Today I’m featuring award-winning Indiana Romance Author Jeana Mann. Doesn’t that fabulous smile just make you want to invite her out for a night of wine, food, and fun? Jeana was born and raised in Indiana where she lives today with her two crazy rat terriers Mildred and Mabel. She graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Speech and Hearing, something totally unrelated to writing. When she’s not busy dreaming up steamy romance novels, she loves to travel anywhere and everywhere. Over the years she climbed the ruins of Chichen Iza in Mexico, snorkeled along the shores of Hawaii, sailed around Jamaica, ate gelato on the steps of the Pantheon in Rome, and explored the ancient city of Pompeii. More important than the places she’s been are the people she has met along the way. Jeana is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Indiana RWA, and Celtic Heart RWA.
NAN: What genre(s) do you write in?
JEANA: I write steamy contemporary romance.
NAN: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
JEANA: Here are the things I wish someone would have told me when I started out. 1) Write, write, write. Never stop writing. 2) Don’t worry about what other people are thinking. Just write what you like and look for an audience who enjoys your style. 3) Every author gets bad reviews. Be grateful that someone read your book, even if they hated it. 4) Find your own path. What works for one author might not work for you. If something fails, scratch that idea off your list and go on to the next one.
NAN: Is there a theme/message underlying your book(s) that you hope comes across?
JEANA: All of my books deal with second chances. I love writing about characters who have made terrible mistakes. I think it’s a theme everyone can relate to. We’ve all made poor choices in our lives and most of reality is dealing with the mistakes that we’ve made. I love to take an unredeemable character and make him or her grow into an admirable person.
NAN: Have you had to make sacrifices for your writing, and if so, what are they?
JEANA: I’ve made quite a few sacrifices for writing. Because I work a full-time job outside of the literary world, I’ve had to sacrifice my free time. Every spare minute is given to writing, editing, and promoting. Writing is my main source of income, and it’s a time-consuming occupation. Most authors will tell you that it’s not a nine-to-five job. It is, however, the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.
Did you learn anything from writing your books, and what was it?
I’ve learned to be confident in my capabilities. Writing has definitely brought me out of my shell. It’s also given me a thicker skin. In the beginning, I would cry over a harsh review. After 21 books, I’ve learned that not everyone will like my books and that’s okay.
Would you rather have one giant bestseller or a long string of moderate sellers?
I would be happy with a long string of moderate sellers. I write because I love it and I’d continue to write even if no one ever bought another one of my books.
What is the hardest thing about writing a series?
The hardest part is keeping all of the characters and plot points straight in my head. The Pretty Broken Series now has nine books. I need to make a series bible, but I haven’t gotten around to it. Sometimes I have to reread a book because I can’t remember what happened or who the characters were in that particular story.
Do you think a writer should write every day?
Yes. Absolutely. I believe that writing requires practice. I think of it like a muscle. The more you exercise, the better your flexibility and strength. Whenever I take time away from writing, it takes a few days or weeks before I can get into the flow of creativity again.
What show have you recently binge-watched?
I just binge-watched The White Queen on Showtime over the Christmas holiday. Wow. That series has everything; intrigue, deception, and romance. I’ve always been a history buff, so this show hit all of my requirements.
What five words would you use to describe yourself?
Introverted. Open-minded. Adventurous. Procrastinator. Humorous.
Jeana is everywhere on social media–connect with her here:
Her newest book Pretty Broken Hearts is available at all the major book retailers:
Pretty Broken Hearts
One special girl plus one hot widower equals a love story to make you laugh, cry, and shout for joy.
Rhett: My days are haunted by regrets and unpleasant memories until Bronte Hollander serves me coffee at the local java shop. I can hear her counting under her breath. I’m counting too—the minutes, the hours, the days—until I can see her again. I want to move past the tragedy of my previous marriage, but the thought of beginning again is terrifying. Bronte’s courage gives me hope for the future. Society says she’s flawed, imperfect, but I think she’s perfect for me.
Bronte: I’ve been ridiculed my entire life for being different. People call me “special”, but I’ve never believed in labels. Rhett Easton sees past my flaws, my thick thighs, my red hair, my need for order. He gets me like no one ever has. And he respects my love for numbers, my need for rituals. I want to trust him, but life has taught me that guys like Rhett don’t go for girls like me. I’m ready to prove life wrong.
This is the story of an obsessive-compulsive girl, a broken guy, and their improbable love for each other. Join them as they navigate through the difficulties of family relationships, past loves, high school bullies, and self-imposed limitations to find a love that transcends their broken hearts.
Suit Guy stared out the window, his expression pensive. He sighed. His gaze flitted to the empty chair across the table then returned to the busy street outside. What made him so melancholy? No one ever came to the shop with him. His phone never rang with incoming calls or texts. I shrugged and went back to business. Maybe he silenced his phone before breakfast. Or maybe, like me, he didn’t enjoy talking on the phone.
When Jo had topped off the coffee, I carried the tray to Suit Guy and placed his order on the table. He glanced up, his brow furrowing like he’d been deep in thought. The walls of my throat constricted, but I managed to choke out, “How are you doing today?”
His eyebrows lifted. They were glorious eyebrows, thick and perfectly arched, the same rich color as his hair. “I’m fine. How are you?”
Now, don’t get me wrong. I wanted to answer. More than anything in the world. But I just couldn’t get my lips and tongue to cooperate. For the last six weeks and two days, I’d dreamed of chatting with Suit Guy. In my head, we conversed about fun things like Game of Thrones and Schrodinger’s cat, and the words flowed from my mouth like water from a pitcher. Some dreams, however, weren’t meant to come true.
“Um,” I said. Heat rushed up my neck and into my cheeks. He cocked his head, his eyebrows arching higher. I turned and fled to the backroom. On the way, I tripped over the chalkboard easel next to the register and sent it crashing to the floor.