Well, maybe not secrets exactly but some fun facts anyway. I put an embarrassing amount of time into trying to come up with a triple-S blog title to go along with Jessica R. Patch's newest release title, but as you can see, that didn't happen.
Nevertheless, I'm thrilled to introduce you to our guest this week. I've "gotten to know" Jessica R. Patch through her posts on her Facebook page. Her honest sharing is informative (and often humorous), keep reading and you'll understand what I'm talking about.
But first...we'll start with the facts.
About Jessica Patch
Jessica R. Patch writes inspirational contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She is the author of the Seasons of Hope series and several Love Inspired Suspense novels including, Fatal Reunion, Protective Duty, Concealed Identity, Final Verdict, and the Security Specialists series. When she’s not hunched over her laptop or going on adventurous trips in the name of research with willing friends, you can find her spending time with her family and collecting recipes to amazing dishes she’ll probably never cook. Jessica is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Management.
SW: Welcome to the Diamond Mine, Jessica. We are thrilled to have you visit with us today. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?
JRP: Thank you for having me! Well, let’s see. I live in MS, but I usually just tell people Memphis because I’m literally right outside, less than 5 minutes. I’ve been married for 24 years to my college sweetheart and we have a daughter who is a MS Bulldog Freshman! That’s been an adjustment not having her home. And we have a son who is in 8th grade. As long as we feed him, we really don’t even know he’s at the house. Hahaha—but seriously, it’s true. I love binge-watching Netflix. Currently, I am watching White Collar and loving it. And I love the outdoors—from inside an air-conditioned house.
SW: You do live in the south and during the summer, stepping outdoors is akin to stepping into a sauna. Are you an early bird, a night owl, or neither?
JRP: I’m an early bird. I am usually up between 5-6 and I’m fast asleep around 8:30-9:30. Ten if I’ve had a nap. ;) I’ve always been that way.
SW: If someone gifted you a yacht, what would you name it?
JRP: Seas the Bay, the book I’m working on now has a hero who owns a sailboat and he named it that. I think it’s clever. I’m sure someone else has thought this up too. Or I might name it Beloved. I love that word. Love knowing it’s who I am to God.
SW: Oh, love the name and the play on words.Ballpoint pen, fountain pen, or quill?
JRP: Keyboard??? I have horrible penmanship. But if I have to play the game, then fountain pen.
SW: What’s something that drives you crazy?
JRP: When a meeting has gone long and that one person just keeps asking stupid questions! Also, the sound of chalk on a board or on the sidewalk. Nutso! Oh, and smacking when you eat.
SW: Yes on the meetings that go long because of needless questions. I'm of the opinion that there is shut a thing as a stupid question: one that has been asked and answered multiple times. If writing wasn’t an option, what career would you choose?
JRP: I love Biblical history and teaching so I’d like to be a professor of biblical studies or history and take college students on archaeological digs. Wouldn’t finding Joseph’s tomb be amazing?!
SW: That would be amazing. What book do you wish you would have written?
JRP: I don’t have one. Is that weird? I do occasionally read an author’s work and think I wished I could write like that.
SW: I don't think it's weird and I'm pretty sure all authors have that second thought at times. Any secret talents you’d like to share with us?
JRP: I don’t know if it’s a talent, but I’m good at refurbishing furniture. I’ve been doing it for decades. Long before it was trendy! Ha!
SW: Ok, we’ve gotten warmed up, let’s go a little deeper. What drew you to writing romantic suspense?
JRP: I’ve always loved suspenseful books and TV, mostly mystery—not so much the suspense part. Nancy Drew as a kid and then I read a lot of Faye and Jonathan Kellerman. My mom loved mystery books and I read what she had, thus Kellermans, Lisa Jackson, Tami Hoag and then I discovered Dee Henderson’s O’Malley series. At that time, I didn’t even know suspense was a thing in the Christian world! But I tend to love mystery more. So, you’re never going to know (on purpose) who the killer is. You’ll have to figure it out as the story goes along. Some of my first works are Contemporary Romance because I always love that genre as well and I lean toward some rom/com. I have 5 novellas that are CR/romantic comedy. But Love Inspired Suspense was looking for more authors and my agent had asked if I’d do that. So here I am.
