Jeanne Skartsiaris

October 23rd, 2017

Welcome Jeanne Skarsiaris to the site today!  Jeanne’s latest book, Dance Like You Mean It, is available now!


Tell us about you! Can you share some interesting tidbits we may not know?

I’ve been lucky that I’ve had so many different jobs. As a medical legal photographer I saw some horrible photos which – not only made me a paranoid safety freak – inspired my book “Surviving Life.” My poor daughter was in a car seat until high school. Now as a sonogram tech I get to see new life and happy patients (unless it’s triplets). Our lives are stories.

What inspired you to start writing?

In fifth grade I wrote an essay – an assigned one-page story that turned into five pages! My teachers encouraged my writing and gave me confidence. I’ve always loved reading and watching movies. There’s magic in learning of other places and peeking into someone’s life. Plus, the voices in my head needed to be quieted. My brain thinks in dialog.

Other than writing, what are some of your passions in life?

Painting – but like writing I have this great image that never comes out as I’d hoped. There are lots of edits and do-overs. Actually, everything I paint looks like a horse since that’s the only thing I know how to do. Want a flower? Dog? Tree? It’ll look like a horse. I also love a good game of squash even if my knees don’t. Laughing with my friends. And curling up with a good book.

What was your debut novel, and how has your writing process changed since your debut?

My first novel “Surviving Life” came out in 2013. I self-published it, jumping in the “indie-author” scene like a cliff diver.

“Snow Globe” came out in 2015 and still I treaded water in the do-it-yourself world.

“Dance Like You Mean It” was traditionally published in 2017. I wish I could say that going with a publisher and agent was better but I’m finding out authors are pretty much on their own in the marketing world. I love to write and so I keep telling stories. That’s most important of all. But if you see me on a street corner with a cardboard sign, “Will write for food” then toss me a bone!

What is your favorite part of the writing/publishing process and why?

Telling a story! My characters become real to me (and I hope readers). Having a good critique group is important too. Other writers who are able to give you a smack-down without leaving a mark. Inspiration comes from so many places and I love the spark that ignites the first idea. Then the characters run with the story. I’m just the typist.

What is your most challenging part of the writing/publishing process and what do you do to make it easier?

Dealing with rejection. It happens – it will happen but I won’t let it stop me from writing. And marketing. I’m not good at getting my book in front of readers. Social media sort of confuses me. I hate to inundate Facebook with ads but I’m not sure how else to generate interest.

What does a typical day look like for you? How do you find balance?

My day job is a sonogram tech. It’s busy but fun. I exercise every day so by the time I get home in the evenings I’m pooped. I still try to take time to read some pages or do some editing. Then I cozy in bed with a book and read myself to sleep.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Be a movie star – it’s probably easier. I knew becoming a published author was not an easy road, but when your a writer you need to get the story out. I’ve always enjoyed the process of writing and meeting with other authors. I’d hoped when I became published it would have been easier to market. That’s been the most challenging part. I want to write. My books are good, it’s just bringing them to an audience that’s been tough.

What do you love about writing romance?

I’d like to say I love writing the sex scenes, but I get embarrassed. I usually write away from home. Maybe a local bookstore or coffee shop. There have been a few times when I’ll surreptitiously try to cover the screen so no one can see the scandalous prose. Although people probably wonder why I’m laughing and blushing while typing.

What kinds of things do you find romantic in real life? Can you share a story?

On our anniversary my husband bought 27 giant chocolate bars and fanned them out on the bed. Fantasy!

Do you read your book reviews? If so, how do they affect your writing (if at all)?

Every now and then I’ll go to Amazon and check reviews. It’s nice to have your work validated by sweet comments. One of the most heartfelt reviews I got was from a reader who read to visually impaired people. By the end of the story they cried because they loved the characters so much. That was life-changing for me.

What is the craziest, funniest, or most surprising thing that has happened to you since publishing your first book?

My regional paper “The Park Cities News” ran an article about my writing process for “Dance Like You Mean It.” How it took me twenty years to finally get it published. It was such a cool feeling to open the paper and see the story. [CLICK HERE to read the article!]

Tell us about your most recent (or upcoming) release!

“Dance Like You Mean It” came out in February 2017.

Here’s the cover blurb:

What if you wrote a steamy, erotic novel that was so hot bookstores couldn’t keep it on their shelves? What if you couldn’t tell anyone you wrote it?

At night, nurse Cassie Calabria pens a bodice-ripper novel, using an alias. She sends it to a few agents, then forgets about it. She’s more than surprised when she gets an offer for a publisher to include her book, Wild Rose, in a “summer-of-love special.” Wild Rose becomes a blazing bestseller. Suddenly she realizes she can’t let anyone know that she wrote it. What would her children think? Or her own mother, who “taught her better,” and, worse, her husband who would question her made-up fantasies of sex on the beach. How could she be thrown into the “red-light district” spotlight and still be a good mom?

Unless she went incognito.

Is there any other news you would like to share?

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that an agent I queried will jump on my next book. “Dance Like You Mean It” is on audible now!


Five Facts Just for Fun!

1. What’s your favorite ’90s jam?

90s? I was watching Barney and Sesame Street. Okay, the soundtrack for “Lion King”

2. What was the last gift you gave someone?

A bottle of vino for a birthday.

3. What were you like as a kid?

Quiet. Overweight.

4. What was the last thing you binge-watched & what did you think of it?

Better Call Saul. Loved it!

5. What is the one thing (other than your loved ones) that you cannot live without?

Chocolate and books.


DANCE LIKE YOU MEAN IT

AMAZON

What if you wrote a steamy, erotic novel that was so hot bookstores couldn’t keep it on their shelves? What if you couldn’t tell anyone you wrote it?

At night, nurse Cassie Calabria pens a bodice-ripper novel, using an alias. She sends it to a few agents, then forgets about it. She’s more than surprised when she gets an offer for a publisher to include her book, Wild Rose, in a “summer-of-love special.” Wild Rose becomes a blazing bestseller. Suddenly she realizes she can’t let anyone know that she wrote it. What would her children think? Or her own mother, who “taught her better,” and, worse, her husband who would question her made-up fantasies of sex on the beach. How could she be thrown into the “red-light district” spotlight and still be a good mom?

Unless she went incognito.

AMAZON

DANCE LIKE YOU MEAN IT BOOK TRAILER


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