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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Today's Special - - Jess Michaels

Jess Michaels is a woman with multiple personae.  She writes historical romance as Jenna Petersen, snarky urban fantasy as Jesse Petersen and, as Jess Michaels, is an award-winning author of erotic historical romance.   I first met this talented author -and really fun lady - as Jenna Petersen but today we're welcoming her as Jess Michaels, writing geek.  When Jess isn't busy writing, she can be found hiking the desert surrounding her Arizona home, spending time with family and designing jewelry (which she sells).  Find more information about her at her website.

Welcome, Jess!

Confessions of a Romance Writing Geek
Jess Michaels

Hi everyone and thanks so much to PJ and Andrea for having me here on Romance Dish. I think we’ve known each other since the dawn of time. Okay, so maybe more like 7-8 years. Sometimes that feels like the dawn of time to me.  But some of you lovely readers may not know me quite so well, so here is what you need to know about me: I write erotic historical romance as Jess Michaels set in the Regency period. I write dark, emotional erotic stories and it’s pretty darn fun. I have also written historical romance as Jenna Petersen and I write snarky urban fantasy as Jesse Petersen. I wear a lot of hats.

But the big thing I’m here to talk about today is I am also a self-proclaimed, loud and proud geek. It didn’t used to be cool to say that. As a kid, my geekish tendencies had me ignored on the playground, but now is a great time to be a geek. So how am I a geek? Well, my home is decorated with art from comic books, Star Wars and Venture Brothers for one. I am a huge fan of anime. I wear t-shirts with Star Wars on them and lines from Portal (a video game). Oh, and I play video games. A lot. And Munchkin.

So basically, your happy geek. But lately I’ve been thinking about the fact that my geekishness is what helps me write. As a kid, I was always entangled in pretending. My brother and I had friends (The Davlin Kids) who used to come to stay with their Dad in the summers. As soon as they got to town, they’d practically live at our house, playing Star Wars, writing our own movies and generally wreaking havoc on the order of my Mom and Dad’s house.

Pretending got me through a lot of days. Telling and acting out stories was a fun escape we all indulged in. Now I do it for a living. Though instead of acting out the stories I’m telling, I write them down on the page and eventually they become available for mass consumption. I don’t think I’d be doing that if I hadn’t played Princess Leia in a dozen new adventures in my back yard as a kid.

So what makes you geek out? Or did you ever do anything as a kid that led you to the path you’re on now?


  1. I didn't write as a child but I did make up lots of stories and books were my playmates so I imagined different endings if I didn't like the one written. Wanna know how many different endings I put on Gone With the Wind??? LOL

    My son is a gamer and I would like to have the money spent on the different sets of star wars we have gone through on VHS, not to mention LOTR thankfully the dvd's last a little longer.

    1. Wanna know how many different endings I put on Gone With the Wind??? LOL

      I bet they were happier than the original!

    2. Um, doesn't she just run after him the moment the credits end and tell him to stop being an ass and he comes back and they have awesome sex at the end of Gone With the Wind? That's how I remember it?

  2. I knew I liked you for a reason, Jess! You likely won't remember, but we met and had dinner when you spoke to my chapter--HCRW. I wish I'd known then that you were a fellow geek. We could have compared geeky T-shirt collections. Most of mine relate to Firefly, however, there are at least 3 Portal related ones in the house.

    The Cake is a Lie, my friend..


    1. The Cake is a Lie, my friend..

      See, if I was a geek I'd know what that means! :)

  3. Hi Jess! Welcome! So great to have you with us today. I'll be back after I've had some coffee. ;-)

  4. Hi, Jess (whom I know better as Jenna)!

    I spent lots of time living in books when I was a child. Anne Shirley, the March girls, and Betsy, Tacy, and Tib seemed as real to me as the neighborhood kids with whom I played dodge ball and Red Rover. My best friend and I also had a ongoing game of pretend, heavily influenced by Saturday matinees, in which we were Amazon princesses searching for hidden treasure (our mothers' castoff costume jewelry).

    I don't play video games, but I'm surrounded by players, from my sister to the seven-year-old grand. Persona and Assassin's Creed are the adult family favorites. My youngest nephew has made an anime fan of me, but I'm not sure that qualifies me for geekdom.

  5. Hi, Jess! And Jenna! LOL. We're so happy you're here dishing with us. Congrats on our new releases and your geekiness! That's definitely something to celebrate. I am a bit of a geek. I love Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter.... And I am dying to see The Hobbit!! And since I've recently fallen in love with The Walking Dead, I simply must move your Jesse Petersen books to the top of my TBR pile!!

  6. I didn't realize you were one and the same! Who mentioned Firefly - love that series and so sad it wasn't on the air very long. I liked going to school so that probably makes me a geek lol. It was preferable to homelife. And books were always and will always be my escape to other worlds.

  7. I wasn't really ever called a geek. I wasn't into techie stuff. But I was bookish---still am.:P I was called a brainie because of my study habits and good grades. I hung out with people that some would call misfits, but I found them to be more interesting than the jocks and pretty ones. I was really into classical music and poets. LOL I still love classical music, poets not as much now. I am surrounded by people that love computers, Apple products, and video games.

    bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

  8. I get geeked about books. I love the library.

  9. My sons and husband will both tell you I'm definately a geek! The only time I get "dressed" up is for work and is mandatory! The rest of the time I'm in a pair of of jeans and probably a turtleneck under a cardigan that doesn't match!

    Sometimes they even have to remind me that dinnertime is coming up and to please stop reading! That's when I remind them that when they were young a was a diligent Mom who understood that men (and boys) needed to learn to not only cook but to also learn to iron and wash their own clothes!

    So call be a geek if you want - I'd rather call it prudent planning. In fact I made them both take typing classes in High School (no computer courses at the time) because my first "real" job was when I was 17 and worked during the summer between my Junior and Senior year of High School as a secretary in a Law Office for three lawyers. They weren't happy troopers at the time but they thanked me when they got college and were the only ones that knew how to type! I have a feeling they made some money from their friend because of their "unique" talent!

    PS: Did I mention that their wives love me?

  10. spend all my free time reading, or embroidery !!! to this day I still love both.. My dad taught me... read all you can.. have utmost respect for authors, my dad said an author will take you places and you will do things that you may not otherwise get to do !! so, I always read !!!! Little Women influenced me to do needlework !! love it.. warm living room with the family, mom would crochet and we would read or embroider.. I am a geek and am so happy with my life !!! Rosemary Foley rfoley@salemstate.edu

  11. Hi everyone! SorryI didn't get on yesterday. Seriously, I feel like my life is swirling right now. Had our nephews' Christmas play, then working on Relay For Life stuff (I'm Event Chair for our local event next year). Anyway, I'm here and so glad to find so many fellow geeks. The Cake is TOTALLY A LIE. I need to make a necklace that says that....