Do you have a special time or place to write?
I can write wherever for the most part, but I tend to need silence or near silence to write. Music is okay, but Disney is not.
Any funny experiences or quirks you'd like to share with your readers?
I’m full of weird quirks. I hate tennis shoes and always wear fuzzy socks to bed. I’m addicted to chocolate and have an unhealthy attachment to my phone. Oh and I have an unhealthy addiction to the CW.
Which one of your awesome books would you like to see be made in to a movie?
Within These Walls.
What was the worse job you ever done?
I was a hostess and a fish restaurant when I was a teenager. It was awful. I was required to wear a skirt or dress and would have my ass grabbed by dirty old men on a daily basis.
Do you ever get any ideas at random moments, and if so how do you hand on to them?
I keep a journal by my bed to write ideas in. If the idea is really speaking to me, I’ll write an entire blurb for it and save it for later.
Can you write on demand and under pressure, or do you need time and space before the creativity starts to flow and how do you over come writers block?
I give myself daily word count goals based on a deadline I’ve set. It helps me plan and space out my time. Working under extreme pressure isn’t fun, but I can do it. Writers block is the devil! I usually go back and start editing what I’ve already written. It helps get my flow going or at the very least, I’m being productive.