Author Friday: Jenna Bayley-Burke

Authors are a quirky bunch. Get a group of writers together and the combined nerdery will bring out the inner geek in the coolest cat. Even the one’s you’d swear sat at the cool table in junior high cafeteria have a few habits (and a half dozen cats) they are careful to keep hidden.

I put on my normal and hit the gym, carpool, even girls night out. But when I’m writing I have to be true to my weirdness. Case in point? I have writing pants. Yes, writing pants. A few close friends have seen my in my leopard or zebra print lounge pants, but not on purpose. Time slips away from me when I’m working and all of the sudden the carpool van arrives with a child or three and I’m sporting pink polka dots. I hope they write it off as artisic.

Nail polish is another quirk of mine. When I start a new book, I tend to keep the same nail polish the whole way through. Not that I rock the chipped and outgrown look…with Private Scandal I kept painting my nails I’m Not Really A Waitress for months. This obsession has led me to change nail products. I now have an addiction to Incoco nail polish strips because they don’t chip. I can make it about two weeks before I can’t stand how much my nails have grown and reapply…the same style. (Caribbean Christmas was french manicure because I didn’t think Saskia would bother with polish. Caribbean Casanova is Sinderella. I’m careful with what I put on my nails right now because I’m starting Caribbean Crush any day and don’t want to be married to something unflattering. I’m leaning towards a fun blue…)

The latest addition to my authorly quirks is Pinterest. I have to have it up when I’m writing. I do a board for each story, and the pictures put me in the right mood. so I’ll be pounding away on my laptop keyboard while the ipad is displaying the Pinterest board for the book. It’s crazy weird. I know. But it works.

Help me feel more normal…what’s your quirky habit?

Jenna Bayley-Burke

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New Release: Caribbean Christmas – Amazon | BN | Samhain

Guest Author: Jenna Bayley-Burke

Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

So there I was, looking through the Victoria Secret catalog. I always look through it though the only thing I ever buy is the panties. Still, we all look because if we log enough gym time…yeah. Anyway, I’m flipping through when I come across these crocheted bikinis and dresses.

My first thought was, that won’t work. Then I looked closer. The crochet patterns were overlaid upon sheer material, kind of like lace. How clever. I thought about how clever it was all day. Someone posted on Facebook a Marilyn Monroe quote – “Sometimes things fall apart, so better things can fall together.” What a great theme for a story.

A story idea started to form when a special on the Travel Channel highlighted the best beaches in the Caribbean. I really needed to escape to the islands, and of course people would wear bikinis there. I liked the idea of Anguilla because it had a less commercial feel than many of the other islands.

The idea was still steeping, not really a story yet, when I indulged in my favorite guilty pleasure, Chelsea Lately. It’s the raunchy late night show everyone should watch. And Joe Manganiello  was on. He is such a specimen, he’d inspire anyone. But the more I thought about it, the more he became a brother figure and not the match for my bikini crocheting heroine.

She needed someone less likely to trust her bohemian self. See, she’d started to come together. The red hair, the freckles, the growing up as an outsider on the island she was born on. She’d never managed to fit in, and yet her hero had ingratiated himself, creating a sense of belonging in a few years that she hadn’t found in a lifetime. And that pissed her right off.

Places and jobs and gorgeous men spark ideas, but it is the conflict that carries a story through. His life fell apart and he retreated to Anguilla to stitch it back together. Her life was finally beginning to make sense again, only to be scrambled by the secrets he holds.

It took about a month for Caribbean Christmas to find me, but I enjoyed every moment.


Jenna Bayley-Burke
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Pinterest – Caribbean Christmas

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