Skip to main content

Jenn McKinlay: On Going Home in Romance Novels

New York Times bestseller Jenn McKinlay discusses writing her new romance novel, Wait For It, and choosing her home city as its setting.

Jenn McKinlay is the award-winning, New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of several mystery and romance series. Her work has been translated into multiple languages in countries all over the world. She lives in sunny Arizona in a house that is overrun with kids, pets, and her husband's guitars.

Jenn McKinlay: On Going Home in Romance Novels

In this post, Jenny discusses writing her new romance novel, Wait For It, and choosing her home city as its setting, and more!

****

Writing the Romance Novel

This course explores why romance is the same, yet different. Some essential components of romance are unique to the genre, while some romance requirements are identical to those of any good fiction story. This workshop will help you to understand those specific factors that make up the specialized world of romantic fiction.

Click to continue.

****

Name: Jenn McKinlay
Literary agent: Christina Hogrebe
Book title: Wait For It
Publisher: Berkley
Expected release date: August 10, 2021
Genre/category: Women’s Fiction/Romance
Elevator pitch for the book: Nick Daire, a bitter recluse recovering from a stroke, thinks he doesn’t need anyone. To repay a debt to a friend, he rents his guesthouse to Annabelle Martin, a fixer, who believes if she can fix the broken men in her life they won’t leave her. They are both so very wrong.
Previous titles by the author: Paris is Always a Good Idea, One for the Books, For Batter or Worse, Buried to the Brim, The Good Ones, About a Dog, and 40 other titles.

Jenn McKinlay: On Going Home in Romance Novels

Wait For It by Jenn McKinlay

IndieBound | Bookshop | Amazon
[WD uses affiliate links.]

What prompted you to write this book?

I wanted to write a rom-com set in my city—Phoenix, AZ. There is so much to love about the desert, and it doesn’t get used often as a setting, so I wanted to share it with my readers using a transplanted Bostonian new to Arizona.

How long did it take to go from idea to publication? And did the idea change during the process?

The idea came to me in January of 2020, I wrote it a few months later, and it will hit the bookstores in August of 2021, so about 20 months total. The concept did not change, but I’m a heavy outliner, so none of my books ever really change once I’ve fleshed them out.

Were there any surprises or learning moments in the publishing process for this title?

After 50 books, not much surprises me in the publishing process anymore, but for the first time a landmark closed—a restaurant called the Top of the Hub in Boston—between the writing of the book and the page proofs, and I wondered if I needed to remove the reference before publication. I decided to let it stay as a reminder of the restaurant which had been in the Prudential Center for 55 years.

Jenn McKinlay: On Going Home in Romance Novels

Were there any surprises in the writing process for this book?

Not so much from the writing but definitely the research. There’s an architectural subplot about net zero builds, and I learned so much about environmentally friendly architecture that I am considering solar panels and gray water irrigation for my own house.

What do you hope readers will get out of your book?

Laughs, mostly, but also some inner reflection about life and the choices we make. The book is anchored with several heavy duty topics like opioid addiction, climate change, rebooting your life, and asking for help when you need it, so there is much to unbox as the characters navigate life and love and letting go.

If you could share one piece of advice with other authors, what would it be?

Every single writing cliché is annoying, particularly because they’re all true. Write every day. Write what you want to read. Make every book better than the last. And the most important of all—never give up!

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 640

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a pursuit poem.

Writing Light When the World Is Heavy

Writing Light When the World Is Heavy

Author Audrey Burges makes a case for spending time with details when writing light when the world is heavy.

Winter Woes

Winter Woes

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, your character is not happy with the cold weather.

Richard Hurowitz: On Finding Heroism in History

Richard Hurowitz: On Finding Heroism in History

Author Richard Hurowitz discusses the process of writing his new history book, In the Garden of the Righteous.

New Village Press: Market Spotlight

New Village Press: Market Spotlight

For this market spotlight, we look at New Village Press, a publisher focused exclusively on grassroots community building.

From Script

Should I Give Up the Writers’ Group I Started? (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, gain insight on how to gauge if it’s time to move on from your writers’ group and take inventory on what’s working and not working for your writing trajectory.

How a Diagnosis of MS Inspired an Emmy-Nominated Author

How a Diagnosis of MS Inspired an Emmy-Nominated Author

Author and editor Meredith Berlin discusses how her MS diagnosis inspired her to finish her novel.

Tess Sharpe: On Switching Between Thriller and Romance

Tess Sharpe: On Switching Between Thriller and Romance

Author Tess Sharpe discusses the original inspiration for her new YA romance, 6 Times We Almost Kissed (And One Time We Did).

Sheila Liming: On Nurturing Human Relationships

Sheila Liming: On Nurturing Human Relationships

Author Sheila Liming discusses her call-to-arms for social interaction in her new book, Hanging Out.