About My Book

Learn more about my first book, Six Pack: Emergence.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Twenty Questions With Jessica Kreger

My guest for this week's Twenty Questions session is Jessica Kreger. Her debut novel, Fit to Love, was released earlier this year. Here's the cover blurb.

After her mother’s tragic death from diabetes, mousy Daisy Day embarks on her own life-saving mission to lose a hundred and fifty pounds. Handsome personal trainer and Army veteran, Eric Anderson, seems like the answer to her prayers, but he’s way out of her league…not to mention taken by a picture-perfect model almost half her age. 

But when Daisy lends her marketing acumen to launch Eric’s personal training business and helps him overcome his grief from losing his brother in Afghanistan, he realizes he has more in common with her than his own girlfriend. Yet when the hours of training pay off, and Daisy is transformed into a head-turning beauty, he’s not the only man to notice. 

Daisy Day is fit to love and she’s already fallen for Eric… but with his now ex-girlfriend chasing after him, and another man in Daisy’s arms, is it too late for him to catch her?

Now let's hear from Jessica about her novel and her interest in writing. Remember, if you would like to do a Twenty Questions session, you can look here for more information.

1. How did you get interested in writing?
At an early age, I developed a passion for reading from my mother, an English teacher, and writing quickly followed. I remember penning journal entries, poems, stories, and songs in composition books in grade school. I also dictated a children’s story to my dad, who typed it into our first desktop computer.

2. What inspired you to come up with this story?
In a former job as the director of research communications at the University of Miami medical school, I attended a symposium on obesity research. Beyond the numbers and case studies, each mother, father, sister, and brother had a story, and often their stories were intertwined with complications. While working out at the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center, I saw good-looking personal trainers coaching plus-sized clients. Many of the clients struggled through the fitness routines, but with lots of encouragement, they returned again and again. I knew that each client had their own reason to conquer their killer circuits. And poof! The idea for Fit to Love (https://www.amazon.com/Fit-Love-Jessica-Rachel-Kreger-ebook/dp/B01N9VMOHK), my debut novel, was born. It just came out this year, and was released to audio book (https://www.amazon.com/Fit-to-Love/dp/B0725XQXQ5/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=) this month. My book is available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Smashwords, and Kobo.

3. Tell me about the main character, Daisy Day, and what inspired you to create her.
In between riding the elliptical at the gym and listening to research showing obesity rates skyrocketing, the seeds for my heroine were planted in my mind. I wondered what would happen if a woman who was motivated to get fit after her mother’s tragic death from diabetes ended up in the studio of a handsome personal trainer?

4. What characters, other than Daisy, did you find enjoyable to write as you progressed with the book?
Handsome personal trainer and Army veteran, Eric Anderson, seems like the answer to Daisy’s prayers. He’s a modern day Hercules, and creating him was dreamy.

5. From what I gather from your book blurb, you have a love quadrangle, so to speak! How challenging was it to write a story like that?
It was actually really fun, and I believe it made the story more realistic. Of course, a hunk like Eric would already have a girlfriend when Daisy comes along the scene. And his girlfriend would be a model at that. I named her Star. But maybe Star wasn’t exactly right for Eric. Perhaps inner beauty was what he was truly looking for, and a plus-sized woman could also be beautiful to him. Cue in my heroine, Daisy, and poof! There’s a love triangle. The quadrangle occurs when the hours of training pay off, and Daisy is transformed into a head-turning beauty. Eric’s not the only man to notice (cue in neighborhood jock Mario, Daisy’s longtime crush).

6. What are some of the themes you explored in writing the novel?
Finding happiness again after loss is one of the major themes I explore in my novel. After her mother’s tragic death from diabetes, mousy Daisy embarks on her own life-saving mission to lose a hundred and fifty pounds. Then, when Daisy lends her marketing acumen to launch Eric’s personal training business, she helps him overcome his own grief from losing his brother in Afghanistan.

7. What information did you glean about military life to make your story realistic?
I’m the daughter of a Vietnam-era veteran myself, and the feeling of pride in having someone you love protect our freedom comes from my own personal experience. When I conducted research about Vietnam and Afghanistan, I learned a lot about the sacrifices our brave men and women make in service to our country.

8. What other things did you learn along the way as you wrote and edited the book?
I learned more about overcoming adversity as I developed the character of Penny, Eric’s younger sister. Although she’s hearing-impaired, she hasn’t let her disability, or the doubts of others, stop her from achieving her dreams. She’s in her third year of internal medicine residency at the University of Miami and works at the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center, the VA.

9. Do you have other published works (short stories, poetry, etc.)?
This is my debut novel, although I have lots of works in the wings.

10. What do you find is the right environment for you to write?
I like a quiet room, well lit, with plenty of Florida sunshine.

11. Are there specific programs or tools you find useful to help you with the writing process?
The best tool to help me with the writing process is exercise – it gets my blood pumping and creative juices flowing.

12. What have you found to be useful methods for promoting your writing?
I developed many sites to promote my writing, including: an Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/jessicarachelkreger, a Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16410360.Jessica_Rachel_Kreger,
a website: http://jessicarachelkreger.com/, a Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/jessicarachelkreger/, and a Twitter page: https://twitter.com/JessicaRKreger. I’m also counting on this blog (thank you, Bob!), and others like it, to spread the word. My fellow Clean Reads authors have been amazing.

13. What are some of the famous books or authors you have enjoyed or inspired you?
I lapped up all of Michael Crichton’s medical fiction. He was ahead of his time, and his writing was enthralling.

14. Any aspiring or independent authors whose books you’ve read that you liked and want to mention to others to check out?
Check out fellow sweet-romance writer Kristin Wallace (http://kristinwallaceauthor.com/) and also try out romance writer Victoria Pinder (http://victoriapinder.com/). Kristin and Victoria have been my mentors in the South Florida Romance Writers, my local chapter of the Romance Writers of America. Of course, you should also pick up “Six Pack: Emergence” by blog host, Bob Morris.

15. What advice would you give to those who want to write a novel before they actually get started?
Pick a story that you can fall in love with. You’ll be spending a lot of time with it, so it has to come from a place close to your heart.

16. Tell me about your other experiences as a professional writer.
I enjoy writing in any capacity, and have over seventeen years of experience as a professional writer. I’ve worked in university communications, healthcare communications, software documentation, and financial communications. I earned a B.A. in English from Penn State University and an M.A. in Professional Writing from Carnegie Mellon University.

17. Other than learning about obesity, were there other things you remember well about your time as the research communications director at University of Miami’s medical school?
One of the highlights of my time in that role was supporting and promoting the cutting-edge medical research that the physician-scientists conducted on the bench and in the clinics. The breadth of research was astounding—ranging from discovery science at the smallest molecular level to large, community-wide epidemiological studies.

18. What can you tell me about your experiences with snorkeling?
Snorkeling the South Florida waters in the summers is full of adventure – you never know what delightful sea creatures you will encounter along the colorful reefs. During my last snorkel, I swam with cuttlefish, an eel, a sting ray, a sea turtle, cow fish, puffer fish, and schools of sergeant majors, among many other marine life.

19. Can you tell me more about some of your favorite TV shows?
My current favorites are all crime dramas – I love a good whodunit, especially if it keeps me guessing until the end.

20. Who would win a battle of superhero skills: Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman?
Wonder Woman, hands-down. She even has the most recent movie!

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