When beginning a new book project, it's important to get to know your characters better. I do that through character sketches, vision boards, and playlists.
So, how do you start a romance novel? To me, a romance novel is ultimately the story of how two people's lives clash, and so in the earliest days of imagining a new book, my creative energy is really focused on the the couple at the heart of the book. To use a construction metaphor … Continue reading Build-a-Book Step 1: Imagining the initial dynamic
Learn more about romance novel tropes, romance novel categories, romance novel formats and romance novel lengths!
In a college-level media literacy course I taught last semester, I challenged my students to alter their social media routines in a significant way for three consecutive days and then reflect on the experience. Many of them chose to give up a platform that they felt addicted to, and for many of them, this was … Continue reading What Snapchat taught me about meeting my goals
Odds are, you're probably already part of an online group. Maybe it's for your favorite brand of leggings or health shakes that a friend sells. Maybe it's an interest group related to your hobbies or your profession. Maybe it's a small, secret group of friends that provides one safe corner of the internet where you … Continue reading Why I’m Inviting You To a Reader Group
I really love cycles. It's one of the reasons I find so much satisfaction in being an academic by day. The knowledge that there's always a new, fresh semester around the corner fills me with tons of creativity and adds wind to my sails all throughout the year. Self-care resolutions at new year's, the burgeoning … Continue reading Celebrating A New “Making Year!” (Or, How I Got My Creative Work Organized)
Yes, Jess Vonn is mostly known for writing spicy, contemporary small-town romances, but she has other creative hobbies, too, including wire flower fairies (and zombies…) and fun with typography, love quotes, romance thoughts, graphic design, doodlesdoodles and more...
I haven't decided yet if I'll dedicate all of my books to my husband George, but so far that's the trend. He's wonderful, he's delightfully ridiculous, he's the LOML (love of my life) and I'll never get tired of sharing his amazingness with people (even though, for the record, he winces at any form of … Continue reading A love letter to my creative support system
I'm picturing that Matrix meme: What if I told you that one of my favorite songs about contemporary romance is also related to Groundhog's Day? Well, it's true. A friend who knows my love of both musicals and all-things romance shared with me the song "One Day" from the Groundhog Day The Musical soundtrack. I adore … Continue reading The love(ish) song I’ll have on repeat this Groundhog’s Day
To desire, and then to demonstrate restraint in the face of that desire, is not only one of the sexiest elements of the romances I read and I write, but it's also one of their most important elements (especially in light of the #MeToo movement.)