Saturday, June 2, 2012

An Interview with Jean Joachim, Romance Author

Congratulations Nightingale! Linda won a choice of 
eBook from Jean's Now and Forever series.

Readers, Deanna and I are visiting with Jean Joachim in upstate New York. Join us as Jean shares her new release and why she loves to write. There's Jean over there!

Deanna and Louise: Hi Jean!

Jean: Welcome to Kensington State University. Come on in, The administration offices occupy this old Victorian townhouse. Mac Caldwell and Eliza Baines, the deans here, will escort us to the stone building which houses the faculty dining room. They have graciously permitted me to bring you there for some coffee and cake while we chat. We’ll sit over here, by the window where we can watch a rugby match.  The men are playing and the women are cheering them on. I think we’re losing but I’m not sure.

Mac and Eliza, two of my main characters in the Now and Forever series, have to return to work. So they’ll leave us here. Afterward, I’ll take you on a tour of the campus, including Dave Williams’ police station and the hospital where the brilliant Dr. Cho resides. How do you take your coffee?

Reader’s Haven: Thank you for inviting us to NY this week. (Deanna) I'll have a hot mint tea, please. (Louise) Make mine a hot mocha with whip creme! Thanks. Tell us a bit about yourself  that our readers might not know.

Jean: I started my career in advertising, long before writing, and worked my way up to be a media director at a division of a major ad agency by the time I was 28.

Reader’s Haven: What made you want to become a writer?

Jean: I was born wanting to be a writer. Every child has a profession they look up to. By the age of seven, while most kids wanted to be doctors, I wanted to be a writer. I always loved to read and my cousin tells me I was inventing stories for us to act out when she came over early on.

Reader’s Haven: (Louise takes a sip) Oh, this is good! Jean, that's fantastic you always knew what you wanted to be when you grew up. Some of us are still try to figure that out! LOL  Please share a bit about your new release without giving away any spoilers.

Jean: Now and Forever 3, Blind Love. This is a big book 330-pages and contains three love stories, not just one. One of the three is the hero’s father, a widower, who falls in love for the second time. The book explores the changes the heroes and heroines go through as they fall in love and fight to hold on to their love. There is also blackmail and murder in the book. It all happens on the campus of Kensington State University in a small town in upstate New York.

Reader’s Haven: Do you write under a pen name?

Jean: No. I use my married name. I find it’s easier to keep track of and though no one can spell it or pronounce it (JOE  ACK’ UM) it’s who I am. Life is much easier for me to be one person all the time.

Reader’s Haven: What types of hero or heroine do you like best?

Jean: I like imperfect heroes. My heroes are good physical specimens, they’re smart and take charge guys, fairly alpha, but they make mistakes. They say the wrong thing or do  the wrong thing and get into trouble from time to time. Their imperfections seem to make them more real to me and to readers.

Reader’s Haven: Tell us about a typical day in your life as a writer.

Jean: I bounce out of bed at 6 a.m. and head for the computer. While the tea is brewing in the microwave, I check my sales from the day before, answer email and chat on FB. Then I settle in with my tea, some fruit and plain Greek yogurt, I begin work either on edits or my WIP. I write until 8, take my pug, Homer, for an hour’s walk in Central Park then return to writing. I stay at it unless I have to go out for errands until lunch time. I spend most of the day writing.

Reader’s Haven: (Deanna pours more mint tea for herself) You have a very disciplined schedule. Good for you. Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?

Jean: I’d say my books do have a common thread in that most of my characters face unpleasant life hurdles and problems to overcome on their road to happiness. Some of my books have sad times for my hero and heroine. But of course they all end up happy.

Reader’s Haven: How long does it take you to write and then edit a story?

Jean: If I’m motivated, I can write a book in six weeks. But that doesn’t include planning and outlining time that comes before I start writing. After I finish the first draft, I edit it multiple times before submitting. 

Reader’s Haven: Do you have to be alone to write?

Jean: *helps herself to more tea* Yes. I can write if someone is in the next room but not if there is noise. Sometimes I play classical music or a particular song that I’ve included in my book for inspiration. Most of the time I prefer to write in complete silence so I can hear my inner voice and the characters speaking in my head.

Reader’s Haven: How do you go about naming characters?

