Today my guest for Author Spotlight is Jennifer Wilck. My interview questions reveal a complex woman who has found expression through writing. Take a look and enjoy, my new friend and fellow Rebel Ink Press author, Jennifer Wilck.
When I was a little girl and couldn’t fall asleep, my mother would tell me to make up a story. Pretty soon, my head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Each character had a specific personality, a list of likes and dislikes, and sometimes, even a specific accent or dialect. Even as an adult, I think about the characters and stories at night before I fall asleep, or in the car on my way to or from one of my daughters’ numerous activities (hey, anything that will drown out their music is a good thing).
One day, I started writing them down (it was either that or checking into the local mental hospital—the computer was way less scary). Since then, I’ve published two contemporary romances with Whiskey Creek Press. The Seduction of Esther is my first book with Rebel Ink Press, and I’m excited to be part of their team.
In the real world, I’m the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men I know. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, traveling and watching TV. In between chauffeuring my daughters to after-school activities that require an Excel spreadsheet to be kept straight, I serve on our Temple Board and volunteer for way more things than I have time to do. I also write freelance articles for magazines, newspapers, and edit newsletters.
When all of that gets overwhelming, I retreat to my computer, where I write stories that let me escape from reality. In my made-up world, the heroines are always smart, sassy and independent. The heroes are handsome and strong with just a touch of vulnerability. If I don’t like a character, I can delete him or her; if something doesn’t work, I can rewrite it. It’s very satisfying to be in control of at least one part of my life.
Samara Goldberg has a problem even the most beautiful singing voice can’t fix. She’s a walking disaster, especially when she’s around handsome men. To make matters worse, she’s in desperate need of someone to play the character of Mordecai for the Purim spiel she’s producing and the new congregant, Nathaniel Abramson, is a perfect fit. Nathaniel is a divorced dad who’s recovering from the biggest public scandal of his life. The last thing he needs is a relationship with the choir director at his new synagogue, who also happens to be playing the lead female role of Esther in the very play he’s been coerced into joining.
Woven around the Jewish holiday of Purim, The Seduction of Esther is a story of two people whose lives mirror the plot of the Purim story. Like Esther, who had to hide her Jewish identity from the King of Persia, Samara and Nathaniel are hiding key pieces of themselves. Evil Haman wanted to destroy the Jews, and the nasty Josh will do anything to keep Samara and Nathaniel apart. Will their love survive, like the Jewish people in Shushan, Persia, or will their fear keep them apart?
1. Who is your favorite character in this book and why?
I love the heroine, Samara, in The Seduction of Esther. While I am many things, one thing I’m not is a klutz, and she is. It was so much fun to write about the escapades she gets herself into. Most of Samara’s klutziness comes out when she’s around men she’s attracted to, so I really enjoyed putting her into situations with the hero to see how she reacts, and then with another man who likes her but whose feelings are not reciprocated. Hopefully the reader will laugh as much as I did!
2. What inspires you for your stories?
I get my inspiration from many places. Sometimes from minor characters on TV, sometimes from people I see during the course of my day. Once I got inspiration from a billboard. Actually, The Seduction of Esther revolves around the Jewish holiday of Purim, so my friends at Temple are dying to see if anyone they know is in the book.
In all seriousness, for this story, I wanted to write a romance that had Jewish elements in it, much like so many of the romances have Christian elements—Christmas, wedding in a church, etc. So I took one of the holidays, Purim, and used it as the theme for the book. One of the main themes of Purim is hiding one’s identity, and the hero and heroine in The Seduction of Esther have things that they hide from others as well.
3 Tell us something no one else knows about you.
I think that’s a trick question, since there’s probably a reason on one knows certain things about me.
Yes, Jennifer, I’m sneaky like that — E.G. LOL
Most people know (or soon figure out) that I hate public speaking. However, what they don’t know is that I used to do it all the time when I was working as an editor of trade magazine. I spoke at conferences and seminars and led panel discussions about all sorts of techie topics. My problem with public speaking is doing it in front of people I know. I’m not sure if that says more about my friends or about me, though.
4. What genre classification would you put on your book and what would you consider the heat level of the romance?
The Seduction of Esther is a contemporary romance with a Jewish theme. As for heat level, I’d say moderate. There are sex scenes, but they’re not excessively graphic.
5. When did you start writing and what kicked off your passion to be an author?
I’ve always loved writing and have been writing in one form or another for as long as I can remember. However, I started “officially” writing romance when my oldest daughter was about six years old. I was watching TV one night and an idea for a story popped into my head. I ran to my computer and began writing it down. Three books later and I haven’t stopped writing. I’m hoping for a lot more books to be published in the future.
I can be reached at www.jenniferwilck.com or http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jennifer-Wilck/201342863240160. I tweet at @JWilck. My blog (Fried Oreos) is www.jenniferwilck.wordpress.com and I contribute to Heroines With Hearts at www.heroineswithhearts.blogspot.com.
Jennifer I love the cover and the premise for the book sounds very interesting. Here is an excerpt that put this on my must read list. E.G.
Nathaniel logged out of Facebook and leaned back in his desk chair. It squeaked in protest. The application had suggested a number of potential “friends” for him and as usual, he’d ignored them. But this time, the names filled him with a twinge of unease. Both names had been from his old synagogue. Both people knew of his past. The past he’d do anything not to repeat. Which is why today’s time with Samara puzzled him.
He couldn’t deny his attraction to her. The past few weeks he’d tried to deny it and it hadn’t gotten him anywhere. Her appearance at the Met had surprised him, although he wasn’t sure why. He was bound to run into people he knew in the city—it was big, but crossing paths wasn’t unheard of or unexpected.
His heart beat faster as he remembered the warmth of her hand in his, the syncopation of their steps as they meandered through the galleries, the mutual looks they’d exchanged at a comment of Zoe’s. She was real, natural and warm. She made him feel things he didn’t want to feel, wasn’t ready to feel, but couldn’t deny. When they were together, electricity filled the air. His senses went on hyper-alert. The scent of her perfume filled his nostrils and he longed for more—and he didn’t even like perfume. His skin tingled at her nearness, every hair on his arm and neck stood on end and it was as if he could determine her exact position in the room in relation to himself like a compass. He could stare at her for hours, read every emotion on her expressive face, gaze into the endless pools of brown liquid as she looked back at him. He knew her emotions from the tone of her voice and her singing made him forget who and where he was. His mouth went dry at the thought of kissing her, tasting her skin. He shook his head to clear it. At this rate, he’d never get any sleep tonight. As he rose and went to bed, the only thing he could think of was Samara.
Find “The Seduction of Esther” and Jennifer’s other work at all fine e-book vendors.
Buy Links for The Seduction of Esther