I’m married and have two children, ages 3 and 1. I do most of my writing while the youngest is napping.
Here’s my bio:
Jerica MacMillan is a lifelong reader and lover of romance. Nothing beats escaping into a book and watching people fall in love, overcome obstacles, and find their happily ever after. She was recently named a semi finalist in Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write 2015 contest.
Jerica is living her happily ever after in North Idaho with her husband and two children. She spends her days building with blocks, admiring preschooler artwork, and writing while her baby naps in the sling. Sign up to receive updates on her reading and writing life at www.JericaMacMillan.com.
Tell us about your latest book.
I recently released Rebound Envy, Book 2 in the Rebound Series at the end of January. It’s about jealousy, finding love, and not settling for less than you deserve. There’s lots of sexual tension between Amy, the main character, and Adam, the love interest. This series is made of novellas, so they’re shorter and easy to read, with some nice heat between the main characters to keep things spicy.
What do you have coming out in the future?
I just finished the second book in my series of full length novels Players of Marycliff University. Once I finalize the title, I’ll be putting it out for preorder, with a release date in May.
Is your book a stand-alone or a series?
My books are interconnected standalones in a series. The main characters from the first books are secondary characters in the following books, but it’s not entirely necessary to read all the books in order (though it might help a little). With Rebound Envy there’s no reason not to read book 1, Rebound Therapy, first because it’s free from Amazon, iBook, Nook, and Kobo.
Why romance and what makes your particular brand of romance special?
I’ve always been a sucker for a happy ending and a well-told love story. I like telling stories about realistic characters that you’d want to hang out with if they were real. They have the same kinds of problems that real people face, which I think makes them more relatable and draws you in as a reader. I describe my writing as sweet and sexy. They’re sweet love stories, with enough heat to steam up your screen.
Is romance the only genre that you write in or do you write in other genres? If so what other genres do you write in?
Adam has wanted Amy since she first walked into his wine bar. After he finally got the chance to take her out, issues from his past got in the way.
Now she's dating someone else, and he's jealous of the lost opportunity.
Will Adam and Amy work out the issues from the past and present that are keeping them apart? Or will their jealousies ruin their relationships and keep them apart forever?
Life. I sometimes play what if with situations I’ve been in or someone I know has been in. Often, the beginning of a story just comes to me while I’m doing something else. I jot the ideas down until I can come up with more—the main conflict, a couple of major plot points—and then I start writing.
Do you ever base your characters on real people in your life?
I think all writers do to some extent. I don’t take people wholesale and make them a character in my story, but I do use traits from people close to me for some of my characters. For example, Abby, the heroine in Summer Fling is strawberry blonde and describes herself as often being mistaken as younger than she is with makeup on and people think she’s twelve without it. My sister-in-law had that problem when she was in her twenties, so I got that from her. That’s where the resemblance ends, though.
What authors inspire your writing?
How have your real life experiences influenced your writing?
Again, all writers draw on their own experiences when writing. Otherwise you can’t craft relatable or engaging characters or stories. While I haven’t been in all the specific situations of each of my characters, I have felt their emotions, so it’s easier to convey them on the page.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Reading and hanging out with my kids. I like to get out and go hiking when I can.
What was your road to publishing like? Tell us about it.
It was pretty straightforward. I started learning about self-publishing a little over a year ago. I did a lot of research comparing self-publishing to traditional publishing, and decided that for me, self-publishing was the way to go. I like having full control over the books and the timelines and not being on someone else’s schedule. Plus, it seems like even traditionally published authors have to spend a lot of time doing their own promotion. I figured that if I was going to do the lion’s share of the work, I’d prefer to keep the lion’s share of the profits as well. I considered submitting to some small ebook only/ebook first publishers to get started, but ultimately decided that if I was going to self-publish, I should just go all-in from the beginning. It’s only been a few months since releasing my first title, but I’ve seen steady growth that I find encouraging.
How did you come up with the title of your book?
I play word association games. With the Rebound Series, all the books will have rebound in the title, so it’s a matter of coming up with a word or phrase that goes with the books and has that word in it.
Do you read romance or do you prefer other genres?
I read lots of romance, but I also enjoy other genres.
What is your absolute favorite book or books and why is it special to you?
Probably Outlander and the rest of that series by Diana Gabaldon. I love her writing. Those books hooked me from the first time I found them when I was in high school. I had no idea what I was getting into at the time, and I’ve reread most of the books more than once. Last Christmas, the best present I got was the whole series as ebooks so I can read them easily whenever I want.
Brian MacCallum is the hot owner of the wine bar where Amy takes Jenna. He has a mischievous grin that he wields like a weapon to convince Jenna to give him a chance.
Will his love be enough to pull Jenna out of her grief so she can learn to live and love again?
I’m currently a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Idaho Writers League.
Have you won any awards for your writing?
I won first place in the annual Idaho Writers League competition for creative non-fiction, and my novel Summer Fling (Book 1 of Players of Marycliff University) was chosen as a semi-finalist in Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write competition in 2015.
What is your preferred writing environment?
I usually write in my home office with either music or rain sounds playing in my headphones to block out extraneous noises so I can focus. Sometimes I’ll get out of the house and go to Starbucks or something for a change of scenery.
How would you describe your writing style?
Simple and accessible. I want readers to easily connect to my characters and their feelings, so I try not to let the writing get in the way of that.
Do you have a careful plan when plotting your stories or do you just go with the flow?
I’m sort of a hybrid. I have a framework in mind for each story, but not a detailed outline. To get started, I usually know the opening scene, the main conflict, and a couple major plot points. The rest comes as I go. I try to figure out what scene I’m going to write next before I sit down to write. Sometimes I do a little free writing to get started so I can figure out where I’m going and what needs to happen to get there.
When did you know you truly wanted to give writing a shot?
I’ve been dabbling with writing for the last couple years. I went to a conference put on by the local RWA chapter last March that convinced me that I might be able to make this work. I learned so much from that one conference and eventually joined that chapter.
Do you have any advice for other writers and what is it?
Don’t give up. Find people and resources that are encouraging and keep going.
Lance just graduated and has a summer internship. His parents expect him to come back to Texas to work in the family business at the end of the summer. He likes to have fun and doesn't want to be tied down too soon. Until he meets Abby.
Abby still has two years left of college and a mom who keeps her anchored near the town where she grew up. She is cautious in relationships, not letting people close. But Lance's persistence wears down her defenses. Knowing Lance is leaving, Abby tells herself it's just a summer fling.
Will that be enough to keep her from falling in love?