Home For the Challah Days
Holidays, Heart and Chutzpah Book 1
by Jennifer Wilck
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Turning the bitterness of the past…
Into a sweet future!
When big-city advocate Sarah Abrams returns home for the High Holy Days, she’s got a lot on her mind—especially whether to marry her perfect-on-paper boyfriend. The last person she wants to encounter is Aaron Isaacson, her first love and the one who broke her heart. But after Aaron and Sarah join forces to fight an act of hate, it’s clear that their deep connection never abated. If only they could forgive one another for the past…in time for a sweet new start!
From Harlequin Special Edition: Believe in love. Overcome obstacles. Find happiness.
If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?
Pen or typewriter or computer?
Computer. I type way faster than I write, and when the ideas strike, I need to get them down right away.
Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
My favorite character that I’ve written is Grandma Sadie from Home for the Challah Days. She’s a feisty senior who loves her family and doesn’t take any crap from anyone. She rules the roost at her senior living facility and is not above a little grandmotherly manipulation to help her son find his happily ever after.
What made you want to become an author, and do you feel it was the right decision?
I’ve always told myself stories, and I finally decided to write them down. When I was able to complete an entire manuscript, I knew this was what I wanted to do. Although it’s hard and frustrating, I haven’t looked back since.
A day in the life of the author?
I try to divide up my day so I can keep to some sort of schedule and also be productive. My mornings are usually spent marketing, whether that’s social media, or blog posts, or interviews, or preparing for a release. After lunch is usually when I start writing, and I hop from one manuscript to the other—writing one, editing another, etc. I set myself a daily word count based on my deadlines and try to hit it each day. I write on a laptop, so I move around the house—the dining room when it’s near a mealtime, the family room when I want to stretch out on the couch, or my office when I need the discipline of sitting at a desk. In the nice weather, I like to sit out on my deck, but I live in NJ and when it’s not raining, it’s sweltering, so that won’t be happening any time soon.
Advice they would give new authors?
Make sure you love it, invest in your craft, and don’t give up. This is not the job for people whose main focus is making money. Hopefully that will come in time, but you’re writing because you have a story to tell. So write it well, make contacts, and sell yourself.
Describe your writing style.
I have a journalism background, so my style tends to be more concise. I tend to write it down first, and then layer it with more details later.
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
I’m a pantser, so I don’t like to write from an outline if I can help it. I prefer to do a first draft, then outline, and then edit based on the outline. It helps me keep attributes consistent and also to figure out where the story lags and what needs fixing. When I’ve written from an outline in the past, the story tends to come out stilted, so I try to stick to my process as much as possible.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I write what I want. If I can tell a good story and write it well, readers will enjoy it. It’s not that I don’t want to write what readers want, but if I’m pushed into a box then it won’t come out right. And by the time what I write is published, the readers’ minds may have already changed anyway.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Don’t give up. Focus your marketing on your particular reader.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
I love writing male characters, but I have to be sure they don’t sound stereotypically female. I’ve tried asking my husband for advice occasionally, but he often is uncomfortable with that idea. So I do the best I can on my own.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
On average, about six months.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes, but I don’t believe it’s insurmountable. I believe writing is like a muscle. You need to stretch it and exercise it frequently. When I get stuck, I try sprints where I put aside my editing brain and just write for twenty minutes at a time. Or I blog.
Jennifer Wilck is an award-winning contemporary romance author for readers who are passionate about love, laughter, and happily ever after. Known for writing both Jewish and non-Jewish romances, her books feature damaged heroes, sassy and independent heroines, witty banter and hot chemistry. Jennifer’s ability to transport the reader into the scene, create characters the reader will fall in love with, and evoke a roller coaster of emotions, will hook you from the first page. You can find her books at all major online retailers in a variety of formats.
Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.
In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.