Today, I am delighted to welcome to the blog to discuss all things romance writing, one of my very good friends and fabulous author, Emma Jackson.
Tell me a bit about the type of books you write and where you are in your publishing journey.
I write romantic comedies with (I hope) a touch of honesty and the bittersweet mixed in along the way to my characters’ happy-ever-after. My fourth book, One Kiss Before Christmas, has just released and I’m coming up to the one year anniversary of my debut novel, A Mistletoe Miracle, being published with Orion Dash! I’m not quite sure what the future holds at the moment, as I’m out of contract now – and it’s been one hell of a year! – but I do know I have many more romances to write and stories I want to share with readers.
I became an official romance fan when I was pregnant with my first daughter. I was tired and I didn’t want anything that might unexpectedly upset me after having a bad experience with a Karin Slaughter book I’d been recommended. Great book but it gave me nightmares! So, I sought out stories with lots of emotion and guaranteed happy endings; where I could enjoy the thrill of falling in love again and again. All the different sub-genres of romance from historical to fantasy to contemporary, also mean there’s always something to suit my mood. I’ve always written stories, so it made sense for me to write what I enjoyed reading.
What inspires your stories?
It’s usually from one little ‘what if’ thought that comes to me. It could be from a place I’ve been or listening to a song or visiting a shop or reading a newspaper story. It then grows as more ideas come to me or characters become a little more solid. I’ve just started planning out and tentatively drafting another Christmas story, which weirdly came to me because of a comment another author (Isabella May) made about my debut in a review.
Who are your favourite romance authors, past and/or present?
I love Tessa Dare and Mhairi McFarlane. They are auto-buys for me. They both write laugh out loud books but also cover some heavy themes with such skill.
If you had to pick one romance novel for me to read, which one would you recommend?
This is so hard, but I think one of my favourite reads this year, Beach Read by Emily Henry, was fantastic. The hero and heroine are both writers of very different genres who challenge each other to try and write the other’s way. It’s very funny – extremely meta for romance readers and writers – but even if you aren’t a fan of romance already, I think it would do an amazing job of helping you understand why people love romance so much, and why it isn’t something fluffy or frivolous to try to have a bit of hope. It’s also very sexy and heartfelt. It works on so many levels!
He doesn’t believe in happy endings.
She’s lost her faith that they exist.
But could they find one together?
January is a hopeless romantic who narrates her life like she’s the lead in a blockbuster movie.
Gus is a serious literary type who thinks true love is a fairy-tale.
But January and Gus have more in common than you’d think:
They’re both broke.
They’ve got crippling writer’s block.
And they need to write bestsellers before summer ends.
The result? A bet to swap genres see who gets published first.
The risk? In telling each other’s stories, their worlds might be changed entirely…
Which romantic hero or heroine would you choose to spend your perfect romantic weekend with? Where would you go and what would you do?
Is it really terrible if I say one of my own heroes? I think I’d love to spend a weekend with Olivier from One Kiss Before Christmas because he’s so easy-going and fun, and also because he could take me to Paris to give me a tour around the museums and galleries, cook gorgeous food for me, and then we could snuggle up and watch old movies. Bliss.
What is your favourite thing about being a member of the RNA? What do you think you have gained from membership?
The sense of community. I have found so many amazing friends since I joined and been given so much support. It’s transformed my knowledge of the industry because there is always someone willing to offer advice and it’s turned what can be a very lonely profession into one where I feel genuinely connected.
What one piece of advice or tip would you give to new writers starting out in the romance genre?
Keep going. Perseverance is as much one of the tools you need to keep in your arsenal as an ability to think up great hooks. From getting from ‘chapter one’ to ‘the end’, to sending out queries, it’s so important to find a way to keep yourself going that works for you.
Tell us about your latest book.
One Kiss Before Christmas is a gorgeously romantic festive read guaranteed to warm your heart this Christmas and you can buy it here! (I reviewed One Kiss Before Christmas on the blog a few weeks ago, and you can read my review here.)
Could it be the start of her happy ever after?
Ashleigh could use a little Christmas magic. She’s still living in Brighton with her Nan – who could give the Grinch lessons in how to be miserable – her acting career has been reduced to playing one of Santa’s elves, and not even the prospect of a friend’s winter wedding can cheer her up…
That is until Olivier, the gorgeous French chef, reappears in her life. Or more accurately, next door.
When they were teenagers, Olivier would spend every Christmas with his mother, who just happens to be Ash’s neighbour and owner of the best chocolate shop in England.
If anyone can bring a little sparkle back to Ash’s life, it’s Olivier. All she needs is one kiss before Christmas…
About Emma Jackson
Author of the Best Selling A MISTLETOE MIRACLE and contender for the Joan Hessayon Award 2020, Emma has been a devoted bookworm and secret-story-scribbler since she was 6 years old. When she’s not running around after her two daughters and trying to complete her current work-in-progress, Emma loves to read, bake, catch up on binge-watching TV programmes with her partner and plan lots of craft projects that will inevitably end up unfinished. SUMMER IN THE CITY, was released in June, and her latest festive romance, ONE KISS BEFORE CHRISTMAS is now available.
Emma also writes historical and fantasy fiction as Emma S Jackson. THE DEVIL’S BRIDE was published by DarkStroke in February 2020.
Connect with Emma:
Facebook: Emma Jackson Author