- Tell us how you felt when you were offered a contract for Photo Opportunity?
Beside myself with excitement. I was browsing through my mail, with my baby on my hip, not expecting to find The Letter. And then, there it was. I screamed and screamed and danced around my office for about ten minutes. My baby looked at me as though I had lost my mind completely, but did demand “MORE” when I stopped doing the lunatic dance.
- Tell us a bit more about your first release.
Photo Opportunity is a light hearted romance based on the classic theme of best friends falling in love. Is it based on true life experiences? No. But I did have a very close male friend, and every time we were together, we’d get the question: So, are you two a couple or not? We weren’t, but my writer’s mind starting thinking…what if? And so Daniel and Amy were born. Just like Amy, I completely fell in love with Daniel while I was writing the book. He’s the ultimate boy next door.
- On your bio, I read that you were born in
South Africa, a place I’ve always wanted to visit. Tell us more about what was sure to be a fascinating childhood. Did wild animals walk in your yard?
LOL. If I had a quarter for every time I was asked that! Nope, I grew up in Johannesburg, in a lovely suburban house, with two dogs and a cat. No wild animals there. But we did take annual trips to the game reserve (safaris), where my father taught me to love and respect the incredible wild life we had in South Africa. I strongly recommend that if you do visit, you spend a few days at the Kruger National Park. It’s an experience that’ll stay with you forever.
There’s tons I could tell you about what it was like growing up in a country ruled by Apartheid. Suffice it to say, living with such inequality has left me with very strong moral and ethical beliefs. We lived there in a very exciting time of change, when the white Nationalist Government was voted out, and the ANC came into power. We were there watching live as Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as the first black South African president. It was an amazing moment, one I’ll be proud to tell my children about.
South Africa is a beautiful country, Cape Town one of the most gorgeous cities in the world. However, it is a hugely volatile country too, with violence playing a large part in our everyday life. We decided to leave after we were hijacked. Yup, we were held up at gunpoint, as two men stole our car. Possibly the most terrifying event of my life. We got off lucky though. We weren’t hurt.
4. How is Australia different from Africa?
LOL. Have you ever heard the Australian accent? It took months before I could understand it. Then there’s the Aussie slang. Imagine my amazement when someone spoke about her “daggy tracky daks.” Didn’t know what she was saying until she kindly translated it to “ugly tracksuit pants (South African) or ugly sweat pants (American.) Otherwise, the people are different here. They’re way more relaxed and friendly. Johannesburgers tend to lead a frenzied lifestyle. Everyone is always racing, demanding, and rude. Here everyone is so pleasant, and never in a hurry. For me, a huge element is how safe I feel. I often forget to lock the doors at night, and wake up in the morning and think, darn, that was a little silly. In SA, you cannot forget. It’s too dangerous. We lived behind high walls, with electric gates, and electric fences. Every window and door was locked, and the burglar alarm activated. End of story.
- What’s up next for Jess Dee? Any new contracts we should know about?
Pray for me, please. I’ve just finished the sequel to Photo Op. It’s called Ask Adam, and it focuses on Daniel’s sister, Lexi, and her tragic hero, Adam. Now it’s all up to Triskelion. I do write at snail’s pace, so my books are very slow in coming out. But at the moment I’m working on a short story for Triskelion. I’ve never written a novella before, so it’s a new experience for me. I’m having lots of fun with it.
- Boxers or briefs? ;)
BOXERS. Without a doubt. I looooooove a man in boxers.
- What’s your all time favorite setting?
Hmm. Thinking, thinking. Not sure I have one. As long as the book I’m reading/writing at the moment is romantic/interesting enough, I’m transported to the setting wherever it is. Love it when that happens. When I get so involved in a book, I find myself in that place. Of course, it’s always a bit of a shock to find I’m really at home, reading, and I’m not in that other wonderful place created by the author.
7. As a new writer, are you tempted to try out different genres or is contemporary your chosen one?
Funny you should ask. Although I’ve chosen contemporary, I love fantasy, and always wanted to try my hand at it. I’ve started one manuscript in the fantasy genre, and have loads of ideas for a whole series. But I’ve had to shelve the work, while I finished Ask Adam, and the novella. I’d love to get back to it sometime. At the pace I write though, it’s going to be in a very long time.
9. You’re a self-confessed food junkie. What’s your favorite snack?
I’m just not that fussy. If it’s edible - I eat it. J
I do go through stages tho. A while ago I couldn’t get enough blueberry muffins into my mouth. Then there was the ice cream phase (ideally with hot chocolate sauce.) Hot chips (or fries) always go down well. Oh, and I’ve just come out of the banana bread phase. Had to have at least one slice a day. I can tell you, one slice of banana bread a day is NOT good for the hips.
10. Where can readers find out more about Jess Dee? Is there anything you’d like to add?
You can visit my website at:
Or come and browse through Triskelion Publishing.
Photo Opportunity will be available from mid-June