Q&A With Jessica Saunders

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Q&A With Jessica Saunders 

I have the honor of doing a Q&A with author Jessica Saunders whose debut novel Love Me will be released on January 16th 2024! 

Q: Jessica, would you like to tell the readers of the blog and I about Love Me, & where the idea for the book came from?

A: Love, Me is the story of Rachel Miller, a married mom and lawyer, whose life is upended when photos of her and her high school boyfriend – the very famous movie star, Jack Bellow – are published in a tabloid. I’ve been an avid reader my whole life, and I always knew I wanted to write a novel, so I pay close attention to stories around me.  This idea originated from a very random conversation with a family member, who mentioned that her ex used to date a very famous actress. Of course, I had a million questions, including whether he ever considered selling their old photos!

Q: Are you currently writing your second novel now? If so, is it a standalone novel or is it a sequel to Love Me?

A: Love, Me was written as a standalone novel, but I could see revisiting the characters down the line. I am currently in the early stages of writing a new novel, but I am still working in my day job as a lawyer, and I have two young daughters, so finding the time to write has been a challenge! I love writing though, and I am eager to devote more time to it. 

Q: Whether Hollywood has the rights to Love Me, or not, who would be your dream cast to play the characters you created?

A: This is a fun question! As I was writing, I always pictured Ryan Reynolds for Jack, because he seems like a genuine person, but is also undisputedly gorgeous. Someone also recently suggested Justin Hartley to me, from This is Us, and I immediately was like YES! As far as Rachel, she’s a real woman in her forties. I could see someone like Melanie Lynskey or maybe Kate Winslet in the role. They are both incredibly talented, yet relatable. My little one has already claimed the role of Emma, Rachel’s daughter.

Q: Is it fair to say the characters and places in your stories are taken from real people and places? 

A: Everyone says to write what you know, and it felt very natural to me to place this family in Westchester, New York where I live. Similarly, I wanted Rachel to be a professional woman in her forties who is balancing her job and her family life, like me.  The rest of the story is fiction though, and I very much enjoyed escaping into this world. 

Q: If you were to write in another genre that wasn’t romance, which genres would they be and why?

A: I like to say Love, Me is contemporary fiction with romantic elements.  Unlike a traditional romance, there isn’t a straight trajectory towards happily ever after, it’s more about a woman’s journey and self-discovery.  I could see maybe dipping a toe into psychological thriller/domestic suspense. I find those books so easy to devour. I may have a children’s book in me as well, and my older daughter is eager to write something together, so I am hoping to do that one day, too.  

No matter what genre, I want my novels to be accessible, but smartly written.  I’m hopeful Love Me delivers on that for your readers.