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Ask An Author, Win A Book Corner > AC: Jessica McQuinn of Indivisible (April 11 - 13)

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message 1: by Dee, Moderator (new)

Dee | 6046 comments About Jessica:
Jessica McQuinn is a mom of two very active kids. They keep her busy running from activity to activity, but it is in those moments that she finds inspiration and has no problem pulling out a notebook to write down a few lines for her next story.

Married for 20 years to her high school crush, Jessica lives in Utah with her family. As a family they enjoy taking advantage of the extremes that can be found there. From skiing in the winter to hiking the mountain trails in the spring and summer, the whole family loves to be together.

Jessica has been writing all her life, but it wasn’t until her kids started school that she decided to think that she could do it and actually share it with others. Now she hopes that you will enjoy it as much as it has helped her find herself again…

Website
http://www.jessicamcquinn.com/

Books
Indivisible

Giveaway
Jessica will be giving away two copies of her book, Indivisible. One print copy will be given away to a RRRC member in the US and One Ebook copy will be given to an International member


Rossy (naughtybookjunkie) | 2191 comments I'm running a little late opening the thread, sorry! Lets welcome Jessica to our group!

You may start firing your questions at her. She will be answering them as soon as she can.


Jessica McQuinn | 32 comments Hi everyone!!

I'm really excited about this! Anything that you want to know...I will TRY to answer.

And don't forget that there are two chances to win copies of Indivisible!! (and as the next couple of days pass, I might have a few more little goodies that I can throw in!!)


message 4: by Dee, Moderator (new)

Dee | 6046 comments Hey Jessica!! I figure i'll start off and hopefully GR will get some of their technically issues taken care of! In Indivisible, one of the main characters is a Navy SEAL. In the romance genre, those spec ops types are such popular boys - what is it about indivisible that you think makes your book unique, and how much research did you do into the Navy aspect of the book?


Keisha (Keisha28) | 19 comments Hi Jessica, what are some of your favorite authors and what is your favorite genre to read.


KimKirt | 1638 comments Hi Jessica,

Kind of a fun questions, do you zone out when you write? Meaning, the building can fall in around you and you wouldn't notice? Or do you write with the second ear listening and multi-tasking?

Also, how do you come up with the names for your characters? Have you ever been part way through a novel and realized the name of a character just wasn't right and changed it?

Thanks!

Kim


message 7: by Jessica (last edited Apr 11, 2011 11:51AM) (new)

Jessica McQuinn | 32 comments Delicious Dee Challenge Addict wrote: "Hey Jessica!! I figure i'll start off and hopefully GR will get some of their technically issues taken care of! In Indivisible, one of the main characters is a Navy SEAL. In the romance genre, th..."

OH good question!!

I happen to be a sucker for a man in uniform as well.

When I wrote Indivisible, my focus was on the relationship between Gideon and Charlie Cooper more than on Gideon being a Navy SEAL. While there is a glimpse at Navy life, for the most part, the story is about the effect that military life has on those around them. Though Gideon is definitely that yummy, protective hero.

In fact, Indivisible is a little different from most romances in general because Gideon and Charlie are already married (and have been for a year) when the book starts. So, the boy chases girl or vice versa isn't part of the story.

As far as the Navy stuff? A lot of that is personal experience (my husband was in the Navy when we dated). Some of the technical details and small things (like the seal on the tush) I got from my husband who is a military buff.

I've probably bored everyone now!! HAHA!


Jessica McQuinn | 32 comments Keisha wrote: "Hi Jessica, what are some of your favorite authors and what is your favorite genre to read."

Thanks Keisha!

Well I a read anything JR Ward and Sherrilyn Kenyon write. I love a big bad vamp warrior and Kenyons Weres get my heart pounding!

I love Christine Feehan's Ghost Walker series - psychically enhanced Special Ops men?? Yeah sign me up!!

I do admit that I've only been reading "romance" (I find that word hard to use because the definition can be so broad!) in the past three years or so. Before that, I read a lot of mainstream fiction. I loved stories like, The Kite Runner, Water for Elephants (can't wait for the movie!), The Red Tent...the list goes on and on.

