Jessica Florence is with us today all the way from southwest Florida where she lives with her daughter, husband and German Shepherd. Jessica discovered her love of story telling at a young age and has been writing since the 9th grade. She breathes to write and fill the world with stories where love conquers all and hope can be found.
Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
I am quite the open book, so I don’t believe there is too much people don’t know. I am 29 years old, I live in Southwest Florida with my husband, our 5 year old, 5 chickens, 1 German Shepherd, two cats, and one guinea pig. Little bit of a farm going on at our place. I am a massage therapist, but recently decided to retire from 10 years of helping other heals. I drink probably 3 cups of tea a day,and collect fun tea mugs. I’m also a huge movie nerd, and die for book art.
Tell us a little about your books. What do you love most about them?
My books are a little bit of everything. I write everything from Romantic Comedy to Fantasy. But the one common denominator in all is that you can always bet on love in my stories. I love how different they are. I don’t follow tropes or write to genre so to me I enjoy writing them more.
Do your books have an overarching theme? A lesson or moral?
Besides the “Always bet on love” theme, every book has a different theme. I usually pick something that works for the story. Inspired was all about dealing with mental health. Fall my sixth Hero Society story dealt with depression. The Final Chase touched on exotic animal abuse and cub petting. I like to use my power for good and get some message across if I can.
What made you want to become a writer?
I love telling stories, and I have a wild imagination. After reading a book a day for a year, I thought “Hey, I should do this.” and there you go!
Have you written any other books that are not published?
I have two children’s stories that I’m holding onto for a Literary Agent. Otherwise, maybe a chapter or two of a few stories that I never continued with.
What do you think about the ebook revolution?
I love it! I used to read paperback/hardbacks all the time. Once my child was born, I didn’t have two hands to give to holding a book. I was able to continue reading with one hand while taking care of mom duties. I can also read all night in bed without a bright light disturbing my husband. From an author standpoint, it has opened many doors for us, and I am here for it!
Goals of certain # of words a week or when inspiration strikes?
This is something I’ve had issues with for a long time. We as authors put major pressure on ourselves to accomplish so many words a day in order to be successful. I’ve been burned out by trying too hard, and I’ve come to a place where I want to enjoy the writing process for the sake of writing. So I sit down to write almost everyday and see where it takes me. Sometimes it’s 50 words, and sometimes it’s 5k.
What tactics do you have when writing? (For example: outline or just write)
I write vague check points of the plot. So I have a general idea where the story will go, but I have to flesh it all out. Also prevents me from getting overwhelmed by focusing on one tiny bit at a time versus the whole story.
What has your experience been like as an new Indie Author? Bruises, Highlights, and lessons?
I haven’t been writing as long as many others, but I’ve been around for 6 years. It’s been constant ups and downs. I have learned soo much and the biggest lesson I’ve learned is you have to follow YOUR alignment. Your alignment is your personality, your writing style, your process, your environment. It’s everything that is you. So when others tell you how to be successful and give their lovely advice, it’s advice that has worked for THEIR alignment. So it majority of the time will not work for you. My biggest mistake in this business was doing what others told me to do in order to be successful. It wasn’t my alignment and didn’t work for me. There is no magic button to success in this industry, you have to figure out (Through trial and error) what works for you.
What have you put most of your effort into regarding writing?
Editing… I suck at editing. I hired editors, and proofreaders all these years and it wasn’t brought to my attention until recently how much of a disservice they did to me. My new editor has shown me how to write and pack a punch, plus write cleaner. I work so hard on making my books the best product, and that is the area I struggle the most. Thank Goodness for my new editor Lorraine.
What book that you have read has most influenced your life?
Dear Writer, You Need To Quit by Becca Syme. I wish every author ( honestly, I feel like any career would fit too) would read that book.
For a non-author type book, I would have to say Twilight. Dearest Edward and Bella got me back into reading which led me to where I am today. So grateful for those Vamps.
What gives you inspiration for your book(s)?
Everything!! I was on a road trip to see my family in NC, when I wondered what it would be like to travel around as a trucker. Long Drive was born. LD is a story where a woman is running away from her life and ends up paying a sexy trucker to let her ride around with him for a month.
I’ve always had a love for superheroes, and after watching a superhero movie I wondered why the hell I hadn’t written one before.
So literally everything inspires me.
Nothing is out of bounds.
Where can your fans find out more about you or your work?
I’m all over the place! I love chatting books, and I am a huge Insta- lover