In the Spotlight feature kicked off in April 2015 and is an opportunity for authors, editors and publishers (basically anyone in the book industry (yes, even bloggers!)) to connect with fans. There is an option to do an interview, guest post, feature a book sale or book release or a cover reveal. Best of all, it’s free! All you need to do is click on the image to reserve your spot!
Now on with the show!
In the Spotlight with Jennifer L. Allen
Welcome to Second Run Reviews, Jennifer! Thank you for being In the Spotlight. I appreciate you stopping by and answering a few questions. So let’s get things started.
In a tweet (140 characters or less), tell us a bit about yourself.
Wife, fur-mom, student, writer, ABA therapist, wannabe photographer, music lover, traveler, reader, and shot glass collector.
Please tell a bit about your journey to becoming a published author. What’s been the best things about it and the worst?
Thinking back to grade school, I realized I’ve always enjoyed writing and creating little worlds inside my head and on paper. Publishing was sort of a spur of the moment thing for me, though. It wasn’t planned at all. I never thought to myself, “I want to be a writer when I grow up.” Not that I ever thought there was anything wrong with a career as a writer, I grew up on Stephen King, R.L. Stine, James Patterson, and other authors/books/series. It was always a profession I respected. But I never guessed it would be something I’d ever do…especially not when I was already working a full-time desk job and attending graduate school full-time for a degree in counseling. It just wasn’t on my radar. I entered the indie world as a reader and wasn’t heavily involved, just joined some book groups to get recommendations.
Eventually, somehow (can’t remember how) learned of self-publishing. That little piece of knowledge was in the back of my head, not quite ready for me to use yet. Eventually, I had this story in my head…over and over and over again. I wrote it out. Deleted it. Wrote it. Deleted it…you get the idea. I remembered that little tidbit about self-publishing, did some more research about betas, editors, marketing, etc. and voila! I published a book.
The best things about being an indie author is the freedom and the people I’ve met. I can write what I want, when I want, which is great since my schedule is bananas on a good day. And I’ve met so many amazing people over the the last two years. Readers, bloggers, authors…it has been amazing. The worst thing is having to remind myself that I have to hold myself accountable to some degree. I love the freedom, but it’s also a curse because I don’t set deadlines for myself. So sometimes I find myself floating along, and I have to sort of rein myself in and set some kind of target, otherwise I’ll be sitting on five different works in progress with no end in sight. I do a pretty good job of keeping myself in line, but I still have my moments…like the entire month of May!
Tell us a bit about your latest release. What inspired you to write it? Why should fans of Second Run Reviews consider reading it.
It’s kind of a weird story, but a song inspired me to start Here Without You, which was named Don’t Let Me Go at the time. I put in about 15k words, decided I didn’t like the direction it was going in, scrapped it, and started over. It became Here Without You and was no longer related to the song, but the characters and a couple of the main ideas remained the same. I think the story just got away from that original idea I’d gotten from the song, and I had to do a mental reorganization. Regardless, I knew from the beginning it was going to be a deeply emotional story and I guess that’s the part that stuck from the first version to the second. If readers enjoy an emotional story, one that doesn’t have a whole lot of shiny, happy laughing moments, but will still touch your heart, then grab it.
What types of books do you enjoy reading the most? What three books to you find yourself recommending to your fans over and over?
Current obsession: Audible. I can listen to books when I’m driving, cleaning, eating…books are usually the number one reason behind my lack of productivity, and audiobooks have really, really put a damper on my productivity! All in good fun, though.
Thank you for being In the Spotlight, Jennifer. I hope you’ll come back soon and bring us up to date on all your writing adventures.
Synopsis: Anna Romano had the picture perfect life. As a brilliant high school student and talented artist with a supportive family, she couldn’t imagine her life being any better. Her days were spent fantasizing about finishing high school, and dreaming of a future with her loving boyfriend.
Ryan Jacobs had his life figured out. He was enlisting in the Navy, and his high school sweetheart was applying to art school. Just a few more months and the life they’d planned together would become a reality.
On a cold February day, tragedy struck and flipped Anna’s life upside down. The bright and colorful world she once lived in turned to gray. Retreating into herself, she pushed Ryan away. She pushed everyone away. Then she ran.
Ryan was lost without Anna, but truthfully, she had been gone long before she even left. He did the only thing he could do, he went on with his life. Years later, the last thing he expected was to bump into her more than two thousand miles from home.
Love, pain, distance, and secrets.
Would their challenges tear them apart?
Or was their love strong enough to mend them forever?
Here Without You is a standalone romance with a trigger warning. A mass shooting takes place in the prologue and is referenced periodically throughout the book.