Guest Post & Giveaway with Jessica Scott

Today on The Book Pushers we get to continue our time with Debut author Jessica Scott. We chatted with her a bit earlier this month on our Debut Author Feature but felt we wanted more from her so we invited her to come back and give us a guest post. And since I am sure you are aware that she had her very first book release a couple of days ago, we are going to finish up her time with us with a review of Because of You following this post. Thank you Jessica for agreeing to return. To help you set the stage for her post, here is what we asked:

Many writers juggle what could be called their “day job” while they write until they are able to live solely off their writing income.  In addition they have family and/or other social responsibilities or obligations.  You have what is termed a 24/7, 365 day job i.e. being in the Army.  How do you manage to juggle all of your responsibilities?

Now onto Jessica’s response.

Jessica Scott Author Image
Hi E,
Thanks so much for having me here today on The Bookpushers. I’m excited about the launch of my first book, Because of You but I’m still nervous. The question you sent me about how to I balance my day job with writing is a good one and not one that I have a whole lot of answers for.

The main responsibility I have as a writer is to work on my craft and ultimately, write a good book. So, while I am on Twitter, a lot, I also do it in order to keep up with current publishing trends and what authors, agents and editors are talking about. This helps me keep current with conversations at conferences and stay up on what’s going on in the industry.

Additionally, my responsibilities as a soldier are significant, as you well know. I recently handed over the guidon and letting go of the responsibility for my company of over a hundred troops was a big deal for me emotionally. There were days when I was in command that I simply had zero energy to write and, honestly, though I know there are people out there who say you have to write every single day, while I was a commander, I gave myself permission not to write every day. My writing had to take a back seat during this time because by the time I was done with work, there were days when I didn’t even see my kids because I got home after they went to bed. So command was emotionally and physically draining for me but so worth it.

When I did write – which was always after my kids went to bed, so a typical writing day didn’t usually start until after 830 at night – I focused on what my current priorities were. Did I owe my editor anything? Did I owe my agent anything? Were there any guest blogs due? Had I posted on my blog recently? I try to post there at least once a week, depending on what’s going on. In figuring out what my priorities were, I had to assess where I was on my deadline timeline. While I’m good at working under pressure, as just about any army officer has to be, I write better when I’m not under pressure. So I didn’t want to come up to being a week out from my deadline and not have my book even written. So I’d work on it bit by bit, then let it rest a little while, go back to it and see where I was, then work on it some more.

I guess the answer to your question ultimately is pacing. What’s due when and how much time do I need to get there? I don’t like causing myself extra work or anxiety, so I’m a big fan of having a plan with realistic timelines. And if I can’t meet a deadline with my editor because of my Army obligations, I’ve been honest with her and she’s been amazingly supportive. The best part about my team at Random House is that they’re so incredibly understanding about the impact the Army has on my life. While I love writing and am absolutely thrilled to be published, every person I interacted with from the team at RH, as well as my agent, this summer at conference was completely supportive of my position that the Army has to come first if it comes down between deadlines and a mission.

Having that kind of support is huge to me and makes a big difference in my ability to focus and prioritize my efforts.

BP: Jessica is generous enough to offer up winner’s choice a $25 gift card to Barns and Noble, Amazon or Starbucks PLUS a copy of Because of You from the etailer of your choice. This giveaway is open to the US only. To enter leave a comment mentioning your favorite thing about military romance. The giveaway closes at midnight on the 22d of Nov with the winner announced on the 23d. Good luck!

Comments

  1. says

    One favorite? Can I at least have two?

    Military heroes: men who know how to commit to something outside themselves and be dedicated to a group and/or cause.

    Military heroines: strong women who don’t forgo being women just to be strong.

    Best luck, Jessica!

    –Laura

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  2. says

    I have to be honest – I love the military heroes cuz they’re hotties. (I’m so shallow! – hides face in shame)

    But many thanks to Jessica for her service and such a wonderful giveaway!

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  3. says

    Laura I love your comment about women who don’t forget how to be women just to be strong! That epitomizes Claire, the heroine in book 3. Rebe, there’s no shame in admiring a good looking man. There’s just something about a man in uniform, right? We say it because it’s true.

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  4. Dee says

    I think the best thing about the military is the general “no, b.s.” attitude. Most military members are pretty forthright and I appreciate that. Whether that holds true in their real-life romantic relationships, well, I dunno. :) But, in stories, yes they are hotties with a save-the-world drive. Works for me.