Jean: Oh, I love naming characters. Usually a name comes to me when the character’s personality and appearance forms in my head. Callie Richards, a repeat  character in the Now and Forever series was a name to me almost before she was a fleshed out character. I love thinking up names and write down interesting ones that come to me to save for later books. One of my most interesting names is one of the heroes of my next release due out in July called “The Renovated Heart” – my best title, I think. His name is Tunney Nichols.

Reader’s Haven: The characters are the fun part when writing. Creating unique personalities and growing to love them. Is it easier to write about the characters if you find pictures of them before you write or do you write then find character pictures?

Jean: I usually form a picture in my head when I start writing a character. I must say that Mac Caldwell became Hugh Jackman in my head pretty quickly. Easy to see why! LOL. When I saw Colin O’Donoghue in a movie, he immediately became my fireman, Gavin Daily in April’s Kiss in the Moonlight. So I’d have to say pictures come after the character is written.

Reader’s Haven: How do you pick locations for your stories?

Jean: I fell in love with my son’s college town which was the inspiration for Willow Falls. The community where we have a summer cabin became the model for Pine Grove the town for my Moonlight series. And my home town of New York City is the background for my New York Nights novels. I love small towns and country living. But I’ve been in the city so long and there are so many unique places to write about in NYC that I have come to enjoy setting many stories there, too. I feel readers like to read about the glamorous side of New York, so that’s what I write about . “The Marriage List” is a perfect example of that.

Reader’s Haven: Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers?

Jean: One last thought to sum up. Creating believable characters is paramount to me. I insist that they appear real and the plots in their stories be logical. While I work to achieve this, the characters become real to me in that I can almost touch them. Perhaps that sounds weird, but writing fiction is an unusual process, both fascinating and one that defies explanation. I hope my characters and my books reach out to readers the same way they have to me.  

I would love to have a contest and will be happy to give away to one lucky commenter; the winner's choice of my Now and Forever series books.

Reader’s Haven: Jean. thank you again for inviting us here to chat with you. Deanna, let's go check out the campus and the cute college guys. Hey, most might be under half our age, but we can still look!!

Great stories of love and passion

 Jean Joachim, Author on Facebook
@jeanjoachim for Twitter 
Jean's Books on Amazon

Purchase Links "Now and Forever 3, Blind Love":

Now and Forever 3, Blind Love:

Can a handsome, charming, womanizing professor win the heart of a temporarily blind ballerina? Love comes to the university as Peter Caldwell, dashing Art History professor and accomplished pianist meets Lara Stewart, ballerina. Peter can’t seduce with her with his devastating good looks because Lara can’t see. Obsessed with the one woman he can’t have, Peter has to learn how to love.
Sam Caldwell joins Peter, Mac, Callie and his grandchildren. Witty and attractive, Sam isn’t looking for a woman but finds love isn’t only for the young but the young at heart as well.
Small town secrets feed a blackmailer and blackmail on campus is paid with sexual favors. Blind Love is a roller coaster ride of twists and turns. This full length novel is three parts love and passion mixed with one part intrigue, stirred up with a twist of mystery and heated up to three flames.

When half a dozen people get off the train from New York City in tiny Willow Falls, NY on a Wednesday afternoon, it’s a big crowd. 

Mac walked around to the driver’s side of the car and patted his pockets, no keys. He remembered last seeing them on the front hall table. He tip-toed quietly into the foyer so Callie wouldn’t know he’d forgotten them. He stopped when he heard the soft purr of Peter’s voice. Mac inched his way to the arch leading to the living room and peered into the room, moving back to remain unseen.
“You’ve been married awhile, Callie. Isn’t it time you took a lover?” Peter asked, sidling up to her.
Mac held his breath but couldn’t stop watching.
“Oh, but I have a lover, Peter,” she said, holding his gaze.
Mac froze. His stomach knotted.
“You do?” The surprise caused his voice to rise an octave.
“He absolutely sizzles.” Beads of sweat formed on Mac’s forehead.
“Does Mac know?” Peter raised his eyebrows.
“I don’t think so.” She turned away from Peter and Mac could no longer see her face.
“I don’t suppose you’d tell me who it is,” he asked, leaning toward her.
Callie whirled around to face him, a broad grin on her face.
“It’s Mac. He’s hot, Peter. So hot…I couldn’t possibly, wouldn’t ever need anyone else. Your brother is an absolute pistol in the bedroom.”
Mac’s cheeks puffed up. He quietly emitted a silent sigh of relief and smiled.
Peter laughed loudly.
“You passed the Peter Caldwell Loyalty Test with flying colors.” Peter walked over to an open box needing unpacking.
“You know what I could use?” Callie put her hand on his arm.
“What?” He reached into a box then stopped.
“A brother. I don’t have one of those,” she said, blinking back tears.

