Interview & Contest: Jenna Petersen

Jen: We are excited to have Jenna Petersen return to Romancing the Book. Jenna will you please share a short bio with us?

Jenna: Sure, I started writing full-time in 1999 when my husband said, “you’re only happy when you’re writing, why don’t you just do that.” I write historical romance as Jenna Petersen, erotic romance as Jess Michaels and zombie comedy (not romance, but more funny urban fantasy) as Jesse Petersen.

Jen: Tell us about A Scoundrel’s Surrender and where is can be purchased.
Jenna: A Scoundrel’s Surrender is the third and final book in my “Billingham Bastards” series for Avon Books. The series is about three men who discover they aren’t who they think they are and also find love in the process. In SCOUNDREL, Caleb Talbot found out that he wasn’t his father’s son and went on a bender to forget, leaving behind his family and the one woman he’d ever felt anything for, Marah Farnsworth. Now that the man who raised him is dying, he has to come home and face everything he tried to escape, including Marah. If any of you have read my 2008 release, LESSONS FROM A COURTESAN, Caleb and Marah are secondary characters in that book, though that book is not part of the Billingham series.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing? When where you first published? Tell us your call story.

Jenna: I have been writing as long as I can remember, but I was first published in 2004 in a novella collection from Red Sage Publishing called SECRETS, Volume 11. In September of that same year, my literary agent called me to tell me I’d sold two books to Avon and I wrote erotic romance and historical romance for them for the next 7 years and 15 books. Now I’ve branched out into independent publishing.

Jen: Describe your writing in three words.

Jenna: Sensual. Emotional. Dark.

Jen: How do you remember ideas that come to you at odd times?

Jenna: I tend to fling myself from the bed/shower/car where I get many ideas and scribble them down in such a messy fashion that I later can’t read them.

Jen: What are your biggest motivations to write? What keeps you going?

Jenna: It’s really all about telling the stories that I’m passionate about. That’s one of the things I love most about indie publishing is that I can guide my writing much more by what idea is really ringing my bell at the time, versus what story is contracted (though I loved every book I wrote with traditional publishers).

Jen: Is there a genre you’d like to write? Is there a genre you’ll probably stay away from? Why?

Jenna: I love historical romance and I’m really loving the zombie stories, too. I don’t think there’ s a clear “I’d never write that” genre. If I had an idea and felt I had the skill and drive to carry it through, I’d try it.

Jen: How much influence does the editor have over the story or characters?

Jenna: My editors have always been really good about not changing my voice or my vision too much. Certainly I’ve taken all their suggestions to heart and I don’t think I’ve ever made a change that wasn’t spot on correct.

Jen: Do you have a favorite character or one you most identify with?

Jenna: I really do like Sarah, my lead character from my zombie book, MARRIED WITH ZOMBIES. She’s very modern and snarky and sort of a geek, so she’s likely most like me. As for my romances, I think I love Ana from DESIRE NEVER DIES most just because she has such a strong emotional journey.

Jen: What five authors or people, past or present, have been important to your writing? What question or comment have you always wanted to say to them?

Jenna: My husband who continues to support me in my career, my literary agent who I adore, my parents who introduced me to a love of reading, LM Montgomery who made me feel like I had friends in her books, and Lisa Kleypas who writes the sexy really well.

Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you’ve received about your books?

Jenna: I’ve been very lucky to have wonderful supportive comments from readers. I especially love comments where I’ve made someone happy during an unhappy time, even for a few short hours. That makes everything worth while.

Jen: What’s next for you?

Jenna: Well, after A SCOUNDREL’S SURRENDER I’m publishing entirely independently (at least for the foreseeable future). I already have a couple of independent titles available: ROGUE FOR A NIGHT and ALMOST A SPINSTER and in September I’ll be releasing THE SECRETS OF A LADY. They range in price from .99 – 2.99 and are available on Kindle and Nook readers (and on all their other applications for reading). I intend to publish a new book in October, November and December, too and hopefully at least three historical romances next year. I hope readers will enjoy the stories and the lower price point!

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?

Jenna: My website is where you can find out all the latest news and sign up for my newsletter. On Twitter I’m @jennaromance and on Facebook I’m at I’m very active online and try to respond to everything I can.

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?

Jenna: Just hoping they’ll continue supporting me in my writing in the future and enjoy the stories to come!

Contest details:

  • The prize is a signed, complete collection of “The Billingham Bastards” books (WHAT THE DUKE DESIRES, THE UNCLAIMED DUCHESS and A SCOUNDREL’S SURRENDER).
  • The contest is open to anyone, international readers included, over the age of 18.
  • You must leave a meaningful comment for entry.  This means your comment needs to be more than “please enter me in the contest”.
  • A valid email address needs to be included in your comment.  If you’re worried about spam, please modify your address, such as admin.bookblog AT  You can also send a message to this email after your comment has been posted.
  • While following the blog isn’t required, it is appreciated.
  • The contest ends on Sunday, August 21.

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