Welcome to the April Interview With Post! Today I have the lovely Jessica Sankiewicz answering questions for us, providing us with an insight into her life as an author and giving us a way to find her books.
What were you like at school?
Shy. I had several friends, but I was mostly quiet around everyone else. Whenever I would talk, people seemed taken aback like WHOA she's talking, hahaha.
Were you good at English?
Relatively... I didn't get a full grasp of grammar until my twenties when I started writing with the intent of publishing. But I loved to write! I used to write stories, like children's books when I was younger, then got into poetry in high school.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I would like to publish a few books traditionally. There are a few publishers I'm giddy about submitting to, and if they would accept my book proposal I'd be over the moon! And I'd like to make writing my main career instead of having to work a day job.
Which writers inspire you?
Oh my goodness... I'm going to be a little more general because there are legitimately so many of them, I'd be listing all day long. But the kind of authors who inspire me are the ones who never give up, who put forth their best, and are willing to talk about their ups and their downs, but not in a self-depreciating or pitying way. I feel connected to them--we have the same goals and face the same challenges--and it's nice to have that because sometimes writing can make you feel alone in your troubles, like writer's block or having to rewrite a whole chapter. We're all on the same road together.
So, what have you written? (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)
Lots of stuff! Under my maiden name (Jessica Sankiewicz) I wrote If Only We (YA/NA crossover novel) and Not Until Tonight (NA novella). Under my married name (Jessica L. Tate), I published a poetry compilation titled Now You Can See. And under my pen name (Lilly Avalon), I've written six stories: Here All Along (short story), More Than Words (novella), Resist (novella), Longing (novel), Unexpected (novel), and Can't Stay Away (novel). The first 4 are romantic erotica, and the last two are NA/contemporary romance.
Where can we buy or see them? (* include American, European and any other relevant links. Free, free promotions or prices can be included)
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
The main character in my current WIP, Ana, is facing some big choices in life. Her BFF is getting married and settling down, and now she wants that, too, but she's not sure if she can find it. Every date she's gone on in the last year has only lasted one or two dates. So, she has to open herself up more, learn to trust and take things as they come.
What are you working on at the minute?
Currently a short story, but I'm also working on a novella. Both steamy romances and they're coming along well!
Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?
Not yet! I've bounced ideas around with author Marie Landry, but we've been too busy writing our own stuff. I'd be open to working with someone, though!
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Figuring out the direction to take it. I started writing it two years ago, then dabbled with it off and on, but it just wasn't working for me. I set it aside for awhile, then picked it up again recently and worked out the issues. It's getting there now!
What is the easiest thing about writing?
The inspiration! I can come up with all sorts of ideas--for a story, for a scene, for a setting--but sometimes executing it can be a little more difficult. After coming up with the idea, I have to fit it in with other ideas, and come up with new ones and piece it together until they mesh like they're supposed to.
Do you ever get writer's block?
Always... especially in this last year. I've been a bit busy IRL between work and dating my now husband. The lack of consistent writing made me get writer's block. I've made sure to not stop coming up with ideas, writing them down on paper or in my phone as they come to me. It's getting better mostly because things are settling down a bit for me, giving me more time to dedicate to writing and reading. I downloaded a few writing books on Amazon recently and they've helped me already with my craft and how to market my books better, which is good for motivation.
Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?
Not as much as I used to! I read over 200 books in 2015, but only 38 books last year. I'm trying to get caught up on all the great books I downloaded last year and this year, so I'll probably do a little better than 2016 as long as I stick with it. Some of my favourite go-to authors are Noelle Adams, Emma Hart, Katee Robert, Roni Loren, Ember Casey, Marie Landry, Ellen Hopkins, Elle Kennedy, and Sophie Jordan. They write stories from YA to NA to contemporary romance and more. I've never been disappointed by them!
Advice for other writers?
Never give up. It feels like such a long road from idea to the first draft to publishing, but it's worth it. Don't stress over having a perfect draft. You'll never publish if you're aiming for perfection. This one gets said a lot: Read. In your genre, outside your genre, nonfiction, fiction, writing craft, whatever. I never realized the importance of it until more recently when I was struggling with writer's block. It does help get the creative juices flowing. And just have fun with your writing. If it becomes a burden, take a break or maybe try a different story. You don't have to force anything if it's not working.
Thank you so much!! ❤
Thank you so much for answering questions Jessica! If you're an author, writer, or blogger and want to take part, head over to the contact page!