FIA: In your own words, please describe your book.
JJ: HONEY GIRL is the second in the BILLIONAIRE series, and can also stand alone. Lila and Alexander experienced a scorching case of lust at first site in BILLIONAIRE. In HONEY GIRL, their relationship has deepened into a love affair that awes them both. If they had a choice, they’d spend all their time immersed in their own little bubble of sensual bliss. But reality insists on forcing its way into their world. Alexander’s supermodel ex-girlfriend wants to break them up. Alexander’s brother Jake is about to get arrested. And a persistent senior employee of Alexander’s who was present at a recent poker night that got a little out of control now has the hots for Lila. So it’s all Lila and Alexander can do to keep their love from being torn apart by forces beyond their control.
FIA: What genre/genres does your book fall under?
JJ: Contemporary erotic romance
FIA: Is this book part of a series?
JJ: Yes, it’s the second book in the BILLIONAIRE series. HONEY GIRL can also stand alone.
FIA: What was the inspiration behind your book?
JJ: I would have to say the character Alexander, who landed in my head fully formed. It might be the same for all writers of romance and erotic romance, but I think the writer has to be in love with their hero – and I’m definitely more than a little in love with Alexander. He’s what every woman wants: totally hot, completely addicted to his lover and so in love he can barely see straight. His voice came very easily to me and it’s a lot of fun to write him, since he’s so over-the-top and obsessed with Lila. And Lila, too, can’t get enough. She’s logical and never really expected to be so thoroughly swept off her feet by a lusty, stormy-eyed billionaire, so she’s still adjusting. But when it comes to these two, logic was never a big part of the equation. They’re like magnets; they just can’t help themselves.
FIA: What led you into writing? Was it a lifelong ambition, or the result of some type of turning point in your life?
JJ: A little of both. I wrote a short story in a high school English class that was set on a Melvillian type ship that involved sailors and a single mysterious woman (very tame but already hinted at inklings of the erotic J). My teacher gave me an A+++ and wrote ‘Keep writing’ at the top of the page. So I did. Never very seriously, but the craving gained momentum. To me, the urge to write feels remarkably like lust. Word-lust J One day I made a decision to see if I could make a living off my writing. I still have a day job as an academic writer and editor, and I’d write even if I never made a dime. But to actually get a few dimes out of it inspires me to keep going and to dream big.
FIA: So far, what has been the greatest moment in your writing career?
JJ: The first month I paid my mortgage with royalties J And every day I get a message or e-mail from a reader who loves one of my books. We all have books that have made an impression or affected us in a way that changes us and deepens our human experience. It’s cool how people have such a meaningful relationship with the books they read and the characters they love. When people write and tell me they fell in love with Alexander, for example, it means a lot to me. They ‘get’ him, and that’s an amazing feeling, to touch someone else’s life that way.
FIA: Are you self-published or published through a small-press? Can you tell our readers what led up to that and your publishing experience?
JJ: I’m self-published. I first published BILLIONAIRE in a series of installments. It was a great way to begin because I could publish the book piece by piece, as I wrote. So I could start making an income while I wrote, instead of waiting until I finished the complete book. The trend of publishing serialized books seems to be winding down, though, and I can understand why. As a writer, serialized books are great. As a reader, though, I don’t like waiting! When I’m into a book, I want to devour the whole thing. And a lot of readers expressed that, too: that they would rather have a book in hand than a series of chapters they have to wait for. So that’s why I published HONEY GIRL as one book. And I’ll continue to do that from now on.
FIA: What are you working on now?
JJ: Right now I’m working on Jake’s book. Jake Wolfe is Alexander’s younger brother and features in both BILLIONAIRE and HONEY GIRL. He sometimes reminds me of a quote I read somewhere: “Secondary characters never think of themselves as secondary characters.” That’s true of Jake. He always came across, to me, as a main character. He’s a complex guy with all kinds of baggage. Lila describes him as a ‘hunky, sensitive badboy with a heart of gold.’ So the challenge was finding the right heroine for him: someone whose strengths and vulnerabilities would mesh with his own. Readers will briefly meet Sugar in HONEY GIRL. She’s perfect for Jake, but their path was never going to be easy. She comes with baggage of her own, not to mention a possessive boyfriend who has the background and personality to introduce a world of trouble for Jake. So I’m having fun torturing poor old Jake. Not to worry, though: he was always destined for a HEA of his own.
I’ve also started writing what could evolve into a Book 2.5 of the series. It’ll probably be a novella and will focus on Jake’s later teenage years, when he received a sort of ‘education’ that’s mentioned briefly in BILLIONARE. I’ll give more details as this idea takes shape …
FIA: In your own words, please tell us about yourself.
JJ: I’m a little bit reclusive! A total introvert. I’m married to a beautiful man – my very own real-life hero who inspires all my fictional heroes. When I’m not writing, I’m reading, spending time with my husband and friends, walking, going to movies, eating out or doing yoga. And I love to travel.
FIA: How can readers connect with you?
JJ: I love hearing from readers. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m also on Facebook (www.facebook.com/juliettejonesbooks), Twitter (@juliettebillion), Tumblr (www.juliettebillion.tumblr.com), and I have an author blog (www.juliettejones.wordpress.com).
FIA: Tell us one thing about yourself that we wouldn’t know?
JJ: I hate cooking! Luckily my husband is a very good cook
FIA: If there was one thing you could tell your readers, what would it be?
JJ: I really love connecting with people who have enjoyed my books, and I appreciate each and every reader so much. I’m constantly in awe that people spend their time with these characters I’ve created. Every time I hear from someone who’s found something they can relate to in my books, I feel hugely inspired.
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