KJV: I enjoyed getting to experience a bit of this year's Nationals in Boston through your blog posts. There were a lot of high moments, but which of your memories from this competition make the podium?
Jennifer: It was such an incredible event – one of the best I’ve ever attended! Some of the moments that stood out the most were Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir’s short program (they had the home crowd rocking!), Felicia Zhang & Nathan Bartholomay’s free skate and their kiss and cry reaction to their scores (my friends and I were screaming like crazy people when they went into second place), Meryl Davis & Charlie White’s free dance (stunning perfection!), and Jason Brown’s free skate.
KJV: You started writing stories when you were seven years old, but Louisiana isn't known for wintry weather. How and when did you fall in love with figure skating?
Jennifer: I fell in love with the sport watching it on TV as a kid. The first Olympics where I remember being totally engrossed was the 1988 Winter Games. I was all over the Battle of the Brians and the Battle of the Carmens! From then on I watched every single skating event that was on TV. I liked watching other sports, and I loved the way skating was the perfect combination of sport and art.
KJV: In addition to being a figure skating fanatic, you're a CPA. What suggestions can you offer fellow writers regarding fitting in time to write?
Jennifer: I think the most important thing is scheduling time to write and sticking to it, which I need to do a better job of doing! With limited time to write at night and on the weekends, it’s very important to make the most of the blocks of time you have, so outlining your scenes and chapters ahead of time is a big help. When I sit down with blank paper and have no idea what comes next, I get totally freaked out and feel so overwhelmed. But an outline, no matter how simple it is, helps me feel like I have some guidance on where to begin.
KJV: Reflecting on your experiences in becoming published, do you have any advice to help smooth the ice for aspiring authors?
Jennifer: With so many options for authors these days, I think you just need to look at all the different opportunities and decide which one fits your needs and helps fulfill your dreams. One of my dreams was to have my manuscript accepted by a publisher, so I found a publisher that was a good fit for me and learned everything I could about them and their authors. If you just want to get your work in front of readers without going through a publishing company, then you can definitely go that route. There have been so many success stories in self-publishing.
KJV: Now that the Edge series is complete, you're working on a companion novel featuring Courtney. Can we get a rink side preview of her story?
Jennifer: I’m very excited about this new story! It’s a lot of fun to write because I can still keep some familiar characters around, but I also get to introduce some new ones. Here’s a little peek at the story: Courtney and her partner Mark haven’t enjoyed the same success Emily and Chris had. They have only one shot left to make the Olympic team, and they vow not to let anything get in their way. Enter Stephanie and Josh, talented siblings with the same dream. Courtney knows she should keep her distance from the rival team, but as she gets to know handsome, quiet Josh, she becomes more and more intrigued. Will their blossoming friendship become more or will the competition tear them apart?
For more on Jennifer's books, the 2014 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships, and other reading, writing, and skating fun, visit Jennifer at http://jennifercomeaux.blogspot.com/.