Awesome Romance Author Jennifer Bokal is here today to tell us about her brand new book, Her Rocky Mountain Hero, releasing today by Harlequin Romantic Suspense. Join us as Jennifer shares some great advice for aspiring writers about writer’s block, putting in the time, and more.
Take it away, Jennifer…
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
The one thing I always tell new travelers on the writer’s journey is this: It takes 10,000 hours to master any skill—writing included. And if you break it down even further to think of a 40-hour work week for 50 weeks in a year, a person would work for 2,000. So, to reach the 10,000-hour mastery level a person would have to write 40 hours/ week for five years. I don’t share this fact to scare people; quite the opposite. I want new writers to be gentle on themselves if they aren’t seeing the results they want in a certain time frame. Keep writing! It’s the only key to success.
Do you have any writing tips that helped you get published?
Aside from writing is to rewrite. All work needs to be polished, and I spend about 20% of my time writing a first draft and the rest of the time is rewrites and edits. It wasn’t a skill that came naturally to me, so I belonged to two different critique groups for years and got also went back to graduate school where I received a master of arts in creative writing (Wilkes University 2010).
Beyond getting feedback and educating myself, I attended (and still do!) conferences where I can meet with editors and agents. I met my agent through my grad program and my editor at Harlequin at a conference. I guess, my advice is to take yourself seriously as a writing professional and the career will follow.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
Writing a series for Harlequin Romantic Suspense doesn’t provide for a lot of time for writer’s block, but of course I have times where the words won’t come. I’ve learned to embrace those moments and will walk away from the computer and clear my mind. I take a walk, clean a little, or change my location. I usually go to a local bookstore or coffee shop. If that doesn’t work, I start writing with pad and pen, and eventually, I break the creative logjam.
What can you tell us about your title?
The title was chosen with the subsequent series in mind, so I knew that Rocky Mountain would be used. HRS asked for several ideas and one of them was Rocky Mountain Hero. It was tweaked to Her Rocky Mountain Hero!
Do you have any upcoming books or series?
Like I said, Rocky Mountain Hero is part of a series—the Rocky Mountain Justice series. Rocky Mountain Hero is the first book in the series. The second book, Her Rocky Mountain Defender, is slated to come out in April 2018, and the final book (not yet named) will be released in September 2018.
When security expert Cody Samuels finds fugitive Viktoria Mateev in hiding, he can’t believe his luck. Turning her in will be the perfect revenge on the crime family who destroyed Cody’s DEA career. But to his surprise, Cody is just in time to rescue Viktoria from assassins. He soon finds himself tracking her son’s kidnapper– and trying to resist his deepest desires…
To keep her son safe from her ruthless in-laws, Viktoria went on the run. Now she’s teaming up with a man she can’t trust. Cody’s courage and bold gambits are a temptation that Viktoria can’t resist–even as a risky sacrifice guarantees that she may not survive to see another holiday.