SFN: What gave you the idea to add writing books to your busy life and career?
JW: When Covid hit, I was working for Walt Disney World. The parks closed, and we were furloughed. Prior to that, I was an avid spicy romance reader and also wrote for multiple corporate jobs over the years. Writing is in my blood - always has been. So with free time on my hands, I decided to marry up my two loves -- romance books and writing. I wrote the first book on a whim. It went well (nothing to write home about, but it didn’t outright suck). I also made some great connections in the romance community and had actual fans who wanted more… Then I wrote the next one. Then another. By that time, I was making some money – not a lot, but some. In the post-Covid era, Disney ended up laying off my entire department, but by that point, I didn’t care. I was hooked on romance and determined to make it into a career. Still climbing up the hill, but loving every minute of it.
SFN: What or who inspires you as an artist?
JW: My son inspires me every day. He’s 17 years old and on the Autism Spectrum. He also deals with severe social anxiety and ADHD. We’ve had many challenges over the years and plenty of bad days where we both feel like we don’t know where to turn. But he manages to pick himself back up. Every damn time. And the way he’s learned how to access his emotions and verbalize them so eloquently is nothing short of a miracle. This kid is a deep thinker. He’s my best friend (yeah, I know you shouldn’t be “friends” with your kid, but he’s impossible to resist in this way) and a constant source of laughs and love. Probably the funniest person I’ve known. Even though he doesn’t like physical contact, he knows that touch is my love language. So he goes out of his comfort zone to hold my hand at times when he knows I’m sad or need a pick me up. Or if my back or neck hurts, he knows I need a hug or something. Nothing feels better than when we’re watching TV and he reaches over to offer me his hand. I love that he can do that, despite his sensory issues. I love him more than anything else and he makes me want to do better.
SFN: Do you include stories from family or friends in your books?
JW: My family and friends know that anything said around me is fair game. And experiences that are memorable or funny are even more at risk for ending up in a book. In Heartbreak Hero (my first audiobook), the heroine has an unfortunate experience choking on broccoli which results in a gassy Heimlich attempt. This happened to someone very close to me/ And I was like… welp, that’s going in a book. Glad you didn’t die so you could tell me this story. Another time, a friend was telling me she was creating a sexual bucket list. And yep, that immediately went into my book Love & Other Accidents. No regrets.
SFN: What is the funniest typo you’ve ever written?
JW: I wrote “butkis” instead of “bupkis”. Dick Butkis was a football player. Bupkis means “nothing at all”. My proofer caught that. I laughed way too much.
SFN: What's the oddest object in your office or writing spot?
JW: I have a bright blue neon wall sign that says, “Fuck off” and it sits next to a big pink neon heart wall sign. The contrast makes me laugh. I love to write sassy and sarcastic characters and this just sums me up perfectly. I also have lots of funny stickers all over my computer - my favorites are: “There’s always time to cry” and “Fuck you. Respectfully.”
and be sure to enter for a chance to win a copy
of her very first audiobook!
This week's giveaway:
Congratulations to last week's winners of the Sinful Vows audiobook, Sam and Claire!