Meet Writer Jessica Nelson

Jessica Nelson writes inspirational romance, being a member of both Romance Writers of America® and American Christian Fiction Writers. She considers herself a pantser and doesn’t always follow the “rules.” Her story, The Bridegroom’s Revenge, took 3rd place in the Silicon Valley RWA 2007 Gotcha! contest. In addition, she’s received requests from agents as well as an editor. While awaiting The Call, she moves forward on her current WIP and consoles herself with chocolate when disappointing news arrives.

Jessica Nelson lives in Florida with her awesome fisherman hubby, whom she married just two days after high school. She’s a busy mother of three rowdy, precious little boys and is a self-confessed bookaholic.

I met Jessica here on my site, where she often leaves encouraging comments for other guests. A generous person, she shares sound writing tips on her blog, BookingIt.

Read on to learn more about this fun, friendly writer of heartwarming tales.

Jessica Nelson

Jessica Nelson

•Jessica, when did your writing journey begin, and what led you to focus on the romance genre?

I started reading romances in the fourth grade, so when I attempted my first novel in seventh grade, it rapidly turned into a romantic suspense. Basically, I just love romance. Most movies and books don’t interest me unless there’s some sort of romantic thread, however thin it may be.

•You’ve completed three manuscripts? Are they in the same sub-genre or different ones? Which story stands out as a favorite, and why?

My very first completed manuscript is a historical inspirational romance. I started writing it because I saw on Harlequin’s website that they were opening a new line called Love Inspired Historical. I abandoned the women’s fiction I’d been writing for two years because I thought, I can write a historical romance! No problem. Heh. No more historicals for me. Now I’m writing contemporary inspirational romances. Much easier for my brain. LOL.

As for favorite manuscripts, probably the one I’m writing at the time. After I complete a story, even after revisions, I tend to vacillate on whether it’s any good. The WIP is what I have enthusiasm for, and therefore it’s my favorite!

•You’ve said you’re “all about the alpha male.” What is it about alpha male heroes you most like? What aspects of their characters do you most enjoy writing?

Hmmm, I think I like the alpha male because many times they have a forceful, determined nature that I admire. Also, I’ve never really been attracted to emotional men, so I guess I read what I like.

By the way, I’ve got my own Alpha hero at home. He’s a hoot. I suppose this type of personality both amuses me and makes me feel safe.

Great question, Keli! It’s disconcerting to realize that I don’t really know why I love Alphas. LOL.

•From reading your blog, I see you like a bit of realism in your inspirational fiction in the area of physical attraction. Given the constraints of the market, this can be a challenge for inspirational writers. What are some examples you’ve seen where a published author did a good job balancing the physical relationship and the characters’ faith? How do you handle this aspect in your stories?

Francine Rivers was the first inspirational author I ever read who I felt handled natural attraction in a Godly way. That was in high school. I’ve also enjoyed Kristen Heitzman’s books, and recently, Julie Lessman’s.

Because I’m targeting Love Inspired, a more conservative CBA (Christian Booksellers Association) publisher, I try to tone down the physical attraction and up the emotional. I do like spicy kisses, knees trembling, heart pounding, all that good stuff! But I don’t think I’d ever write anything graphic about sex. Mostly just kissing. 🙂

•You said, “A WIP makes rejection easier.” Having submitted your story to a number of agents as well as contests, you’re no stranger to “thanks, but no thanks” replies or judges’ feedback. How do you deal with the responses? Chocolate? A bubble bath? A few therapeutic tears, perhaps? Or do you plow right back into your story, incorporating the suggestions you received?

I file the agent rejections, though anything that’s not a form rejection gets a thank you card. I only cried once, when my manuscript was rejected by an editor. But then I sucked it up, filed that letter, and kept going.

I wish I could say chocolate comforts me, but it’s actually a daily supplement. LOL. Plowing back into the story is my way. I find the nice comments on contest critiques and cling to those while taking the advice I feel appropriate to my story.

•You write while mothering three small boys, ages four, two and one. Impressive! I’m sure parenting and writing take most of your time, but we’ve heard the importance of mini-vacations. What do you like to do when you have a few rare moments to yourself?

I’m a HUGE bookworm. I don’t think I’m ever without a book. 🙂 I’ll also admit to being addicted to the TV show House.

•Here’s a question just for fun. I saw that you love to learn languages. Suppose a generous benefactor wanted to send you, your hubby, your kids and a top-notch nanny on a trip to a foreign country, giving you an opportunity to speak another tongue and immerse yourself in the other culture. Where would you go, and what would be some of your must-see sights?

Oh, man! That’s exciting to think about. I really don’t know. Can I tour all of Western Europe? What a lovely dream. 🙂

It’s been great having you as my guest, Jessica. And now, in closing, is there a final comment you’d like to make or a question you’d like to ask?

I’m so honored that you thought I’m interesting enough to interview! Thank you for taking the time to do this. You’re awesome!

First, if any family members stop by, just want to give you all a great, big shout-out!

Secondly, my question has to do with dreams. I think God has given us all special talents and unique desires to accomplish practical things. Pursuing our dreams nourishes our souls. What are your dreams for the future?

Learn More About Jessica

Visit her Blog: BookingIt

Friend her on: MySpace: jessicanelson7590

or on

Facebook: Jessica Nelson

Leave a Comment for Your Chance to Win!

I’ll choose a winners from those who leave a comment for Jessica on 2/12 & 13 (and include an email address when prompted, which I don’t share), and will post the winners’ names on 2/14.

Eileen Astels won and will have her choice of:

A set of 16 inspirational note cards

Blog Prize

They read: "Faith gives us a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to God." Psalm 40:3


a copy of Kaye Dacus’ debut novel, Stand-in Groom, released in December.