Recently my girlfriends and I started a book club and we planned out our reading list for the year by everyone offering up their favorite book. My choice to share with my closest friends was Maeve Binchey's The Glass Lake. It is a beautiful story about coming of age in 1960's Ireland.


message 9: by Fran, Moderator (new)

Fran | 5870 comments Hi Jessica,

I was wondering if you draw on any personal experiences for the setting or characters of your books.

btw- I am also married 20 years to my High School crush!


Jessica McQuinn | 32 comments KimKirt wrote: "Hi Jessica,

Kind of a fun questions, do you zone out when you write? Meaning, the building can fall in around you and you wouldn't notice? Or do you write with the second ear listening and mult..."


Hi Kim!

HAHA!! Well in answer to your first question, I started writing when my kids were very young (4 and 5), so I HAD to be a multi tasker. I do my writing in the middle of the house at the dining table, so I'm interrupted about every 3 minutes or so! Now my kids are both in school all day, however, but I'm still a mom and wife so multi tasking will probably ALWAYS be a part of my writing style!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE naming my charcters. It really is one of my favorite parts of writing the story. I think that names are as much a part of the character as their description.

When I write, I've already got the characters in my head (good thing I actually write or I'd probably need therapy), so I know who they are. Then I have a name site that I go to and I can put in key words for the meaning of a name. I get a list, and I just know if it's right.

In Indivisible, the main male character is Gideon. He's a strong, protective Navy SEAL. When I named him, I searched for names with "strong" in them. Gideon means "Warrior". As soon as I saw that, I knew it was perfect.

I will tell you that it's harder to name a villian than to name a hero. You are always worried that someone will tell you that it's their father's name, or their husband's name. I changed the name of my villian three times in Indivisible before it was published!


Jessica McQuinn | 32 comments Fran wrote: "Hi Jessica,

I was wondering if you draw on any personal experiences for the setting or characters of your books.

btw- I am also married 20 years to my High School crush!"


Hi Fran,

I definitely draw from personal aspects of my life for my writing.

Indivisible is set in San Diego, where I lived for a few years when I was first married. I loved San Diego and it was fun to "re-visit" while I wrote. I could never write a story that takes place in New York City because I've never been there, and I think that an author needs to allow the reader to feel the setting while they reading as well.

And actually, the whole idea for Indivisible came to me because I live in a military community (my husband works on an Air Force base) and I have a lot of friends whose husbands are in the military. One friend's husband left for six months and while he was gone a co-worker would come over and cut her grass and help her out. Now, NOTHING bad happened, but my writer's mind took things in a completely different direction.

And I love that you married your high school crush too!


Kami (aidansmama) | 888 comments Jessica,

Are you the kind of writer who knows exactly what is going to happen in your story? For instance you start off with an outline and know how your story will end. Or are you the kind who has one idea, maybe the first line and then have to write the book to find out what is going to happen? Do your characters ever start doing things while you are writing their story that you didn't expect from them?


Missy | 23 comments Hi Jessica,

Your book sounds great! I'm looking forward to reading it! My question is how has being a published author impacted your life?

Thanks!


Jessica McQuinn | 32 comments Kami wrote: "Jessica,

Are you the kind of writer who knows exactly what is going to happen in your story? For instance you start off with an outline and know how your story will end. Or are you the kind who ha..."


Hi Kami!

Great question!

Sadly, I am not an outline type author. I really wish I was! I always have an idea of where I want my characters at the end of the story, but the journey to get there is usually a mystery to me.

For Indivisible, I knew what had to happen and actually wrote the pivitol scene before anything else in the story. What I didn't know was how that event would play out and be dealt with by the other characters.

In fact one of the biggest issues in the story was never expected. I mentioned earlier that my characters actually kind of live in my head and talk to me while I write. And I will tell you that Tyson (Gideon's little brother) made me angry for most of the book!

Right now, I'm working on a new series, and have a SWAT team living in my head, which really isn't all that bad!


Jessica McQuinn | 32 comments Missy wrote: "Hi Jessica,

Your book sounds great! I'm looking forward to reading it! My question is how has being a published author impacted your life?

Thanks!"


Hi Missy!

Well, I now have even less time to write than I did before! HAHA!!

