Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Author Interview: Jessica Scott on her novel "Until There Was You"

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Jessica Scott

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of "Until There Was You"

Watch Jessica's interview on ABC

Jessica's answering reader 
questions in the comment section below

Thank you so much, Jessica, for taking the time for this interview.  You’re a busy lady and I feel lucky to have you here today.  Your novels are wonderful romantic tributes to the men and women who fight for our country and I appreciate that romance is at the center of your stories.

Until There Was You is your second novel and will release on October 8th as the second book in your Coming Home series.

You’re also a career army officer and are married to a career NCO.  Lots of army in your family.

Q:        Until There Was You has laugh out loud situations with soldiers and chlamydia.  (Really, readers.  They’re hilarious and completely non-offensive.)  Has this ever really happened?

A:  Um, to me specifically? No. But I will say that in the efforts of keeping my formation, ahem, clean, I do keep boxes of condoms in the hallway for anyone to take. Why not, right? Have to promote being a responsible adult and part of that means taking care of *cough* yourself. And if you read any of the books from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, you’ll realize that bored soldiers are soldiers who are getting into trouble. The STD story was inspired by reality and let’s just leave it at that.  :)

Q:        Until There Was You’s hero, Captain Evan Loehr, is thankful his troops haven’t spent “…a night in jail every single weekend.”  Does this mean they’ve spent a night in jail on some weekends?

A:        Yeah. Half the time spent as a commander is dealing with soldier issues, either personal issues, finance issues, troopers getting in trouble downtown. It’s all based on reality and that makes great fodder for stories.

Q:        Both novels discuss the army’s policy that enlisted soldiers and officers cannot become romantically involved.  Do you plan on writing a forbidden romance tale for this series?  If so, how realistic do you plan to keep the army’s reaction to such a romance?

A:        So much of what people get in trouble for in the army depends on commander’s discretion. Contrary to popular belief that soldiers are just automaton mindlessly following their superiors’ orders, army leaders have a lot of discretion. And yes, in that sense, the next story I’m working on after the 3rd book in this series is going to have an officer and an enlisted man. They’re not a superior subordinate relationship though. I don’t think I would ever write one of those because they’re an anathema to me.

Q:        I can’t go into many details before Until There Was You is released, but your stories deal with heavy emotional issues.  In Because of You (book #1) one war-wounded soldier battles with suicide in vivid detail and two soldiers are served divorce papers while deployed.  How much of this is written for tension and how much because these things really happen?

A:        I write the books the way I do because half of it is a coping mechanism for me, personally. I’ve been in the army for 17 years now and I’ve seen how the war has changed not only our force at a macro level but also at a personal level. We’ve got a lot of challenges and writing about them for me is a way to share some of the weight of what our soldiers carry with folks who might not know otherwise. It’s also a way for me to - symbolically at least - give soldiers a happily ever after.

Q:        Your characters are conflicted between what they want and what the army tells them to do.  Is there any tension at work because you write about soldiers breaking the rules and officers making mistakes that cost lives?

A:        I don’t generally bring my writing to work with me. One because it would break some of the rules I’m bound to follow but two, I’m a company commander and I don’t have time for anything other than work during the duty day. In that vein, no. The people who do know I write have been tremendously supportive of it.

Q:        Your Coming Home series is about soldiers who’ve come home from the Iraq war and are learning to adjust.  Why this war and why soldiers who’ve returned home?

A:        Because there are far too many books out there that give a returning veteran PTSD and then one night of magic sex and everything is okay. Coming home for me personally was the biggest challenge of my life, far more difficult than leaving for war ever was. I wanted to capture that and try to show some of the challenges beyond the stereotype of shell shocked GI. Of course, I deal with stress and strain of combat but it’s so often more than what we read about. It’s the daily adjustment of coming home that can really break someone.

Q:        I’m sure you’ve gotten this question a lot.  The first novel has two very strong secondary characters whose marriage is on the rocks for some very heartfelt reasons.  Why is your third book about them and not Until There Was You

A:        I really struggled with getting Laura & Trent’s book right. Because I was having such a hard time, my editor wisely suggested that I move on to the 3rd book in the series to get some distance from the characters and it was a smart move. Now that I’m working on BACK TO YOU - Laura & Trent’s story - it’s so much smoother this time around.

Q:        You have a Goodreads discussion titled Things That Happen During Sex You Won’t Read in Romance Novels.  Will your heroes and heroines ever deal with wet spots, early ejaculation and interrupting children?