And last but not least, a little bit about Jean:
An English major in college, Jean always knew she wanted to write but didn’t know where to start. Non-fiction presented the best opportunities so Jean joined the corporate world of advertising and direct marketing.

     In 2010, fiction beckoned and with her youngest in college, Jean found the time to write “Now and Forever 1, a Love Story.” She fell in love with the contemporary romance and eight books later, she is still writing!

    Jean Joachim lives
in New York City with her husband, two boys and a rescued pug named Homer.


  1. Thank you so much for inviting me here today for this interview. I loved answering your questions and showing you around campus. Yes, there are a lot of cute guys here! :-)

  2. Interesting interview. Enjoyed the excerpt. I think I would love the story of the professor and the ballerina.

  3. Love the interview. I have to say that my favorite name of all your characters, Jean, is Bill Ryan from the story of how Sam & Ellen met. I can't wait to read The Renovated Heart. BTW, Mac is one of my favorite heros of yours.

    No need to enter me in the contest, I own all your books already.

  4. Thank you, Nightingale. Glad you enjoyed it. Lisa, glad you're looking forward to The Renovated Heart. Thank you for stopping by, ladies.

  5. I like the imperfect hero too. However I hate to name them. A book in six weeks, I need to learn how you do that. Great interview!

  6. Thanks for visiting, Jeanine. I write fulltime, which enables me to devote myself to getting a book out quickly once it's planned.

  7. Great interview and loved learning about your schedule. I wish I had that discipline

  8. I just finished this book this past week and I LOVE the scene when Sam and his new lady love are 'discovered' by her children! I was literally rolling on the floor as I read it:) Jean has awesome humor in her stories as well as characters who grab you and don't let go.

  9. Thanks everyone for stopping by and good luck in the drawing!
    Jean, I see we're going to be busy with commenters this week. Love it!
    We should have included a pic of Homer! I love Pugs. I agree with Lindsay; wish we were that disciplined. ~Louise

  10. Thank you Molly and Lindsay for stopping by. So glad you liked the book, Molly. I enjoy putting some humor in my books as I have so much in my life!!

  11. Hi Jean! We had a great time with this interview. Your book sounds like it's full of heart-warming stories. Thanks so much for spending the week with us!

  12. Deanna, thank you so much for stopping by! Glad you liked the interview. Yes, the book has some great family relationships that will warm your heart.

  13. Excuse me, I'd adore a mint tea as well with a side of disciplined writing.

    Great interview Jean. You've accomplished so much and your work is so inspiring. It was great reading more about you!

  14. Thank you AJ! Let's see, I'm sure we have some mint tea here. BRB. Oh, yes, here it is! Thank you for the kind words and for stopping by.

  15. And now I know how to pronounce your last name! I was sooo off base, giving it a Spanish pronunciation: Hwah-KEEM!!

  16. LOL! That's a common error, Pat. Most people pronounce it the way you did. Thanks for stopping by!

  17. What a fun interview and how lovely to be in upstate NY. I had a wonderful time driving through that region and it's beautiful! I like the idea of the on-site interview.

  18. Thank you. I love it up there. My imaginary town has become very real to me, I'm afraid. After three books written and a four one in the planning stage all happening in Willow Falls, I'm afraid I'm close to the line of fantasy and reality! LOL. Thanks for stopping by.

  19. Wow nice crowd we have here! Jean, I always pronounced your last as Jockim. LOL Nice to know the correct pronunciation!
    Everyone who has stopped by and commented Thank you! Good luck in the drawing.

  20. Good luck, everyone and thanks for stopping by. Thank you for hosting me this week. It's been a blast. Next time I run a contest maybe it should be how to pronounce my name? LOL.

  21. Congratulations Nightingale! You won a choice of eBook from Jean's Now and Forever series. Jean will be contacting you soon! ~Louise