J.R. Rogue is one of my go-to authors. From poetry to full-length novels, I find myself hanging on her every word. I simply can’t get enough of her writing and her as a person. She’s good, honest, and a strong supporter of her fellow woman. Try to read this interview and not want to give her a hug after (something she may cringe at the possibility of). I was excited to learn more about Jen through this interview, and I’m honored she gave me a few moments of her time during her busy release week.
Her novel, Kiss Me Like You Mean It is live today! Be sure to check out my review here, purchase a signed copy of this beautiful book here, or start it on your Kindle now! I still find myself reflecting on this book weeks later. It is sure to be a huge hit!
Thank you so much for doing an interview with 5171 Miles Books, please tell us something about yourself.
Like a fun fact? I am terrified of heights, of driving in the city. Okay, I am terrified of most things. Like this novel releasing…
Kiss Me Like You Mean It releases today, what inspired you to write a story based on your life?
I’ve always thought about writing a story about my husband and I. So many crazy things have happened. From an ex keying his car, to him proposing in the middle of where I work. Any time I’ve told people little parts of our story it has seemed so bizarre and unbelievable. So I thought I should just write it out sometime.
How long did it take you to write this book?
Well, I had written a little before NaNoWriMo last year, which is National Novel Writing Month, but the bulk of it was written in 30 days last year. I took most of December off from it because I was emotionally drained, and then I picked back up in January and turned it into my editor around the third week of that month. I’ve never written a novel so fast.
This story was honest and based on real-life experiences, what scares you most about releasing it?
I’m worried people from my real life will take it the wrong way, misinterpret things. It is based on my real life but it is also a fictionalized account. I took creative liberties and thoughts that Gwen had were not necessarily exact thoughts I had at certain moments, but they fit the narrative and where the character version of me was in the story.
You’re the author of several poetry collections. Do you prefer to write poetry or novels?
I honestly love both, but poetry comes very easy to me. It just falls out. Novels are harder so I want to focus on them because it gets me out of my comfort zone, and pushes me to be a better writer. The better I get at prose the better I’ll get at poetry.
What message would you like readers to take away from this novel?
I would like any woman who has felt dirty or broken to see herself in it. I would like those women to feel less alone. I don’t write self-help poetry and I don’t write sappy shit, but I do write about hope. Hope and hurt are both such beautiful things to me. Sometimes I worry that I am too open in my writing, but how can I move people if I’m holding back?
When did you realize you wanted to be an author?
I just turned 35 so that means I have been writing poetry for 20 years. I wanted to be so many things when I was a kid, like most of us, but being a writer was always at the front of my mind. I loved my English class and my English teacher. I read a lot as a kid. I’ve always been an introvert, and reading helps me escape. I have wanted to help others escapes since I was a little girl.
Which book of yours is your favorite? Why?
The Bell Jar is a favorite. I relate to Sylvia Plath’s writing so much. She was such a tortured soul.
Which under the radar book would you recommend to our readers?
More Than Bread by Marya Layth.
Which author inspires you most?
No one is going to be surprised by this…Tarryn Fisher. She is honest in her writing. She shows the ugly, the dirty, the hurt. I would definitely spill everything to her in a hotel bar…
What are you working on now?
Honestly, nothing. I wish I was one of those authors who could immediately announce after releasing a book that she is 10k into another project, but I am so stuck when a book is yet to be live. Until Kiss Me Like You Mean It is out in the world, which by the time anyone reads this it will be, I cannot work on anything else. I do have about 3 novel ideas in my head though.
NON-BOOK RELATED QUESTIONS:
What is your favorite way to spend free time when you aren’t writing or reading?
I love to read and watch tv or movies. I am a trivia nerd and I want to know all the facts about a film or show.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Ireland. And I have a signing there next year!
Do you have a favorite TV show?
Of all time would be Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
Name one of your favorite songs.
To Make You Feel My Love by Garth Brooks.
You’re a strong advocate for abused women, what advice would you give a woman who may be struggling with current or past abuse?
You can have a full life. It’s always going to hurt, but you can use that. Be fierce and unapologetic about finding what you need to get out and live. We only have this one life.
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