About Jennifer Wells:
Jennifer Wells lives in Northern Virginia with her husband of twenty years, John, and her three spoiled cats, Morgana, Luna, and Pele. In addition to being a wife and cat mommy, she’s a professional procrastinator, Virgo, and the author of paranormal romance novels Magick Charm and Practically Dreaming. She is currently working on sequels as well as entirely new stories.
Jen has been writing since she was in middle school. When she discovered romance novels in junior high, she knew she wanted to write them someday. Her writing remained a hobby while she studied biology and forensic DNA science. She worked as a molecular biologist and published cancer research before finally leaving the lab and taking up her laptop full time.
Jen loves a good book and is usually found with her nose in one. She has a never-ending to-be-read pile and is rarely seen without her Kindle or a paperback.
When she’s not writing or reading, Jen engages in some of her favorite hobbies, like making jewelry, photography, sewing, and pottery class. She also enjoys traveling, crafting cocktails at her tiki bar, and playing complicated board games. Her guilty pleasures include binge-watching The Walking Dead and shopping for new Coach purses.
What inspires you to write?
My first published book was inspired by a dream about the two main characters. It was so vivid, I couldn’t get them out of my head. Their story just built in my imagination during that day, and I started writing the book soon after.
Other times, I’m inspired by topics I find fascinating and want to explore further. I love doing research, so I really get into the details of a project.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m terrible at outlining! I’ve tried to outline a book before, but it just doesn’t feel natural to me. The closest I ever came to actually plotting a book in advance was writing down a few key pieces and scenes, but leaving most of the details until I was in the process of writing the novel.
I far prefer the pantser method. I’ll often start with some characters in mind or a central plot idea and go from there. I like not knowing exactly where the story is going; it’s like telling the story to myself. I’ve found that I often write scenes that come as a complete surprise to me. It feels like the characters have taken over their own story, and that’s when I love writing the most!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Sometimes I dream about the characters, not even doing anything specific, but everyday things that give me a feel for who they actually are. I also like to write to music, so I’ll create soundtracks of music I think each character would like. Music really gets me into the minds of the characters.
What advice would you give other writers?
Never give up! Writing is a tough, competitive business. It’s difficult to get published for the first time. At first, rejection letters can make you cry, but just keep going. Keep writing and keep submitting until your books find their homes.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I initially published with a small press. After about four years, that press gave all of their authors the rights to their books back and – at least for now – closed up their business.
I felt like I had enough confidence at that point to try self-publishing. It’s been made pretty easy and straightforward by retailers like Amazon. The most challenging part is promotion, but I feel like I’m learning as I go along.
I think at some point I will work with another publisher. I especially enjoyed working with different professional editors. I learned a lot from each of them! Likely, I’ll send my next book to a new publisher, and continue to self-publish my current New Orleans Magick series.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The publishing world has been changing a lot! Of course paper books will never go out of style, but I think more people will be open to ebooks as well.
Self-publishing seems to be gaining in popularity. Traditional publishers are difficult for new authors to get signed with, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the growth in self-publishing continues faster than ever.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: paranormal romance, mystery
What formats are your books in?: eBook