Warning – possible spoilers! (Tiny ones, though, and I’ll try to avoid even those; I swear I’ll give my best not to ruin it for you… :-))
Meet the Author is quickly becoming maybe even my favorite section on the blog. Every time I read something I really enjoy, I want to know more about the person behind it.
Today we are chatting with Jenny Proctor, an author most well-known for her sweet contemporary romances. I’ve recently read her How to Kiss Your Grumpy Boss. A sweet couple, the single mom and grumpy/sunshine tropes and early autumn backdrop – what’s there not to like? I certainly enjoyed it a lot.
You can read here a couple more reasons why I think you should pick up this book ASAP. In the meantime, check out below why and how Proctor paired these characters together, what she loves most and least about publishing, which books she reread most often, her favorite bookish everythings…
Author Q&A with Jenny Proctor
I loved Lila, Perry and Jack! Where did their story come from?
So, I knew a lot about Perry going into his story, because he appears in two previous novels. I knew he was grumpy, and I knew it would take someone effortlessly optimistic to break through is grumpier outlook on life.
I wanted Lila to have been through something that gave her every reason to be pessimistic, but still manage to keep herself looking forward with hope. Of course, Jack is a big part of her hope! She wants to be the kind of mom he needs.
Their story sort of grew organically out of those initial desires. I loved the idea of exploring the complexity of feelings that might come when you’re widowed, but maybe your marriage isn’t exactly what everyone thought. I wanted there to be stuff under the surface different than what one might expect.
Your romances are clean, but there’s a lot of chemistry between the characters. How do you manage to do that?
Honestly, I have no idea! I try and really lean into the emotions characters are feeling. Why does a kiss feel so powerful? WHY does it feel significant? If I can make readers feel THAT, then I think the chemistry and tension grows organically.
If your book were made into a movie, which actors would play your characters?
Oh, this is so hard! For How to Kiss Your Grumpy Boss…let’s go with a slightly younger, bearded Bradley Cooper, and for Lila, Kat Denning.
What’s your favorite and least favorite part of publishing?
Okay, this is going to sound so weird. But I don’t love drafting. And by this I just mean, the actual writing of the first draft. I love plotting. I love figuring out story, and I LOVE editing once I have a book to work with, but the actual writing of that first draft. It’s brutal.
My favorite part is definitely connecting with readers. I’m an extrovert by nature, and writing is a very solitary job! So when readers email and send DMs and ask questions about the books, I love that part!
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Editing energizes me…but drafting exhausts me! I’m a weirdo.
Which book have you reread most times?
Probably Pride and Prejudice? I actually don’t reread very often because I have so many books on my list! Literally piles and piles of them sitting around my house just waiting for me to read them. But a few that I’ve had for lots of years I’ll go back to every once in a while! Pride and Prejudice, Rebecca…oh! Also, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. Love that book.
If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose?
What is the funniest thing a reader ever said to you?
Once, right after my first novel was published, I was at the library checking out books for my kids and the librarian scanned my library card, then went, “Oh, I just read a book by a Jenny Proctor.” I froze, and her eyes went wide, and she was all, “Wait, are you THAT Jenny Proctor?” I was almost afraid to ask the name of the book because I was so sure she couldn’t possibly be talking about me! She was, and she was so excited to meet me, and I will never forget how cool that felt!
What are the essential characteristics of a hero you can root for?
I love this question. I would say Loyalty above all else. I want a guy who loves his family, loves his friends, loves the women in his life, and will do ANYTHING to take care of them. Loyalty and integrity. Liars? Cheaters? NOPE, NOPE, NOPE.
What are you currently working on? What can we expect next?
Oh my word, so many things! I’m working on the second Oakley Island RomCOM, co-written with my critique partner, Emma St. Clair. I’m working on the outline for book three in my Hawthorne Brothers Series, How to Kiss Your Enemy. I’m working on revising/polishing three of my older titles I just recently got the rights back for. And I’m working on bonus scenes for How to Kiss Your Grumpy Boss and How to Kiss Your Best Friend! So there’s so much going on! Just FYI: The bonus scenes will probably be exclusive to my newsletter subscribers, so if you want to see those, go subscribe!
#MyFavoriteBookish Tag with Jenny Proctor
Favorite trope: This is so hard. Probably enemies to lovers?
Favorite character: I’m giving you characters from movies and tv, because this is how I decompress when I’m not writing! Schmidt from New Girl; Ted Lasso; Roy from Ted Lasso; the entire cast of Schitt’s Creek
Favorite movie adaptation: Austenland
Favorite book cover: Oh man, too many to choose! I love all of Joshilyn Jackson’s covers.
Favorite book ending: The Almost Sisters, by Joshilyn Jackson
Favorite time of the day to read/write: I’m totally a night owl, but the older I get, the more this changes! I write well in late afternoon. From 3 pm on.
Favorite place to read/write: I love to read and write on my back porch, but only when it isn’t summer. This is Charleston. You don’t go outside in the summer unless you’re swimming!
Favorite snacks while reading/writing: Popcorn and cherry coke zero
Favorite bookish drink: I love, love herbal tea with honey. Does this count?
Hardcovers or paperbacks? Hardcovers when I can swing them!
Buying or borrowing books? Both! But if I borrow and I love it, I’ll totally buy it just to have it
Bookmarks or dog-ears? I prefer bookmarks, but I’m not opposed to dog-earing if I can’t find anything to stick in the book. (Don’t hate me! I feel like it makes books look well-loved!)
Audiobooks – yay or nay? Yes! I listen to them while I’m walking. Though I listen to podcasts more, so even though I like audiobooks, overall, I read more than I listen.
TBR or mood reading? I’m such a mood reader. Who knows what I’ll pick up next!
I’m currently reading: Merry Ex-Mas by Courtney Walsh (and it’s adorable!)