About Me? Really?
What Makes Jenna Write?
The answer to that question may disappoint you.
When you’re reading my books – or any good author’s work – I hope you’re not thinking about the author. I hope you lose yourself in the characters I’ve created, in their brief moment of newfound love, and the arc of their story from first meeting to happily-ever-after.
That’s what I hope. But let’s be real. We live in a social media world where what your neighbor had for dinner has entered the public domain (for better or worse), so it’s only fair that I divulge a little bit of me for those who might be interested enough to learn why I spend my time doing what I do; writing steamy romance novels inhabited by complicated, often damaged characters, who seem to have everything except happiness (when we first meet them).
SPOILER; this isn’t going to be the shiny, happy, people-holding-hands author bio that some of my peers put out there. Nevertheless, it is true, and I suspect a similar story is also true for a lot of us who gravitate toward the kind of tale where everyone finds exactly what they need, has enough to live very comfortably, and winds up with that one-true-love who is their soul-mate and best friend.
My truth – and you can see it shining through the pages of every book I ever wrote – is that I had a difficult childhood. My parents split when I was a toddler and I barely knew my father. My mother struggled financially and emotionally with two kids on her own. Socially, I was an awkward kid who had a hard time making and keeping friends. I found my only solace in books. Stories and the characters living inside them became my dearest companions and solitary comfort.
That hasn’t ever changed. Sure, I’ve grown up, been married (more than once), traveled the world and done some amazing things (like being a groupie to a hugely famous rock band, and being involved in a multi-million-dollar internet start-up or two). But in all my adventures (and there have been plenty), I never found a better friend, a better lover, a better companion, than those who live inside books.
I decided a long time ago that since I’ve not been fortunate enough to find the lasting comfort of a good man who was head-over-ass in love with me, or a family who was devoted to me, that I’d create those stories for myself. I wrote them down and lived them as I wrote. They made my life a better, sweeter place.
Then one day someone – a very gifted author in her own right – offered to pay me to write for her. I began ghostwriting romance stories full-time. I still ghostwrite for this best-selling romance author while working on my own projects. I’m gratified by the fact that many thousands of people find joy in the stories and characters I contrive, even if my name isn’t on the book jacket. That’s not the point. The point is that even though I never met these loyal readers, and they don’t even know my name, I know I’ve brought a bit of happy distraction to their day.
That’s as satisfactory a happily-ever-after as any I might make up, and it’s a story I’m very contented to live with.
I haven’t given up entirely on finding my Mr. Darcy or Mr. Gray, but if they never show up, that’ll be okay. I’ve spent many years with men every bit as good as them, but unlike those self-absorbed heroes, mine are hanging on my every word – quite literally. They’re waiting for me to give them their next scene to star in.
Not a bad way to make a living, if you ask me.
Jenna Brett writes Kindle-melting romance with real plots and lovable characters, who become your friends, and who you often fall in love with.