Jeana Mann has always enjoyed reading romance novels. She decided to try her hand on writing her own stories - putting a new twist on love. Mann never dreamed it would turn into a career, but her books took off and the rest is history. As our Author of the Day, Mann chats about her Pretty Broken series, reveals how she sometimes cries while writing a book and talks about her love for photography and cover design.
Please give us a short introduction to what Pretty Filthy Lies is about
Pretty Filthy Lies is about Sam and Dakota who reconnect ten years after their divorce. By a twist of fate, Sam is Dakota's new boss. He's determined to make her pay for all the heartache she caused him, but he never expected to have feelings for her. She wants to make amends, but not at the cost of her self-respect.
What inspired you to write a story about a woman who ends up having to work for her ex?
The idea came to me at work one day when my ex-husband showed up at the office. My imagination took off from there.
You like to write unconventional love stories – why?
I've been reading romance since I was in grade school. Reading the same thing over and over can get boring. I try to put a new twist on love, mainly as a way to amuse myself. Even though I'm a romance writer, I don't really believe in fairytale endings. I like to write about everyday problems and real topics. And I'm obsessed with what happens after "The End". I hope the readers find my unique spin on love entertaining.
This is the second book in the series – how does it tie in with the previous one? Can they be read as standalones?
All of the Pretty Broken books can be read as standalones, but they will be more entertaining if read together. The first book, Pretty Broken Girl, is permafree and available at all the major retailers. It details the way Sam and Dakota first met and how they came to be divorced. Pretty Filthy Lies is about their attempts to get over the past and move forward, even though the odds are against them.
Some readers report that the book made them cry. Was that intentional?
I cried when I wrote it, so I guess the answer is yes. I consider it a huge compliment if a reader feels the pain of the characters. There are also a lot of humorous happenings, too. And they get their happy ending!
What are some tricks you have to make your readers care deeply for your characters?
I like to give a character flaws--make them overweight, insecure about body image, afraid of heights, etc. Everyone knows what it's like to be insecure, and it helps the reader identify with the hero or heroine.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
When I'm not writing, you can usually find me behind the camera, taking pictures. I also design e-book covers for other authors. I enjoy designing covers almost as much as I like writing.
You use jealousy to help your characters realize that the still love each other. Why did you take this approach?
I was looking for a way to move their relationship forward. Neither of them wanted to admit their feelings for the other. It was only natural that they should experience some "discomfort" over seeing their former spouse interact with an attractive member of the opposite sex.
What is the most romantic thing you have ever experienced personally?
I once dated a guy who wrote "I love you, Jeana" on a piece of paper then made hundreds of flyers. He filled my car up and posted them around our small town. It was pretty sweet.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? Favorite time of the day to write, a favorite writing spot?
I prefer to write in the early, early morning. I get up every day at 4 AM to write. My mind seems freshest then. I like to sit outside on the deck, drink coffee, and listen to the birds sing. I can write just about anywhere. Once I get into a story, the outside world tends to fade away and I get immersed in the characters. I also write in bed a lot. I have two dogs that love to sit next to me. The bed is the only place where there's enough room for the three of us.
What types of books do you like to read for your own enjoyment?
I will read just about anything from non-fiction to historical to paranormal. I also enjoy children's fiction sometimes, too. Right now I'm working my way through Stephen King's Dark Tower series. Of course, I will always have a sweet spot for romance.
What are you working on right now?
I'm just finishing up Pretty Broken Dreams (Book 6). It will release on May 28th. It's about Sam's sister Vanessa and her history with former male escort turned billionaire, Cameron Blackwood.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I love Facebook! You can connect with me on my author page. https://www.facebook.com/JeanaEMann/ Or you can drop by the Pretty Broken Series page https://www.facebook.com/PrettyBrokenSeries/ for contests, giveways, sneak peeks, and series updates. You can also find me on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Jeana-E.-Mann/e/B00HI4KQB4/ or at my website https://jeanaemann.net