BEHIND THE WORDS WITH JEANETTE ESCUDERO

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Welcome, Jeanette! We are excited to have you visit us today.
Readers, you can check out a Sneak Peek of Jeanette’s latest release THE APOLOGY PROJECT by following this link.

Tell our readers a bit about yourself. Where you’re from, where you live? Is writing your full-time job?

Hi! I’m so excited to chat with you today! I’m from sunny and rainy Miami, Florida, born and raised. Writing is not my full-time job, even if it feels like it is sometimes. I’m still an attorney with a day job but I have slowed down a bit on the attorney front. I have three kids (10-year-old twins and a 13-year-old) and a wonderful husband. So basically, I’m busy busy busy.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing for about 10 years now. Before writing my first literary fiction under my real name, Jeanette Escudero, I wrote romance under a pen name (Sidney Halston).

Describe your typical writing day.  

My typical day is not at all glamorous or organized. Usually I wake the kids up for school and once they’re out of the house I get some time to myself, about half an hour, which I use to drink my cafe con leche and try and avoid social media. Then I start attorney work for most of the day. At around 4 p.m. I start mom duties which involves taking the kids to piano, kickboxing, or dance. Or, I’ll start on dinner. I rarely sit and write before 8 p.m. Once I sit and start in author mode I can easily go well into 1 or 2 a.m. if I’m feeling the words. If I’m not feeling it, I tend to procrastinate on social media.

What is your latest release about?

The Apology Project is the story of Amelia Montgomery, a kick-butt attorney who has been working hard and (unfortunately) ignoring her personal life for too long. She’s handed a case that she doesn’t feel comfortable taking and it leads to a falling out with her partners. Now on the cusp of her fortieth birthday, she finds herself unemployed and friendless. The story is about making changes, finding your way back to yourself and what truly makes you happy and having the people in your life that truly matter.

What inspired this book? 

I think a lot of it was due to the quarantine. I realized the pressure we women put on ourselves as well the pressure people put on us. As someone who was home homeschooling three kids I had so much guilt and pressure about not being at work. The men at my firm continued working but I couldn’t and that was very challenging for me.

Could you share one detail from your current release with readers that they might not find in the book? Perhaps a juicy bit of back-story, or something only you know about a character? 

The love story between Amelia and John was juicier in the original version. But I cut a lot of it out. I really wanted the story to be about Amelia and her journey, not about Amelia and John’s journey together. But in my mind…they live happily ever after!

What has been your hardest scene to write? Any of your books? 

The scenes in Cuba were hard. First, I didn’t want to romanticize the country. As a Cuban American I know how dilapidated and impoverished the country really is. And second, I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t a vacation but a trip she needed to do to find her roots. So there was a balance between the beauty in the people and country but the reality of life on the island.

Who has been the most difficult character for you to write? Why? 

I just finished [my next book] Happyish and the character in that book, Alex, was hard to write. She’s so different from me. Most of my characters have a lot of me in them. Alex is probably the most different. She runs away from her problems and is scared of confrontation. That was hard because I can’t relate to those traits. Also in one of my romance novels, Laid Out, Cain was very hard to write. He is very introverted and doesn’t speak much. It’s hard to write a character who doesn’t talk!

If you could be one of your characters for a day which character would it be? Why? 

What a wonderful question! I think Amelia would be fun. Amelia now that she’s come into her own. She’s wealthy and has the luxury of doing whatever she wants. Not many people can choose what to do every day. Most people are tied to their work and Amelia can pick who she wants to represent and what cases to take. She’s also smart and respected.

All writers are readers. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?  

I love Kristen Ashley and her writing style. It’s so different and against the grain. When I was writing romance I think her style really influenced me. Sidney Sheldon was my favorite author growing up. He always wrote women heroes and they were always tough women. That was very influential. Currently, I’m on in a Kristin Hannah binge. I want to be able to weave a backstory and historical elements into the plot the way she does. I love how she writes.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel? 

Of mine? I would say that Pull Me Close is my favorite romance book. It’s deep and it really has a lot of me in it. It may be romance but it tackles mental health.

Do you have a secret talent readers would be surprised by?

I can type super fast and hold a conversation while I do it. Literally, I’ll be looking at my husband or kids and having a full-on conversation while I type.

Your favorite go-to drink or food when the world goes crazy!   

I can eat pizza or a grilled cheese any time/any day. Yum! I usually have a mug of coffee by my side at all times but I don’t know if that’s my favorite drink. It’s definitely my go-to. My favorite would probably be a dirty vodka martini.

And what is your writing Kryptonite?

YouTube! If I see one video I’m suddenly sucked into hours and hours of pointless videos. I can watch pimple popping videos all day (don’t judge me. I know it’s gross!).

What is the one question you never get asked at interviews, but wish you did? Ask and answer it.  

Everyone always asks what is your favorite or best thing about being an author but no one ever asked if there’s something I don’t like about it.. So the question would be what’s the worst thing about being an author? That’s easy. Keeping up with the social media trends. When I started it was all about Facebook and I was a little late to that party then I had to join Twitter and then all of a sudden there’s Instagram. Now I keep hearing I have to join TikTok! It’s really hard to focus on family, a full-time career, and writing and then have to keep up with social media. Plus I don’t understand TikTok, which makes me feel so old. So as of right now, there will be no TikTok in my future (who am I kidding? Lol).

Thank you so much for sharing your writing world, Jeanette!! Readers, make sure you check out THE APOLOGY PROJECT! 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jeanette Escudero worked as an attorney before picking up a pen at thirty years old to write something other than legal briefs. Being published fulfilled a dream and gave her an outlet for her imaginative, romantic side. Writing as Sidney Halston, she is a USA Today bestselling author of multiple romance series.

Under her real name, Jeanette Escudero, you’ll fall in love with her Women’s Fiction books that always have relatable and flawed woman heroines. Jeanette’s voice is always funny and you’ll end up laughing from start to finish, even while shedding a tear or two.

In addition to writing and reading, Jeanette has a passion for travel and adventure. Born in Miami, Florida, to Cuban parents, she currently lives in South Florida with her husband and her three children, in whom she’s instilled a love of nature and an appreciation for the planet.

Website: www.jeanetteescudero.com
Instagram: @authorjeanetteescudero
Facebook: @AuthorEscudero Twitter: @authorescudero

Facebook: @amazonpublishing, @meganbeatiecommunications
Instagram: @amazonpublishing, @mbc_books
Twitter: @amazonpub, @mbeatie, @nyliterary

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Her fiction writing has received the Author / Ambassador at Library Journal Self-e Authors, Winner Queen of the West Reader Favorite Award, Amazon Bestseller - Historical, Double finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Mystery and Humorous Categories. Writing humorous cozy mysteries and romantic comedy, Jocie can find humor in most everything, even when she shouldn't. She lives in the Midwest on Dust Bunny Farm with her family.