About Jessica Aspen:
Hi, I’m Jessica Aspen and I’ve always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, I’m a writer and that means I can explore my fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing spicy paranormal romance. I also love indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and coffee. I dream of ocean vacations, but instead I tend to spends most of my time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. Come by my website or FB page any time, I’d love to get to know you!
What inspires you to write?
I’ve always wanted to write, ever since I was a little girl and realized that people actually wrote books and they didn’t just spring into life. But as I grew up, that became wanting to write romance and fantasy and science fiction. Now I get to combine everything I love about reading into writing. Anytime I find something that I want to read about, I can just write it. Love that!
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m a plantser. What that means is I do a brief outline and get to know my characters before I start writing. But it’s really just one line per scene, which gives me lots of leeway to play with what I want my plot and characters to do. I use the Snowflake method to do a quick outline and a four page (okay, it’s often only two page) synopsis, then I dive in. As I write, things change and shift and I frequently find myself writing something that was not in my original outline. But what are you going to do when the story demands it go a different way? Buckle your seat belt and keep typing!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
As much effort as I make to get to know my characters before I start writing, they always manage to surprise me. Often in the middle of that first draft I have an ‘ah-ha!’ moment and figure out why they are really acting that way. That’s when the writing becomes really fun and I get to dig deeper into the entire book.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write a lot and write often. Give yourself permission to write the things that everyone says won’t sell or that others won’t like. When I started writing twisted fairy tale romance, very few people were doing it. By the time I published, it was a trend. Who knew? Certainly not me, and not any of the people who asked me why I was writing fairy tales for romance readers. Follow your heart while you learn to write. That way you’ll write the best books possible. And then find the people who love what you do and let them read your books. They’re out there! Trust me.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I was first published my Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romances with a small e-press and while they taught me a lot, it didn’t turn out to be the best place for my books. I had submitted my longer Tales of the Black Court to several publishers, and received interest, including a contract offer in early 2013. But indie publishing had just started to take off and I looked at that contract and thought about my sales with my current publisher, and decided to take a chance on self-publishing. And it turns out, I love it. It’s a lot of work. You have to be writer, chief editor, project manager, sales person, advertising, etc. but it’s also very rewarding. I get to choose my covers (which I love!) and I get to decide what goes in the books. Ultimately, it all rests with me. Which means I can’t blame anyone else when things go wrong, but I get to feel fabulous when things go right.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that indie-publishing is here to stay. The bigger publishers still have the opportunity to make their businesses work, and I would still consider going with a publisher—if the contract was right. But all industries change, and publishing was long overdue for a shake up. I guess we’ll see what happens.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: Fantasy Romance, Paranormal Romance, Paranormal Suspense Romance
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.