Jessica Scott is a career army officer, mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs, wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She is a terrible cook and even worse housekeeper, but she's a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon and someone liked some of the stuff she wrote. Somehow, her children are pretty well adjusted and her husband still loves her, despite burned water and a messy house. (Full bio on Goodreads.)
Shera (Book Whispers): In your own words, introduce yourself.
Jessica Scott: My bio pretty much says it all: I'm a company commander, wife to a first sergeant, mom to 2 kids, 3 dogs, 3 cats, 2 hamsters and a couple of fish (lost count). I've been told I'm somewhat of an overachiever but I really don't believe that. I'm pretty luck just not to get fired most days.
BW: Your author info states that you're a career army officer, it clearly shows in your work and gives a certain reality that most authors lack when writing this kind of story. We're there any scenes that were particular hard writing for Because of You, that just hit too close to home?
JS: I wouldn't say there are scenes that are hard to write so much as there are scenarios I would really struggle with. I would never be able to write a sympathetic adulterer. One of my beta readers suggested that I have Laura have a man showing interest in her and I simply recoiled from the suggestion. It's too difficult because sadly, so many of our men and women come home to broken homes because their significant other was not faithful, you know?
BW: It shocked me hearing about the wife (err, ex-wife) of our hero Shane Garrison. It was hard for me to understand a woman that could hold it against her husband for missing her birthday when he is fighting a war. It actually spawned a few heated debates with other readers. Is this something that you saw commonly to inspire this part of Garrison's past?
JS: There's no way to answer this question without inspiring a storm of debate between army women and army wives. The short version is I've read far too many books that paint female soldiers as home wreckers and just as many books that paint army wives as adulterers. The truth, as always is somewhere in the middle. But sometimes, life as a company commander can feel like an episode of Jerry Springer and that's really as much visual as I think people need:)
BW: When you're in a writing jam, is there a particular author you look to for inspiration? One that makes you ask, "What would ‘insert author's name here’ do?"
JS: With my 2nd book UNTIL THERE WAS YOU, I really struggled to find the right opening hook. I picked up several books and tried to figure out what worked for their openings and what made me keep reading. One of my favorite openings was Laura Kinsale's Seize the Fire. "It was hell being a hero." I mean how powerful is that?
BW: For me this was my first military romance and I loved it! Is there other books that you would recommend readers to try if they like your work?
JS: There are a ton of Harlequin books featuring soldiers and their families. Robyn Carr's Virgin River series is one I'd recommend with ease, as I would Joann Ross' Shelter Bay series. Both are community driven stories about soldiers coming home from war.
BW: Until There Was You, the second book in the Coming Home series, is due out in October! Are there more books expected to release in the series?
JS: The series is up in the air right not but I can promise this: Laura & Trent will have their own book and I've started working on a spin off from one of the characters from UNTIL THERE WAS YOU. He's a wonderful tragic hero and I'm really enjoying writing him (Reza in case you wanted to check some Facebook posts:)
BW: Can readers expect to see some of the "side characters" in Because of You and Until There Was You in later books? Maybe as leads?
JS: I don't think Nikiki and Vic from Because of You will ever be their own book but they've definitely got a prominent role in Laura & Trent's book as it stands right now. I think as the community expands, I'm going to work really hard to keep the books focused on a single couple but I also never say never! I love Carponti & Shane so I'm pretty sure they'll be coming around again.
JS: All right, I have to admit, I kind of like a hairy chest on a man. Werewolf. I've recently started watching True Blood and I'm all about Alcide. Mmmm...
BW: Go wild! Let us know something funny about you, share something that's on your mind, or anything else that's important
JS: With everything that's going on in publishing, it really does come down to reader engagement. I love interacting with folks on Twitter and Facebook. It's a lot of fun plus I feel like I really get to know folks, you know? I'll admit to being somewhat introverted so sometimes, I need other folks to take the first step. I know my twitter feed doesn't sound like I'm much of an introvert but I really get a kick when people respond, you know? I try my best to always respond to twitter and Facebook but sometimes, life gets in the way so I hope that folks will bear with me and know that I do my best. I only hope it's enough, you know?
BW: A big thanks to Jessica Scott for doing this wonderful interview! (And for having the strongest argument for Team Werewolf we’ve had here on Book Whispers!)
Because of You (Coming Home, book 1) by Jessica Scott
Contemporary Military Romance
From the war-torn streets of Baghdad to the bittersweet comforts of the home front, two wounded hearts navigate the battlefield of coming home from war in this explosive eBook original from newcomer Jessica Scott.
Keeping his men alive is all that matters to Sergeant First Class Shane Garrison. But meeting Jen St. James the night before his latest deployment makes Shane wonder if there’s more to life than war. He leaves for Iraq remembering a single kiss with a woman he’ll never see again—until a near fatal attack lands him back at home and in her care.
Jen has survived her own brush with death and endured its scars. And yet there’s a fire in Shane that makes Jen forget all about her past. He may be her patient, but when this warrior looks her in the eyes, she feels—for the first time in a long time—like a woman. Shane is too proud to ask for help, but for Jen, caring for him is more than a duty—it’s a need. And as Jen guides Shane through the fires of healing, she finds something she never expected—her deepest desire.