Q&A with Jennifer Jakes

Thanks for being here today, Jennifer. Would you please share a short bio about yourself?

After trying several careers—everything from a beautician to a dump truck driver—Jennifer finally returned to her first love, writing. Married to her very own hero, she lives on fifteen acres along with two beautiful daughters, two elderly horses, two spoiled cats and two hyper dogs. During the summer she does Civil War re-enacting and has found it a great research tool, not to mention she has continued appreciation for her microwave and hot water heater.

Jennifer was a 2010 Golden Heart finalist and grand prize winner of the Gateway to the Best Contest in 2009. Her first book, Rafe's Redemption, is available now.

Q Do you consider yourself a shy and/or introverted person?

A Oh, good grief, no. I can talk to anyone. But I used to be shy, so hopefully I have some useful information for your readers.

Q Tell me about a time that you had to step outside your comfort zone either in your writing career or in your personal life?

A The very first time I went to a writer's group. I hadn't even started telling people I was writing, so taking my work to be read in front of others was nerve shattering. Now the rest of the story is PROOF you can rise above shyness and embarrassment. I write erotic romance. The new group I went to ended up being mostly Inspirational writers. No, they didn't bill themselves as Inspy. Yes, I read my scenes aloud. No, they didn't have much appreciation for my genre. (Are you feeling my humiliation yet?) But I lived through it. I even got the best ever critique partner out of the deal. (She wasn't one of the Inspy writers.) And though I wanted to die once I found out what was being said about me, I didn't. So be brave! Chances are you'll get something great out of the experience:)

Q What’s one tip you could share with shy and introverted people that’s helped you?

A Start slowly. Say you're at a conference - make yourself talk to one person you don't know. Pick someone who looks friendly. It can be a short conversation. But make yourself do it. Then practice - one person at a time. And once that doesn't feel like a big deal, try introducing yourself to a couple of people or a small group. Eventually, it doesn't seem so scary and you will build confidence. Heck, before you know it you'll be giving speeches at conferences!

Q Where can my readers find you on the web?

A http://www.jenniferjakes.com/ on FaceBook as Jennifer Jakes and on Twitter as @erotichistory. You can buy Jennifer's new book, Rafe's Redemption, here.

Thanks, Jennifer, for your great answers!


  1. Hi Jenn,

    Kudos to your advice when attending conferences. That's what got me through my first RWA Conference and meeting wonderful ladies like you.

    All the best, and enjoy the ride!

  2. Hi Elke -
    I was great meeting you too at conference. Elke and I not only became friends, but we met a wonderful group of ladies and now we all blog together!
    Thanks for stopping by today, my friend:)

  3. Rebecca -
    Thanks so much for having me as your guest today! :)

  4. I'd love to be able to get past my shyness but I think it's too late.

  5. Jenn~
    You've been this blogging machine since Rafe's release and, of course, my world has been crazy beyond words so I haven't had the chance to post many comments. But Shy Writers? Ya, I had to swing by and say howdy. The two of us are shy like hard-core groupies at a rock concert. LOL
    Just started Rafe yesterday. I'm soooo proud of you! Best of luck to you always!

  6. I'm shy. So my advice is...friend Jenn! That's what I did during the months leading up to the RWA National Conference in Orlando. Not only did she look friendly, but she turned out to be super friendly in emails and on writing loops. So by the time the conference came around I'd kicked my shy butt into gear and asked her to sit with me during the Awards Ceremony.
    And I'm so happy I did! Sitting with you and getting that big hug seconds after they called my name is one of the most memorable moments of the conference. It wouldn't have been the same without you, Jenn!! :)

  7. Baby steps, Jerri, baby steps! You can do it:)
    Thanks for stopping by today!

  8. Hi Lynda -
    LOL!! Yes, so true. Slam us together and they couldn't find a shy bone in the mess. HA
    Yay! So glad you're reading RAFE.
    Don't let him scorch you -- he's a hottie;) lol
    Thanks for finding me today!

  9. Hi Jacqui!! Big hug right back you, my friend!
    Everyone, Jacqui and I rode the contest roller coaster in 2009/2010 together and became great friends along the way. Getting to finally meet and share our Golden Heart ride at RWA was the best and I'm so glad we sat together too!!
    Thanks for dropping by today:)

  10. Jennifer, thanks so much for blogging here today. You're welcome back anytime, even though you're certainly not shy or introverted. :)

    I agree with what Jacqui said--we introverted types need to befriend you outgoing types. Both of my CPs are very outgoing and social. By hanging out with them at conferences, etc, I appear more outgoing (even though I don't talk much in a group setting).

  11. Thanks so much for letting me hang out with you today, Rebecca! I had a great time.
    And yes, join me and Jacqui anytime:)

    Thanks everyone!