Monday, December 04, 2006

Make-Believe Monday with Jenna Bayley-Burke

Today on Make-Believe Mondays I'd like to introduce Jenna Bayley-Burke. Jenna writes for Harlequin Mills & Boon.

Jenna, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.

Jenna: Egad. Right now? I’m in the last throws of a story I wrote for pure decadence – Her Cinderella Complex. I hope my editor likes it, but I did it without a plan so she has no idea that a runaway bride gets to have her honeymoon anyway story is coming her way. I have to finish it this week. I’m writing a new book for NaNoWriMo (

Debra: Well, if she chances upon this blog, your secret is out! It sounds like an intriguing story.

Ray Bradbury said, “We are cups, constantly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” How do you keep your creative cup filled?

Jenna: Reading. Reading is my favorite thing. It really recharges me. As does taking walks with my kids. We have gorgeous nature parks near by and running them through the trails wears them out, so I can write while they nap.

Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?

Jenna: Absolutely. Sometimes it happens right away, other times it takes a few chapters. When it takes a bit, I find I wind up starting the book where the characters came in and throwing away those first pages.

Debra: Yes. Because in those early pages, they weren't alive yet.

Some very famous authors have played with language, creating words for people or places that no one has ever heard of. Have you ever played with words in that way and if so how?

Jenna: My heroine in Cooking Up A Storm plays with words. I don’t. It was strange writing her, she had the strangest way of putting things. Most of her musings were cut by my editor who doesn’t think I am as funny as I think I am. Lauren, the heroine, had a fresh take on most things – calling parties a social swirl, boring party guests were socially stunted, and terming people who monopolize discussions conversational masturbaters. She was one of those witty people you see on TV, and she lived in my head.

As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?

Jenna: John Dennis Fitzgerald’s The Great Brain (and all the rest in that series).

Debra: Jenna, thank you for joining us here on this Make-believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers.

Visit Jenna at

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