Lisa: Welcome to author Kris Jacen, who’s joining us today to celebrate the release of her debut novel, Wait for Me. For those of you who don’t know, Kris is the long-time editor in chief at MLR Press, so this is a change of hats for her. Kris, let’s start by having you tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
Kris: I’m an introverted extrovert. I like people and being around them but after a while I need quiet.
Lisa: What’s your favorite scene in Wait for Me, and what makes it a fave?
Kris: The character of First Sergeant Luna aka Mooney snuck up on me as I was writing. He’s a secondary character that decided he was going to help out the main characters get together. I think the first one on one scene with Mooney and Scott (one of the main characters) sets up his personality and the balance for the story.
Lisa: What’s the best piece of writing/author advice you’ve ever received that you’d pass on to someone just getting started in the business?
Kris: I don’t know that I’ve received any advice on writing except write. I’ve always told authors as an editor, I can fix text on the page, but I can’t fix a blank one.
Lisa: Let’s talk tropes: do you have a few favorites that you enjoy both writing and reading? If so, what are they and what makes them your faves?
Kris: I love stories with doctors/nurses/EMTs and stories with children. Sean Michael’s Mannies Incorporated series is a favorite re-read.
Lisa: If I were to interview Scott and Jeff (aka Mackey), what would they say about you?
Scott: Kris is pretty controlling but she did let us drift a bit. Kris thought our story was going to be a short novella, but we had other ideas.
Jeff: Scott had a lot to learn about the military, but Kris didn’t overwhelm him or the readers.
Scott: She was good about teaching me, but then she also let the heptad kick Jeff’s ass for being a moron LOL
Lisa: If you could sit down to dinner with any author, past or present, who would you choose, and why? What are some things you’d want to chat about?
Kris: Suzanne Brockman. I’m really where I am today because of her long-lost bulletin board. I’ve never gotten to sit down wither her and just talk although we’ve emailed. What would we talk about? Books, theatre (her son is an actor), life.
Lisa: If James Corden invited you to Carpool Karaoke, what song(s) would you sing with him?
We’d be singing Broadway – RENT, Hamilton — and Billy Joel. I’m a huge fan of those two shows and I’ve seen Billy Joel in concert multiple times.
Lisa: If you were to sit down and write your autobiography today, what would the title be?
Kris: Really? That Much?
Lisa: Thanks for stopping by today, Kris, it’s been a pleasure. And congratulations on your debut! Would you care to share an excerpt from the book with us?
Walking into the chapel while holding Jeff’s hand should have been strange but somehow it wasn’t. It was more like they had been doing this for years. No awkwardness at all even when the other groomsmen looked at them as Jeff lead Scott to the pew.
“After the ceremony there are going to be pictures here in the sanctuary before we head to the reception so if you want to just stay here…” Jeff whispered before brushing a kiss across Scott’s cheek and walking to the back of the church.
Scott just sat there looking around until another man in uniform stopped next to the pew. When he looked up, it was the first sergeant from the night before standing there. What was his name?
“First Sergeant Luna, but my friends call me Mooney. Scott, right?” And with that, he slid pass Scott and sat next to him.
“Yes, Scott. Nice to see you in a more relaxed environment.”
Mooney snorted. “Oh yeah, today’s going to be relaxed all right—not! I thanked my lucky stars and all the patron saints that Brittany only wanted five to stand with Kevin. The seven of us—the heptad, don’t ask the meaning behind that one, Brian came up with it after, I don’t remember what— all of us have served together somehow in the past seventeen years, gone to Basic or the Noncommissioned Officer course, or jump school or… think you get the gist.”
“But I thought Jeff said something about all being in different branches?” Scott was going to get this straight. He had to at some point if he continued to see Jeff, something that he was thinking he’d be stupid if he said no to. And if there was anything Scott wasn’t, was stupid.
“We’re all in different branches. Kevin Infantry, Mike Quartermaster, Danny Cavalry, Brian Transportation, Spook Special Forces, Mackey Artillery, and me MP. But we’re all jump qualified and some of the courses that you have to take to move up in rank mix the branches. And we’ve all served in some capacity with the Cavalry so we were invited on Spur Rides at different times.” Mooney angled his foot up to show off his spurs and wiggled his Stetson.
“I’m going to need my notebook.” Scott’s head was swimming.
“I wouldn’t worry too much about it. You’ve just started seeing Mackey?”
“Yes, we haven’t known each other long.”
“Then don’t stress. If you’re around long enough, you’ll figure out who we are and how it all fits together. Shit, my wife took forever to figure it out. I think she was just being stubborn about it all. She’s got it all down now.”
A noise at the back of the chapel, got their attention. The chapel had filled while Scott had talked to Mooney. When he turned to the back, he was struck mute. Standing at the back were all the groomsmen hands clasped in front of them with their heads down, each with their Stetson on. With a loud click, their heads came up and they began to walk in formation down the aisle; when they got to the altar they each paused, bent their head, removed their Stetson and with a sharp turn took their place along the front of the altar.
Once all the groomsmen and the groom were in place, a silence came over the chapel before a quiet melody came from the piano which gathered in intensity to accompany the mothers of the bride and groom and then the bridesmaids into the chapel.
With a flourish of the piano, the assembled stood and faced the back. When the bride on her father’s arm entered, she looked beautiful. The retired colonel looked solemn as they approached the altar, he seemed to inspect the groomsmen and groom nodding at each. He stopped in front of Kevin turned to his daughter and gave her a brief kiss on the cheek before holding out his hand to Kevin. He took Kevin’s hand and after shaking it, placed his daughter’s hand in Kevin’s, then backed away to sit with his wife.
It seemed to Scott that all of Kevin’s fussing and demanding of his groomsmen had worked. When Scott looked up as he sat, Jeff winked at him before giving his full attention to the service.
Oh yeah, he was staying around.
About the Book
The hardest job is waiting.
Master Sergeant Jeff “Mackey” MacNamara has been waiting for THE ONE for years. First it wasn’t too safe to find a partner and now his schedule is a nightmare with training soldiers and deployments.
Scott Ash has found where he always was meant to be after a brief bout of idealistic do-gooder after college. He loves his job as a child care director, if he could just find someone to love — perfect might cover it.
A chance meeting when Scott is doing a favor for a friend starts them on a journey that could take them to forever, it’s just a matter of waiting.
Kris Jacen is the Executive Editor and Formatting Director for ManLoveRomance Press and its imprints. She was invited to join the MLR staff in 2008 and has never looked back. Working with over thirty-five phenomenal authors such as Rick R. Reed, JP Bowie, James Buchanan, J.L. Langley, Ally Blue, Jet Mykles, William Maltese and has allowed her to both hone her editorial skills and indulge her inner fangirl. Kris also acts as editor, mentor and sounding-board for newcomers including Kimberly Gardner, Lex Valentine, S.J. Frost, Patric Michael and Z. Allora. With this stable of talent under her guidance, Kris is quick to tell anyone who will listen that she loves her job. And her authors are just as quick to say that they love their editor.