Friday, April 13, 2012

Pharmaceuticals to Writer - Interview with Jennifer Shirk Touring with Sunny Days for Sam

BK: Please tell us a little about yourself...
Well, I have a pharmacy degree, but once I had my first child, I decided to become a stay-at-home mom. I would read a lot during naptimes and slowly but surely that developed into writing my own books. Now I write sweet lighthearted romances for Samhain and Avalon Books.

BK: Please tell us a little about your book...
I think of it as Mary Poppins meets Mr. Rochester. J I have a really sweet (almost too sweet) heroine who is a down-on-her-luck ex theme park princess who lands a job as a nanny to a handsome yet brooding Internet guru’s two children. There’s definitely a bit of a Cinderella theme woven in there too.

BK: What inspired you to pen this particular novel?
I was vacationing in Disney World and had princesses on the mind. So I gave Sunny a job as a theme park princess which is where she meets Sam and his two children. The story kind of took off from there.

BK: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably when my daughter was 18 months old. (2004) That’s when I started writing a book and even began taking some writing classes at the library. I really had caught the writing bug then and knew that was what I wanted to do.

BK: How do you keep your story flowing?
I outline before I write and give my characters definite Goals, Motivations, and Conflicts. It helps keep it flowing because you always know where you need to end up.

BK: Do you ever run into writer's block, and if so, what do you do to get past it?
No writer’s block. More like writer’s procrastination. I give myself a few days, but after that I just make myself work. Once a few words are written, the rest will start flow.

BK: What is your writing process like? Do you have any quirks, or must-haves to write?
I like to write mid morning. I give myself short goals as I go along. Like once I write 500 words, I reward myself by checking Facebook or reading a few blogs. Then I go back to writing again until I meet my daily goal.

BK: Where do you hope your books/writing will be in the future?
Well, I hope to write some more mainstream romances in the future. I’ve even kicked around the idea of self-publishing too. I like to keep all my options open.

BK: What do you hope readers will take away from your books?
I hope that they just get one of those feel-good feelings when they close my book—and maybe even a chuckle or two.

BK: What is one piece of advice you received that you carry with you in your writing?
Write what you like to read. 

BK: What is one piece of advice you would give to new and aspiring writers?
Keep writing and keep reading. That’s the only way you’ll get better. It’s something I still do for myself as well.

BK: Are you currently working on any new projects? What can we expect from you in the future?
I just submitted a new story to my editor called Kissing Kendall. It’s sort of a sequel to my prior release Georgie on His Mind. And right now, I’m working on a new romance where my hero is—of all things—a romance writer!

BK: Where can readers find you?
Lot’s of places! (I get around)





Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a pleasure having you and I wish you much success in the future.

Thanks so much for having me today!


Jennifer will be giving away a print copy of "Sunny Days for Sam" (US/Canada only) -- an eBook copy of "Role of a Lifetime" will be substituted as prizes for any international winners) to TWO randomly drawn commenters, and you can follow her tour HERE for more chances to win.

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?


Kim kicked her under the table, signaling her to say something about the nanny position before he disappeared.

Ow! Sunny scowled at Kim. Rubbing her shin, she turned to Sam. Uh, look, I was wondering since I need a job now, and you’re, well…”

A dawning of realization sparked in Sams eyes, and his expression grew several degrees colder. Ah, I see what this is all about. Now I know why you were so eager to help me. Im sorry but my company isnt hiring at the moment. Of course, you’re welcome to send in your resume for us to have on file.”

Resume? Company? She didnt even know he had a company to send a resume to. Um, no, actually, I was more interested in the, uh, nanny position.”

Sam blinked, then threw his head back and laughed. You want me to hire you as a nanny?

Emma stopped blowing bubbles in her milk and looked up with wide excited eyes. Sunnys going to be our new nanny?

Oh, cool! Cole exclaimed. Youre not mean like Natasha was and youre not old like that Mrs. Ferguson. Mrs. Ferguson was always putting things where they didnt belong and she couldnt see so good.”

Sam gave him a stern look. Hey, thats not nice to say, Cole.

Sorry. But if she was a knight, she would be Mrs. Forgets-a-lot.”

Sunny banked down a bubble of laughter.

