If you follow my author Instagram, you may have seen posts about the books by our next author in this author interview series. Jessica Brown writes sweet romance stories. We did a cross promotion and she hooked me with Something Sweet for Christmas. Then a week or so ago I binged another of hers. Lol Moreover, Jessica is a friendly supporter among Kindle Vella authors. She’s offers kind words, but she’s actively trying to raise awareness of this new platform by supporting and cross promoting with many authors!
Writing serialized fiction
How did you know you had this series in you?
The Something Series began when a friend of mine suggested I write a Christmas romance and put it on Vella in early December 2021. In the beginning, it was only going to be a one-off story, but then a secondary character in Something Sweet for Christmas begged me for her own story, and so the series started to take shape. There are now five planned stories (two already in existence and three coming later this year).
Why did you choose to use a series format?
I’ve always intended to self-publish in the more typical sense, and I have several books that will be published that way. I only knew about Vella because the friend who suggested I write the Christmas romance had been writing on the platform since its beginning. At the time of her suggestion, I had gone through several life changes. I had a new baby and resigned from my job as an educator, and I was looking for a way to start getting my writing out sooner than initially planned. Once I started posting episodes, I fell in love with the format. It got me writing more consistently again. Once I was over halfway through posting Something Sweet for Christmas, I realized the first romance I wrote back in 2017 would be great for this format with some revision. That’s when I decided to start posting episodes of Staying Lost: A North Creek Novel on Vella. Staying Lost is book one of a four-book small town, romantic suspense series.
I’m also co-authoring a small-town romance series with a writer friend, May Lark. The Port Seaver Series takes place in a small, fictional, oceanside town in Maine and has four planned books that will begin their release on Vella in June.
I love reading about New England. Being from Vermont, and still living there, stories set nearby make me smile!
Not all of my work will end up on Vella, though. I have a mafia romance series in the works, with a planned release of late 2022 for book one. I also have another series that will be released at a later date in the typical self-publishing way. I’m hoping my work on Vella will help create a following for those later series.
I think it has a great potential to do this! And Vella lets us easily try a wide variety of genres or expanded genre which may gather us a wider audience, too.
What is your greatest challenge in writing?
Finding time. As a new mom with a six-month old, it’s amazing how little time there seems to be in a day now. Those little pockets of time when my son is napping are now reserved for writing and marketing.
It’s amazing how many things we try to fit into naptime. Some definitely make us happier than others.
Is there something that you found particularly helpful for writing?
I’m always confused by my need to plan out an entire, unachievable schedule in monthly planners, only to keep replanning it when I don’t hit my deadlines. The planning part keeps me motivated, even if it’s not always successful in terms of timeline. I also write better with classical music in my ears and a hot cup of tea in my hands.
I love to write with a drink by my side! What the drink is depends on my mood and the scene.
What else can you describe in your writing process? Funny though, I pictured you listening to CHristmas carols while writing the Something Sweet for Christmas.
I’m a total pantser. In fact, it wasn’t until the Something Series that I plotted out an entire story before starting, and even that changed as I wrote. I like to let the characters and situations carry me from scene to scene, and sometimes characters do things you don’t expect.
And the quirks that characters suddenly show. It’s amazing how they come to life!
Time to share
How do you know your piece is ready to be shared/complete?
I’m not sure I do. With Vella, the process is a bit different. I’ll know an episode is complete after feedback from a fellow writer. Her constructive criticism has been priceless.
It’s fantastic to have a fellow writer available to offer feedback and tell us to just stop and publish!
Who is your expected audience?
Anyone who loves romance. I write in a variety of subgenres and tropes, so there’s something for everyone who reads romance.
Who has been your strongest supporter?
My husband has been a huge supporter during this journey. He’s encouraged me every step of the way to keep writing, even when I’ve doubted myself. I also have a couple writer friends who are constant supporters, who I appreciate greatly.
It’s fantastic when your spouse supports you!
Authors and books that influenced you?
What author, or book, or series most influenced you?
Oh, my, that’s a difficult question. It varies for each series I’m writing. For the North Creek Novels, I was inspired, in part, by Brenda Novak. For the mafia romance, I was initially influenced by Michelle St. James after reading her Ruthless King series.
What else makes you happy?
I love baking. Cookies, cakes, breads… you name it and I want to bake it. Had I realized my love for baking earlier in life, I might have pursued it as a career.
We need more!
When can we expect more from you?
The Something Series will continue to be released on Vella throughout the year, with book 3 coming in May or June, book 4 coming in the fall, and book 5 coming right before the new year.
Where can we find your book?
Write now, you can find me on Kindle Vella. Eventually, those novels on Vella will also be available through KU and KDP.
Where can we find you?
I’m on Instagram and TikTok @jessicabrownauthor. I also have a Facebook page and within the next month, I’ll be starting a newsletter, so keep an eye out for that!
Instagram: Jessica Brown (@jessicabrownauthor) • Instagram photos and videos
Facebook page: Jessica Brown Author | Facebook
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/jessicabrownsirens