Jennifer Bernard is a graduate of Harvard and a former news promo producer. The child of academics, she confounded her family by preferring romance novels to … well, any other books. She left big city life for true love in Alaska, where she now lives with her husband and stepdaughters. She’s no stranger to book success, as she also writes erotic novellas under a naughty secret name not to be mentioned at family gatherings.
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First off, can you tell us a bit about you?
I live in Alaska, at the tip of a peninsula, at the end of a long and winding dirt road, on the edge of untouched wilderness. Seriously, the middle of nowhere. Luckily, we have the essentials … electricity and Internet. =) I’m married and have two lovely stepdaughters. I write fulltime – when I’m not shoveling snow or stoking the wood fire.
Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes, I did always want to be a writer, and all of my adult jobs have been writing-related, even though some of them were a little odd. I’ve written news promos, encyclopedia entries, even translations of Italian restaurant menus. I’m incredibly grateful to now be writing fun, romantic stories instead of descriptions of ossobuco. I guess dreams can come true – but I definitely had to be flexible along the way.
What kind of writer are you? Panster or Plotter?
I’m mostly a plotter. I “pantsed” my first book, and will never try that again. I need a structure so that I can play along the way. I like knowing where my next guidepost is. But I give myself plenty of freedom in when getting from “here” to “there.” So I do have my pantser side and I let it run wild on occasion.
Where do your ideas come from?
I always think of writing a story as similar to a magpie building a nest. I see or read something intriguing (for example, a bachelorette party limo is stranded when a bridge partially collapses) and I take it back to my story-nest and poke and prod it so it joins with other little bits of inspiration I’ve gathered. I usually have a guiding vision of what I want to talk about in a book – for instance, self-imposed loneliness, or triumphing over self-doubt, or ordinary heroism -- and that stuff probably comes from my subconscious.
A la Twitter style, can you describe your book (or series) in 140 characters or less.
Sexy fireman hero rescues heiress who has everything and nothing.
What are some of your favorite kinds of stories to read?
Good ones! I’m not picky about genre, but I look for characters that have dimension and a writing style that conveys something unique. Voice is incredibly important to me. An engaging voice can really draw me in a book’s world.
Do you have a favorite book and if so what is it?
This is going way back to childhood, but I loved Little Women. I used to have terrible insomnia – I was a very anxious child – and I could curl up with that book and be instantly comforted and able to sleep. I’m not sure why, because plenty of sad things happen in Little Women (oh, Beth!) But it worked, every time, and I still have a huge affection for it.
What are the scenes that are the hardest for you to write?
I rewrite my opening scenes more than any others, so I would have to say those are the hardest. By the end of the book, I know the characters so much better that the first scenes don’t seem right anymore. But when I rewrite them, it’s hard to keep in mind that the reader is starting fresh with the characters and doesn’t have the knowledge that I do. So I don’t want my hero and heroine to make a bad impression right off the bat. I get nervous, as if it’s a blind date or something. Opening scene = blind date. Now there’s a concept!
If you could have dinner with any three authors, who would you choose and why?
J.K Rowling, because she could definitely cover the check, and because I think her imagination and respect for her young readers is awe-inspiring. If dead authors are welcome, then Jane Austen, because I think she’d be very witty in her observations about the other people at the restaurant. And lastly, Kristan Higgins because I’m sure she’d keep me laughing the entire time.
Last question, are you working on anything right now?
Yes! I’m so excited about the projects I’m working on! First of all, the last Bachelor Firemen novella is in edits right now. It’s a Christmas novella called It’s a Wonderful Fireman and it’s a chance to give my favorite firemen a sweet, fun sendoff. Second, I’m working on a new series about a minor league baseball team. The first book is called All of Me. I’m polishing it up right now, and I absolutely love it. I just got a sneak peek at the cover and it’s hot! I seriously can’t wait until June 2015.
Question: I love writing about firemen because they’re natural heroes, risking life and limb for the sake of others. What quality draws you the most in a romance hero?
Daring . . . Sexy . . . Irresistible . . .
They're the Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel
When fireman Fred Breen rescues a bachelorette party after a construction crane collapses onto their limo, the media labels him the "Bachelor Hero." But all Fred can think about is the petite brunette with the sexy mane of dark curls who bolted away from him faster than a wildfire after he carried her to safety. And when he discovers she's none other than Rachel Kessler, the daughter of a tech billionaire, the girl whose kidnapping riveted the nation, he intends to learn every intimate detail about this intriguing woman who sets his pulse on fire.
Rachel can't deny the lean-muscled firefighter is smokin' hot. But after having one too many drinks at the bar where she first meets him, Rachel knows she's made a fool of herself. Yet when he rescues her from the limo, she feels safe for the first time since she was held for ransom as a child. Then her overprotective father insists Fred be her bodyguard—and his close presence kindles a burning desire that only he can extinguish.
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Check out what's up for grabs.
- 3 Copies of The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel Series Books 1-3
- hat quality draws you the most in a romance hero?
- US shipping ONLY.
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Special thanks to Jennifer Bernard & Tasty Book Tours for sponsoring this tour-wide giveaway.a Rafflecopter giveaway