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  5. JenM says

    Military personnel are willing to sign up for active duty even though they know that the possibility exists that they will be sent into a truly dangerous situation. I think that can give military romances a certain edge and an immediateness that regular contemporary romance may not have.

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  6. says

    Jen/Dee, I think one of the biggest things feeding civilian respect of the military is knowing how many of them joined since 9/11 *knowing* they were going into harm’s way. Not if, but when. That selflessness is very compelling in a whole lot of different ways and is part of what I think is a key to why military characters are so well loved in romance.

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  7. Jen B. says

    In military romance, men are men. Sure, they can do some soul searching but at the end of the day they aren’t wishy washy losers. I love the action in military romances. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  8. Julie Witt says

    Military heroes are tough, sexy when they’re Seals or Rangers, and extremely loyal in most cases! That’s why I love them:)

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  9. Kai W. says

    Men in uniforms look so yummy. Secondly, they need strong women (whether the women are military or civilian) to deal and accept the military life, the men have incorporated into their life. And last, military romance must always have a happy ending because the both characters deserved it.

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  10. says

    I love the sense of security that comes when you’re reading a military romance. Not only with the inevitable HEA, but with the characters themselves. There’s an inner core of strength and steadfastness that’s very attractive.

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  11. says

    Kai, I love that you pointed out how strong men need strong women to love them. That’s key in a good HEA isn’t it? They’ve got to be well matched. And Julie, I think the steadfastness is one of the things that draws me to writing these books. There’s a sense of loyalty and duty. Steadfast is someone you can count on and what makes a better HEA than that?

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  12. says

    My favorite thing about military romance is the reunion. Someone gets left behind, but the reunion is always so emotionally intense. The uniforms aren’t bad either:)

    Thanks for the great giveaway & the add to my wishlist of what sounds like a great book!

    yadkny@hotmail.com

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  13. Robin Priddy says

    The men are all alpha males. They protect the innocent and the people they love. They are honable,

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  14. Jane Thompson says

    I love stories with protective men they are so exciting! I love to escape into a exciting world now and then.

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  15. erinf1 says

    Thanks for a fun post and giveaway!

    I love Military romance b/c the men are strong and serious, yet still fall in love. I loved Suzanne Brockmann’s series, and I’m drawing a blank, but I’m pretty sure I’ve read others. There’s just something about a military man… they are serious, know their guns, are very protective… very sexy :)

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  16. Pamk says

    love the military heros. They are usally hot, heroic, strong, and smart, not to mention sexy.
    scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com

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  17. says

    I’m noticing a trend among what we love about military men. Protective. Loyal. Strong. All great qualities in a man worth fighting for. And the uniforms. Ah yes, the uniforms.

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  18. says

    One of the other things I enjoy about military men (and women) in real life and in novels is the intense loyalty they have for the others in their unit. They have each other’s backs and try to ensure everyone goes home, while accomplishing the mission. Not to take away from the relationship of Hero & Heroine of course! Already have the book, read it twice, loved it, so no need to enter me in the giveaway. Ready for sequels!

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  19. says

    Oh, raising my hand here! (Though taking myself out of the drawing because I was fortunate enough to read this book before it was published.)

    Having thought a lot about this over the years, I believe that a man capable of committing to something outside himself can also commit to a mate. And, as a woman, I find that really appealing. Because he possesses a warrior’s supply of testosterone, the military hero can be charmingly clueless when it comes to the female mind.  He doesn’t always “get” women, but when he falls, he falls hard.  And, being goal-oriented, once he’s got THE woman in his sights, he’s not about to let her get away. 

    While the hero I love to write — and read — about doesn’t have any personal desire to create conflict or aggression, he does possess an unwavering code that has him not hesitating to put himself in harm’s way and risk being wounded (physically, emotionally, or both) to protect, defend, and fight for what’s right.  He’s self-disciplined, decisive (though he often has to battle his own internal demons) and along with an integrity as tough as his body, he’s unwaveringly loyal and self-confident enough to appreciate and support the equally strong woman who manages to win his guarded heart.

    And not only did I LOVE Jessica’s Because of You, Shane is a military hero I wish I’d written. :)

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  20. says

    Joann, you really hit on some of the bigger themes that we’re getting at here. honor. loyalty. integrity. All qualities in a good man, not just a good military hero. I think ultimately, we’re talking about the kind of man that makes a good romance here and yes, ultimately, a man in uniform. Great points!

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