Really, I've had to kind of redevelop myself a little. I'm not a forward person. I'm pretty quiet and shy when I meet new people, and I definitely don't like to talk about myself! But now that I have my book out there, and I want to share Gideon and Charlie with everyone, I have to approach people and "sell" my book to them.

So I think that the biggest change is probably that I've had to really put myself out there and be proud of myself and the work that I've done. But I've found that I really love doing things like this where I get to talk to so many people and tell them about my characters and the book itself!


Kasi Alexander (KasiAlexander) | 34 comments Hi Jessica -

I've read the book and loved it. My question is-how do you balance the "strong, protective male" aspect without making the heroine seem weak and in need of protecting?


Jessica McQuinn | 32 comments Kasi wrote: "Hi Jessica -

I've read the book and loved it. My question is-how do you balance the "strong, protective male" aspect without making the heroine seem weak and in need of protecting?"


Hi Kasi!!

I'm so glad you loved Gideon and Charlie!

That's a hard question to answer.

I think that in Indivisible, Charlie doesn't know that she's strong. That's the journey that she takes in Indivisible - discovering that she is a strong woman. And the key to that is that Gideon DID know how strong she was, it's why he never thought that leaving was a huge issue.

So, I think that the strong hero has to have respect for the woman and allow her to be herself as well. Strong, smart, and respectful men will always allow a woman to be equally strong, but also allow her to be vulnerable when they need to be.

I'm attracted to the "protector" and I consider myself a strong woman, but I like the idea of being able to be taken care of from time to time and knowing that I'll be okay. I think that is the same for a lot of strong women. Being strong all the time can be tiring!

One of my favorite series right now is Christine Feehan's Ghost Walker series. The men are all VERY Alpha male, but their partners are equally strong. They have weaknesses, but they definitely aren't weak.

I have to say that I'm excited about my new series that has a female SWAT officer dealing with trying to be feminine and sexy while having a gun on her. It's really fun to write!


message 18: by Dee, Moderator (new)

Dee | 6046 comments thanks for your answer!! for me, being active duty navy, the quickest way for an author to turn me off a book of theirs is to make it obvious that they haven't done their homework...especially when it comes to military type stuff - i'll never read Lora Leigh's Elite Ops/Tempting Seals series because of some issues she had in the first one that distracted me too much ;)

but being a female in a male dominated profession and having carried a gun on a regular basis...i'll be looking forward to checking out your new series with the female SWAT officer ;)


Jessica McQuinn | 32 comments Delicious Dee Challenge Addict wrote: "thanks for your answer!! for me, being active duty navy, the quickest way for an author to turn me off a book of theirs is to make it obvious that they haven't done their homework...especially when..."

Oh, now I'm hoping that I got things right...hahaha!!


message 20: by Dee, Moderator (new)

Dee | 6046 comments lol...well, I haven't read it yet, but we'll have to wait and see if i win it...but i've added it to the list...

so I guess another question, do you have people in professions like that who beta read for you for like militarism's that you might have missed, stuff like that?


Jessica McQuinn | 32 comments Delicious Dee Challenge Addict wrote: "lol...well, I haven't read it yet, but we'll have to wait and see if i win it...but i've added it to the list...

so I guess another question, do you have people in professions like that who beta r..."


I don't. BUT...as I mentioned my husband was in the Navy and is a military buff, and he actually works for the Air Force right now, so he is pretty good at knowing a lot of that stuff. I would be writing and then have to stop and ask him about how they would say something or how a chain of command would work.

For my new series, I do have a friend who is a cop who has helped me a lot. And I've been lucky enough to talk to an actual LAPD SWAT officer to get some small details down.

I will say, that sometimes I have to remember that I'm writing for women to read, and so things have to be reworded. In Indivisible I went round and round with my editor about "hat" versus "cover". She actually pointed out that in military lingo it would probably be "cover", but it was Charlie who was wearing it, but Gideon's voice, and it just didn't work. And another time, I used the phrase, "punched out of a flight" and none of my editors knew what I was talking about so we had to clean that up a little bit.