Kaye's Debut Novel

You could also win a First Sale Scrapbook!

If you’d like to have a chance at winning a First Sale Scrapbook created by your blog hostess, Keli Gwyn, leave a comment on any post between now and February 28. Make sure to include your name and email address when prompted if you want to be entered in the drawing. (Your information will not be shared.) Click red link above to see samples of covers and pages.

On March 1, Keli will choose one person who will have her choice of five covers on an 8×8 inch, twenty-page scrapbook in which s/he can document that long-awaited first sale. The pages will cover various milestones including The Call, signing the contract, receiving the first advance payment and holding your “firstborn” in your hands.

(No scrapbooking skills required. You just add your photos and journaling.)


About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
This entry was posted in American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, writer interview, writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to Meet Writer Jessica Nelson

  1. Always interesting? Wow, thank you Carol! That is a really nice thing to say. 🙂 My writing falls by the wayside sometimes, ’cause I gotta catch the kiddos! LOL They’re fast little stinkers.

  2. Hi Jessica and Keli, great interview.
    Jessie, it is so nice to learn more about you. I didn’t know your hubby was a fisherman. It sounds like you have your own hero right at home.
    Someone recently told me that we shouldn’t bury our gifts under the blanket. You have a wonderful gift with your writing, I know having read huge part of Bridegroom’s revenge. Never give up, you are an inspiration to us all 🙂

  3. He is a hero, albeit sometimes a stinky one. LOL Marie-Claude, those are very kind words. Thank you. *blushing*
    You’re an inspiration too! I love following your writing journey.

  4. Thanks for interviewing Jessica, Keli. She is a joy to know in blogland, and it was nice getting to see more of her here.
    Now, if I can just get her to convince my fitness husband that chocolate really is a suppliment…*grin*

  5. kat magendie says:

    Wonderful Interview, Jessica! And you know I’m wishing you a contract – *smiling* — I know how rejection stings – but never give up!

    I also like there is a place here for unpublished writers to talk about their work – brava!

  6. No problem, Karen. Just let him know 3 things.
    1) Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants. The more the better!
    2) It boosts our endorphin levels by making us feel good, thus creating a happier, more lovable wife.
    3)It encourages us to work out, especially when we go up a size because of a chocolate spree. So it’s actually inspires us to exercise!
    Can you tell I keep these reasons handy?
    Thank you for stopping by Karen! You’re so nice. 🙂

  7. Hey Kathryn,
    Thanks for stopping by! Rejection stings a little, but the work of being published makes a contract so very special!
    As you well know, being a contracted lady. 🙂

  8. Brenda Thibodeaux says:

    Hi Jessie,
    I am so impressed! I loved reading your interview. Congratulations!

  9. Thank you Brenda! I can’t believe you stoppped by. I actually wasn’t sure if I had your right e-mail address. 🙂 Now I’m going to be e-mailing since it’s so much easier than trying to chat on the phone with little munchkins everywhere. LOL

  10. Hi Keli,
    I’m not sure if anyone else will be dropping by, but I just wanted to say thank you for interviewing me. 🙂
    Maybe sometime you can guest on my blog? I’d love to hear about your writing journey. Plus all that fun Golden Heart stuff! LOL

  11. Jennifer Fowler says:

    Looking forward to reading your books!

  12. Aly Brown says:

    Great interview of a talented, and yes, effervescent young writer.

  13. Jenni! Or should I say…Justin? LOL Thanks for stopping by and printing up the interview for Jenni to read. You’re the best husband ever (next to mine, of course) LOL

  14. Wow, Alycia I’m really honored that you’d take time out of your day to come comment. Thank you. 🙂
    So you think I’m effervescent too? LOL C’mon, you have to set Anita straight. Let her know that I’m a dull, quiet bookworm.

  15. denise petrovich says:

    Great interview Jessie, I enjoyed reading it very much and hope to read more about up and coming authors. I find you to be very interesting and stimulating.

  16. Love the interview, ladies! Jessica, I’m a huge House fan, too! Don’t you just love how awful he is! LOL

    I record every episode and when my son comes home from college for a break, we have a marathon. 🙂

  17. Haha, mom….
    Thanks for commenting! Did you think I was stimulating when I was five months old, screaming my head off because I wanted more food? Or was it when I refused to go to bed? LOL
    Love you.

  18. Yes I do, Missy! LOL We don’t have a tv (as in shows, etc) so when I first started watching House, it was the season set my mom gave me. LOL I hear you on the marathon. Hubby and I watched 2-3 episodes per night.
    That’s great how you and your son can do that together!
    Thanks you for stopping by. 🙂

  19. Jean Begin Wildhaber says:

    thanks for sending me your interview!! It is awesome, interesting and funny. I know you will be celebrating your fame before we know it because you are one talented lady…
    I fell pridefull right now. Yes, we are related so I can say I love you.

  20. Keli Gwyn says:

    Thanks to everyone who stopped by and left a comment for Jessica. Hope you enjoyed learning more about her and her writing journey as much as I did.

    I’ve held the drawing, and the winner is Eileen Astels. Congrats, Eileen. I’ll be in touch.

  21. Jessica says:

    Grandma! I’m so glad you stopped by. I’m proud to be related to you and am so thankful for how supportive you are. I love you too!

  22. Jessica says:

    Thank you Keli! You’ve been an awesome hostess and I can’t wait to read about your journey someday. (or maybe it’s on your site? I’ll have to snoop around… lol)

  23. Pingback: Welcome Author Jessica Nelson | Keli Gwyn's Blog

Comments are closed.