About Jessica Berg:
Hello! I'm a Midwest girl, born and raised, and my farming/rural background has played an integral part in who I am and what I do. I live in South Dakota with my husband of twenty years and four children (two boys and two girls), and a supposed-to-be miniature Australian shepherd. Something must have jumped the fence, however, as Fitz is a bigature and larger than even normal Australian shepherds. Welcome to my world!
I love my job as a high school English teacher and the 23-24 school year will be my 19th year! I also am an adjunct English professor with two local universities.
What inspires you to write?
There are a lot of things that inspire me to write but I mainly take inspiration from three things: my love of family, the prairie in which I grew up, and the intricate human relationships that bind us all together, for good or bad.
Tell us about your writing process.
The inner battle between outliner and pantser is an eternal one with me! My natural tendency is to write by the seat of my pants and then freak out when things devolve into chaos. My brain tells me to outline, and whenever I ignore logic and order, guess what happens? If you guessed that I regret pantsing and start outlining, you'd be correct.
For my outlining, I use Novel Factory. I have tried poster board and sticky notes, but it's too willy-nilly for my brain to handle. I wish I used this method as I love all the colors, and it would give me a reason to feed my Sharpie addiction, but alas, I stick to online outlining.
I am not an author who does character sketches. I do have a basis for their wants, needs, and motivations, but I don't do personality tests, etc. I don't even know their birthdays (unless it's pivotal to the plot). For me, my readers are so real in my head, and I want to give them life in my manuscript, not spend time writing up sketches. I know this works for many authors, but all authors write and create differently, and what works for one might not work for another.
I try to write daily, but as a full-time teacher and mom of four, writing time is a gift from the writing gods. When I do have time, though, I lock myself away, gear up either music by Enya, Jennifer Thomas, or Two Steps from Hell, and write until my kids come calling. As for the writing mood? Well, honestly, if I waited for the mood to strike, I wouldn't write much. That's the part about writing that never really gets talked about. Authors need to write, whether the mood strikes or not. Write, write, write is my advice, whether or not the muse strikes.
How do you develop your characters?
While I often joke and say that I write to quiet the voices in my head, I don't listen or talk to my characters. My interaction with them is knowing them well enough to know if they would say or do something. Now, my gut will tell me that a piece of dialogue is wrong or that a character would not do what I just had him/her do. I think my natural instinct comes from just knowing people and my avid reading habit.
What authors inspire you?
There are so many, but here are a few that pop into my head: Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, Charlotte Brontë, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Kristen Heitzmann, Nora Roberts, M.C. Beaton, Mary Balough, and the list could go on and on, but as you can see, I have an eclectic reading taste and read everything except for horror or YA.
How do you keep going in the midst of distractions?
Oh, what a great question!! I have many distractions, but my family supports me in my writing, and my husband will take the kids for a while if I need to pound out a few more words or another chapter. When I can't find the time to write, I do keep a notebook with me to jot down my ideas or changes I know I need to make, so that way when I get back to my computer, I don't have to sit there and try to remember the amazing idea I had while making supper.
What are your hobbies when you need a break from writing?
I love playing piano, embroidering, gardening, doing puzzles, and exercising (love for this one might be a stretch, but it keeps my mind active, and I actually have some brilliant writing ideas that strike while I'm doing bench presses).
What romance genres do you write?: contemporary, suspense
Do you write in genres that are not romance related?
I write contemporary romance and romantic suspense, but I also write cozy mysteries, but as romance simmers in my veins, I incorporate as much romance as that genre allows:)
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Audiobook
Where to find out more about the author
Jessica Berg Home Page Link
Link To Jessica Berg Page On Amazon
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All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.