Rossy (naughtybookjunkie) | 2191 comments Jessica wrote: "I'm attracted to the "protector" and I consider myself a strong woman, but I like the idea of being able to be taken care of from time to time and knowing that I'll be okay. I think that is the same for a lot of strong women. Being strong all the time can be tiring! "

Oh, that is exactly how i like my heroines. Not afraid to be vulnerable at times with the hero, but still strong in their own right. You just pushed your book to the top of my 2000+ TBR shelf!


Jim son of Jim (formerly PhotoJim) (Jim_formerly_Photojim) | 5294 comments Jessica, thank you so much for joining us. I had a list of questions to open with this morning but had one of those terrible things to do (a job) that kept me from being online until now. You have actually answered several questions from the list already so perhaps I'll just go piecemeal to see what we can learn.

I found your last answer interesting when you say you "have to remember that I'm writing for women to read". Why do you target women specifically and not just all lovers of the romance genre?


Jim son of Jim (formerly PhotoJim) (Jim_formerly_Photojim) | 5294 comments What is romance? Dictionary.com defines it as “A feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.” My favorite Merriam-Webster definition is “a prose narrative treating imaginary characters involved in events remote in time or place and usually heroic, adventurous, or mysterious.” Some of our members will argue different publisher’s definitions of “between one man and one woman” and “at the end the principle characters must be in a committed relationship moving in a positive direction” (a HEA or at least a HFN). What makes a good romance? Give us your definition of romance if you would be so kind.


Jessica McQuinn | 32 comments Photojim wrote: "Jessica, thank you so much for joining us. I had a list of questions to open with this morning but had one of those terrible things to do (a job) that kept me from being online until now. You ha..."

Good point!

I actually just spent the week at the RT convention in Los Angeles and sat next to a few men while I was there, so I should know better!

In my defense, I will say that I'm married to a man who would rather clean toilets than read romance (he's never read anything I've written), so my opinions are formed from living with him for 21 years.

Maybe a better way to put that would be, that probably a majority of the readers wouldn't be totally familiar with some of the military language...


Jessica McQuinn | 32 comments Rossy wrote: "Jessica wrote: "I'm attracted to the "protector" and I consider myself a strong woman, but I like the idea of being able to be taken care of from time to time and knowing that I'll be okay. I think..."

YAY!!

I really loved writing Charlie and trying to find that balance of strong but still being vulnerable.


Jessica McQuinn | 32 comments Photojim wrote: "What is romance? Dictionary.com defines it as “A feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.” My favorite Merriam-Webster definition is “a prose narrative treating imaginary characters ..."

Interesting...

I think that everyone's definition of romance can be different. My mom's definition would be something with "heaving bosoms". For me, I think that it is an abstract feeling that what I'm reading evokes. That feeling that you WANT the characters to have a HEA. You are invested in their happiness.

I definitely don't think that romance HAS to have an HEA, I usually like it to because I've been raised watching those movies and reading the fairytales, but I won't throw it across the room if it doesn't happen.

My publisher, Omnific Publishing, just launched a new line of Alternate Romance with the tag line, "because romance isn't always just 'boy meets girl'" - which I love! I mentioned earlier that I read all of JR Ward and love the Brotherhood. One of my favorite pairing is Qhuinn and Blay!


Jim son of Jim (formerly PhotoJim) (Jim_formerly_Photojim) | 5294 comments Let's expand on the roles of men and women for a moment. I know there are very few male romance authors. There used to be the exact opposite situation with Sci-Fi/Fantasy books. While I'd read lots of SF pulp, I didn't know any women who would read the same books. When I asked why, it often came down to unbelievable female characters written by men. When I've had male friends read romance novels, they often complain about unrealistic male characters. I know, blah blah blah, so what's the question already!

Do you feel that a woman has a harder time writing things from the male POV or vice versa?
How do you feel your male characters stand up to the reality test?
What sort of feedback have you gotten from male readers? (I'm sorry that your husband has not read your work BTW.)


Jennifer Lane (JenniferLane) | 3 comments Hi Jessica! I've read this story (drooling over a man in uniform) and loved it.

I'm laughing about going back and forth with your editor about the use of military jargon. I've had the same experiences with psychology or swimming jargon. It's sometimes hard to let go of the authentic language we want to use, eh?


