Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Author Interview: Jill Kemerer, Author of Unexpected Family

Jill Kemerer writes contemporary Christian romance novels with love, humor and faith. A full time writer, she relies on coffee and chocolate to keep up with her kids’ busy schedules. Besides spoiling her mini-dachshund, Jill adores magazines, M&Ms, fluffy animals and long nature walks. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Jill loves connecting with readers, so please visit her website, jillkemerer.com.

Thank you for having me today!

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in farm country. We lived a few miles from Oakley, a small town in mid-Michigan. I spent a lot of time running around barefoot, playing with my sister and cousins and sitting around reading. We moved to Saginaw, Michigan when I was twelve, and I think I’ve been moving ever since!

When did you begin writing?

It was a cold January day. I was twenty years old. I’d finished my college homework, so I read a romance novel. Well, I didn’t like the book and figured I could do better than that! I grabbed a cheap spiral notebook and began writing. My characters would fall in love, and they wouldn’t have all those pesky problems the other fictional couples seemed to have. Twenty-two pages later, the book ended. Turned out the problems were the point! Yes, I had a lot to learn, but once I started writing romance, I never looked back. I’ve been writing them ever since.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I write my books during the day, but I write blog posts, short stories and other projects whenever I can sneak a few moments.

What is this book about?

Unexpected Family is about a single mom who finally gets the guts to tell her ex-husband they have a daughter. Here’s the back-copy:

His Surprise Daughter

After five years apart, Tom Sheffield is shocked to find his ex-wife, Stephanie, on his doorstep. The news that they share a child he's never met sends him reeling. Four-year-old Macy has his eyes, his mouth and, from their first encounter, his heart. Things with her mother are much more complicated. He doesn't understand what went wrong between them or why she kept their daughter a secret. And he's afraid of falling in love all over again. Yet he feels a glimmer of hope that somehow he can convince Macy and Stephanie to stay in Lake Endwell—and with him—for keeps.

What inspired you to write it?

Inspiration comes at the worst time! I was trying to fall asleep, and all of a sudden, I thought what if a guy got a call from the police saying, “Your wife and daughter were in an accident,” and the guy responded, “But I don’t have a wife or daughter”?

I got up and wrote it down. The idea would not go away, and the basis for Unexpected Family was born.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

The road to publication was not only bumpy, it was steep! I wrote twelve novels and submitted nine before getting a contract. I’ve been writing for over twenty years, but I’ve only been writing full-time for eight. Last year, I finally got the call I’d been waiting for. My debut novel, Small-Town Bachelor, released in April. It, too, is set in Lake Endwell and features Tom Sheffield’s sister, Claire.

If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

No. God used the time to draw me closer to him. I gained humility and confidence in my writing. I’m thankful for every step of my journey.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Readers can find purchase links to all major booksellers on my webpage for Unexpected Family. Paperbacks are available in stores such as Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Kmart and local grocery stores.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

Never give up! And don’t let worries and doubts keep you from writing. Some authors get published with their first or second book. Some self-publish. But if you’re like me and want a traditional publisher, just keep trying. I’m living my dream, and you can too!

What is up next for you?

The third book in the Lake Endwell series will release sometime next spring, and I’m currently writing the fourth book. I love my job!

Thanks again for having me today!

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