This is my first ever blog on this site, and today I’m pleased to present Jennifer Simpkins. She offered me a welcome to an author’s loop I won’t forget–and has convinced me to blog!
Thanks for coming along today, Jennifer.
Since we met, you’ve been working diligently on your Patience
Series and developing new ideas for novels. I have read your first two novels and love the way your characters move seamlessly from one book to the other. I'm looking forward to book three!
What genre do you write?
You asked me about novellas, indicating you have “too much to say”, not that I agree with that at all, but tell us about why you write novels, and how long your books generally are.
All I’ve ever read is novels.
Until I read something of yours, I’d never so much as peeked inside of a novella or short story. I guess I’m like a lot of readers when I say I hate the end of a book…at least a really good book. I think that has a lot to do with me always reaching for the novel—I get a little more time with the characters I will grow to love. For these very same reasons, it is why I write longer books. All of the books in my Patience Series are around the 100K word range.
Your emails to me generally come very late at night, and even allowing for the time change, I suspect it’s because you are incredibly busy managing family, home, life in general, and your craft…
I do have a husband and daughter, but they both are away during the day, leaving me to write, but I’m a night owl, so I tend to stay up really, really late and sleep a lot during the day. That’s why you get most of your emails late at night from me.
What inspires you to write?
Writing is something I do just for me. Have you ever heard anyone who is diligent in exercising that if they don’t do it every day they feel guilty? Well, that’s the way I feel when it comes to writing. I have to sit down and at least try to write or I feel incredibly guilty.
As we authors connect I find we imprint on one another. In one of my WIPs, I included a baseball reference–I have no clue about baseball, but I know where it came from–you! Does that happen when you are writing? Might you share another author’s name who unknowingly made
their way into your book be it a comment, or personal attribute?
I’m not sure if this is what you’re looking for, but I’ll let you in on a little secret. I haven’t always been a baseball fanatic. Hard to believe, huh? Several years ago I read a book by a popular romance author, and the hero was a major league baseball player. There were only one or two scenes in the book where the author took us inside the ball park, but it was enough to hook me. The next season after reading that book I started watching baseball and learned a little with each game.
Do you have a goal or a dream regarding your writing?
I remember the night I sat down and started writing Forgiving Patience. I told myself I didn’t care if it was ever published; I just wanted to know that I could actually write a book. When I was finished, I thought to myself “what the hell, I might as well see if anything comes of it.”That first rejection letter was amazing. Yeah, I’m not lying. It made it all seem so real to me at that point. I still have that letter by-the-way.
So, as you can tell, I haven’t even answered your question yet. This is why it’s going to impossible for me to write a novella…lol. Do I have a goal or dream, you ask? I try to take writing a step at a time and be proud of every little accomplishment, because really, this whole gig is a dream to me. And I guess my goal would be to just get better with every chapter and book I sit down to write.
What are you working on right now? We’d love an excerpt.
Here is the blurb and an excerpt from Forgiving Patience, Book One in the Patience Series.
Anna Kelly had no intention of returning to her hometown of Patience, Tennessee. At eighteen, feeling powerless from an abusive childhood and heartbroken from her high school sweetheart, she needed to put distance between her and the small town. Now, eleven years later she's invited to her best friend's wedding and has no other choice but to return. Though she feels much stronger the second time around, nothing can prepare her for when she sees her ex again.
After a baseball injury, Jake limped back into Patience, damaged and angry. Throwing himself into remodeling Anna's childhood home has given him purpose again. He is just getting his life back together. He can't risk sending it all back to hell again, but the woman who broke his heart has whipped back into town...and she wants her house back. In hopes of reminding Anna of what she ran away from all those years ago he makes
her an offer she can’t refuse—three dates, that have Anna rethinking
Patience...and the life she was supposed to have with Jake.
He wished everyone would stop giving him a pass. He didn’t deserve it. “I gave up, sweetness. On everything that mattered to me. I left baseball, my friends, and my brother, for God’s sake. Bradley was hurting too, and what did I do? I became a drunk he had to go pick up after last call every night. I am the eldest. I should’ve been a better brother to him. I should’ve taken care of him instead of the other way around.”
And it wasn’t only him being a disappointment. While he was at it, he might as well admit the rest. “Did you know I could’ve returned back to the game that next season? I hurt my knee pretty bad, but if I would’ve finished my treatment and rehab, I could’ve gone back. I could still be playing this game.” He gestured to the small field they were standing on. It was the field he’d once played on and still loved. “I was going to, in the beginning, but then my mom died, and…I was just lost.”
“No, I didn’t know. You want to tell me about it?” she asked.
And when others had asked him that very question, he, in a nice
way, said hell, no, but it wasn’t like that with Anna. In that moment she wasn’t just his lover, she was that teenage girl he considered his best friend. Taking a much needed breath, he started, “My team was ahead by one in the bottom of the sixth. Jonsey hit a bullet to centerfield, and there was no way I was settling on third base when I knew I could make it home.”
“You always were one of those annoying players who thought they were God’s gift to baseball. You know fans cuss you through the television, don’t you?”
He smiled. “Yeah. But they sure do cheer when we players come through for them in the end.”
“Did you know when you were running around the bases how bad your knee was injured?”
“Even above the noise of thirty thousand fans, I could hear the pop. I immediately knew I’d blown out my knee. A knee doesn’t just snap for any reason. I remember the pain being excruciating. How I kept running I don’t know. The trainers told me I should’ve dropped to the ground instantly, but I guess I was too stubborn to give up and allow a pinch
runner to run for me. So even though it meant a collision at the plate, I knew my team needed the assurance run.”
“You sacrificed your body and career for the game. I know that’s the kind of teammate you are, but you do know how stupid that was, don’t you?”
“It’s part of the game, sweetness.”
“But do you not understand you scared the living daylights out of me? I sat there, watching your life change in between bases, and wasn’t able to stop it.”
That took him aback. For a moment he stared at her blankly. “Were you there?”
“Not in the stands, but I watched from my home. And that made it worse, because if I had been there, I could at least have made sure you were okay. At home, I was forced to listen to the commentaries and your manager downplay it. I know they didn’t want to say too much before tests were run—but damn it…I was sick about it, Jake.”
“Oh, honey.” He stroked the side of her cheek. “I’m sorry you had to witness that. I didn’t think you watched me play.”
She offered him a shy smile. “It’s a guilty pleasure.”
That sounded pretty damned good to him. All those years she’d secretly watched him from afar. He couldn’t wrap his mind around it.
Thanks for coming today and sharing, Jennifer.
It’s been wonderful connecting with you. Peribeth
Find Jennifer at:
Buy Links for Forgiving
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Forgiving-Patience-ebook/dp/B00B0XERBE/ref=pd_ybh_1
B&N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/forgiving-patience-jennifer-simpkins/1114140997?ean=2940015982336