Jessica McQuinn | 32 comments Photojim wrote: "Let's expand on the roles of men and women for a moment. I know there are very few male romance authors. There used to be the exact opposite situation with Sci-Fi/Fantasy books. While I'd read lo..."

Well, I don't know of any men who have read it as of yet...I have one friend who is reading it, but he hasn't commented on it other than throwing out the first line at me from time to time.

I hope that I do the male POV justice. I hear them talking in my head, and that's what I write. There is one scene in the book where Gideon is talking about lingerie, and in my head he was talking about "hook things" instead of a garter. Because I think that most men aren't that concerned with what a piece of lingerie is called, but how to get it off?

I definitely think that it is a challenge to write in a male voice, but I do try to keep my men in reality and not just a man with a female thought process. Again, while he doesn't read them, I do tap into my husband's "guy world" from time to time. And I'm sure that I will never get the sex scenes right from the male POV because I think that if you can't experience it the way that they do, you will never do it justice, but I also don't think that I make the scene too feminine and girly either...


Jessica McQuinn | 32 comments Jennifer wrote: "Hi Jessica! I've read this story (drooling over a man in uniform) and loved it.

I'm laughing about going back and forth with your editor about the use of military jargon. I've had the same experie..."


HAHA Jen!

I think that the hardes thing - knowing what you want to say, but it not coming across to others and then having to change what you thought was pure brilliance!


Jim son of Jim (formerly PhotoJim) (Jim_formerly_Photojim) | 5294 comments If you could spend a weekend at a vacation destination with any fictional character who would it be and why? (I suppose fictional accounts of real people count. Who knows maybe you are a big Civil War aficionado and would like to talk to Abraham Lincoln – Vampire Hunter.)


Jessica McQuinn | 32 comments Photojim wrote: "If you could spend a weekend at a vacation destination with any fictional character who would it be and why? (I suppose fictional accounts of real people count. Who knows maybe you are a big Civil ..."

Oh, Wow!!

There are just so many to choose from!! I don't know how to narrow them down.

I want to be all smart and say something like or Nick Gatsby, but really it would probably be more along the lines of Sherrilyn Kneyon's were hunter, Vane (gotta love a guy who likes a girl with a little fluff!) or maybe Katniss from Hunger Games.

Oh! I think that it would be Jacob Jankowski from Water for Elephants. I would take him either as the young one or the old one. But I think that just sitting on a beach with the old Jacob and listening to him tell stories about the circus would be amazing. I mean we only got one of his stories and I would love to hear about his years with Ringling Brothers...


Kami (aidansmama) | 888 comments Jessica,

All this talk of different ideas of romance and what does romance mean to you, made me wonder what is your favorite romantic movie? You already mentioned you were excited for the upcoming Water for Elephants movie with Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon, so what is your favorite movie up till now? Do you enjoy a real tear jerker? Happy ending? Rom Com?


Jessica McQuinn | 32 comments Kami wrote: "Jessica,

All this talk of different ideas of romance and what does romance mean to you, made me wonder what is your favorite romantic movie? You already mentioned you were excited for the upcomin..."


I had to think about this one for a minute...

Before kids, my favorite thing to do was go to the movies. Now I read a lot more books instead, so it's all good!

My favorite "romantic" movie is probably Sliding Doors. It was a lower budget movie that came out in 1998 staring Gwyneth Paltrow and John Hannah.

The movie is so different from anything else. The main character's life divides, and we get to see both paths that her life takes. It allows us to have both the happy ending and the NOT. I have watched that movie so many times that I know the dialog now.

I am all about the HEA in my movies (books I'm not as adamant about). I remember watching the movie Green Card with Andie McDowel and Gerrard DePardieu. I was SO mad when we left the theatre because there was no HEA. I don't mind the angsty journey to get to the happy, but I want it tied up and happy at the end!


message 36: by Dee, Moderator (new)

Dee | 6046 comments wow, i remember sliding doors that was a great movie!! i liked how it really emphasized the choices that we make and how they can completely change your life for either the good or the bad


D.J. | 23 comments Hi Jessica,
I am curious about when you find time to write it all down 'properly' rather than just in your notebook. (I am assuming you work while your children are at school like I do).


