Author Interview: Jill Amy Rosenblatt

First off, tell me about yourself?
My name is Jill Amy Rosenblatt. I live on Long Island. I have a Master’s Degree in Literature and Creative Writing. I am the proud owner of an overactive imagination and a short attention span. I have too many hobbies to count and not enough time to get to half of them. One day, I would like to get back to watercolour painting and playing the saxophone. I don’t have a dog but I think it’s a good idea.

What made you want to be a writer?
As a kid, I was always daydreaming. I was the one in school sitting in the back row staring out the window.  I read a lot and I watched movies and television constantly, making up my own stories for the characters. I always liked to read the book a movie was based on and compare the two. Screenwriting was my first love. I read Syd Field’s books and took some classes. I spent quite a bit of time working on a few screenplays. During this time I thought about writing a novel but it was intimidating to me. I finally took the leap and I’m glad I did.

What attracted you to writing something like The Fixer series?
I didn’t choose the crime/suspense genre, it chose me! I do love reading crime novels and spy novels but I would never have thought I would write something like The Fixer series. I’m a very orderly person in that I like a quiet, calm environment. I like everything to be done properly and by the book . . . and I’m writing a series where almost everyone in the books is a criminal!

What interests me about Katerina Mills and her story is examining how people make choices. With every new situation, Katerina’s moral compass is being pushed more off course. An important part of the story is how Kat learns her criminal tradecraft and lives with the consequences of her decisions.

Tell me more about the series as well and where can people find your books?
The Fixer series is a crime/suspense origin story of college student Katerina Mills, a bright young woman in desperate need of cash. In The Fixer: The Naked Man, Kat takes a job as a professional “fixer,” a person who is paid to make the problems of the wealthy and powerful disappear.

The Fixer: The Killing Kind continues Kat’s story. As the jobs become more dangerous and Kat’s jeopardy increases, she quickly discovers that once you’re in, there’s no getting out.

Another element throughout the series is the supporting cast of characters Katerina needs in order to get her jobs done.  These “contacts” will show up in every book and I hope readers will look forward to seeing them come in and out of Katerina’s life.   

The books are available in ebook and paperback. They can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Google Play, Scribd, iTunes, and Smashwords.  If your library has Overdrive or Bibliotheca, you can request they purchase a copy.

How have your books been received and what is your own opinion of your work now it’s out there?
I’m happy (and relieved!) to say The Fixer books have been very well received. I’m always very critical of my work. A good day is when I read over my writing and think, “okay, I think this might be something.”

Is there anything you’d change or do differently now?
As far as the books are concerned, there’s nothing I would do differently. The Fixer: The Naked Man was the first book I wrote after I came out of writer’s block. I was so nervous that something would go wrong and I wouldn’t be able to finish! I wrote in a journal book. I just wrote scenes as they came to me and I wrote until I felt I was done. It turned out to be a novella and that’s fine with me.

Once I moved on to writing The Killing Kind, the story just kept coming and it’s a full length novel.  I’m still editing the third book in the series, The Fixer: The Last Romanov, and that will be larger still.

Tell me about your publishing journey?
My publishing journey began while I was in the middle of finally finishing my Bachelor’s Degree. I went to Burlington College and part of the program encouraged you to do practical work in your chosen field. I had also finished a draft of my first novel, Project Jennifer, at that time.  As part of my coursework, I sent out query letters to literary agents and I was very fortunate to gain representation. It’s a traditional path; the agent submitted my work to publishing houses. I received quite a few rejection letters! After a while, I was fortunate again, and Kensington Press accepted Project Jennifer and my second standalone novel, For Better or Worse.

At that period of my life, I was very naïve about publishing. After both books came out, I thought I would go on to write my next project and the publishing company would automatically accept it. I didn’t understand that you have to pitch and prove yourself.  After submitting several ideas to my agent at the time, we just couldn’t find a match.

I took a break after that. I developed a terrible case of writer’s block. I went back to school to finish my Master’s Degree. When the idea of The Fixer came to me, I thought long and hard about whether to try the traditional route again or go with indie publishing. I was intimidated but I got up the courage to go the indie route and I’m happy I did.  The experience of going traditional was invaluable to show me the process of how a manuscript is prepared for publication.

Have you written anything else besides The Fixer series and if so tell me about that?
Project Jennifer and For Better or Worse are both very different from The Fixer books. Project Jennifer is in the chick-lit genre. The book asks the question, “If you had a different name, would you have a different life?” For Better or Worse tells the story of three couples and explores the idea that in every relationship, one partner has more power, the upper hand.

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