My pen name is Jessica Collins. Jessica is my real first name, however.
Where are you from
I’m a born and raised Jersey girl! I love it here, except for the expense.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
This is always the hardest question for me. What do you want to know – my favorite color? My shoe size? The amount of partners I’ve had? Haha.
I live with my husband, we’re high school sweet hearts, and have been together for 16 years now. We have a beautiful little fur baby, a pitbull named Nala and are working on our human family. One thing I’ve always been very open with is the fact we’ve had fertility struggles. We’ve had a number of miscarriages in the past year, I’ve had a D&C, an ectopic pregnancy, and we’re recently beginning the IVF process. I think it’s such an important topic a lot of people choose to ignore because it’s hard to talk about and hear about. I want to help others in not only talking about *how* to have a baby (through the erotica in the books), but the struggles in having one sometimes.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I have my debut novel, Stealing Beauty, releasing on March 28th! It’s being published through Deep Desires Press and will be available as an ebook and paperback.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
This is my first novel. I started writing it about 6 years ago – just the idea and the basic characters. I didn’t really give it a lot of time until last year when I finally sat down and really began to write.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I still don’t! I feel like I stumbled upon the field because I have a love for fairy tales and a love for erotica and wanted to see what I could create. It still doesn’t feel real.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I read A LOT. I’ve always loved the erotica genre and after a few years of reading began to create my own characters. I’ve always been drawn to series where each book can be a standalone, yet all the characters will connect in some way. I’m not a huge fan of the paranormal, but I thought the idea of known characters, such as the fairy tale characters, would make a great series idea.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
For now, I write MF only. I have a book idea for a MMF, but it’s further down the road.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I wanted to keep it somehow related back to Beauty and the Beast, and as I was writing the novel the title came to me. “The Beast” is stealing her from her world in a way, and the villain is trying to “steal” her as well. I thought it just worked.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Always be yourself. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. And while we’re attracted to the outside – we fall in love with what’s inside.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
It’s realistic in the sense there is no magic, no talking furniture, and set contemporarily. I think the Belle character has a lot of traits similar to myself, and I really set out to make the relationships feel authentic between all the characters. I didn’t want the hero/ine to fall in love in a weekend.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
That would be like choosing a favorite child! There are so many which have influenced me in some way.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My all-time favorite is Stephen King. I’m a huge horror fan and he’s the only author who actually scare me as I was reading.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My co-workers have been incredibly supportive.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I hope so. I have a number of books just waiting to be written, and I think I have a decent grasp of the writing process. I’m a novice author and so I have a lot to learn and am hoping to grow in my skill set.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
This is a hard question. I’m in the final, final, editing stage where it’s about to be uploaded to all sites, and because I’ve read it about 10 times in the past 2 weeks I want to change everything. I’ve become oversaturated and need to step away for a bit. I will say right after the first round of edits, I absolutely loved it and felt so proud it came from my little mind.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure! Here’s a excerpt:
He looked at her for a moment before continuing, voice low. “Let’s be honest for a moment, shall we? I’ve been fantasizing about you since the first night we met, and I can feel your eyes on me whenever I’m near you.” He paused a moment, tongue darting out briefly to lick his bottom lip. “We should just fuck and get it out of the way.”
Belle stopped breathing. She wanted to take him up on his offer — she had never wanted to sleep with a man as badly as she wanted him.
“Mr. Wolfe, let me make one thing perfectly clear. I own a club. I deal in attraction. You wouldn’t get a call back.” Belle narrowed her eyes back in a challenge. Ok, so she lied a little, yet he needed to know there wouldn’t be anything between them, no matter how often she thought about it.
“It that so?”
“Yes,” she huffed out a breath, proud of herself for staying strong against his attempts at her.
He stared at her for another moment, his penetrating gaze holding her in place. He stood, walking around the desk towards her, fingers on his left hand grazing the edge of the dark wood.
His face remained impassive, but his eyes, his eyes looked — calculating.
Oh, no. I know that look. I created that look. Belle moved to stand but Aleks was too quick. He leaned forward, a hand on each side of her chair, entrapping her in the small space. The earthy scent she was beginning to grow fond of flooded her nostrils. The muscles in his forearms flexed as he gripped the chair, and the heat from his body warmed her as he leaned forward, dangerously close into her personal space, forcing her head back against the leather.
“Women have pretended to say no to me before. Seems I always change their mind.”
His arrogance was the cold water she needed to focus. She wasn’t about to let him intimidate her. “Pretended? You’re such a prick. I’m not other women.
Belle held his gaze as his look darkened, blue turning cerulean, a slow smile forming on his face.
