Writers work hard spending time with their words, whether tackling manuscripts, marketing, or blog posts. So every Wednesday here, we tap into some of that wisdom and get to learn about another creative person.
Today let’s welcome Jessica Cale!
With so many quality quotes from different authors on the subject of writing, do you have a favorite?
“You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ― Ray Bradbury
Where do you draw your inspiration to write?
It’s the characters, more than anything. My series, the Southwark Saga, has a lot of supporting characters outside of the hero and heroine of each book, and I think about them constantly–where they came from, what they want, what kind of adventures I’d like to send them on. Even relatively minor characters can take on lives of their own, and I like to see where they’re going to go. For example, in Tyburn, Alice Henshawe is a silent, thirteen-year-old barmaid. She appears again in Virtue’s Lady with a slightly larger part, and now she’s going to be the heroine of the third part of the series set several years into the future. This book was completely based on Alice, her insecurities, and my need to give her the happy ending she deserves.
Out of any character you’ve written, is there one that’s near and dear to you–that you feel like you could write about forever?
I have a lot of love for Tyburn’s heroine, Sally Green. She is a very strong character. I put her through more terrible things than a person should ever have to live through, and she’s very close to my heart. I’d like to check in with her periodically to make sure she’s still enjoying life and to see how she’s coping with all of her new responsibilities. She does appear again in Virtue’s Lady, and I have more plans for her for later in the series.
If you had the chance to go anywhere on a dream vacation, where would you travel?
I would love to go interrailing around Europe for a few months. I lived in the UK for several years and did some traveling then, but there’s still so much I want to see. I’d like to take my camera and a notebook and try to get lost!
What project are you most excited for right now?
Right now I’m finishing the third book of The Southwark Saga, tentatively titled The Long Way Home. This one is set six years after Virtue’s Lady ends, and follows barmaid Alice Henshawe as she gets lost in France and takes up some…erm…unusual employment. This has been a very challenging project because it has involved a lot of new research, and I’ve been up to the eyeballs in French history for the past year! The setting is about as far away from seventeenth century Southwark as possible, and all of the characters apart from Alice and Jack are new, and some of them are well-known historical figures. This book has been very hard to write, but I’m finally getting toward the end and I hope my readers will like it.
When you’re not writing, what TV do you watch? Do you have a favorite show on air?
Game of Thrones, hands down! My first degree was in Medieval History, so I love that for fantasy, it’s so close to the reality. The characters are complicated and well-developed and they really make it for me. No one’s really a hero, are they? I’ve read all of the books, so I’m excited to see how everything plays out.
What about in the realm of books? Any recommendations?
I just finished reading the ARC of Vice by Rosanna Leo and it was fantastic. The heroine leads a support group for friends and family of people suffering from gambling addiction and the hero runs a string of casinos. It was emotionally engaging and very sexy, and I just loved it. My other favorite books from this year were probably A Scandalous Wager by Cassandra Samuels and What a Duke Wants by Amy Quinton–both outstanding new regency romances.
What’s your zodiac sign?
Do you have any huge pet peeves that might make you put a book down?
I don’t like male characters to read like two-dimensional caricatures of “alpha males”. There has to be more to them than a six pack + something about them to make them “deep.” More than anything, though, I get frustrated when I read a book and I can’t picture what’s going on. I’ve read a lot of these over the past few years. I understand the need to be concise and to keep the pace consistent, but without details, all you have is a three-hundred page conversation. I want to see the houses, feel the clothes, and smell the coffee. I try to make up for this in my books as much as possible, even if the details are unpleasant!
Oh man, I agree with you wholeheartedly on the caricature alpha males! Now, where can readers find you and your books?
Tyburn and Virtue’s Lady are out now from Liquid Silver Books. They are on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, All Romance E-Books, and lsbooks.com. Paperback copies are also available on Amazon.
From toiling for pennies to bare-knuckle boxing, a lady is prepared for every eventuality.
Lady Jane Ramsey is young, beautiful, and ruined.
After being rescued from her kidnapping by a handsome highwayman, she returns home only to find her marriage prospects drastically reduced. Her father expects her to marry the repulsive Lord Lewes, but Jane has other plans. All she can think about is her highwayman, and she is determined to find him again.
Mark Virtue is trying to go straight. After years of robbing coaches and surviving on his wits, he knows it’s time to hang up his pistol and become the carpenter he was trained to be. He busies himself with finding work for his neighbors and improving his corner of Southwark as he tries to forget the girl who haunts his dreams. As a carpenter struggling to stay in work in the aftermath of The Fire, he knows Jane is unfathomably far beyond his reach, and there’s no use wishing for the impossible.
When Jane turns up in Southwark, Mark is furious. She has no way of understanding just how much danger she has put them in by running away. In spite of his growing feelings for her, he knows that Southwark is no place for a lady. Jane must set aside her lessons to learn a new set of rules if she is to make a life for herself in the crime-ridden slum. She will fight for her freedom and her life if that’s what it takes to prove to Mark—and to herself—that there’s more to her than meets the eye.
Liquid Silver: http://www.lsbooks.com/virtues-lady-p1008.php
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/virtues-lady-jessica-cale/1121713113?ean=9781622102051
All Romance E-Books: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-virtue039slady-1782182-340.html
Thanks for joining us on Meet the Writer Wednesday! Join us next week to meet a new author!