Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Writer's Life: Jennifer Shirk

Welcome to another edition of Writer's Life! Every Wednesday will feature a romance writer of inspirational or sweet romance novels. I'm excited to share some of my favorite authors and hope you'll find new books for your to-be-read pile!

Today I'm blessed to host Jennifer Shirk. Jennifer writes Fun, Feel-Good Romantic Fiction. I adore her writing voice. Funny, heart-warming, and super romantic--her books will leave you smiling for days. Her latest release, Fiancé by Fate, released last week from Entangled Publishing's Bliss line! 

Let's get to it!

1.  What about writing makes your heart sing?

The very end—when it's all polished up and I feel I'm completely sick of the book and think it's complete and utter garbage. Then… I re-read it and I actually laugh or smile at what I wrote and think, "I wrote this? It's good!" LOL  And I get a rush of pleasure/accomplishment. I wish I could bottle that feeling.

2.  What is the biggest hurdle you're facing right now as a writer?

Literally, edits. I'm on my THIRD round with my editor! Ugh.
However, if you're talking big picture, I'd say a big hurdle I'm facing is the definition of sweet romance and how I exactly fit into it. I used to think sweet romance automatically meant clean romance but that isn't the case anymore. So, sometimes readers are looking for more from me than I'm comfortable giving. Therefore, sweet romance readers think I'm too "G" rated and perhaps Christian readers feel I'm too "PG". I feel in limbo and I'm not sure where I fit anymore.

3.  What do you do to fill your creative well?

Read! And read diversely.
And just putting my feet up and relaxing so my mind can drift helps too. J

4.  What are you working on now?

The second book in the series to Fiancé by Fate.  Right now it's tentatively titled: Wedding Date for Hire and will feature Sabrina's friend, Maddie. Then I hope to write a Christmas novella and maybe start a YA novel. Whew!


I wish I could bottle that feeling, too, Jennifer! It's wonderful, that feeling of accomplishment. I've noticed sweet romances are getting quite a bit more spicy. In fact, all romances in the last seven or eight years are heating up. It's a challenge to stay true to yourself and please readers, that's for sure. I love your books! And I'm always a sucker for a series, so it's good to hear you're giving Maddie her story. 


Their fake relationship is a twist of fate.

Sabrina Cassidy believes in fate. So when her fiance breaks off their engagement, she's convinced they'll get back together eventually. But fate was not on her side when it brought Jack Brenner into her life--and work. Frustrating, gorgeous, and cocky, Jack has an offer that Sabrina can't refuse. Not if it means getting the life she's always imagined.

Despite being one of the town's most eligible bachelors, Jack has a reputation that's working against him. He has to convince his father--and his company's board--that he's ready to settle down if he wants a promotion. 

But convincing Sabrina to be his fake girlfriend turns out to be the easiest part. What he didn't count on was their intense attraction and how easily their lie would escalate. Sabrina's still hung up on her ex, and Jack will never settle down.

But fate has other ideas...


About Jennifer ~

Jennifer Shirk has a bachelor degree in pharmacy-which has in NO WAY at all helped her with her writing career. But she likes to point it out, since it shows romantic-at-hearts come in all shapes, sizes, and mind-numbing educations.
She writes sweet romantic comedies and won third place in the RWA 2006 NYC's Kathryn Hayes Love and Laughter Contest with her book, The Role of a Lifetime. Recently, her novel SUNNY DAYS FOR SAM won the 2013 Golden Quill Published Authors Contest for Best Traditional Romance.

She's also a board member for Straight Ahead Ministries, an organization involved in helping spread the gospel and aiding medical and pharmacy students in Russia. She resides in a beach resort in NJ, and when she's not involved in all the above, she's taking care of her most treasured possessions: her husband, daughter, guinea pig (Rocco), puppy (Sox) and four hermit crabs.


Guess what?? Jennifer is giving away a copy of  Fiancé by Fate!! Enter BELOW!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you SO much for being my guest today, Jennifer!

What do you think? Are romance novels, even sweet ones, getting too spicy? 

Have a terrific day!


  1. I agree, it's a fine line to walk, isn't it? I love romance, but if it gets too "spicey" I set it down. I like chemistry between characters for sure! Attraction is incredibly real. We all feel it, it's what we do with it. Which is why, for me, I like the CBA market.

    Great to meet a new author:)

    1. Yes! Chemistry = good! What we do with it counts. :) Love it!

  2. HI Susan! Great to meet you to!

    Yes, it really is a fine line to walk with secular books. I get comments all the time from people that say I wish I wrote more steamy and some from people who think I'm too steamy. My head spins sometimes!!!

    1. Jennifer, if it helps, some of my CBA friends get the same comments. Just proves you can't please everyone!

  3. You're welcome! Thanks for being my guest!

  4. It is a hard balance, isn't it? I think as writers it's probably pretty vital that we just keep reminding ourselves we can't please everyone. Which is hard for me...because, I'll admit, I want everyone to think everything I write is awesome. LOL!

    Great interview, Jill, and Jennifer, I'm looking forward to checking out your books!

    1. I know! It's hard not to want to please everyone. But I'm sticking with my G-rated stories. :-)

  5. Jennifer, you are so encouraging. Thanks for having her, Jill. Thank you for sharing how sick you are of your work through the editing ... then, after taking a step back, re-reading it in its entirety, you enjoyed it. I've surely felt that!

  6. Thanks for being here, Jennifer!

    I don't like 'spicy', for two reasons. the first is, clearly, the inappropriateness of titillation.

    But more fundamentally, I feel that there's a point at which the characters' privacy must be respected. As writers, we're 'creating people', and we have an obligation to them.

    My guideline is that if there's something in my life I would not want to talk about to strangers, I owe it to my characters to shield that part of their 'lives'.

    Does this make sense?

    1. Makes perfect sense to me, and I agree with your stance!

  7. Nice to meet you here, Jennifer! I love the sound of your book. It reminds me of a Hallmark Movie and they're so romantic and fun. I love sweet romance, both as a reader and a writer. I'm adding your book to my TBR list. Thanks for sharing about yourself with us!


I love to hear from you!