A:        No, no and yes. :) I actually tried to have a wet dream and the awkwardness that followed. Sort of like that scene from There’s Something About Mary. Yeah, it didn’t make the final cut, lol!

Q:        We’ve read the blurb.  Any sneak peeks for Until There Was You?

A: Of course!
Evan had no idea what the hell he was thinking, but this woman had struck a chord inside him, awakened a hunger that refused to be ignored. Kissing her was a mistake, a sensuous, gorgeous mistake.
He gave over to the temptation he’d fought earlier and lifted his hands to her neck, sliding his palms over her skin to thread them into her hair. It was warm silk against the back of his hands, a raw, simple pleasure.
Her mouth opened beneath his, her tongue sliding against his, signaling a salient desire that penetrated his defenses and made him no longer care that she was in his brigade. There were no rules against them doing any of this—whatever this was—but he didn’t date at work. As he lost himself in her taste and touch, he seriously reconsidered that personal rule. He captured her quiet gasp against his mouth and felt the locks turning on the chains that held his restraint.
It was a long moment before Claire eased back, nibbling on his bottom lip before she broke the tentative connection between them.
“What was that?” he asked, his voice rough and unfamiliar to his own ears.
She smiled. “A mistake.” She swiped her thumb over his bottom lip. “But one I enjoyed.”
She eased back until he was forced to release her. Regret settled in his belly that this would go no further. “I’ll see you around, Evan.”
He watched her go, the slight sway of her hips more alluring because she did not try to affect any sensuality. She simply walked, cloaked in confidence and sexual appeal.
He let her go. Because Evan Loehr knew all about mistakes, and he wasn’t about to make one with Claire Montoya.

Now to get personal.  Verrrrry personal. 

Q:        I’ve taken to Twitter and acquired a picture of your bathroom.  Two things:  that color is very, very blue and how many cosmetics do you own??

Jessica packing for RWA 2012

A:        To answer the first question: the blue was inspired by a bathroom I saw in a Pottery Barn catalogue. I’m a Maine girl by heart and I love coastal decor. And to answer the second question: I have no idea. But I do know that a girl cannot have enough lip gloss. It’s an addiction. Someday I’ll join a twelve step program.

Q:        Why did Oprah call you?  To tell you she’s adding your series to her book club list, right?

A:        A couple of years ago, Oprah did a show about women in the military and her producers wanted to get the name of a friend of mine who had a custody battle related to her military service. I didn’t give up the name because it wasn’t my place and well, that’s the end of the story. It was exciting for the half a day I was waiting for the call back.

Any closing remarks you’d like to leave us with?

I’m really excited about Until There Was You. It was a hard book for me to write and I’m thrilled that people are enjoying it.

To celebrate the long awaited release of my second book, I’m having a super giveaway the UNTIL THERE WAS YOU PREORDER SWEEPSTAKES all throughout September until Oct 7th! If you preorder Until There Was You, you get entered into a chance to win a Kindle Fire or a Nook Color. 

I’m also giving away a digital eARC of Until There Was You to someone today!

Jessica, thank you again for being here.  I appreciate it very much.  As a token of my appreciation - I put washable markers in the hand of my four-month-old and let him squiggle them around.  His first ever picture was drawn for you:

Despite my efforts he's yet to learn the alphabet.
Alas, the words are written by me.

Jessica Scott is a career army officer, mother of two daughters, three cats, three dogs and two escape-artists hamsters, wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. 
She has commanded two companies, served in Germany, Korea, Fort Hood and Iraq, and been lucky not to get fired. She is a terrible cook and an even worse housekeeper, but she’s a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon. Somehow, her children are pretty well adjusted and her husband still loves her, despite burned water and a messy house.

Want more Jessica Scott?

Read her first novel

Book Trailer

Click here for Jessica's website

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Floor's open!  Ask Jessica your questions and win a free ARC!


  1. Ooooh... I get to be first? How fun!

    Jessica, first thank you for your service. Second, I really enjoyed "Because of You." I felt that each of those tense situations could possibly happen. The story seemed real to me.

    Can't wait to read "Until There Was You." :)

    1. awww thank you Linda! I'm so glad it meant something!

  2. I just noticed this.

    Proof authors don't choose their own covers: Evan's not wearing a belt!

    1. He's not wearing a belt? I didn't notice.


    2. Admittedly it's hard to focus past his muscles...

  3. Firstly, thanks Jessica for being here and allowing us to ask questions. I have a two-part question. The first may seem a frivolous question, but I'm in earnest.

