Interview: Author Jill Sorenson + Giveaway

Filed in Giveaways , Interview , Jill Sorenson , The Geeky Lover Posted on April 1, 2011 @ 6:00 am 24 comments
Photo by Ann Collins
We are very happy to welcome Jill Sorenson here at Book Lovers Inc today. A few weeks ago the wonderful Carolyn Crane wrote a post about how much she loves Jill’s writing so I thought I have to give her books a try and wow I was blown away. So I immediately grabbed my chance and asked her to come over. Jill has actually 2 new releases: Stranded with her Ex was just released and The Edge of Night will be released next week. Please give her a warm welcome and stay tuned for your chance to win. 

The Geeky Lover: Jill can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Jill: I write romantic suspense for Harlequin and Bantam Dell.
The Geeky Lover: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?
Jill: I start writing pretty early, around 4 or 5 am. I wake up as my husband leaves for work and write for a few hours while it’s quiet. Then I get the kids ready and walk them to school. My girls are four and seven, so a lot of my day is devoted to them, but I write whenever I can. I’ll take a notebook to the park or let them watch a Disney movie so I can get my pages done.
The Geeky Lover: What do you think is the difference between a reader and a real Book Lover?
Jill: Good question. I think that a book lover likes to talk about books and extend the experience beyond reading. We share the book love with others!
The Geeky Lover: I have to admit I just recently discovered your books but you really blew me away. I loved how you gave life to your characters and was highly impressed by your characterisation. What do you think are the top 3 rules to make a character believable? Any advice you can give to an aspiring authors?
Jill: Thanks so much for the kind words. I’m so glad you enjoy my books.  My top three rules for making a character believable are: 
1. Flaws. Everyone has them in real life, so flawed characters are easier to believe and relate to. 
2. Backstory. Characters should have a past that shapes them. We all react in different ways because of our life experiences. 
3. Mannerisms/quirks. I have this odd habit of writing words in the air with my finger when I talk. Real people do weird things, and so do my characters.
My advice to aspiring authors: work hard and don’t give up.
The Geeky Lover: Another thing I admired in your previous novels is that you included an adult and a young adult couple. This was, at least for me, something rather new and refreshing. Why did you decide to try something new like that?
Jill: A couple of my favorite authors have done YA subplots. Sandra Brown’s Where There’s Smoke and Suzanne Brockmann’s The Unsung Hero both have teen romances, and I loved those books. I can’t say that I set out to emulate those authors, although I admire them. With Crash Into Me, it just seemed right for the story. My editor really liked it and asked for more.
I think I’m attracted to YA storylines because I was very troubled as a teen. I enjoy writing about characters who are struggling or need help. There’s something very satisfying for me about tackling real issues and giving a hopeful message.
The Geeky Lover: What is for you the essential difference between a mature and a young adult love story?
Jill: Oh, this is a hard question! My YA subplots are written for a mature audience, so I don’t close the door on the bedroom scenes. That said, I try not to be gratuitous. If I wrote YA for young adults, I might tone down the sex. My teen characters are more likely to be awkward, impulsive, and inexperienced, but sexuality is a big part of who they are.
The Geeky Lover: Why romantic suspense? What makes this genre appealing to you? And now the evil part: what makes it better than the usual paranormal counterparts?
Jill: Romantic suspense appeals to me because it’s exciting! I love being on the edge of my seat. I also like realism and gritty scenes and dark villains. What makes it better than paranormal? I don’t know! I like the idea that it could happen in real life. When I read about a vampire hero, that is total fantasy to me, and it’s great. Romantic suspense has a nice mix of realism and fantasy that fits my writing voice.
The Geeky Lover: What can we expect of The Edge of Night?
Jill: Flawed characters, sexytimes, and a serial killer.
The Geeky Lover: What is next on your schedule? Do you plan to write in different genres, too?
Jill: So far I’m sticking to suspense. I have three Harlequin releases this year. Stranded With Her Ex is out now. Tempted by His Target and a Christmas novella are coming in late 2011. My next Bantam Dell book, Caught in the Act, will be released in early 2012.

About the Book:

In a sultry California city on the Mexican border, a brutal crime pushes a struggling young mother and an idealistic cop to the edge of passion—and beyond.

To support her small daughter, April Ortiz does what she has to do—which means waiting tables in a skimpy outfit at a popular nightclub in a gang-infested area of Chula Vista. When one of her co-workers is raped and murdered, April does what she knows she shouldn’t—she defies the neighborhood code by giving the police a hardcore gang member’s name.

Clean-cut cop Noah Young wants a shot at breaking this case more than anything in the world—that is, until he meets the unforgettable April Ortiz. When April gives Noah the tip, a spark ignites. As the fire between them threatens to blaze out of control, the two are dragged down further into the dark mysteries of the graffiti-lined streets, taunted by a crazed killer who could strike again at any time.

About the Author:

Jill Sorenson writes sexy romantic suspense for Harlequin and Bantam Dell. Two of her novels, Crash Into Me and Set the Dark on Fire, have been excerpted in Cosmopolitan magazine.

After earning a degree in literature and a bilingual teaching credential from California State University, Jill decided teaching wasn’t her cup of tea. She started writing one day while her firstborn was taking a nap and hasn’t stopped since. She lives in San Diego with her husband and two young daughters.

Places to find Jill: website, blog, twitter


Jill has generously offered one copy of The Edge of Night to be won by one lucky commenter!

All you have to do is ask Jill a question or leave a meaningful comment about the interview.
(You can read our full giveaway policy here)

Please leave us a way to contact you.
(Email in blogger profile or twitter name – no way to contact you – no entry).

This giveaway is open worldwide!

