Delighted to have another author to highlight today. From J. (formerly of J-TWO-O), longtime Balloon Juice reader and occasional commenter:
Thank you, TaMara, for allowing me to flog my books on Balloon Juice. ?
When I first started following this blog, back in 2007, I was a technology/business journalist with a blog called J-TWO-O and dreams of writing a bestselling business book or the great American novel. Ten years later, I had accomplished neither, had stopped blogging, and had been (it turned out temporarily) laid off from my contract gig.
I was having dinner with friends on Sanibel Island, Florida, shortly after, wondering what I should do with my life, when my girlfriend’s husband, who had taken early retirement and decided to become a full-time musician, told me that now was the time to pursue my dream. What was it I really wanted to do?
My husband piped up, “Write a book!” And he and my friends then spent the remainder of the evening telling me I should write a book. I told them I had tried writing a book, multiple times, and failed. It was one thing to write a 1500-word article, or even a 3000-word one, quite another to bang out 80,000 words, the typical length of a novel. And I dismissed the idea.
Two weeks later, back in Connecticut, I woke up having dreamed about a woman who moves from New England to Sanibel after losing her job and her husband (to another woman), gets a job working for the local paper, and stumbles upon a dead body while hunting for seashells. I ran to my computer and began typing. Six months later, A Shell of a Problem, the first book in the Sanibel Island Mystery series, was published.
The book did well, especially on Sanibel, so I decided to write another one. That too did well, so I kept on writing. I am now about to publish the seventh book in my cozy mystery series, A Perilous Proposal. And this year I also wrote a stand-alone novel, Tinder Fella, a rom-com that takes place in pre-Covid NYC.
If you like cozy mysteries—were a fan of Murder, She Wrote or read Nancy Drew as a kid (both of which my books have been compared to)—have vacationed on Sanibel, or are looking for something light and fun to read this winter, check out the Sanibel Island Mystery series. The books can be found on Amazon, Bookshop.org, and Barnes & Noble online, as well as in some bookstores, and are available in paperback and for the Kindle. (A Shell of a Problem is also available as an audiobook.)
TaMara again. Here is Jennifer’s author’s page on Amazon You can find a link to all her books there. She’ll be stopping by so you can ask her questions, etc.
As always, I’m happy to highlight any of your works, just drop me an email…
I am curious – did you find it easy or difficult to write during this crazy time? It’s been hit or miss for me. Lots of ideas to put to paper, but I find my focus is lacking.
(Also, in case you missed it, there’s a general open thread just before this one)