I am thrilled to present the first interview on my blog, from my very good friend and fellow author, J.L. Berg. Her debut novel, When You’re Ready, was released only a week ago, and already it is climbing the charts at an amazing rate on Amazon and has received rave reviews.
J.L.’s witty sense of humor shines through, not only in her interview, but in her writing as well. If you love a good romance novel that pulls at the heart strings, makes you laugh, makes you cry, and makes you wish the hunky heartthrob could step out of the pages into real life then this is the novel you have been waiting for. Please, enjoy her interview and then check out a short synopsis of the book followed by links where you can download a sample of her book and/or buy it.
Me: It sounds like you’ve had a few jobs since high school. What made you finally decide to become an author?
J.L.: I’ve honestly always loved writing but I lacked the confidence to pursue it so I shelved it as a pipe dream for most of my life. I finally got to the point where I couldn’t hold the ideas in my head anymore. I had to get them out and so I started writing. It then took a huge leap of faith to allow myself to open up and let others read what I had created. I’m so glad I did because it has been one of the greatest journeys of my life.
Me: WHEN YOU’RE READY has very authentic characters who make the reader truly care about them. Where did your inspiration for the story and/or characters come from?
J.L.: I take my inspiration from those around me, as well as where I see a character in terms of emotional growth. Many of my characters have personality traits of those I love, and yet their overall character is vastly different. Logan reminds me of my husband in many ways. His quick sense of humor, his fierce protective instinct. But yet Logan is his own character and not at all my husband. I think creating characters is about taking what you know and what you imagine and combining them together to create something entirely new and unique.
Me: I understand that you’re currently working on the second book in the READY series. How do you plan your stories? Is the next book all in your head or is it a surprise as you write it?
J.L: I usually plan out a rough outline, but that is about it. I like to know where certain scenes are placed so I can make sure I’m pacing correctly, but when I sit down to write, I usually let my imagination take over. Sometimes my fingers just start typing, and the scene takes on a life of its own, going in a completely different direction than I had intended. Those are usually my best scenes, the ones created out of spontaneous chaos.
Me: In one sentence, sum up WHEN YOU’RE READY.
J.L.: A grieving widow finds love after the loss of her husband with a man who finally realizes he’s worthy enough to love her back.
Me: I have to ask questions about three of my favorite things. Children, Food, and Animals. So, first off, I understand that you have children. What do they think about their momma being an author. Is there an age limit before they will be allowed to read your book?
J.L.: My daughters (ages 6 and 9) think it’s REALLY cool that their Mommy is an author. They tell everyone. My youngest wants me to tell everyone because she really thinks I’m that famous. We were out to dinner the other day, and she told me to tell our waitress I was THE J.L. Berg, like I was Madonna or something. I politely declined and kept my superstar status to myself. :-)As far as age limit. I’ve decided they can read it when I die. Yep, that sounds good.
Me: I’ve gotta ask about food. What’s your favorite writing snack? How about a favorite writing beverage?
J.L.: Chocolate – the darker the better, and decaf coffee. Or wine.
Me: I’ve adopted two animals from animal rescues this year and they are already a huge part of my family. It sounds like you have a pet or two yourself. Tell me about your furry (or slimy) creatures. Feel free to share their quirky personalities.
J.L.: We adopted two rescues dogs as well. We have a dachshund mix named Bella (yes, I named her after THAT Bella), and a black lab named Charlotte. Bella is our crazy one, and Charlotte is our calm mellow dog.
Me: What is your dream vacation?
J.L.: It’s kind of a cheat because I’ve already been there, but my dream vacay is Ireland. My husband i went there for our ten year anniversary, and I am dying to go back. It was magical.
Me: What is your favorite book and/or author? Or if you’re like me and can’t pick just one, feel free to share 2 or 3 🙂
J.L.: It’s really, really hard for me to pick one favorite book. I usually say Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, but there are about 5 to 10 others that come in a close second. I love anything by Colleen Hoover and Abbi Glines. I love the Blackdagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward, and the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon. I could go on and on….I’m a total book nerd.
Me: Be a salesperson. If there was a commercial to sell WHEN YOU’RE READY, what would it say?
J.L.: I love my tag line, so we’ll go with that…“Can his love mend the pieces of her grieving heart?”
Now that you’re intrigued by this amazing author, here’s the excerpt from WHEN YOU’RE READY:
Can his love mend the pieces of her grieving heart?
Years after suffering the tragic loss of her husband, Ethan, which left her alone to raise their young daughter, Clare Murray still holds the last letter he wrote with the words “When You’re Ready” written in his familiar messy handwriting, unable to break its weathered seal. Ready for what? He was her entire world, and Clare had accepted a life without him, without love. Until years later, fate brings her to an emergency room, and face to face with a stormy-eyed doctor intent on changing her mind.
Logan Matthews is the son of a billionaire who has spent his entire life trying to make his absent father proud. Years of living up to a man who was more ghost than father, and a publicly failed marriage has left Logan cold and emotionless until he walks into an exam room and discovers a woman who can stop his heart, make his body burn with desire and leave his entire world altered.
But how far are Clare and Logan willing to go for love? When their love is tested, is Clare ready to put her whole heart on the line again? Can Logan learn the true meaning of love, even if it means sacrificing his own happiness? When a second chance at love is given, Clare and Logan learn you never know if you are truly ready until you’re ready to risk it all.