What can I say about R. Jean Wilson???? Hmmm, even though she’s a Longhorn, I think she is fantastic!! Haha. She messaged me through GoodReads, and we have been friends ever since. She’s my sprinting buddy, and one of my go-tos when I need to vent about my WIP. 😉 I’m so happy to know her and introduce her to those of you who haven’t met her.
Synopsis of Clementine:
Addison Caldwell has her future laid out before her. She has good friends, applications in the mail for PA school, and sweaty yoga to take the edge off of her lack of love life. Just when she finds herself right where she wants to be, Addison stumbles on a familiar stranger standing before her at a coffee shop. He’s beautiful and brilliant. She’s immediately drawn to him and can’t put her finger on how she could possibly have met him before. She finds herself tumbling head first toward a man that she knows is in a league composed solely of him and a bevy of Victoria Secret Supermodels…
“Wait,” he said, reaching out to touch her hand.
- You published your first book, Clementine, this summer, a sweet story about finding love, but more importantly, finding yourself. What does this story mean for you? Why was Addison’s story so important to share? – This story was truly a personal journey for me. I started writing to challenge myself and I knew right away what I wanted to create for my first story! People often ask how much of Clementine was based on my life and while most everything is fictitious, the locations around Austin and the dates the main characters go on are all inspired from real life.
- I LOVE the cover of your book; it’s simple and beautiful, and intriguing. Did you come up with the creation, or was it created for you? – I’m so glad you like it! I created the cover and I already had a girl in mind that I had visualized as Addison. She’s a blogger with quite a following (barefootblonde.com) and she was generous enough to allow me to use her image for the cover!
- What is your process when creating a story? – My process seems to change with every story that I write. Clementine was a challenge because I was getting my bearings on my writing style and trying to recreate a story that was deeply personal. I ALWAYS have music on while I’m plotting and writing, even if it’s turned down low. It helps with my creative process!
- When you create your characters, are they based on anyone you know? Is there any part of your story that you can relate to personally? – I think I’m like most authors; I include little snippets of my personality in all of my characters. I did find myself creating perfect, idealized characters in Clementine, and with my next two books I’m realizing my characters are much more flawed! (I’m not sure what that says about me as a writer, hah!)
- Rivalry question here J. Your story is set in Austin, Texas for part of the book, what is it about Austin that makes the perfect setting for Addison’s story? Do you think she was an Aggie at heart?? (KIDDING!!) – HAH! Oh boy, do I love the Texas/A&M rivalry. I’d never been to Austin before my freshman year at the University of Texas, and the moment I stepped foot in the city I fell in love. Most of the significant events in Clementine take place in iconic locations around Austin. (Addison jumps off the Lamar Bridge with Holden and that bridge is in the heart of downtown Austin!)
- Have you always wanted to be a writer? If not, what did you want to do? – Oh gosh, I wish. I changed my major in college more than anyone I know. Let’s just say that while in school I worked for an art gallery, a country club, a doctor’s office and a design company! – The best part is that all of my odd jobs become woven into my stories. In Clementine, Addison studies to become a Physician Assistant (that was one of my goals at one time in college and I loved using all of my useless O-Chem knowledge during the book! ;))
- Given the option, would you rather be traditionally published or self-published? Why? – This question is still up in the air for me. There’s something magical about the idea of walking into a book store and seeing your books on the shelves. A lot of family and friends would probably take my writing a bit more seriously if they saw my book on shelves, rather than solely online. That being said, I absolutely love the indie, self-published world. I’ve never met such a tight-knit group of friends/supporters. I’ve met some amazing women (wink, wink) while self-publishing and I could never dream of leaving that behind!
- What is your favorite part of creating a story? What is the hardest? – Favorite part: Creating the characters. I LOVE delving into their motivations and what makes them tick. I create pinterest boards of each character and I try to really get to know them even before I start writing. – Hardest part: Definitely not enough time to create stories. If I had it my way, I would write stories all day, every day!
- Who would you consider your inspiration personally? Professionally? – I tend to gravitate toward women in comedy for both personal and professional inspiration. Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling are all women that I look up for many reasons. They’ve completely pushed the limits of female comedians and are all so down to earth. I think humor is one of the best qualities a person can have, which is probably why I gravitate toward these ladies. Life is hard for everyone, and people who choose to laugh their way through it are inspiring to me!
- What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment? – Oh gosh that’s a tough question. I was really proud to make UT cheerleading while in college. I worked so hard for years to get to that level and still can’t believe I actually earned a spot on the squad. – Within the past year though, I would definitely say that my greatest accomplishment is taking the step to self-publish. At times, it’s scary to see friends around me starting full-time careers, knowing that I’m going out on a limb, but there’s nothing that satisfies me quite like writing and I know I have to stick with it.
- What do you feel is the biggest misconception about writing and writers? – I feel like this misconception stems not from being a writer, but from working from home in general. I’ve heard the phrase “Oh, you must love working from home and having all that time to do (fill in the blank).” Writing isn’t a 9-5 job, and while there are jobs that are much more demanding, this misconception still irks me!
- If someone came to you and said they were writing a book, asking for your advice, what would you tell them? – Simple: DO IT! So many people are interested in writing but they never take the first step. Even my dad has chatted with me about writing now that he’s retired, but I fear he’ll never take the leap to begin. I try to encourage fellow writers. I know the joy I find in writing and I want anyone around me interested in the field to experience that joy as well!
- If you had to choose, who would be your top 3 favorite authors? Why? – Mindy Kaling: Not only for her book but also for her writing on The Office & The Mindy Project. Screen writing is an artform! -Jonathan Safran Foer: His books move me more than anything else I’ve read. He’s so talented! -JK Rowling: I have to include her. I’d be lying if I said reading Harry Potter didn’t influence my childhood. I grew up reading her books and I often times find myself thinking of her when I’m creating stories.
- Are you reading anything right now? What? – I just finished writing my second novel, Solace, and the moment I finished I went to TOWN on a bunch of books on my TBR list. I’m not reading anything right now because I’ve started a new WIP and want to stay focused, but I can’t wait for Aleatha Romig’s final book in her Consequences trilogy to come out in a few days. I might have to take some time off to read it!
- I know that you are working on another book, or three, what can you tell us about any of these books? Will they be romance, like Clementine? – The WIP I just finished is titled Solace. It’s completely different than Clementine and I had a BLAST writing it. It’s a YA sci-fi/fantasy with suspense and mystery at every turn. I felt like my blood pressure increased while writing the book, haha, but I’m so proud of it! It’s being edited right now, but I’m so excited to share it soon!
- If you could say anything to your readers, what would you say? – You guysssss. (in a Jersey accent.) Really, you amaze me and I’m so happy to have met such amazing readers. I know how important reading is in my life, and I love the idea that I can give someone that feeling through creating stories of my own. I hope that my writing offers a few minutes of escape for anyone looking to find it!
Learn more about R.Jean Wilson by clicking any of the link below: