Interview with author Jen Simmons!
Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to this week’s featured author,
Contemporary romance author, Jen Simmons!
Before we get into this exciting interview, I'd like to first give a very big warm happy Mother's Day to all the awesome Moms out there! May your day be filled with joy, happiness, and relaxation!!
Author Jen Simmons was born in San Diego, California and was raised in Lubbock, Texas. Jen’s life took her into a career of nursing. In 2008, she earned her Registered Nursing degree and began caring for patients in a fast-paced Intensive Care unit. Her dreams led her to obtain an undergraduate degree in Nursing followed by a Master’s degree in Nursing Leadership and Organizational Management. Jen has always loved reading and books. The idea suddenly came to her one day to sit down and start writing Shipley’s Secrets. The process at first, was a release from the busy day to day life of a Registered Nurse in healthcare management. Jen’s inspiration to finish and self-publish came in the form of encouragement and love from her husband Jason. Jen gets her inspiration from authors like Pepper Winters, Jamie McGuire, and Colleen Hoover. Jen hopes that the inspiration from writing Shipley’s Secrets will inspire her to keep writing in the young adult and contemporary romance realm. Jen likes to read, write and watch movies in her free time. Any chance to drink champagne and eat pasta, she jumps on. Jen lives in Northern Colorado with her husband Jason, daughter Alyssa and their dogs Milo and Madison.
I was super excited and honoured to interview author Jen Simmons, and talk about her novel “Shipley’s Secrets.” First in our interview, I asked author Jen Simmons what inspired her to start writing. Here is what Jen said!
“Growing up, writing was not something I ever thought about. Truthfully, I was not even a reader. I actually struggled through school with reading and was in many remedial classes. Yes, I ended up eventually being able to read without difficulty, thanks to my reading teacher Mrs. Pettit, but writing wasn’t a dream until a few years ago. So, when I decided after so many years to sit down and write, I had no confidence. I wrote the first 15 chapters of my debut, Shipley’s Secrets, and allowed my husband to read it. He was surprised it was so good and encouraged me to keep writing, so I did. A year later I had myself a full length YA Romance.”
I can actually relate to that. I too struggled through school, and wasn’t sure about writing either when I first started. I’m so happy to hear you were able to get that confidence, and share your work with everyone! Next in my interview with author Jen Simmons, I wondered what piqued her interest in the romance genre. Here is what Jen said!
“I love to read romance; it is where my heart is. While my books are clean in general, I love myself a good smutty read! I will eventually write a smut novel; I just haven’t yet. And because my husband’s Meemaw reads my books, it will be under a pen name!”
I have to admit I love romance, and the steamier the better! 😉 I will be watching for that smut novel of yours! Author Jen Simmons’ novel “Shipley’s secrets” is a touching story of true friendship and all the ups and downs along the way. So, next I asked Jen what her favourite type of scene is to write! Here what Jen said!
“I love to write suspenseful scenes, especially when they have a battle or fighting. It’s fun to picture the scenes in my mind and figure out how to get that down on paper. I love all aspects of writing and feel I am learning every day, but I do love my action scenes!”
I have to agree with you there! I also enjoy writing the suspenseful parts, and play it all out like a movie in my head! LOL
After talking about scenes, my next question for Jen was what inspired all her fantastic story ideas!
“Songs! I hear a song and can mentally plot and outline an entire novel based off that one song. It’s weird but songs inspire new ideas daily! Some days it is hard to concentrate because I have so many ideas going on in my head. That makes my day job hard sometimes!”
Music is a wonderful inspiration! That’s not weird at all! 😊 I’m a huge music lover, literally listening all day! I have soundtracks in my head for each of my books that only I would understand, of course! LOL
Every author has their own incredible journey from writing a novel to finally holding their own book in their hands! So, I asked author Jen Simmons if she could tell us a bit about her writing journey!
“When I sat down to write Shipley’s Secrets I did it because I needed an outlet from my busy daily work life. I love to read (now that I am older) and I thought one day, why not! Write your own novel. Even if no one reads it, I can say I wrote a book! It was hard at first, to get people to take it seriously. I didn’t actually tell anyone except for my husband and daughter. Getting them to read it was challenging at first; they believed in me, but were unsure it would actually go anywhere - until they read it. Once my husband read the first 15 chapters, he was like “Oh yes, you got something here! You need to finish this and share it with the world. Do you have more you can write?” I absolutely did! Now that first book has turned into 2 and 2 has turned into 3. I have had lots of doubt and self deprecating thoughts along the way, but overall my books have been well received. I wouldn’t change this journey for anything!”
I love how supportive your family is; it’s such a fantastic feeling when we are encouraged to share with the world! That being said, I next asked author Jen Simmons to tell everyone a bit about herself!
“I am a registered nurse by day, as well as a mother and wife. I have a 21-year-old daughter who is going to college and working full time. I am incredibly proud of her. I have 2 mini Australian Shepards at home, Milo and Madison. They are 1 ½. I live in the beautiful state of Colorado north of Denver and I am originally from Lubbock, Texas.”
Before our interview time was finished, I was eager to know if author Jen Simmons had anything new she was working on, or releasing soon!
“My second novel, and sequel to Shipley’s Secrets, came out March 1 and I have a rom-com I am writing right now! I am super proud of them all and have been learning so much about publishing and writing with each one! I don’t have a title or release date yet, but I have been thinking hard about the right time to discover and share a title and release date. They are definitely coming soon!”
That is definitely awesome news! I can’t wait to see what you come out with next, and I wish you all the best throughout your writing journey!
To find author Jen Simmons and her wonderful romance novels, click the links below!
Thank you to all the readers coming out to join us this weekend! Next Sunday I will be away, but I will be back for Sunday May 22nd with romance author Aquila Thorne!