Welcome, reader friends! I bet you can't wait to see which author the Mine has this week! I'm proud to announce a debut author who just happens to be a teacher as well. All right, students. Take your seats and I hope you have a couple of number two pencils sharpened! You want to get all the notes. Our guest today is Jessica Berg!
PT: Welcome, Jessica! And happy summer. (wink) Let's get the homework done first. Tell us your background and what genre you write.
JB: I don’t have vast experience as an author as A Place to Call Home was my first official novel. I enjoy writing romantic suspense, but anything with an Inspirational theme is my mission. I have many younger female cousins, female students, and of course, my sisters and mom, who I really don’t want to feel awkward reading my books!
PT: Fabulous! A debut. What a blessing! So, we know you are a teacher. But what led you to begin a career as a writer?
JB: I’ve always loved writing. From junior high on, I couldn’t get enough of it. I ran across some of the stuff I wrote in 8th grade. I couldn’t help but chuckle. It’s pretty horrid writing, but I loved the idea of making a new world and putting characters in it. As I grew older, I nurtured my hobby, and finally, at the persistence of my husband, I wrote a book, for real this time!
PT: LOL Yes, we authors all cringe at that first draft. (shiver) I understand you teach English full time. How do you ever find time to fit writing into your schedule?
JB: Summers! I write throughout the year, squeezing in some writing here and there, but summers are my time to write. I also have three children with one on the way, but my husband is such a great supporter of my writing career that he “gladly” takes the kids for a couple of hours and leaves me in peace. Even with all this, sometimes I feel the pressure of time pressing down on me, so it is exceptionally good that I work better when stressed!
PT: My, a family on top of all your writing duties. I'm sure you are thankful for those summer days. Does your English degree help in your writing?
JB: In many ways it does. Grammar is one of my strong suits; although with all the corrections that came back from my editor for my second book, you’d think I never passed the 5th gradeJ
PT: It is humorous how we authors are blind to our own mistakes! I'm sure it makes us a little more sympathetic to our students. Tell us a little about how you came up with the idea for A Place to Call Home.
JB: A Place to Call Home is close to my heart as it involves one of the most important relationships on earth: sisters. In fact Phoebe, the sister sidekick for my main character, Grace, is almost a spitting image of my own sister in personality. I’ve also had a love for old houses for as long as I can remember, so the most important character, the house, takes center stage. Most importantly though is the prairie. I love the prairie. It feeds my soul, and as I was raised on the prairie, it is a part of me. So, if you share my love of sisters, old houses, or the prairie, this book will inspire you as it did me.
PT: Okay. My favorite part! Tell us five things fast about Jessica Berg that have nothing to do with writing.
JB: I’ve been to seven European countries.
I am the oldest of five, the youngest being 21 years younger than I am.
I am a Jane Austen junkie and read P&P once every year.
I spent a week on the aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan, sailing (does an aircraft carrier sail?) from Hawaii to San Diego.
I can drive most farm equipment my dad could ever point at and say “Jessica, I’ve got a good job for you.” The job hardly ended up enjoyable!
PT: Fantabulous! What books can your readers look for next?
JB: I actually have exciting news. I have an agent now (which is heaven to an author’s ears) who is representing me for my next novel, Amber Waves of Grace, which centers around a young lady who needs to come back and run the family farm after her father suffers a traumatic brain injury. This book centers on family, sacrifice, romance, and, of course, a little bit of suspense. On the backburner I have the beginnings of a Jane Austen-esque sequel that throws together the descendants of Austen’s main characters. Imagine Henry and Catherine Tilney’s great to the nth degree grandson falling in love with Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy’s great to the nth degree granddaughter. Maybe throw in the mix some Wickham bloodline just to make things interesting.
PT: Whew. Brain fried. But it sounds intriguing, I won't lie.The bell just rang, but hold on to your seats! Thank you, Jessica Berg for being our guest today. And now that moment you all have been waiting for, the object of our giveaway today! A signed copy of Jessica's debut book! (Applause) Or if you simply can't wait that long, click on the blue word and it will take you straight to Amazon to purchase your own copy right now! Boom! (At least 5 commenters constitutes a viable giveaway.)
If you want to learn more about author, Jessica Berg, you can follow these links:
Jessica Berg uses her writing to share her love of the Midwest, family, and her savior, the almighty God. When not teaching high school English, Jessica strives to create worlds surrounded by her beloved prairie through inspirational romance. She currently resides in South Dakota with her husband and three children