Q&A With Jessica Martin

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Q&A With Jessica Martin

Back in June, Chelsea Pascoe mailed me. The Dane Of My Existence by Jessica Martin which I recently finished reading this past weekend. Jessica is also the author of For the Love of the Bard. Both books are for fans of romantic comedy and Shakespeare. The Dane Of My Existence came out on July 4th and is available now.


Q: Jessica would you like to share what The Dane of My Existence is about for those who haven’t read it? 

A: For those of you who did read For the Love of the Bard, you may recall Portia as someone who was problematic for our main character. She and Miranda, the heroine of the first book, had some sisterly beef to work through. I thought it was only fitting that Portia be given a chance to tell her story and have a chance at a happy ending.

Q: I recently discovered The Dane of My Existence is the sequel to For the Love of the Bard. I want to read For the Love of the Bard because I think I would love reading Miranda’s story as the main character. Can you read both books as standalones? 

A: Absolutely. Even though Portia’s story is a “sequel” in that it takes place the summer after For the Love of the Bard, there’s enough backstory in each book that you could read either first without too many spoilers in Portia’s story. 

Q: What made you choose New Hampshire as the setting and what made you choose Shakespeare for the town to be obsessed with? 

A: I grew up in New England and have always been in love with small towns and the people who inhabit them. Everyone always has a story for why they live where they do and do what they do. The idea for Bard’s Rest was born from that love of small towns. I wanted this one to have something that united them. Shakespeare was a natural choice because you could build much of the town’s identity around it—from festivals to shop fronts.

Q: Would you ever write a retelling of your favorite Shakespeare plays?

A: It’s a possibility. There are some really great retellings out there. I particularly like the Hogarth Shakespeare series that features retellings by authors like Margaret Atwood (Hag-Seed), Anne Tyler (Vinegar Girl) and Jeanette Winterson (The Gap of Time). I always thought A Midsummer’s Night Dream set at a cosplay event could be really fun. 

Q: What is your advice to anyone wanting to write great romantic comedies? 

A: Just get it all out there on the page and worry about it later. That’s what the editing process is for. If you get too caught up in any one paragraph or chapter, it can bog down your whole process. It also helps to read in your genre to get a sense of what the market looks like and how you can distinguish yourself.

Q: Are you working on another sequel to For The Love of the Bard & The Dane of My Existence? 

A: I’ve got a couple of projects in the tank right now, but there’s always a possibility we will see another Bard’s Rest romance. I’d love to do Cordy’s story next, or maybe Candace. She could plan the wedding of—oh wait no spoilers.

Q: Where is your favorite spot to plot, write and edit your stories? 

A: I write in my car a lot. It’s something I started doing out of necessity during Covid when the world was closed. Now I do it because I like it. I will park at this state forest in our town with a mug of tea and my laptop and work there for hours. 

Q: Does Hollywood have the rights to your work? The entertainment industry is in desperate need for original content again. 

A: The rights for Bard’s Rest are still up for grabs should anyone want a charming small-town setting with quirky characters and summery plots.