Monday, May 27, 2013

Meet the Author: Jennifer Garcia

Jennifer Garcia’s love of travel began when she traveled to the West Coast to visit her father at the age of three. Her home until she was sixteen was a small coastal town near Boston. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons, and two dogs.

Her lifelong love for reading and writing was put aside for many years while she made her way in the world and nurtured her young family. Even though she is older, and life never seems to settle, she’s finding her way while attending college full-time in pursuit of a B.A. in English Literature. She also runs a business, and is still caring for her family. Believing she can do it all, with the help of her family, she worked on her first novel during the late hours of the night while balancing the rest of her life during the day. Her hard work paid off, as her first novel, My Mr. Manny, will be published August 2013.

1. Tell me a bit about yourself.
I'm a So. Californian transplant from Boston for about twenty-six years now. Am I still considered a transplant after all this time? I'm partial owner and run my family's recycling business. I also attend college full-time. My husband has been patient and kind while he's taken over most of the household duties for me since I've taken on all of these new roles. My two wonderful boys help out a lot as well and don't complain too much when I'm too busy. I find time to write at night after the house is quiet, if I'm not too burnt out and tired.  

2. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Honestly, when I signed my first contract to publish last October. I thought, This is official. I'm officially a writer.  

3. What inspired you to write your first book?
It started off with a writing prompt, but it just grew from there. Mostly, the inspiration came from my own feelings of leaving home and my extended family behind. 

4. What books have influenced your life most?
Historical books are my inspiration and the most inspirational so far has been, The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani. Amazing story of love, struggles, family, and traveling.  

5. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Adriana Trigiani. As an Italian-American myself her books are very inspirational and hit home for me. They remind me of how I grew up and the things I missed out never living in Italy. Her words touch my heart and soul as if she knows me and my thoughts. 

6. What book are you reading now?
Right now, Beautiful Creatures by Tracy Chevalier. It's for the Jane Austen book club I belong to. Set in Lyme, England, it's pretty interesting so far.  

7. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Well, as you can see from my answer to question number one, I'm doing a million other things. Life is full of commitments and lately very few pleasures. Hence the book club, which is one of my only getaways from the craziness.

8. Where do you get your ideas for your books?
Sometimes, I get them from life experiences and other times from prompts. I may use a prompt and interweave it with an experience of mine and go from there. 

9. What new author has grasped your interest?
There are a lot of new authors out there that have grasped my interest. It's hard to choose. Sydney Logan, Lissa Bryan, Lisa Bilbrey, and Sandi Layne are just a few that come to mind. 

10. If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
Actress. Not sure why, but I subconsciously dream about being on a TV show or in a movie. It's not something I want to do consciously either. But my dreams tell me it is. 

11. What was your favourite chapter to write and why?
The first. I love trying to figure out a way to capture the reader and setting up the story. 

12. Why do you feel you had to tell this story?
I love romance stories and thought how great it would be to share a great love story of my own. 

13. Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
I have two books coming out this summer. The first one releases July 2nd and is a novella, In My Mother's Footsteps. The second one is a novel, My Mr. Manny and releases August 26th. Both of them are about family but in different ways and how life's struggles can lead you to what you least expect, the love of your life. My novella takes the reader on a trip to Oahu and the main character explores the sites while looking for her father, a father she never knew she had. My novel is about a a girl who moved from her whole big Italian family to live with her single father in California. When she runs into a childhood friend they hit it off and get married. However, they both were just trying to grasp at what they missed back home and they truly weren't right for each other. The main character was in need of some help at home with her daughter while she works and along come the recommendation of a manny (male nanny). Well, let's just say, sparks fly and their journey begins, while the MC tries to build a family of her own. 

14. How do you market your book(s)?
Gah, this is the part I never thought of until I was done with the writing and editing. It's a lot of work and the worry sets in. Will anyone read my books? That seems to be an ongoing question in my mind. So, I've been doing interviews, talking it up in person, telling everyone I know, I belong to some Twitter chains, Facebook, and other social sites have been helpful as well. Otherwise, I'm just praying. 

15. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
I see a lot of people I know who write really well and stick to free online posting. Regardless of the encouragement, it seems they have such a fear of putting themselves out there. Their stories belong on bookshelves, yet they're too afraid. So, my advice would be to put yourself out there. You can't fail unless you try and if you succeed you'll gain so much.

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