Shaz’ Stars interviews Author Jessica Strassner

In the hot seat today I would like to welcome:


Hello Jessica, thank you for letting us have a peek behindthe scenes.  Your sun sign is LIBRA.

  1. It is said that Libran’s do not tolerate arguments if their opinion is challenged – once they have reached a conclusion, the truth is self-evident.  How do you feel if someone else asks you to change something in your manuscript that you think works really well? 

If it’s something obvious – errors, proofreading, some sortof mistake or slip-up that I missed and those errors get pointed out tactfully– I am incredibly grateful.  But ifsomeone questions something that I wrote pertaining to the plot of a story…If someone says something like, “Well, why did you have this happen?!”   “Why did she do this, you should have hadher do this!” I guess I kind of take it really personally.  I usually think up and plan a story frombeginning to end, take notes, do some outlining, have it all figured out in mymind before I ever start the first sentence. I appreciate anyone’s feedback or criticism but I’ve probably said“Well, I don’t see YOU sitting down and writing any books!” in my head a coupletimes here or there.  J 

  1. Libra is an easygoing sign although this can lead to inertia.  Please share with us what inspires you, where do you get your inspiration for motivation?
I guess I’m most inspired by real life.  I love sitting around with my girlfriendstalking about ourselves and what’s going in our lives and in the world andrealizing… stuff like this really DOES happen somewhere.  Or if it hasn’t, it COULD!   It’s kind of cool to read a book and say…“HA! That happened to me, too!” or “I know exactly how she feels!” That’smy motivation, I guess.  I hope thatsomeone reading one of my books someday has that “a-ha!” moment where they canrelate to something that I wrote.
  1. A good critical faculty with the ability to stand back and look impartially at something is a Libran trait, which I imagine is a good trait for a writer to possess when you’re editing your work.  Would you say you have these traits and if so how do you use them? 

I have to let my writing sit for a good long while because Iget too “close” to it while I’m working on it. I get too caught up in the story itself to notice the little things as Igo.  However, when the work is done andI’ve had a chance to let it cool off for a bit, I think I’m able to set asidethe personal aspect (the fact that this book is a “baby” of mine!) and look atmy work pretty critically.  Once I’vefinished pouring myself into a book and reread it, it’s almost like it doesn’tbelong to me anymore, because by that point, my brain is already starting tospin with thoughts for my next project. By then, I’m ready to polish up what I’m working on so I can get startedon the next thing.

  1. Librans are sensitive to the needs of others and have the gift of understanding the emotional needs of others.  Is this something you employ when planning your characters needs and how they will be met? 
If I tried to explain this to my friends or family, I’m notsure they’d understand; they might, in fact, think I’m quite crazy.  But hopefully writers and readers who arevisiting LAHE will understand what I’m trying to say…  When it comes to the characters in a storyI’m writing, they are always on my mind.  There are nights when I lie in bed andcan’t seem to shut my brain off because I’m constantly thinking about mycharacters, what I’ve written recently, and what I’m planning to write soon.So, now that I’m starting my third novel about a girl named Kate, I keepthinking… Okay, so Kate is going to beone of those girls who’s really just one of the guys.  She has all these guy friends, but wants to settle down and getmarried eventually but can’t seem to get out of the rut of being everyone’s“friend.”  So there’s going to be thisguy, and this is going to happen with him; then there will be this other guy,and this will happen; and then, oh, I know, there should be this otherguy…  It’s never-ending!
  1. The Libran sun brings the skill of being a great listener.  Sometimes just listening enables the other person to have that ‘light bulb’ moment.  Do you network with other writers?  Would you say it is important for authors to listen and share with each other? 
Once I finished my first book, I started connecting withwriters on Facebook, Twitter, writing websites, and now –, which hasbeen great.  I’ve never really known howto get my foot in the door or how to become involved with a site likeLAHE.  I am grateful for the opportunityto be included in such a great group of writers.  I think it’s important to network with each other to keep up onthe latest happenings – I get so much great information from Twitter – and tosupport each other.  I have this greatfeeling of collaboration and “Ahh! I’vefound someone just like me!”  Imight not be the most active Tweeter, but I love reading tweets and blogs tosee what other people are talking about!
  1. Criticism makes a Libran feel very insecure.  If someone criticises your writing, what strategies do you use to deal with insecurity? 
As I mentioned in response to an earlier question, ifsomeone points out some kind of grammatical error or typo, I am verygrateful.  However, if someonequestioned what I’ve done or gave me some sort of negative criticism about theplot of a story – I guess I might get kind of defensive – because it’s mystory;  what happened in the storyresults from choices that I made as I was writing it.  I’m a very sensitive person to begin with, but with writing, I’vedecided right away that I really need to put my armour up to be prepared forwhatever comes my way.  I’m realistic –I know that there are people who will find faults with my writing and who willjust not like my books.  Rather thanfeel dejected or bad about myself, I’m just rolling with the punches.  Everyone’s entitled to their opinion.  But it’s not going to stop me from writinganother book and trying to do a better job the next time around!
Q.  Friday is said to be the best day for Librans.  Is this a productive writing day for you?  If not, is there a pattern to the days that work best for you?

Friday is a pretty good day for me.  Well, evening, really.  A lot of times I’ll come home from workduring the week and will have cooking, cleaning, whatever to do… I try towrite a little every day, but there are some days where I just don’t feel likesitting down in front of the computer. Friday is a good writing day because I know I have the whole weekendahead of me to do all my chores and housework… plus I don’t mind staying upsuper late to get in a few hours’ worth of good writing time.  Over the summer, though, I’m hoping to get alot of writing done.  (I’m a schoolteacher, so I’ll have quite a bit of free time on my hands from mid-June tomid-August.)

Thank you for sharing those insights with us Jessica.

Jessica is a showcased author with Loveahappyending which is an interactive reader/author website.  Visit Loveahappyending to find out more about this brilliant project and how you, as a reader, can support them.

Twitter Account @jessstrassner:

Facebook author page Jessica-Strassner:

Here We Go on Amazon:
Here We Go on Barnes & Noble: 

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 324 KB
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language English
  • ASIN: B004RR1RK4

Samantha and Julia have been friends for years. Joe, Alex, and Nick are the men in their lives, and each of them wants to be more than just a friend.

Samantha doesn’t really give romance much thought until her high school sweetheart shows up unexpectedly at her door after a decade-long absence. As much as Sam would like to put the past behind her, she finds herself suddenly trying to choose between whether or not to give her old flame a second chance or to finally take things to a new level with a good friend.

When Julia’s longtime boyfriend suddenly reveals that he is in love with someone else, Julia reverts to the carefree, reckless behavior of her college days. Julia goes from party girl to pregnant and alone, making Samantha wonder if Julia is the best person to turn to when it comes to seeking advice for matters of the heart.Please remember to come back and leave a review after you’ve read the book!

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 361 KB
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language English
  • ASIN: B0055O1280

Everyone has that person in his or her life… The one who got away.

For Lucy, that person is Jackson. Reunited after many years and many changes, Lucy and Jackson find themselves caught in a dilemma. Both of them are struggling with the fact that their old feelings for each other have been reawakened…

And now both of them are involved with other people.

Should Lucy stay in a comfortable, routine relationship with her boyfriend, Matt, even though he doesn’t make her feel the way Jackson does? Should Jackson keep going with the flow in his marriage to Sloane, his overbearing wife who is pressuring him to start a family?

What begins as a friendship rekindled leads to a romance caught on fire as Lucy and Jackson question the decisions they made in their younger years and wonder if they are truly meant to be together.

JJ always welcomes comments. Let us know what you think!

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