Author Override is the place where authors take the reins and take you on a journey into their world. Some may allow you into their private writing dens. Others may take you along with them on research trips or interviews. Whatever the case may be, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride because here you’ll get an in-depth look into an author’s musings.
We’ve had the pleasure of hosting this wonderful and talented author at UTC before but she seems to be suffering from multiple personalities lately… Now we introduce her to you as…
Another Genre, Another Pen Name…
For a few years now, I’ve been writing as Jill Myles (and lately as Jessica Sims). All of my stories are a little quirky, a little funny, a little steamy, and, well, they’re paranormals. Pretty much everything that I’ve done up until now has been of the paranormal persuasion. I was a big fantasy reader when I was a teenager, and when paranormal hit it big, I saw the opportunity to meld the two genres I love the most – fantasy and romance. I’ve been asked several times why I decided to make the move to contemporary romance. Not just regular contemporary romance, either. Erotic contemporary romance! It’s a big leap for someone that’s normally only allowed about three sex scenes a book, max!
The idea first came about when a friend dared me to write a contemporary because she liked my voice. No vampires, no shifters, no time travel. Just regular people and regular problems. I am not exactly one to turn down a dare (cough) and I am always looking for ways to stretch my writing muscles. Challenge? Accepted! I envisioned a small town librarian who was in a fuss because her sexy hockey-player ex boyfriend had returned to town. Fun, right?
My terrific Berkley editor, Cindy Hwang, offered on my contemporary proposal…with a catch. She wanted me to write it as an erotic romance. When I first heard this, I wasn’t sure what to do. The first thing I thought was that I couldn’t write an erotic contemporary romance. Those books were so incredibly steamy that I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to deliver. What if I sent in something that wasn’t steamy enough? Would the lynch mobs come after me with pitchforks, demanding more sex between the hero and heroine? As a reader, would I be satisfied with the level of steam i had planned for the book?
But there was that challenge thing again. I told Cindy what heat level I thought I could do, and compared my ‘level’ to another author. She was happy with that, and then off we went! Now I had to finish my librarian book and turn it into an EROTIC contemporary romance. This meant scrapping the plot I had, reworking the original proposal, and starting fresh. But it was a challenge, and I was looking forward to it. I’m a firm believer that variety keeps the brain firing on all cylinders, so I thought it’d be fun.
Like any good nerd, I bought up a copy of every comparable Berkley Heat author. I had read them in the past, of course, but now it was time to STUDY them and learn from them. I picked apart each book. I counted sex scenes. I counted the length and intensity of the scenes. I actually made an excel spreadsheet cataloging how many pages of sex were in each book and how hot they were on a scale to get a better idea of what comparable readers would be looking for. (I told you that was nerdy!)
And then it was time to plot. And I realized…this was going to be fun.
Miranda and Dane’s story turned out way hotter than I’d originally anticipated. At first, I’d been worried that I wasn’t going to make the story sexy enough, but once I’d given myself ‘permission’ to throw away the boundaries, I HAD SO MUCH FUN YOU GUYS. It was crazy fun writing such a sexy story. The next one? Even hotter and sexier and even more fun. I also just signed for two more books, so the fun’s going to keep rolling! It was a really great experience, and I’m so proud of how steamy and fun the book is. I hope you guys enjoy it too!
Once, Miranda felt a little exposed…
Miranda Hill can’t believe her eyes—her cocky ex-boyfriend, pro-hockey player Dane Croft, is back in Bluebonnet, Texas, after all these years. He ditched her – and their little town – just as some rather shocking photos showed up on the internet for the whole town to see. Miranda wasn’t so lucky. Stuck in Bluebonnet and left to fend for herself, she’s never really shaken the scandal — or his betrayal. After nine long years, he’s back, and she has the chance to turn the tables on Dane…
It’s time she got even.
Former NHL hotshot playboy Dane Croft has returned home to open a survival training school on an old ranch, and reinvent himself. When his former high school girlfriend enrolls in his school, he has no idea that Miranda’s plan is to get him in a compromising position—not the one he’s imagining, anyway. But soon Miranda realizes that to carry out her deviously sexy revenge, she’ll have to get up close and personal with Dane all over again. Being a good girl got her nowhere for nine years, and now it’s time to be a little naughty. But falling in love with the man that broke her heart was never part of the plan…
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