Mallory Johansen has nearly given up on thinking she’ll get her act together – the one where she plays the part of an adult – by the time she hits thirty. As it is she’s desperate and depressed. Her only friend is leaving town, she’s paired to work with a man who can’t stand her, and she finds herself homeless. Definitely hasn’t mastered being a grown-up yet.
Otis Bell wants nothing more than to play his guitar, book acoustic bands to perform at his upcoming music venue, and be in charge of his own life. Instead, he’s working full time in his family’s auto shop. He only owns half the supposed music venue, which stands as an abandoned church and needs more than a little work. When his best friend moves away, he’s paired with an aloof girl he’s never liked as partner, and stretches himself thin working too many hours.
The Chapel is the little music venue that could. Full of potential. Full of ugly carpet, peeling paint, and exhausting work. Mallie and Otis navigate their way through a fledgling partnership, trying their darnedest to get the place up and running, while trying pretty hard not to fall in love in the process.
– When and where do you prefer to write?
I almost always write from my bed. It’s true! We homeschool, and my mornings are spent pouring over algebra books and history lessons at our school table. I like to escape to my room after lunch, and get cozy while I write.
– Do you have a certain ritual?
Music! I always listen to music when I’m writing. While working on The Chapel, I listened to folks like Fireside Collective, because they fit the music vibe of the story. (Music plays a big part in ALL my books).
– Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?
Usually hot tea. Sometimes a glass of red wine, if I’m working in the evening. I’m a huge fan of sparkling water, and drink it constantly.
– What is your favourite book?
I couldn’t possibly pick just ONE! I’ll narrow it down to my favorite romance authors: Penny Reid, Susannah Nix, Sally Thorne, Catherine Cowles, Devney Perry, and BB Easton.
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
All my published books are contemporary romance, and I have three more planned in my Fox River Romance series. But, I am also working on a children’s book with an illustrator friend. And I have several ideas for YA books floating around in my head!
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
Yes, but never entirely. I borrow traits from people I know, mannerisms or peculiarities. I’ve based two characters loosely on my high school best friend – because she’s hilarious and I like writing the “funny best friend” character. I find people fascinating, and I’m always interested in what makes them tick, so what I learn from real people often finds its way into my writing.
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
I don’t, actually. I tend to use the “notes” function on my phone a lot. Otherwise my head is full to bursting with my ideas.
– Which genre do you not like at all?
Hmm, I don’t love mysteries, although I do enjoy elements of suspense in some romance books. I rarely read horror anymore, but I went through a phase in high school where I couldn’t get enough!
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
It’s a dream of mine to work with one of my favorite authors!! (Remember that LONG list from the favorite book question? Haha). I guess if I had to pick one, I’d say BB Easton – because her stories are far more dark than mine, and she’d balance out my sweetness.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
Ooh, Australia. I’ve always wanted to go! Can I go live down there for a year to research? Then I could write a book about an author who did just that! Of course she’d fall in love, too, and it would turn into a romance.
Thank you, Jess B. Moore and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Jess B. Moore is a writer of love stories. When she’s not writing, she’s busy mothering her accomplished and headstrong children, reading obscene numbers of books, and knitting scarves she’ll likely never finish.
Jess lives in small town North Carolina with her bluegrass obsessed family. She takes too many pictures of her cats, thinking the Internet loves them as much as she does. She is a firm believer of swapping stories over coffee or wine, and that there should always be dark chocolate involved.
The Fox River Romance novels combine her interests in family, music, and small towns into a thoughtful tales of growing up and falling in love. These books can be read as stand-alone, or as a series starting with The Guilt of a Sparrow.