With her debut novel, Stealing Beauty, hitting shelves in March 2017, Jessica has proven herself to be an up-and-coming (pardon the pun) romance author.
Jessica draws inspiration from her eclectic background: a student athlete, a licensed mental health therapist, an animal-rights advocate (ok, as much as she’s tried going vegetarian, she’s just not there yet), and an avid lover of books have allowed her to create the realistic world for her Fairy Tales After Dark characters.
She currently lives in New Jersey with her incredibly supportive husband (let’s be honest, he enjoys the *ahem* research *ahem* he gets to assist with) and the love of their life – their pitbull. In her free time, she enjoys watching horror movies, taking baths, playing old-school Nintendo on her computer, and appreciating life.
In the following Q&A we get to know Jessica a bit more as an author. Let’s dive right in!
1. When did you realize you wanted to become an author?
a. I’d say a few years ago. I’ve always had a love of books. When I was younger, I would drag my parents to the library every few days, just gobbling up any stories I could. From there, my book obsession only grew and as an adult I started to read erotic romance. I loved the steaminess of the works, but often found myself disappointed at the lack of plot or character development. I wanted a great story with great sex – and didn’t find it that much in the “erotic romance” world. I decided, “hm, maybe I can just write it” and so I gave it a shot in another genre I loved – fairy tales.
2. Where does the inspiration from your stories come from?
a. Everywhere! The Fairy Tales After Dark series is kind of obvious – they’re all the “adult” versions of my favorite stories. Even within them though, I love the closeness of characters. A lot of characters and situations are based from my or my friends lives. Inspiration can strike at any time though. I can see a picture or even a meme and get an idea for a scene.
3. How many books have you written?
a. I have one novel published, Stealing Beauty, plus a novella in an anthology called Reanimated. It’s part of the Brain F*ck#d anthology. As for upcoming works, I have another novella which is going to be added to a coffee-themed anthology coming in February I think, plus a co-written fantasy novel which I cannot wait to show everyone entitled House of Tannin: Raven’s Touch. Finally, the second novel in the Fairy Tales After Dark series, Finders Keepers, should be finished in a month or two. Apart from those I’m working on another series completely – but I can’t say anything about it yet!
4. As far as the writing process goes, are you a plotter or do you write as you go?
a. A little of both. I have a general story arc and direction for both the plot and characters. From there, I tend to write scenes when inspiration strikes. For example, I had an idea for a motorcycle ride in Finders Keepers which I wrote before I finished the opening chapter. I’ll have a number of ideas and then at the end work to connect them all. So really, a combination plotter/panster.
5. What is your favorite and least favorite part of writing?
a. My favorite is hearing from readers. I love their reactions – especially when their reaction is exactly what I was hoping for! I love when they catch the easter eggs I’ve put in the stories. My least favorite is advertising. I suck at it! I hate feeling like I’m “pushing” my book on others, trying to figure out when to buy advertisements vs. look for free ones. Ugh. Marketing sucks.
6. What advice would you give aspiring writers?
a. Read, read, READ! Look at sentence structure and how the plots/characters are formed. Focus not just on the story, but the technical aspects.
7. Who are some authors who inspire you?
a. So many! I think my all-time favorite is Stephen King. The way he draws you into his world is awe-inspiring.
8. What are some of your favorite books to read?
a. I’ll read anything really. I love erotic romance, especially dark erotica.
9. Do you have any current projects you’re working on?
a. Yup. Finishing Finders Keepers, and just starting the new series. Top secret project for now though. 😊
10. Where can readers catch up with you and follow your work?
a. Oh, almost everywhere! Come stalk me, please!!
Facebook Profile https://www.facebook.com/jessica.collins.author.75054
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/authorjessicacollins/
Facebook Group (Fairy Tales After Dark): https://www.facebook.com/groups/1393011250760671/
Twitter: @AuthJessCollins (https://twitter.com/AuthJessCollins)
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Collins/e/B06XJPV9RT