Jim son of Jim (formerly PhotoJim) (Jim_formerly_Photojim) | 5294 comments Could you tell us a little about your writing environment? Do you have a set time each day? As D.J. suggested, is it a school day time or are you a night owl? Is it the laptop in the breakfast nook, iPad in bed, you only work at the desk in the front office you set up as 'your' space, or maybe you like to work at the front table in the window section of Starbucks?

On a separate but related topic, do you use have a word quota to meet each day? Do you set yourself deadlines? Or do you only work when inspiration mandates that you MUST WRITE THIS DOWN?

(BTW, great choice with Sliding Doors. Very underrated movie IMHO)


Jessica McQuinn | 32 comments D.J. wrote: "Hi Jessica,
I am curious about when you find time to write it all down 'properly' rather than just in your notebook. (I am assuming you work while your children are at school like I do)."


Hi D.J.!

I really just write when I can.

I do write a lot while my kids are in school. But, because we are on year round, they are out of school for three week bursts at a time, and when they are home, writing is much more difficult.

My favorite time to write is either early in the morning or late at night when the house is quiet.


Jessica McQuinn | 32 comments Photojim wrote: "Could you tell us a little about your writing environment? Do you have a set time each day? As D.J. suggested, is it a school day time or are you a night owl? Is it the laptop in the breakfast n..."

I actually did an entire blog post on this topic with pictures and everything!

My style has varied in the past. I write best when I am under a deadline. Not a good way to do things! So I have to set up my own deadlines with my critique partners to force me to sit down and write. I mean I can't exactly wait until I'm under deadline to start a whole novel!

When I have an idea, I have to get it down immediately, and I do that "old school" with paper and pen. I have a notebook that I write in and then I will transfer it to my computer and change and edit as I type. That is also always a good way to get a good 3 to 4000 words in a burst out of me.

I do have an office that I set up in the basement, but sadly I just don't use it very often. And it's got really good inspiration! My preferred writing place is on my laptop in the middle of all the chaos of my house. (You can check out the pictures of where I write on my blog - http://www.jessicamcquinn.com/2011/01... ) But since I normally write while my kids are at school or asleep it's usually just me and the dog!


Jim son of Jim (formerly PhotoJim) (Jim_formerly_Photojim) | 5294 comments Only a diehard solipsist would argue that no man is an island. Rumor has it that it takes a village to raise a child. What we’d like to hear a little about is how many it takes to write a book. Do you belong to a peer review group? Do you take suggestions from friends and family before sending it for submission? Do you employ your own editor? Do you run things by a fact checker or technical expert if there is that element in a story? When suggestions for change are made, how do you decide whose advice you take?

So far you've mentioned talking to your husband, a police officer, your publisher, and critique partners. Who else goes into the process?


Jessica McQuinn | 32 comments Photojim wrote: "Only a diehard solipsist would argue that no man is an island. Rumor has it that it takes a village to raise a child. What we’d like to hear a little about is how many it takes to write a book. Do ..."

So far, I haven't written anything technical enough to require a fact checker. My focus is on the relationships more than on the technical aspects of things like being a Navy SEAL. Of course, there is Naval information and a lot of that was easily researched from the Navy's web site (or was an actual experience that I had while my husband was in the Navy).

My new series dealing with SWAT is a little trickier, because I don't personally have any experience with law enforcement. So, there I talked to an LAPD SWAT officer to get some information. But again, I don't tend to write a lot of detailed gun fights and focus more on the relationships of the people who do these jobs. In fact one thing I said to the SWAT officer was that I just needed details (the structure of a SWAT team, how many members...etc) and not anything tactical at that time. His response was, "Yeah, you just want us shirtless with a gun. I know." Which I thought was pretty funny!

For Indivisible I had two critique partners that I would send every chapter to and get their input. They were familiar with my writing and always gave me great advice. For my new series, I am just starting out, but I have already sent out inquiries to my fellow Omnific authors to set up a couple of critique partners. I have read most every book that they've written and totally trust their opinions.

Once I have a complete manuscript I read and revise probably three or four times all on my own. I know what I want to say, and my critique partners have led me in the right directions, so this process is really just tightening it up.