Giveaway ends on Saturday, April 16 and we will announce the winner on Sunday.

Good luck!

About Susi

Susi is a geeky vegetarian from Gemany. She just finished university and now works as a civil engineer in steel construction. Besides her reading addiction she also knits like a maniac while listening to audiobooks. Susi also blogs at the Secret HEA Society.

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Join the Discussion
  • KimberlySue April 1, 2011 at 7:03 am

    I think that the main character, April Ortiz, is someone that a lot of woman will be able to connect to, and that's important in any novel!


  • JenM April 1, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    I just read the description of the book and it definitely sounds like something I'd love to read. I especially like the setting. People don't think of San Diego as "gritty", but the border communities there are pretty rough so I think that would really add interest to the story.

    jen at delux dot com

  • ClaudiGC April 1, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    I've read an excerpt of The Edge of Night and it was very hot! I really liked it. That book goes definitely on my TBR pile!

  • Birgit April 1, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Great interview!

    My question: Authors need "fuel" while writing – do you prefer tea or coffee?

    danaan at gmx dot at

  • Jill Sorenson April 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm


    I like coffee in the mornings and tea or Diet Coke later in the day.

    (psst. I just typed Diet Cock twice in a row and had to change it. LOL)

  • Chelsea B. April 1, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Hi, Jill! I cannot wait to read The Edge of Night! It sounds AWESOME! Great interview!


  • Estella April 1, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    I enjoyed the interview.
    Were you very excited when you found out your books would be in Cosmopolitan magazine?

    kissinoak at frontier dot com

  • marybelle April 2, 2011 at 1:38 am

    I prefer flawed characters. They have a better chance of winning me over.

  • Kaetrin April 2, 2011 at 4:37 am

    I really enjoyed Crash into Me and I have Set the Dark on Fire in my TBR – I'm looking forward to reading The Edge of Night.

    kaetrin67 AT gmail DOT com

  • Jill Sorenson April 2, 2011 at 8:07 am


    I was super excited! Both times I bought copies at my local grocery store and felt like a celebrity. 🙂 I was in COSMO. It was a huge deal for me.

  • Tore April 2, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Hi, Jill. I can't wait to read your book. How long does it take you to write a book? What made you decide to be a writer. Please enter me in contest.

  • Ren April 2, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Hi Jill!

    Thanks for the giveaway, and I'm looking forward to read your book ^_^..

    A question for you is, any plan to write YA novel? If yes, is it the genre still thriller suspense, or you decide to go with the flow, write a paranormal YA instead? 🙂


  • winnie April 2, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    I have not read any of Jill's books before, but thanks to the interview, I think I'll definitely have to check them out. I could always add more romantic suspense reads to my TBR pile! The inclusion of both an adult and young adult couples sound very refreshing as well 🙂


  • welzen April 2, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    "The edgen of night" sounds awesome. Congrats

    Do you have any ritual when it comes to writing?


    Twitter: El blog de Welzen

  • Jill Sorenson April 2, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    Hi Tore,

    I can write a first draft in 4-6 months. Then I have to do revisions, which can take weeks or even several months, depending on the amount of changes my editor asks for.

    I've always loved to read and wanted to write. One day I sat down at my computer and started and it felt right. I haven't stopped since!

    Ren, I don't have any plans to write paranormal or YA. I'm a "go against the flow" kind of gal. 😉

    Welzen, I can't think of any rituals. Drinking coffee? Oh, and I always carry a medium-sized spiral notebook with me. I fill up the pages with ideas and bits of dialogue. When I start a new story I buy a new notebook.

  • Kulsuma April 3, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    This sounds really interesting! April seems like a very strong character. How much research did you have to do for this book?

  • Jill Sorenson April 3, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Hi Kulsuma,

    I don't know how much research I did for this book. A lot! Most of my research is done online or through resources at the library. I also went on a ride-along with a gang unit police officer and made several trips to Chula Vista.

  • mbreakfield April 5, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    The Edge of Night sounds like a really good read, and April sounds like a heroine to admire.

  • donnas April 9, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Hi Jill, Congrats on the release. Your books are new to me but one of my favorite genres. Looking forward to picking them up.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  • GeishasMom73 April 13, 2011 at 9:54 am

    I love romantic suspense. I think it will be interesting to read about gang members. You usually only see one side of that story.

    GeishasMom73 on twitter

  • Aik April 13, 2011 at 10:57 am

    I love the sound of "Flawed characters, sexytimes, and a serial killer." Please count me in!

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

  • Natalija April 13, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    I have a question 🙂
    How do you choose the names of your heroes / heroines?

    My email:
    natalija (dot) shkomare (at) gmail (dot) com

    Good luck to everyone!

  • JessS April 14, 2011 at 3:07 am

    I feel the same about romantic suspense books; they're great because they're exciting, gritty and realistic and arguably better than paranormal. Interesting point about what makes a "real Book Lover" because I atleast usually do feel a need to tell someone about what I've read because usually it's affected me.
    I love realistic characters and having flaws is important. Your books sound great and I'd love to read some.


  • Jill Sorenson April 24, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    Sorry, I forgot to check back in!

    Natalija, I choose my character names before I start writing. It's very important, getting the right name. I try to find a name that fits my character's personality, ethnicity etc. At times I get pretty literal. Noah YOUNG (The Edge of Night) is an inexperienced police officer. Ben FORTUNE (Crash Into Me) is a wealthy pro surfer. Daniela FLORES (Stranded with Her Ex) is kind of a delicate flower. I guess I like the name to reflect the man/woman.

    Thanks for all the great comments! And thanks Susi for an awesome interview. I've mailed the book to the winner. Enjoy!!

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