Welcome to Twin Sisters Rockin' Book Reviews, J.L. Berg! Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.
What’s your all-time favorite book?
Like most book whores, it’s really impossible to pick just one. I can tell you the Thoughtless series by SC Stephens is one of my favorites. Thoughtless was one of the first books that really pushed my comfort level and made me angry. I eventually got my HEA but Stephens made me work for it and I think that made me feel emotions when reading in an entirely new way.
What was your inspiration for your Ready series?
When I began writing When You’re Ready, I hadn’t firmly decided it was even going to be a series. I hadn’t even planned on showing it to anyone outside of my husband. But, I put in secondary characters that allowed me to expand on it if I decided to do so in the future. With characters like Leah and Declan, I didn’t have much of a choice in the matter—they pulled me back in and demanded I write their story. The idea for Garrett and Mia came even before I wrote the second novel and now I just enjoy going back to those characters. It’s like coming back to friends and family.
Do you have a favorite character from your books?
I love Leah. She is a fan favorite as well. She’s snarky and quick-witted. I loosely based her character on my best friend. Writing Leah is like spending the day with her—it’s always fun.
Can you tell the readers a little bit about your New Release, Ready for You”?
Ready for You is an emotional journey, like all books in the Ready series. It is a story of second chances and forgiving the past. Garrett is the brother of Clare, our heroine from When You’re Ready. He’s always been a bit of a mystery to readers. He’s absent from many family gatherings and he’s always working. He’s never gotten over his first love, and when she comes back in town, all hell breaks loose.
Were you anticipating the success of When You’re Ready? Did you have the next few books planned?
When I published WYR, I remember thinking it would be awesome if I could sell five hundred copies total. That, in my mind, was a huge number. I had no goals beyond just hitting that magical button and becoming a published author. When the book blew up, I was flabbergasted. I had the next few books planned in my head but hadn’t actually started. I quickly realized my new readers were completely in love with Leah and rushed to start her book.
Do you have any advice for aspiring romance writers?
Invest in your work—both time and money. Make sure what you’re putting out from the beginning is quality work. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Hire the best editor you can find—horrible editing can end you before you even have a chance to start. Above all else, thicken your skin. Even if your book is amazing, not everyone will think so and the bad reviews will find their way into your head. You have to be tough in this industry—everyone has an opinion.
Where can readers find you?
Like most authors, I’m everywhere. But I tend to hang out on Facebook the most and I love to chat and receive messages from readers. Here are my links:
Any new projects you would like to share with us today?
I’m currently working on a standalone that is scheduled for release in August. It’s titled Within These Walls and I’m really excited about it. It’s about a young woman named Lailah who has literally spent almost her entire life growing up in a hospital. Born with a heart defect, she’s been isolated and cut off from a normal life. On a particularly long stay, she meets Jude, a nursing assistant who has recently been transferred to the cardiology unit. He’s tattooed, quiet and makes her feel alive for the first time in her life. I’m really excited about this book. It’s beautifully different and I’m hoping readers will fall in love with Jude and Lailah’s story.