Meow, today my guest is author Jessica Estevao!
Jessica Estevao is the author of the debut novel in the Change of Fortune Mysteries, Whispers Beyond the Veil. She loves the beach, mysterious happenings, and all things good-naturedly paranormal. While she lives for most of the year in New Hampshire, with her dark and mysterious husband and exuberant children, she delights in spending her summers on the coast of Maine where she keeps an eye out for sea monsters and mermaids. As Jessie Crockett, she writes the Sugar Grove Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. (Photo of Jessie by Lisa Knowlton)
- Welcome Jessica! Tell us a little about your background
Thanks ROCCO! I have always loved mysteries and have loved to write since I was a small child. I live in NH for most of the year and on the coast of Maine in the summer.
- Tell us a bit about your Change of Fortune series. How did that idea come about?
I’ve lived in Old Orchard for the summer for the last seven years. There is something so inspiring about the town and the beach that the story just sort of unfolded in my mind by being on site.
- Your main character is a medium – do you believe in the supernatural?
I do. I think there are so many ways of knowing things and experiencing the world that I am happy to consider them all.
- How do you “get to know” your characters before and while you’re writing the books?
Mostly they just sort of whisper in my ear as I start to write them. It feels quite magical. I don’t consciously do a lot of character plotting ahead of time. My outlines are for action. The characters seem to simply show up to play.
- How do you construct your plots? Do you outline or do you write “by the seat of your pants”?
I used to grope along and write a discovery draft to figure out the story. Now that I have frequent deadlines I outline and have found that it works really well for me.
- What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer and what inspires you and keeps you motivated?
The lag between starting a book and the publishing date can be difficult. By the time a book comes out I am deeply into another project and feel a bit disconnected. Having fun and being in flow when I am actively writing keeps me motivated. Every day I spend at my desk is a good day.
- What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?
I am working on a new historical series for Kensington called the Beryl and Edwina Mysteries. It is set in England in the early 1920s and features two friends from finishing school; Beryl, an American adventuress and Edwina, an Englishwoman who has never lived outside her village other than her time at school. I am having terrific fun with them!
- What is a typical workday for you and how many hours a day (or week) do you devote to writing?
I haven’t found any day is typical since the work has different needs based on the point in a publishing cycle I am at. Sometimes I am hard at work generating a draft. Other times I am revising or proofreading. Then there are the points in time where promotional activities like blog posts and author appearances are the priority. What is typical is that I work on some aspect of my job for at least a few hours most every day, including weekends and holidays.
- What advice do you have to offer to an aspiring author?
Write because you love it. In the beginning it is about a love of the process more than a focus on the product. Be kind to yourself as you build your skills.
- What’s one thing your readers would be surprised to find out about you?
Maybe that I have written most of my last several books while wearing my bathing suit.
- What question do you wish interviewers would ask? (And what’s the answer?)
I wish they would ask if writing is still fun after having been in the business for most of a decade. The answer is yes, it is more so every day.
- Where can we learn more about you and your books?
I blog with the Wicked Cozy Authors at www.wickedcozyauthors.com. I am also a member of the Facebook group Sleuths in Time. More information about my books and appearances can be found at my websites: www.jessicaestevao.com, www.jessicaellicott.com and www.jessiecrockett.com
Just for Fun:
Night or Day? Night
Dog or Cat? (answer carefully) I am allergic to both so would have to say I love birds and goldfish.
Beach or Pool? Beach
Steak or salad? Steak on salad
Favorite Drink? Espresso in the morning, seltzer in the afternoon and wine in the evening
Favorite Book? Could not possibly decide
Favorite TV Series? There are too many that I love but current favorites include Outsiders, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and Cardinal
Favorite Movie? There are too many to choose but I have special affection for Stand By Me and all of the Lord of the Rings.
Favorite Actor: I will watch anything with Johnny Depp or William H. Macy
Favorite Actress: Meg Ryan
Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? Martini
Hawaii or Alaska? I’d love to visit both.
Finish this sentence: If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be Victoria Woodhull.
If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be I wouldn’t trade with anyone. I love my life.
Find Jessica at:
Instagram: jessicaestevaoauthor and jessicaellicottauthor
Penguin will donate a copy of the first Change of Fortune mystery, WHISPERS OF WARNING, to one lucky commenter!
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Winner will be chosen at random using random.org. Don’t forget to mention all you’ve done in your comment. Good luck! US entries only, please. Contest closes midnight, September 19th!