Siren-exclusive author Jessica Frost has always had a passion for fiction and the written word. Add to that her wild, vivid imagination and her pure romantic tendencies and she soon realized she had the traits needed to become a romance author. Being a romance writer is a dream come true for her. Having the opportunity to create fantasy worlds where anything and everything can happen is an amazing feeling.
Q: You’ve written in many genres. Do you have a favorite? If so, why?
A: I love suspense. I grew up idolizing Alfred Hitchcock. His genius has become legend and many have put their own twist to his style. I love edge-of-your-seat romantic suspense stories, especially. And that’s why I have so much fun writing them.
Q: You have a great gift for portraying some darker elements, such as the serial murders in your Sexy Men of Mystery series. Where do you find inspiration for this? Do you ever find it difficult?
A: Thanks. My inspiration comes from books and television and my imagination, of course. When I began my m/m erotic romantic suspense series, Sexy Men of Mystery, I decided I would read more thrillers and police procedural stories. Recently, I discovered Michael Connelly’s work. And I can’t stop reading his stories. His thrillers and police procedurals are amazing, and I’m always flipping the pages trying to figure out what will happen next!
I also started to watch new TV shows like The Following and Cult to inspire me. I literally bite my nails waiting to see what the killers will do next! And cheering for the good guys and wondering how they are going to stop them.
No, (knock on wood) writing the darker elements in the two books in this series has been easy so far.
Q: Have you ever learned something surprising about yourself while writing?
A: That I’m a super bad typist. I speed type and don’t re-read what I am typing until later once the chapter is done. I cringe at the red underlined typos. I could make up a language of my own from all the new words my not-so-dexterous fingers have accidently created, believe me.
Q: The suspenseful atmospheres you create seem to really stir up the sexual tension between your heroes. What do you think it is about danger and sex that makes such a great combination?
A: Not knowing what will happen next tends to drive our emotions. It makes us anxious, worried, paranoid, and desperate. Adding these powerful emotions to sexual drives just ups the energy and sexual tension between the heroes, bringing them together in a powerful and lasting way.
Q: Which character do you like writing more: the protagonist or the villain? Why?
A: Well, depending on the genre, it varies. But for romance it would be the protagonist because I can have more fun developing the character, giving him layers and depth, quirks that can endear him to readers and that readers can relate to on one level or another.
But the villain needs his time to shine, too. Otherwise, where’s the fun. Readers need to root for the hero and having a formidable, despicable villain will make this happen.
Q: Out of all the lines you’ve written (so far!), which is your favorite?
A: This one came to me when I was cooking Asian-Marinated Baked Chicken for the first time. The dish looked so delicious and scrumptious, so I decided to use it for my story.
“He not only gushed sex appeal, but he marinated in it, too.”
Q: What do you do to relax or get the creative juices flowing when you are struggling to meet your writing goals or deadlines?
A: Cooking is my passion. When I’m stuck, I usually put the story aside and cook something. That calms me as I mull over my story and how I can work past the hurdle. I also exercise daily and take long nature walks. These are great to energize the muse and make my fingers nimble to type fast.
Recently, thanks to a few friends’ great advice, I figured out when in the day I am the most creative and productive. It’s early in the morning. I get up at five thirty every day and complete my chores by eight. After that I’ll write for two to three hours. I easily get two thousand words done this way each day. Before, it would take me more than half a day to crank out around two thousand words. Now I get it done in less than three hours.
Q: When you start a series, do you plan all the books and heroes out beforehand or do you make them up as you go along?
A: No, the series is never planned out. I find that too restricting because characters I sketch out in the beginning of a story tend to grow and expand, so it’s impossible to predict how they will act, think, or behave later on in a series. But I do work with a tentative outline with each story and have a broad idea of where I want the series steered.
Q: If you could be any of your characters, who would it be and why?
A: I’d love to be Nero Thorn in my story Covet Thy Neighbor. He’s a recluse whose quirks and humor make us laugh and fall for him instantly. And his inspiration for his stories comes from some pretty peculiar circumstances. It would be great to have story ideas come to me as they do to Nero. Plus, being as tall as he is would be awesome! I’d never have to bug my hubby to reach anything on the top shelf in my kitchen cupboards again.
Q: Out of all the characters you’ve killed off, which one do you most wish you could have spared? Why?
A: Oh, I really loved Serona in To Catch a Witch. She was evil incarnate and we never saw her true potential in her wrath. She was too distracted with revenge and control and thus was struck down before she accomplished what she had planned with her sister. I loved how she could travel through looking glasses to torment her victims. If I had made her live, I think she would have been Merlin’s biggest and best adversary. Just like Professor Moriarty was Sherlock Holmes’s.