Well, it doesnt matter how Mrs. Ferguson was, because Sunny is not going to be your new nanny,” Sam firmly told them.

Any lingering laughter Sunny might have had died on the spot. Oh, but I do have references!” she cried.Ive done a little babysitting on the side for years. I can be at your house at whatever time you want, except Friday and Saturday nights. And and… II can even cook. Sometimes.”

Sometimes? he asked.

She shrugged guiltily. “Well, its usually hit-or-miss with me. I do make very good peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and last year at the County Fall Festival I took first place for my double chocolate chip brownies.”

Sam let out an audible sigh. If Sunny was a betting woman, she’d wager he didnt seem too impressed with those credentials. Look, Miss, I prefer using an agency and going through all the proper channels. No offense. And I need someone willing to put in at least fifty hours a week.”

Sunny almost pinched herself when she heard fifty hours a week. That would pull in a lot of money. She obviously wasnt doing a great job selling herself, though. Sam was already back to calling her Miss instead of Sunny. She needed this job. But what else could she say? She finally looked to Kim for help.

Kim took the cue and stood, taking Sam by the arm and leading him out of earshot of the children. Well, just so you know,” she said in a hushed tone, “this is a small town. There’s no agency here, and from what your children said, I’m not so sure you’ve had the greatest luck with that. So you should at least consider Sunny. It’s really simple when you think about it. You need a nanny and she needs a job. Anyone in town will vouch for her. Heck, if youd use your eyes, you can see for yourself that she’s great with kids.”

Sam rolled his eyes then his gaze fell to his children. Emma had already climbed up onto Sunnys lap, running her little fingers through her straight blond hair. Cole had his hands in prayer position next to her. Sunny said a silent prayer, too. If Sam didnt fall for this kind of corny Norman Rockwell pose, then she had no absolutely chance in securing the position. She held her breath and waited.

Sam walked back toward them with a resigned look. His cell phone went off again, but he ignored it this time. Pinching the bridge of his nose, he finally muttered, “Fine.

Yay! the kids shouted, giggling and dancing around the table.

The breath Sunny had been holding rushed out of her lungs. She almost thought she’d misheard him. You mean it? Youll really hire me?

Yeah, but lets not get carried away. Itll just be temporary. Lets see how the week goes first.”

Sunny high-fived Kim then jumped out of her chair. She was so happy, she almost threw her arms around Sam and kissed him. Fortunately, Sams disapproving scowl kept her firmly rooted to the two foot distance between them. He didnt have much confidence in her, but that was okay. She had more than enough for both of them.

Oh, you wont be sorry, she assured him. Ill be the best nanny slash brownie maker slash ex-princess youve ever had. I guarantee, after this week, youll be so pleased, you wont ever want to let me go.

Sam folded his arms and smirked. Yeah well, well see about that.”

Jennifer Shirk has a bachelor degree in pharmacy-which 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.

She writes sweet romantic comedies and won third place in the RWA 2006 NYC's Kathryn Hayes Love and Laughter Contest with her book, The Role of a Lifetime.

She's also a board member for Straight Ahead Ministries, an organization involved in helping spread the gospel and aiding medical and pharmacy students in Russia. She resides in a beach resort in NJ, and when she's not involved in all the above, she's taking care of her most treasured possessions: her husband, daughter, and four hermit crabs.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Jennifer today!

Linda G. said...

Mary Poppins Meets Mr. Rochester? Ha! I LOVE that logline.

MomJane said...

I am so glad you have other books. I want to read them all. They sound like my kind of stories.

bas1chs said...

Thank you for having Jennifer on your blog today.

Jennifer, I have enjoyed getting to know you more and learning more about this book on your tour. Best wishes!

Maria Zannini said...

There's something almost fairytale like about a pharmacist giving up her career to be a stay at home mom.

Have you ever written a book along those lines? :)

Shelley Munro said...

I agree with Maria. That could be your next story.
I enjoyed the excerpt.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Ha! Maria, no. But Georgie on His Mind did have two pharmacists as the main characters. LOL

Thanks so much, everyone!

and thanks to BK Walker Books etc for hosting me!!

Sandra Cox said...

Sam is going to be another winner.