Twelve Questions With Jessica Scott Romano and A Sneak Peak at Her New Book!
1. How old were you when you started writing?
I've technically been writing since I was around three years old, but I first started writing full-fledged (comprehensible) stories when I was six. I like to think my work has improved a lot since then though!
2. Name four authors that you’d love to have lunch with.
J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and R.L. Stine (I just watched a Masterclass video course by R.L. Stine, and his take on writing really surprised me! I would love to pick his brain in person.)
3. What would you eat?
With Stephen King and R.L. Stine, probably something gross, like brains or bugs or something bloody. But J.K. Rowling describes a lot of really delicious-sounding magical desserts in the Harry Potter books, so I hope she would bring some of those too!
4. How do you plot out your work?
This is a tricky question, because it depends on the story and the characters in it. For a long time, I didn't really plot things out ahead of time, I just let the characters in the story take me where they needed to go. I still think this is an ideal way to write, but it's not always realistic. In the past couple years I have found that it can sometimes lead to the story getting off-track, especially if I have to spend too much time away from it for whatever reason, or if I can't be completely absorbed by the story for hours or days at a time. The time away (or stress, other responsibilities, etc.) can make me lose a bit of connection to the characters, which can make it hard to know what should come next in their story, so it is good to have a road map to where I had been wanting them to go! Now I try to take a lot of notes about the characters and the setting at the beginning and make a loose outline for a few chapters at a time so I can keep things in order... and then I inevitably go back and change the outline when the story gets a mind of its own again.
5. Do you write in the morning or evening?
I always write better at night, usually right before bed. But now that I have a husband and two overly energetic kittens in the house with me, I kind of just write whenever I have free time!
6. Is there music on?
No. Sometimes I will get inspired to write by a song I hear, but when I am actually in the process of writing, music distracts me too much and I can't focus. I need silence!
7. What inspired your latest book?
It's funny that you ask that right after the music question, because it was partially inspired by a song! My husband gave me the idea for the main character, but part of the idea for the story was inspired by a song called "Wrong Side of Heaven" by Five Finger Death Punch. The song has a line that goes "I'm on the wrong side of Heaven and the righteous side of Hell," which is perfect for the main character in Sinner's Odyssey. He goes to Hell for doing some really terrible things, but escapes to get back to his true love on Earth. So he isn't like the other sinners and demons in Hell who are just evil, but he also isn't pure and noble enough to get into Heaven, so he is kind of stuck in the middle.
8. Which of your pieces was the hardest to write?
Actually it was Sinner's Odyssey, the novel I have coming out now. It took me a really long time to write because I had a lot of other (stressful) things going on in my life at the time and I had to try to juggle everything. Then, when I did have the time and mental stamina to write, I kept unintentionally taking detours from the plot and having to go back and rewrite big chunks of the story. When I finally finished it, I still wasn't sure it was any good, so I just put it aside. After leaving it alone for about a year, I could finally look at it with a better perspective and fix the broken parts, so now it's great! (If I do say so myself.)
9. Which was the easiest?
A while back I wrote and illustrated a story for children called Burpia, about a boy who travels to a planet where the inhabitants speak in burps. I hadn't written a children's book before, but it was so silly and fun to write that I finished it in just a couple of days. I'd like to do a sequel sometime if I can. I wrote it just for fun, but I published it under the pen name of J.S. Romano if anyone is curious about it!
10. What are you working on now?
I actually have a rule: I never tell anyone what I'm working on until it's ready to be read. Otherwise it jinxes me and I never finish it!
11. Have you ever based characters off of real people?
No, because I find that if I base a character off of a real person, I think too many things like "Oh, no, the real so-and-so wouldn't say that..." and that kind of interferes with the plot of a fictional story. But I have based characters off of parts of real people. For example, there are characters I have written that are inspired by one aspect of someone's personality or some physical characteristic that they have that I find intriguing.
12. Who’s your favorite character?
To be honest, my favorite character is usually the protagonist of whatever book I am working on writing at the moment. I get very attached to them and feel like they are real people! I always get a bit sad when I finish a book, because I know I will miss the characters.
You can find out more about the Jessica on her website, www.jessicascottromano.com and purchase her work from Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Scott-Romano/e/B0841NC3P7.
"Nothing can stop true love. Not even death. Christopher's wrathful temper has always been his worst trait, but Lucy could always see through his rough, battered exterior to the good heart that lay within him. She is his light, his world, and he loves her more than most humans are even capable of imagining. Which is why, when Lucy and their unborn child are attacked and left for dead, Christopher cannot stop until the man who hurt them is punished. His rage gets the better of him, and his own punishment is to be sent to Hell for his sins. But Hell cannot hold a man like Christopher. With his love for Lucy burning like a beacon in his sinner's heart, he claws his way out of the inferno. His journey home, though, will be a long one: there is a war brewing between Heaven and Hell, and he just got caught in the middle of it. Armed with strange, alarming new powers, Christopher must fight to find out if he still has a future with his beloved Lucy - and if the world as they knew it will still exist tomorrow."
PREORDER HERE - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08GCLSJP7/
CHAPTER ONE [SAMPLE]
Christopher cracked his knuckles. He had done a lot of terrible things with those knuckles back when he was alive. He had hurt people. He had broken bones. But now he was ready to use them for something else.
He had been in that empty, cold, stone-walled box for months. He wasn't sure how many, but he knew it was too long. Lucy needed him, and he was sitting there on his ass, useless. Pathetic.
In Hell, everyone had a different punishment. Each sinner had their own individual torture, custom-made for them based on the sins that had damned them. Christopher's sin was wrath. His anger was like a wildfire: a burning, living, breathing thing that couldn't be controlled. It exploded out of him in ways he never expected or, sometimes, intended. His aggression made him feel strong and powerful, but in Hell he was weak. That was his punishment. He could pound the walls of his cell for days or weeks on end (and he had), trying to get rid of his mental anguish, trying to distract himself with physical hurt, but it never left a mark on either the wall or his frenzied fists. He was immune there; immortal, but impotent. Nothing he did had any effect on anything whatsoever.
But that was about to change.
He had found a way out. He had found a way to get back to Lucy. All he had to do now was wait, just a little bit longer, until he could put his plan into action. She was still alive, he could feel it, and he would be with her again soon.