I’m pleased to welcome debut romance author, Jessica Lemmon to the blog today to be interviewed about her hot new release, Tempting the Billionaire. *cue cheerleaders*
Here’s a tease from Amazon:
BUSINESS OR PLEASURE?
Crickitt Day needs a job . . . any job. After her husband walks out on her, she’s determined to re-build her life and establish a new career. When swoon-worthy billionaire Shane August hires her as his assistant, she jumps at the chance to prove herself. Despite her growing attraction to her boss, she vows to keep things strictly professional. No flirting. No kissing. Definitely no falling in love…
Shane August is all business, all the time. He’s a self-made man who’s poured his heart and soul into his company, and he’d never allow himself to get involved with an employee. Then he hires sweet, sexy Crickitt-and he can’t keep his mind or his hands off her. But no matter how much he wants Crickitt, Shane fears that painful secrets from his past will always come between them. With fate working against them, can these two lonely hearts learn that sometimes mixing business with pleasure is the perfect merger?
The book is a great new treatment of the boss/personal assistant trope, and Jessica hits a lot of wonderful notes with her sweet, gorgeous hero and her strong, reluctant heroine. When the story ends you feel like you’re leaving old friends.
What sparked the idea for Tempting the Billionaire? Was it something specific or had the idea been rolling around your head for a while?
JL: I forgot to wear my wedding ring one day and the beginning of the story just hit me. A divorced woman in a bar, crying over the loss of the familiar weight on her ring finger. All that was left was to add a swoon-worthy hero who couldn’t keep himself from approaching.
What’s your writing process. How did the book get from idea to something submission worthy?
JL: I wrote Tempting very quickly…the first time. When I had edited myself, I sent out to my best friend-slash-beta reader and my critique partners (Jeannie has special knowledge of that original manuscript!) After feedback, I did rewrites…and then a few more. And *just one more* before I sent to my agent.
We hear a lot, as writers, about finding an agent that “fits.” Now that you have an agent, does this make sense to you?
JL: I don’t have any other experience to draw from! I was lucky to get an agent who” fits” right out of the gate. Nicole Resciniti gets me, works hard, and loves my voice. I’m truly blessed!
Tell us about “The Call.”
JL: My agent called to tell me Grand Central/Forever loved the book. I could have died. Somehow, I held it together until I hung up with Nicole and called my husband, then I just bawled. (Happy tears!)
When did the fact that you sold become “real” to you?
JL: There’s been several moments! That’s what is so cool! I “met” my editor and it hit me, during revisions it hit me, then there’s the cover, the ISBN showing up on Goodreads, a quote from Heidi Betts (!!!) and soon it’ll be sales numbers and actually getting a paperback to hold in my hands. It’s still surreal in a way.
What was the hardest part about getting this book from sale to release?
JL: After a long day of writing or editing, I can’t remember which, I came upstairs, spent. I remember looking at my husband and asking, “Am I wasting my time writing thousands of words no one will ever read?” Those moments of doubt were the hardest. I had to pray, pick myself up, and keep at it.
Tell us about Crickitt and Shane, the heroine and hero in Tempting the Billionaire?
JL: Shane August is an all-business billionaire who has his reasons for not getting too close to a woman. Crickitt is fresh-out-of-self-employment and recently divorced and trying to find her confidence again. Shane needs patience. Crickitt needs to feel desired. Turns out they have just what the other one needs.
How are they different from the rich boss and his secretary from the old school romances we know and love?
JL: My sexy CEO may have billions, but he’s not a hard-nosed, calloused, bear. He has an innate kindness he can’t seem to tamp down. I think the brooding alpha has his place in romance, for sure, but Shane August happens to bake and love his family, too.
How did you feel on release day?
JL: Smiley to the nth degree.
If you had one specific piece of advice for people pursuing publication, what would it be?
JL: Respect the process. You can’t get a good manuscript by writing it once. First draft, edit, edit, critique, edit again, beta read, edit, submit. It’s a journey and there are no shortcuts.
Now we’re going to take a page from James Lipton who hosted Inside the Actor’s Studio. I need quick responses to the following hot seat questions:
Where do you write?
JL: Everywhere! Basement, bed, sofa, art room…I’m totally portable.
Anything you have to have with you when you sit down to work?
JL: I keep notes for each book – so whatever book I’m writing, I have the folder for it handy.
Laptop or desktop?
Favorite romance plot device?
JL: First loves, especially when several years have passed and they return to one another. *le sigh*
Least favorite romance plot device?
JL: I don’t have one! Any well-written romance is a-okay with me.
What’s the hardest part of the writing process?
JL: Reading it for the umpteenth time. After a while it stops making sense.
What trait in a man do you find most sexy?
The least sexy?
You’re book is going to be made into a movie. Who play the lead roles?
JL: Henry Cavill would be Shane and…well…ME, because how fun would that be?
If you’d like to leave a comment for Jessica, or ask a question, feel free. To keep up with the latest news and book releases (and to find links to buy her books) make sure you visit Jessica at www.jessicalemmon.com.