The SARA Café is an occasional feature that puts the spotlight on a SARA author. This month, it’s Jolene Navarro’s turn to answer a few questions.
SC: When did you join SARA and for what reason?
JN: I had always had stories and characters playing in my brain. Five years ago I was about to turn forty and wanted to write for real, to publish. Going on line I found some workshops being hosted in Boerne by a group called San Antonio Romance Authors. I learned so much from the incredible women teaching the classes I became a member. I know I’m published today because of this group.
SC: What sub-genre of romance stories do you write?
JN: My first book, Lone Star Holiday, is a sweet inspirational love story. I love writing about small town life in the Texas Hill Country. Not that I know anything about that! I also have a Texas Historical series and a paranormal series about Angels and demons I write with my daughter.
SC: What about the romance genre appeals to you?
JN: This is easy. I use to be that person that read the last page first. Then I discovered that romance novels guaranteed a HAPPY EVER AFTER. Joy filled my bookshelf. Now I can trust the ending will be worth all the torture and pain.
SC: Do you consider yourself a romantic?
JN: Maybe, I am a bit cynical and down-to-earth in real life. That’s why I love fiction. We get to make it anyway we want.
SC: What are your ultimate goals as a writer?
JN: To have 3000 people to show up at a book signing. Wait, am I suppose say something about the book of my heart?
SC: If you could have any actor/actress cast as the hero/heroine of your latest work, who would you choose and why?
JN: For my October release, Lone Star Holiday, single Dad, John Levi would be played by Armie Hammer. Penelope Cruz would be perfect for Lorrie Ann Ortega.
SC: What is the best book you’ve ever read about the craft of writing?
JN: Stephen King’s On Writing. There are so many craft books and it can be overwhelming. I went to editors, authors and agents web sites to find the books they recommended. On Writing was on every list. For story structure, Alexandra Sokoloff’s Screenwriting Tricks for Authors can’t be beat. It pulls all the elements together.
SC: Do you have a writing routine? What does it involve?
JN: Write at the family table, write in the car, write in the bleachers, and write during lunch. My routine is to sit and write.
SC: What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have any hidden talents?
JN: Talents should never be hidden. I love art and teach at an inner city High School. I grew up raising and showing horses. I have four kids that keep me super busy and a husband that coaches. I love my life and struggle with balancing it all. I can sleep later, right?
SC: What’s your favorite part of the writing process?
JN: I love getting to know my characters. At times I get so deep into their world that I will talk about them as if they are real people.
SC: What would happen if you didn’t write?
JN: My head would explode.
SC: How do you know when your research is done?
JN: Research for me is a back and forth thing and just living life. For formal research, I do have to be careful because I will get lost in all the fascinating facts I have discovered and bore others.
SC: Name one of the challenges you had writing or as an author and how you met that challenge.
JN: Contest judges telling me I can’t write. I posted positive comments above my computer and became determined to write and write and when I’m frustrated, I write some more.
SC: Thank you, Jolene. And congratulations on your upcoming release!
By Mary Brand