“Mm hm,” he uttered, not convinced. His voice dropped as he continued, “Tell me, did you think about it the other night? Me fucking you against the wall? Or perhaps you’re thinking about it now — being bent over my desk as I take you from behind?” He wouldn’t release her gaze, pupils dilating as he spoke. His facial expression, his voice, his sheer intensity, all mixed with his words; he was devastating.
“The only reason those thoughts cross my mind is because I have to listen to you talk about them.” She hated feeling the blush creep across her cheeks. He reached with one hand to stroke her cheek with his thumb, his fingers wrapping towards the back of her head.
“Your cheeks turn such a pretty shade of pink when you lie to me, Belle.” The touch sent a jolt through her body as a breath caught in her throat. She knew he heard, being so close to her. He leaned down into her, close enough she could almost feel his chest on hers. He placed his lips next to the ear opposite his hand and she felt his warm breath on her. His masculine scent engulfed her.
“Consider your challenge accepted. You will say ‘yes’ to me, Belle. In fact, you will beg for it.”
“I — I don’t recall offering you a challenge, Mr. Wolfe.” Her voice had sounded raspier than she had intended. She resisted the temptation to lean her face into his.
“You saying no is the challenge. You can tell yourself you won’t give in. You can try to resist me all you want, but it won’t work. I always win.”
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Because of my love for horror, and wanting to keep close to the original stories, the novels can be a bit on the darker side. I’m learning to balance heavier topics while trying to avoid what could be triggering to some readers.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My publisher created the cover art.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Editing down. I had so many more scenes I had to cut. The book was originally about 115k words and we got it to around 95k. I’m going to try and incorporate some into other novels.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Apart from the writing process, the biggest thing I’ve learned was how important marketing is. I naively thought the publishers would do all this marketing and I would just send them my book and sit back. While my publisher is amazing and does a lot – I learned I have to do even more if I really want the book out there.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead.
No! I’d rather be behind the scenes. But I’d better get the final say in who does get cast.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Just write. Even if it doesn’t sound right – keep writing. You can always change it later, and for me the more I wrote the quicker the ideas came to me.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I’m new at this. I know. I just truly hope you like reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I’d love to hear your thoughts – good or bad.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m actually doing research for the next book in the series and have been reading some of the 1001 Arabian Nights.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Not the first book I read, but the first book I fell in love with. It was The Dancing Skeleton.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Oh, please. I’m on so many hormones I cry over everything. The ASPCA commercials kill me, although I refuse to donate to them anymore since learning they are big proponents of euthanizing animals they cannot home. Especially pitbulls. I donate now to Eleventh Hour Rescue – I believe it’s nation-wide and is a no kill shelter.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Wife, mother, friend.
Those are qualities I find so important – being there for my husband, there for my (hopefully) future children, and there for others.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I used to scrapbook a lot but I’m way behind.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
The Simpsons, Chopped, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, Vanderpump Rules
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Taco Bell. Pink. I’ve been on a major country kick.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’d love to work with animals.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I do. You can find it at www.jessicacollinsauthor.com
Thanks! This was fun. Here’s some of the book info below:
She wants him. He needs her. This time, it’s the Beast who’s going to attempt to tame the Beauty. Desire… danger… a whole lotta heat – this isn’t your childhood fairy tale.
A stubborn beauty….
Anabelle Lehala just wants to spend time with her best friend, finish law school, and provide a good life for her and her father. Her world is knocked upside down when she meets a mysterious, captivating stranger who tempts her like no one before. Refusing to be just another notch in his belt, Belle forces herself to stay away from him at all costs.
An egotistical beast….
Rich, powerful, and handsome, Aleksandr Wolfe has been accustomed to getting whatever he desires. That is, until he meets Belle. Immediately captivated by her, Aleks can’t understand why she won’t give in to the obvious mutual desire between them. Helpless to stay away from her, Aleks wonders if she’ll be the one thing he can never have.
The fight for her life….
When Anabelle finds herself in danger after refusing the advances of Gabriel Avenant, a man who believes she is his and his alone, Aleksandr vows to protect her. As their attraction grows, they each must decide if they are willing to give the ultimate sacrifice—their hearts.
Facebook Profile https://www.facebook.com/jessica.collins.author.75054
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/authorjessicacollins/
Facebook Group (Fairy Tales After Dark): https://www.facebook.com/groups/1393011250760671/
Twitter: @AuthJessCollins (https://twitter.com/AuthJessCollins)
Publisher: Deep Desires Press – the newest, hottest, erotica publishers. Their webpage is www.deepdesirespress.com and are looking for submissions in all erotica categories.