I’m delighted to welcome Jen Smith to the blog today. Jen is the author of Falling For the Competition which is available now. Thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for having me as part of the tour and to Jen for answering my author spotlight questions.
First of all, would you tell my blog readers a little about yourself?
Hello *waves*, I’m Jen and I adore all things medieval, particularly a good 13th century castle, a nicely vaulted stone ceiling and King John (he wasn’t all that bad!). I have a MA in medieval warfare, which is super cool but according to my mother does not help with ‘real world life’. I miss living by the sea and if I could eat only one thing for the rest of my life it would be tuna, cheese and onion toasties.
What inspired you to start writing?
Quinn and Patrick fell into my mind and wouldn’t let me go – really cheesy, right? But it’s true. I kept thinking about the castle setting and who would work there, and why they would work there and my little heart exploded. And that was that.
In a nutshell, what is your book about?
Quinn and her nemesis, Patrick, are both working in the castle archives department for the summer, and are competing for a once in a lifetime opportunity for a recommendation to the British Society of Medieval History. Throw in some knights, some long, pining looks and a couple of Twix’s and you’ve got my YA contemporary romance.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
I only had a working title, and the fantastic YA author Lauren James came up with Falling for the Competition, for which I shall be forever grateful.
How did you celebrate publication day?
Let’s just say there was champagne and chocolate.
Do you have a work in progress just now?
I do! It’s a rewrite of a paranormal romance that I wrote a number of years ago, so it’s a bit different to FFTC. I’ve got an adult romance percolating in my brain at the moment which is dying to be written as well.
What one book would you recommend to a friend and why?
The Secret History, Donna Tartt because it is everything. Oh oh, can I have two? The Wheel of Fortune by Susan Howatch, because of the pining romance, family historical saga, so amazing.
What are you reading just now?
I am reading The House of Sky and Breath, S J Maas.
If you were on Desert Island Discs, what one book would you take with you?
Hmm, that’s a tough one. Perhaps something by Kate Morton or Kate Mosse. Or The Secret History. Or The Raven Boys. Or Scorpio Races. Only one? Oh no, I can’t choose.
Is there a book you’d love to see made into a film?
Besides mine? I would ADORE to see The Scorpio Races as a film.
How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?
I’m on twitter @jensmith950, Instagram @jensmithauthor and Facebook Jen Smith Author,
And finally, if you could be a character in any book you have read, who would it be and why?
Blue Sargent from the Raven Boys because she’s fearless, she’s herself, she’s confident.
More about the book
It’s going to be the best summer ever for ambitious, overachieving Quinn. A huge history buff, not only has she landed her dream job interning in the archives department of the local castle, but her best friend will be working there too.
However, Quinn isn’t the only one to be working in Archives this summer; Quinn’s academic rival, Patrick, is sharing her office in Muniments. They’re competing for the Letter of Recommendation (singular) from the research historian that Quinn needs to get her dream future placement.
Their emotionally-loaded and competitive rivalry turns into a reluctant friendship, as they spend every day working together in silence (and sharing the occasional Twix). Until the Re-Enactors arrive. Between Patrick and Harry – the Golden Knight of the jousting team – Quinn’s carefully planned summer is thrown into complete disarray. Meanwhile, her best friend’s relationship may look perfect on the outside, but Quinn is starting to realise that there’s more going on than there seems.
Although Quinn is determined and single minded about planning every detail of her sparkling future, she comes to discover that the best things in life are the spontaneous ones – and that some people are more important than any Letter of Recommendation (singular) could ever be.