Thanks for joining us today, Jennifer!
Before we start talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself and what you write.
Award-winning and multi-published author Jennifer Bray-Weber is a proud native Texan. She is a married domestic goddess/beach bum with two beautiful daughters. The type to take on dares, she has been able to express her creative thinking through countless questionable, often hilarious, life experiences.
Ok…so that’s part of my official bio. What I also dig is rock music, tattoos, muscle cars, board games, darts, traveling. Yup, I’m a good-time girl.
I write action-adventure historical romances, namely pirates, urban fantasy, and have dabbled in sexy erotic romance.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
Part-time. I am also a freelance editor.
What drew you to write in the historical romance genre?
History is fascinating. What we are taught growing up is just the highlights, the pieces that are notable and the persons that make it such. But what of the common man? What is their story? The past was made up of real people with real lives, struggles, motivations, emotions. They aren’t much different from people today other than the restraints of technology. So much of history is a dark and mysterious to me, drawing me in. I wanted to explore, maybe exploit, that while weaving in a potent message—love conquers all.
What’s your favorite historical movie?
Oh, I don’t have just one favorite. That’s like deciding on a favorite child. Here are a few of my favorites (in no order and off the top of my head ): Gone With the Wind, Master and Commander, The Patriot, Gladiator, Titanic, Troy, Gangs of New York, 300, The Magnificent Seven, Dangerous Liaisons, Young Guns I & II, The Other Boleyn Girl, Mutiny on the Bounty, The Great Gatsby, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Abraham Lincoln: The Vampire Slayer, Robin Hood: Men in Tights — These didn’t have to be historically accurate, right?
If could meet anyone in history, who would it be?
Just one? You ask too much. So…I’ll give you a list. Grace O’Malley, Edgar Allen Poe, Hedy Lamarr, Ronald Regan, Princess Diana, Benjamin Franklin, Cleopatra, Alexander the Great, Robert E. Lee, George Washington, to name a few.
If you could time travel, what era would you visit?
I’d like to revisit the 1980s. Haha! Great music, movies, and fashion! Oh, to be a teen again.
I don’t think I would ever want to stay in any era of yore, but it would be intriguing to visit the Greco-Roman period and just about anywhere in the world in the 19th century.
Give us a brief rundown of your process. Are you a plotter, a pantser, or somewhere in the middle?
Somewhere in the middle. I am mostly a pantser. I often only know bits and pieces of what might happen in a story. My pirates and their women are obstinate creatures, always surprising me, as does the weather. I never know what’s coming next. However, with some of my more complex storylines it is a necessity to have an outline. But I never plot. Too constricting. I like to think of myself as a rogue, doing as I darn well please. Huzzah!
Can you tell us a bit about your journey to publication?
I was a late bloomer in the writing world—thirty-something. Becoming an author had never once crossed my mind. I had been a career student most of my adult life, never really knowing what direction I wanted to take. I have a natural curiosity and the confidence to which I believed I could do anything—except fly. I cannot fly. By 2007, I had two Associates degrees with honors—Liberal Arts and Music Video Business. But I had decided I would act upon a recent revelation—I loved history. So, I decided I would pursue a Bachelors in History. But that first semester, I took a creative writing class which changed everything. Despite that all my assignments were dark, dark stories set in times gone past, and that all the characters usually met with a tragic death, my teacher noted I had a talent. Pffth…whatever. I had a talent for making A’s, buddy. Then I did the unthinkable. I wrote a romantic comedy with an ambiguous ending. Seriously, it was based on a silly dream I had about Johnny Depp. Keep in mind, I hated chick flicks and mushy romance. I’m an action-adventure kind of girl. But Johnny dreams make you do weird things. The class raved over my story, even debated on whether the heroine walked off into the sunset with her man or left him. Impressed, my professor suggested I write a book. Jazzed by this new giddiness, I quit school and wrote my first novel—a pirate romance titled Upon A Moonlit Sea.
I joined RWA in 2008, entered the book into the Golden Heart that year and I became a 2009 finalist. The book was re-titled Blood And Treasure and after many, many passes from publishers, I decided I couldn’t wait for the industry to catch up to me. I independently published the book in 2011. Just two weeks later, I received a call from a publisher offering me a two-book deal, which I took. Thus, launching my career as an award-winning, multi-published hybrid author.
Tell us about your latest release and what’s coming next for you.
My last release was a Highlander pirate book titled The Laird’s Reckoning. It’s part of my Romancing the Pirate series.
Here is a peek at the cover and a blurb for The Laird’s Reckoning:
Pirate or Laird…?
Birk Bane was born the second son, the unwanted son, the unneeded son. Crossed by family and falsely accused of a crime, he flees Scotland to the sea where he’s recruited by a pirate. Five years later, he’s captain of his own ship and embraces his new life, though an ache for the woman he left behind remains. When he receives word of his father’s death and his clan is floundering, Birk begrudgingly returns home. Little does he know there’s more he left behind than a title…much more.
Sheena MacRae helped Birk escape to safety years ago, always expecting he’d return. Time passes and she believes him to be dead. With her clan being terrorized and slaughtered, she accepts she is the only one who can stop the suffering by agreeing to marry Laird Gordon, the man behind the assaults. The man who is also poised to rule Birk’s clan. Despite the crushing need to hold Birk in her arms once more, his reappearance changes nothing. Sheena has too much to lose if she reneges the betrothal to Gordon. And while Birk’s intentions are to return to the sea after reclaiming his clan, she didn’t count on her pirate lover’s plan for revenge…
The longer he’s home, the more betrayal Birk uncovers. There will be a fiery battle ahead for Birk and his brethren. If he survives, how will he choose between the life he loves and the love of his life?
I’m excited to have another Highlander pirate book scheduled to be released December titled The Wicked Side of Righteous.
I am also working on an urban fantasy series centered around the Four Horsemen. The first book in this series is in its editing stage.
What’s the hardest part of writing?
Managing time! Time management is important and I’ve been slow to train myself to better maintain it. Admittedly, it’s a work in progress. Between work, kids, chores, obligations, volunteering, I haven’t quite mastered how to manipulate my time. It’s not just writing, it’s all the business-related stuff that goes into being and author. Time has to be allocated for editing, marketing, maintenance, newsletters, and so on, on top of writing and juggling “life”.
What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
Never, never, never give up!
Can I give writing advice, too? Always remember that you are at your best now, but you will be better tomorrow.