SW: The O'Malley series was the first Christian Romantic Suspense I read too.
So good. How long did it take you from manuscript to first publication?
JRP: Oh boy! I started writing in 2008. Book 13 garnered me an agent in 2010. Book 18 sent me to publication in 2015. At some point, I’d love to indie publish them, but time is a factor. Isn’t it always?
SW: Always but somehow I don't think more hours in a day would help with that
either. One of my favorite things about the Love Inspired line is the note the authors get to leave for their readers. Do you write that letter before or after you’ve written the book?
JRP: Always after and usually right after that first manuscript when it’s fresh and I know what it is I want to say.
SW: What is your writing kryptonite?
JRP: My weakness in writing? Or what keeps me from writing? My weakness is sensory detail. I have to go back in revisions and add that. What keeps me from it? Too many breakfasts and lunches with friends!
SW: Cultivating relationships is important. It's a matter of finding balance in that. Of all the characters you’ve written, who would you accept a date with?
JRP: Oh wow! I’ll keep it to the ones published because I’d go on a date with a non-published hero hands down. But…I think I’d go out with Wilder Flynn. He was introduced to readers in Final Verdict. Readers will see him in the Security Specialists series, Deep Waters, Secret Service Setup, and in June he will get his own story. I’m head-over for Wilder. Most readers seem to be as well. At least they keep asking when he’s getting his own story!
SW: Well, now I want to know about this non-published hero AND I'm looking forward to Wilder's book. Any advice for aspiring readers?
JRP: Don’t get in a frenzy about “when will I be published?!” and just remember that God is already your exceedingly great reward. He’ll get you there and it won’t look at all like you’ve envisioned, so be flexible or you’ll miss opportunities!
SW: Love that advice! Sometimes it's hard to remember that God's timing is perfect, isn't it?
Let’s get some specifics about your newest release, Secret Service Setup. Who would you cast as your hero and heroine in a movie?
JRP: Scott Eastwood would be cast as Evan Novak, and Jennifer Lawrence would be cast as Jody Gallagher.
|Scott Eastwood as Evan Novak|
|Jennifer Lawrence as Jody Gallagher|
SW: Was anything left out of the book that you really wanted to leave in there?
JRP: Haha! Actually, there’s a scene early on (Chapter 4) where Evan gets cut on the arm and Jody cleans his wound. It’s a pretty intense moment, close quarters in the bathroom. They have a major history together. The attraction is still there and she tells him to remove his shirt. It’s that pause and stare each other down kind of moment and my editor said he couldn’t be shirtless (not allowed in LI books). Well, poo! I tried. So, the emotion is still there. He takes off his button-up and has on a T-shirt. But I really wanted him shirtless.
SW: I read that scene and the attraction and emotion are definitely there despite the Tshirt. Well, Jessica, we're out of time. It was a pleasure getting to know you better. Thank you for joining us this week.
JRP: Thank you so much for having me here!
Stop by Jessica’s website and visit her BOOK CLUBS page to see bonus features, her Pinterest story world, fun facts, and read an excerpt of her books! Also, while you’re there, sign up for her newsletter and get “Patched In” with book news, sales, and promos and don’t forget to become a facebook friend!
About Secret Service Setup
A federal agent in the crosshairs
Can The Security Specialists protect him?
Secret Service agent Evan Novak becomes the target of multiple hit men when someone puts a two-million-dollar bounty on his head. Is it the gunrunner he’s tracking...or a traitorous agent? Framed and wanted, Evan reluctantly accepts protection from bodyguard Jody Gallagher, his former love who lost her Agency career because of him. But then the bounty is raised to include Jody…