Jen Bradlee

kinky story Author bdsm

Al: I love that you follow your heart.  Historical/Medieval romance is not as trendy or popular, and yet you stay true to it.  What are your thoughts/plans regarding this?
Jen: I not only followed my heart, I followed the characters. When I first came up with the idea for Crispin, my Prince of Whispers, I knew he wasn't a modern man, nor was he in possession of any supernatural abilities like his inspiration, Loki. The more time I spent talking to his character, the more he pushed me into the era in which he was most comfortable being himself, which happened to be the 15th century. 

I read a lot of historical romance, so it's a sub-genre that comes naturally to me because it interests me. I like being adventurous and experimenting with my writing. But my most important guidelines as a writer have always been to write what I would love to read and to be true to my characters when they speak. I don't write to fit in, I write because it's the story that burns inside of me needing to be set free.
Al: As far as promotion, do you do anything specific to find potential readers of the sub-genre?  I occasionally see 'paranormal' Authors working together, have you ever considered working with other 'historical' Authors?
Jen: Promotion of my work is often complicated. Most historical romance readers prefer more main stream and sweet historically set romances. Mine are nothing of the sort, so it makes finding a readership difficult. There are those who hear 'historical' and immediately their eyes glaze over. I'm surprised many of them haven't bolted away screaming. Many readers fear historicals because they don't want to be slammed with a history lesson, while some traditional readers enjoy the overindulgence of historical facts and world building. I like to keep just enough of the history in the story to make it period appropriate, but if you want a history lesson, find a textbook. This is fiction after all, what's wrong with a little creative license. As for specific promotion, I'm still working on figuring out the marketing aspect of writing. 

I would LOVE to work with my fellow historical authors. As an avid reader of historical romance, I have a long list of authors I fangirl over. I think the biggest mistake authors make is viewing other authors in their genre as competition. That's a huge mistake. We should help each other out. But I also think we need to help each other grow as writers. Alas, I haven't been fortunate enough to join my fellow historical authors in a collaborative effort. Although, I have had them promote me on their websites a few times.
Al: I completely agree with your comment about not viewing other Authors (in a genre) as 'competition'.  As far as process, how do you work?  Do you map out the story line in advance of the actual writing...or do jump right in, and figure out the plot as you go?
I nearly always start with a prompt. A photograph, a sentence, a quote, a setting, a description, something that triggers a story in my mind. I'll write a few scenes and then take a break to start talking to the characters. I like to interview them to figure out their GMC (goals, motivation, and conflict). That helps me piece the story together. Then I either go back to writing, or I outline a little bit. When I outline it's never more than me writing, "I need (x) to happen in this scene." That keeps me on point, but allows the characters to lead me. I tried fighting them; it's a losing battle. Even if I outlined the whole book, the characters would still find a way to deviate from my notes. I like the adventure of discovering the story as the characters do. It's like watching a film in my head, and I struggle to write fast enough to keep up with them.
Al: You are on a 12-hour flight somewhere. Who would you rather have sit beside you - Johhny Depp or Brad Pitt?
You know, I admire their films and I'm sure both of them would engage in some very interesting conversations. But I'd much rather have Chris Evans on my left and Tom Hiddleston on my right. I mean now that's a 12 hour flight I wouldn't mind being delayed on the tarmac.

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