TNA: Hi, Jena, thanks so much for being here with us today. Why don’t we start out by having you tell us a little bit about yourself, a few things readers may not know about you?
Jena: I live in Michigan with my husband, two dogs, and a brand new baby boy. So that is something new and exciting – Baby JM is three months old now and he is my ‘little helper’–often sitting in my lap or in his bouncy chair while I write.
TNA: What was your first published M/M title? If you could go back in time to the moment you began writing it, what advice would you give yourself now that you have the benefit of some experience?
Jena: Shoes & Ties was my first published M/M title. I began writing it as a new year’s resolution in January 2013. I would go back and tell myself to look up showing versus telling… the first draft of S&T was all tell, no show. It was horrid. Thank goodness for my fantastic crit group!
TNA: Do you remember the first M/M book you ever read? Would you say the book might have been influential in your own writing career? If so, how?
Jena: I accidently got a free m/m short story off my kindle… or my nook. I can’t remember which. I can’t remember the name – but it was about a guy picking up a bartender at a bar (obviously), and they went home for some hot sex… I remember reading it thinking damn, this is HOT. Waaaay better than het romance in my opinion :) I still love a good het romance, but since that day m/m has been my thing.
I guess technically Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx was my first m/m book that I read, but I don’t consider that a romance and I am all about the romance
TNA: Let’s chat a little bit about your new book, Technically Dating. Bruce is a self-professed nerd, and Westley’s a hottie. What is it about the opposites-attract love story that you enjoy most, whether it’s writing it or reading about it?
Jena: I love the interaction and possible tension it gives the characters. There’s so much for dimension to a relationship when they have differing views and lifestyles.
TNA: If you were to give us a thumbnail sketch of your main characters, how would you describe them, what’s the chemistry between them that will make readers believe they belong together?
Jena: Oh. Tough one… nerd and hottie isn’t going to cut it for this question.
Everyday guy is how I would describe Westley. He is regular guy with a regular job. He isn’t rich or super duper incredibly good looking – just you’re average Joe.
Bruce is also pretty average. Average job, average looks (unless he’s headed to the club) – but he’s a bit more unique in that he is a comic book nerd who knows how to go out and get laid. That was a dynamic of his character that was fun to write – and one that threw Westley for a loop when he finally saw the everyday Bruce.
TNA: What would you say Bruce and Westley love most about each other?
Jena: Westley loves Bruce’s shy nature… until they get into the bedroom. But that’s a spoiler there… so I can’t explain more.
TNA: Would you care to share an excerpt from Technically Dating with us?
Blurb: Meek and mild Bruce Collins decides to set aside his life in technical support for the evening and try a wild night on the town. Self-described nerd Bruce meets suave Westley Taylor at a club, but the night doesn’t go as planned. When they run into each other the next day, Bruce is determined to get the details right and finish what they started. Westley is impressed and invites Bruce on date after date. Bruce figures they’re technically dating and might even be in a relationship, until he accidentally overhears a phone message intended for Westley. Every aspect of their time together comes into question. Now, it’s time for Westley to set the facts straight.
Excerpt: “I’m sorry.” Bruce sighed and cupped Westley’s face with his hands. “Any chance we could postpone this until later?”The temptation to say yes lingered on his lips, but they still had the issue of where they were going to hook up. Mature Westley choose that time to remind him of his responsibilities. “I have to work early tomorrow.” He couldn’t exactly start his walk of shame at his place of work. Though, it was appealing.
Bruce kissed him hard and then smoothed Westley’s swollen lips with the pad of his thumb. “I’m going to dream about these lips tonight.” He stepped back, and Westley felt the loss in the pit of his stomach.
“I’m sorry,” Bruce said.
Westley stood in the parking lot of the club and watched Bruce walk away. The sound of the club thumped in the background, and the laughter of the partygoers reached his ears, but he ignored it.
Seeing Bruce again was unlikely. If he was staying at the hotel, that meant he wasn’t local.
Loss settled in Westley’s chest when Bruce got into his car and drove out of sight.
TNA: Is Technically Dating a standalone novella, or do you have plans for more books set within this time and place?
Jena: I have an idea for Harry… I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to the shirts he will wear throughout the story. Now I just need to find the time.
TNA: I know this is sort of like asking you to name your favorite child, but of all the books you’ve written, do you have a favorite? If so, which and why?
Jena: Hmmm. I still love Jesse from Lumber & Law… but Bruce is great too because he’s so unique…. And then there’s Cory from my latest WIP… AH I can’t decide!
TNA: How about a favorite character. If you could bring any one of your characters to life, who would you choose and why?
Jena: All of them and then they would be my harem…. Only I don’t have the right equipment so that won’t work…
Jesse from Lumber & Law. I love his sense of humor.
TNA: Would you care to share a little bit of information on any of your current WIPs?
Jena: I have two that I am currently working on – Teaching the Bear about a teacher and a bear (so clever of me, right?). And Reining Him In, which is my cowboy story about a quiet ranch manager, and a bratty World Champion horse rider. Hopefully – with any luck – those two stories should be out by this fall.
TNA: Where can readers find you on the internet?
The Giveaway: Jena Wade is offering the chance for one lucky reader to win an e-copy of Technically Dating. To enter, just leave a comment right here and you’re automatically eligible in the drawing.
All comments must be time/date stamped by Midnight Pacific time on Sunday, June 29, 2014 to be valid. One winner will be selected at random on Monday, the 30th, and notified via email for prize delivery.