    1) You write about gorgeous, military heroes. Have you in your military career ever met a man (and not your husband) who exhibits the qualities (and looks) of a hero in one of your books?

    2) If so, can you please introduce me?

    And thanks Sallie for the invite to your blog interview!

    1. I have two mega cheerleaders for this blog and you were the first.,*HUGS*

    2. Jill, there are lots of good men out there. The problem is finding them:) I simply create from the endless possibilities (hint: check out Fort Benning the home of the Ranger Training Brigade)

  4. Good morning Musing Sallie , thanks for the invite! Good morning Jessica.
    This is the first interview I personally have read that goes into such depth about your military career. You have to be the Queen of multi-tasking! Thank you for the explanation about Laura and Trent...I am so anxious to hear their story!! I totally agree about the cosmetics by the way...what you use on a particular day might not work the next day! :). Thanks you and your husband for your continuing service.
    Speaking of Maine...I leave Sept 4th for a week, what's your favorite place??

    1. Maine will always be home. I'm from central Maine but I love going to Sand Beach in Acadia. It's so beautiful!

    2. But Ms. Pat you cannot go. What will we do without you?

  5. Congrats Jessica and thanks Sallie. Your books look so hot and the covers are just beautiful. I really applaud you for how you've beenable to utilize your knowledge in your stories and wish you lots of success with your work!

    1. Thanks Rosanna. I like to think of it as an inexpensive form of therapy:)

    2. Thanks Rosanna! I think of it as an inexpensive form of therapy:)

  6. Hi Jessica and Sallie! Thanks for the great interview! I also enjoyed the One Plus One interview, it was fun to see your personality as not just writing on a computer screen :)

    I loved Because of You, and am anxious to read Until There Was You. Good Luck with the release! :)

  7. First great video clip above.
    Great interview Sallie.

    Jessica I have read both books (thanks for the ARC!) and all the deleted scenes, do all these characters know each other? Will there be a book 4 that might have Shane, Evan and Trent all sitting in a bar having a beer?

    And if there is a book 4 do you know who is the main character?

    BTW - I am on a military romance kick now thanks to you and I have found yours to "flow" nicer if that makes sense - I can tell you are writing about something you know.

    Keep them coming - I'll Keep Reading!

    1. Aww Thanks Kame. There is a 4th book in the very earliest stages of gestation. It's going to be Reza's book from UNTIL THERE WAS YOU. But that's a long way down the road. Have to finish Laura & Trent's first!

  8. Great interview Sallie and Jessica!

    It seems like every time you tweet or I read an interview of yours, you remind me that my sister and my husband's siblings are not full of it when they talk about stuff that goes down in the ARMY. ;p

    Can't wait for Until There Was You. :)

    1. You have no idea the reality of it! My stories are tame, lol!

    2. My blog is famous now, because a big-time author's acknowledged it. :)

  9. If there is a 12 step program for lip gloss, I don't want to know about it. :P

    And I love coastal themed rooms. My bathroom is the same, expect I went with shell colors. LOL

    1. I would totally have done shell colors but my husband also likes the dark blue. It makes it feel...watery, lol!

  10. Sallie please tell your little guy I loved the picture! THanks so much for hosting me today and great interview questions!

    1. Thank YOU, Jessica!

      Sorry I fell off the Earth for a bit. It was just me and little guy while big guy went on a business trip.

      I'm pretty sure I'm still washing cereal from my hair.

  11. Jessica, I love that you're bringing to light the issues that our service men (and women) and their families face. You're in a unique position to be able to get it right, and I love that you're spreading the love.

    1. Thanks Julieanne! I hope the stories are showing a positive light, too in addition to the struggles!

  12. Jessica: Authors, I find, are very creative. If you could do a rewrite of something from history what would it be and how would you change it. Would you ever want to time travel to change something from your past?


    1. I don't generally want to change things in my past because they are what has made me who I am today, if that makes sense? mistakes and all, you know?

  13. Evan and Claire = hott! I am so excited for this release!

    Oh, and we are the exact opposite when it comes to makeup! I'm more in the "how little can I get away with" camp! I can fit all of mine in one tiny bag!

  14. Great interview Jessica and I too read something in the ARC that didn't match the cover. Oh well too bad cover artists don't read the notes. Great books and best of luck with all the rest.

    1. lol! It's not a big deal. I think the cover is juicy!

  15. SO much fun to learn more about you! Great interview.


  16. Great interview! Thank you, Jessica Scott for your service and your stories. I already pre-ordered based on MusingSallie's review. :)

    1. Again, nothing could flatter me more.

      Thanks Kathy.


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