Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Meet...Jenny Hale


Jenny's Debut Novel Coming Home for Christmas was released just last month. Congratulations to Jenny and a huge thank you for joining me for a chat at the Novel Cafe!

1. Jenny can you tell us a little about yourself please?

When I graduated college, one of my friends said, “Look out for this one; she’s going to be an author one day.” Despite being an avid reader and a natural storyteller, it wasn’t until that very moment that the idea of writing novels occurred to me.

Sometimes our friends can see the things that we can’t.

While I didn’t start straight away, that comment sowed a seed and several years, two children, and hundreds of thousands of words later, I completed a novel that I felt was worthy of publication. The result is Coming Home for Christmas - a heart-warming story about friends, family, and the magic of love at Christmas.

I am currently at work on my second novel, also under contract.
When I’m not writing, I’m a District Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages, a mother of two boys, and a wife to a very supportive husband.

2. Tell us about your journey to becoming a published author?

Funny!  It came around because I over-think things.  I am American, so naturally, I tried to publish stateside with publishers and agents.  I was getting good feedback and requests for the manuscript, but hadn’t gotten an offer. 

My favorite books are written by British authors, so I wondered if, perhaps, I was writing in a way that was not as American.  I was wrong.  Ha!  But, in this moment of self-analysis, I sent my manuscript to Bookouture, hoping to get some feedback from the UK.  I got a contract instead.

3. How do you feel about the term 'Chick Lit'?

I don’t mind it at all.  I don’t really care what’s in or out or what the newest names are for genres and subgenres as long as there’s a good story there to be told.

4. I love to read in the bath or to be snuggled up in bed with a good book. What/Where is your perfect reading situation?

On rainy days, curled up on the sofa with a blanket. 

5. What about when you are writing?

I have two children, ages 7 and 4.  I write anywhere and anytime I can.  Usually, it’s on a floor somewhere near their rooms while they fall asleep.  All I need is quiet, everything else is just sprinkles on a cupcake. ;)

6. Congratulations on your debut Novel, 'Coming home for Christmas'. Give us a little insight into the story.

Coming Home for Christmas is a story about family, but it’s also about finding that one person who makes everything in life right.  Allie Richfield has grown up with her sister and mother in a lovely, but small, family.  She takes a job as House Manager for the Ashford estate where she encounters a larger and more dysfunctional family, The Marleys. 
Heading it up is the 92-year-old grandmother, Pippa, who has three grandchildren: Robert, who controls the Marley home and wants to sell it, Kip, a well-known playboy, and Sloane, a divorced mother of two children. 
They’re all coming home for one last Christmas gathering before Robert sells Ashford out from under them.  All Allie has to do is plan it.  What she finds out is that pulling off this last family Christmas might be harder than it seems, and the choices she makes while at Ashford may be the biggest ones of her life. 

7. Why did you chose to write about Christmas? Do you love it just like Allie?

I think Christmas is about family and coming home, and what’s more romantic than finding that one person who will love you enough to help you build a family and a home?  I think that’s why it’s only fitting to think of romance when we think of Christmas. I do love it just like Allie!  I got married in the month of December. 

8. How do you spend your typical Christmas?

I make cookies with the children, and we set out the homemade cookies and milk for Santa, taking care to keep it from the family Chihuahua.  Then, my husband and I put the kids to bed, and Santa gets to work while I man the house!  Once a very tired Santa turns in for the night, Hubby and I sleep like rocks until the wee hours of the morning when our children awaken, before anyone else in the civilized world, and drag us downstairs to see their treasures.  We have Christmas breakfast of the children’s choosing and then we open presents one at a time.  After that, Hubby and I spend most of the day opening, constructing, and finally repairing Christmas toys.

9. When shall we expect Novel 2?

I’m about 20,000 words deep in book 2 right now, hoping to get it done by summer.  Fingers crossed!

10. Now for some quick fire questions, just for fun!

Tea or Coffee?  Coffee!
Heels or Flats?  Flats
Kindle or Book?  Both!  Any!  All!
Bath or Shower?  Shower
Day or Night?  Night

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