Then there is a VERY thorough editing process with my publisher! Like lots of tears and thinking that it's not worth it, kind of intense! But after going through two editors and a copy edit, I couldn't have been more pleased with the final product. Honestly, the story came out so much more clearly after we all collaborated on it. I joked that I would have to put my editor's names on the cover with mine!

Now, that's just MY process...everyone's is different.


Jim son of Jim (formerly PhotoJim) (Jim_formerly_Photojim) | 5294 comments One of the biggest obstacles is rejection. Was Indivisible accepted at the first publisher you approached or were there others? Did you shop other titles that may never see the light of day before this one was accepted? Do you have any advice for someone that is that is thinking of submitting work?


Traci Bell (Traci_Bell) | 3 comments Hi Jessica,

What's the best advice you've gotten that helped you with your writing?


message 45: by Dee, Moderator (new)

Dee | 6046 comments When you are writing your characters, do you have any songs that remind you of them - like a characters playlist? or how do you develop them as a character...do you find pictures of people who have the same features etc?


Reggie Alexander | 2 comments Hello- I know you mentioned earlier that your characters live in your head, do you ever find that you have written a scene and then had to go back and change it because the characters in your head didn't like the scene the way it was written?


message 47: by Jessica (last edited Apr 12, 2011 01:40PM) (new)

Jessica McQuinn | 32 comments Photojim wrote: "One of the biggest obstacles is rejection. Was Indivisible accepted at the first publisher you approached or were there others? Did you shop other titles that may never see the light of day befor..."

Sorry I've been gone for so long!! Sometimes I have to play the mom role for a day, and today was one of those times!!

But to answer your question, I was very lucky.

Omnific Publishing is a new, independant company that started last year. I have been with them since the day they started. My first book, Passion Fish, a collaboration with another author, Alison Oburia was part of their debut collection. So Indivisible was accepted easily because they already knew my writing.

Right now, I actually am working for Omnific as well. I work as an independant contractor in their Acquisitions department. I get to read and write for a living...how great is that?? But this allows me to really adress the question about giving advice to writers.

My biggest piece of advice is to make sure that what you send in is the absolute best that you can make it; make sure that your punctuation and grammar are the best you can, make sure that you aren't changing tense or POV constantly, make sure that it is as tight as you can make it. Also, READ the submission guidelines and follow them exactly. And finally, know the publisher you are submitting to. Some publishers want flowery romance while others want the nitty gritty of the sex scene.


Jessica McQuinn | 32 comments Traci wrote: "Hi Jessica,

What's the best advice you've gotten that helped you with your writing?"


Hi Traci!

I think the best advice I've gotten was to write what I love. I've tried to branch out and write other things like paranormal or even dabbled in a YA story that I have in my head, but I just could never do it. I love a strong sexy man in uniform, and so that's what I write about.


Jessica McQuinn | 32 comments Delicious Dee Challenge Addict wrote: "When you are writing your characters, do you have any songs that remind you of them - like a characters playlist? or how do you develop them as a character...do you find pictures of people who have..."

I'm really not a "music person" - I mean I have my iPod, but most of what's on there is 80s music (although recently I added a little Justin Bieber...), so I don't really have a playlist for my stories.

I do, however, have pictures in my head of the characters. (There's a blog post about that too!!) My inspiration for Gideon was actually Kellan Lutz. I have a bit of a crush on him, and when he has the blond curls...yeah, that was the picture I had in my head while I wrote Gideon.

The other characters...I had them in my head, but it wasn't until recently that I tought to look for who I thought would fit with them.


Jessica McQuinn | 32 comments Reggie wrote: "Hello- I know you mentioned earlier that your characters live in your head, do you ever find that you have written a scene and then had to go back and change it because the characters in your head ..."

Hi Reggie!

Oh that DEFINITELY has happened! In fact, I wrote one scene, and it made Gideon so mad that he wouldn't talk to me. (I sound a little nutty, huh??) I finally went back and found a different thread to follow in the scene, and apparently that made him happier and he started to talk to me again.


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Indivisible (other topics)
Indivisible (other topics)