Jennifer Shirk, Author of Sunny Days for Sam, Talks Writing Plus #Giveaway

My guest today is Jennifer Shirk. Jennifer has a bachelor degree in pharmacy—which she says 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!

Jennifer writes sweet romances for Samhain Publishing and Avalon Books and is a member of the NJRW, RWA, and The Liberty State Fiction Writers. She resides in a beach resort in
New Jersey, and when she's not writing, she's taking care of her most treasured possessions: her husband, daughter, and four hermit crabs.

Anne - Welcome to Piedmont Island, Jennifer. It’s a gorgeous warm summer day here in northern Minnesota, so let’s sit outside on the deck. It offers an incredible view of Lake Superior, and is my favorite place to talk writing. Let’s start with something personal. Do you have a fear, phobia, or habit you’d rather no one knew about?

Jennifer - I’m a bit of a neat-freak. In fact, my hubby once scolded me for cleaning the bathroom too much. (I’m still not sure something like that is even possible!) As a result of my cleanliness, I do not like bugs (ants, spiders, whatever) in the house. It’s my kryptonite. Last year, the kiddo got lice and I thought for sure I was going to go off the deep end. LOL!

Anne – I’m not a neat-freak, but I agree that even one bug in the house is one too many. Seeing them upsets my equilibrium and I swear it tilts the world on its axis! Ugh…bugs! I hate ‘em. Okay. Let’s change the subject. Tell us about your book.

Jennifer - It’s called Sunny Days for Sam, and it’s near and dear to my heart. Plus, I think the cover rocks! Here’s the back cover blurb:

Sunnyva “Sunny” Fletcher is a firm believer in fairy tales. With the recent debt she’s acquired, the hope of something magical happening in her life is the only thing keeping her going. She needs a job fast. So when Sunny learns the sexy new vacationer in town is looking for a nanny, she starts to believe she just may have a fairy godmother after all!

Internet guru Sam Calloway is only in town for the summer and needs a nanny for his two small children. However, the beautiful and inexperienced Sunny is not exactly the kind of caregiver Sam has in mind. It doesn’t take long for Sunny’s tenderhearted and bubble-blowing ways to soon have the children—and Sam—enamored with her. She’s a dream come true. But after what Sam’s been through, he’s stopped believing in fairy tales long ago.

Sunny manages to work her way into Sam’s closed-off heart, but at the end of the summer, will the workaholic dad go back to his life in New York City, or will he decide his days are much sunnier here with Sunny?

Anne - What do you enjoy most about writing? What part do you loathe?

Jennifer - I love when I first get an idea for a new book and start coming up with names for my characters and their issues and conflicts. After I get about three chapters into it, then the magic is gone and I don’t like it as much because then it feels like work. J

Anne – I can totally relate! Writing is work. Tell us the defining moment when you felt as if you’d finally made it as an author.

Jennifer - Actually, it was well before I was published. I had many rejections on my first manuscript, but then I started a new one, which I let the hubby read. I remember he looked up at me in amazement and said, “You’ve come a long way in your writing.” I was so happy he thought I was growing as a writer. Then for Christmas that year, he surprised me and got me a membership to the Romance Writers of America. That’s when I knew he took my writing seriously and I would someday be an author. 

Anne – That’s so sweet! Your hubby’s clearly a hero in every sense of the word. J How many rejections have you received? Was one more memorable than others?

Jennifer - Wow, I really don’t remember the exact number. We’ll say…enough. LOL. But I definitely remember my first. The editor of the publishing house didn’t even give me the basic form rejection. It was more of a “we cannot use this”. I guess I had a lot to learn. J

Anne – Hey, I just realized you use smiley faces as much as I do. J Cool! Outside of writing, what accomplishment are you most proud?

Jennifer - I worked really hard in college so I’m very proud of the degree I earned in Pharmacy (even though I don’t use it right now). I’m also proud that I ran a 5K and completed a few rounds of p90x. And of course, I am so proud of my daughter. She’s growing up to be quite a young lady.

Anne - Quick. Your five favorites – author, actor, movie, song, quote.

Jennifer - Author: Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Actor: Tom Hanks, Movie:  Groundhog’s Day, Song:  “The Prayer” by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli, Quote: “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” ~ C.S. Lewis

Anne - Where can readers find you online?

Jennifer – At my websiteblogon FacebookTwitterand Goodreads

Anne - You’re offering a giveaway copy of your book to one lucky reader. What question would you like them to address in a comment to be eligible for the draw?

Jennifer - I’ll give away a print copy of my book Sunny Days for Sam. (U.S. residents only, sorry.) To enter the draw I’d like to know: What’s your favorite book you read so far this year? (Please include your email address.)

Anne – I can’t wait to see the responses, Jennifer. Thanks so much for chatting today and telling us about Sunny Days for Sam. The winner will be announced July 30.

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