Love Out Of Lust Series

Sunday, January 15, 2012

AfterDark's Interview with Jean Joachim

From the glowing lights of West Wendover, to on top of the Empire State Building in New York, my hometown, Jean Joachim shares a cocktail moment with AfterDark Online as she tells all about herself.

Yum, you make a delicious Cosmo, Ray.

1. Jean, thank you so much for the opportunity to interview you. Well, from one New Yorker to another, you’re the first NY’er I’ve ever interviewed. So I’m pleased to do so, why don’t tell us about yourself?

I’m a writer, wife, mother of two boys and a rescued pug named Homer. I live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, near the Museum of Natural History. In my spare time, I like to crochet, bake and cook on the holidays. I have always dabbled in art and photography is my newest artistic passion. These are my strong suits, now for weaknesses! I’m a mechanical moron having no idea how a television or a car works. Those are straight miracles to me. I turn the circuit breakers off when I change the plate on the light switch because I don’t trust myself not to get electrocuted! Lol.

2. As I got to know about you, you’re woman with lots of belts around your waist. How long have you been writing and when did you decide to get into writing romance?

I’ve been writing non-fiction for over 20 years, everything from radio copy to direct mail to articles on parenting and school fund-raising, plus a movie review column for parents. I have seven non-fiction books published and now eight works of fiction. I’ve only been writing fiction for the past two years, yet I love it more than any other type of writing I’ve done.

Romantic stories have been floating through my brain for years, mostly in the form of screenplays. Two years ago, after an extremely difficult period in my life, Callie Richards landed in my head and told me her story, which became “Now and Forever 1, a Love Story.” I fell in love with the characters and their story and wrote three books in the series one right after the other. That was it. Romantic fiction was my new passion.

3. At what point did you decide to be a self-employed writer?

I spent a year taking care of my family and a favorite aunt, teaching marketing in college and writing my column. After that incredibly stressful year, my aunt died, my son went away to college and I shed most of the responsibilities that were preventing me from writing full time, except for the movie review column. I stopped teaching and dug into writing full time, about two years ago.

4. How does your family and friends feel about the work you do?

I think they are proud of what I have achieved as they know how hard I have worked. Although they may not understand my desire to write about love and romance, many of my friends have been supportive of my work, reading my books and giving me valuable feedback. My sons are too embarrassed to read my books but they are proud of my achievements. My husband is pretty amazed but as he said, “you’ve worked hard for this” and I have.

5. While romance is your main genre, are there any other genres you write?

Someday I might attempt a mystery. I have written a children’s mystery. Some of my romances are dark with threatening elements, bad guys, murder and such. I’ve always been a big mystery fan since the days of Nancy Drew. But now I so enjoy spending my days mucking up my characters’ lives and then saving them. Spending your day thinking about love is such joy for me.

6. Is there a particular genre you haven’t touched, but you would interested in getting into?

I love comedy and write parodies often. I think writing a romantic comedy would be a ton of fun. I’m considering turning a project I’m planning with a friend into a comedy. Making people laugh is a gift.

7. About your latest book, Now and Forever 2, the Book of Danny, please tell us about your book?

This was a special book, an emotional journey for me. Danny is a minor character from Now and Forever 1, a Love Story who came to me and told me his story. I almost felt possessed by him, listening to his tale of recovery from the trauma of his brother’s death, his PTSD from his Iraq war experiences and his struggle to find a new life and love. It is a highly emotional, often raw story of a smart, young, attractive man coping with serious loss and making his way to a happy ending.

8. What inspired you to write your book Now and Forever 2, the Book of Danny?

Honestly? I know this will sound a little weird, but Danny did. As I said, he landed in my head and dictated his story to me. With a new twists and turns that developed while writing the story, it’s Danny’s thoughts and Danny’s words. The book is written from his point of view.

9. Are there any upcoming projects you are working on?

Glad you asked! I am finishing up the last 12K words on “Lost & Found” a military romance I’m writing with Ben Tanner, a retired Marine. And I’m expanding “The Marriage List” as I have had people ask for more about Carrie and Grey. I will be writing a Valentine’s Day story about Grey’s brother, too. Then I have two finished books to edit before submitting and two more books for Moonlight and New York Night series to write. I expect 2012 to be very busy.

10.  What was the toughest project you faced so far, but was proud of the accomplishment?

I guess my first non-fiction book, “Beyond the Bake Sale, the Ultimate School Fund-Raising Book” because it was my first book and written for St. Martin’s Press, a major publisher. I was insecure about it as you get the contract before the book is completely written. It is a book that has helped thousands of people to improve their children’s schools. I am very proud of that achievement.

11. Cocktail Moment: If there was a drink of your kind, what would it be? (alcoholic or non-alcoholic)

I’d probably be a Black Russian, sweet, smooth, delicious but with a helluva kick later.

12. Is there a trivial thing you would like your readers to know about you?

I love to laugh and have been known to go on uncontrollable laughing jags at the most inappropriate times, like in the middle of the ballet at Lincoln Center.

13. What advice would you give to other writers, especially to those starting out?

Keep writing. Don’t judge your words as they are first put down on paper, learn to become a sharp editor of your own work. Keep editing until you’re truly pleased. Read everything you can get your hands on in the field you want to write in, the good and bad. You will learn from it all. And never give up.

14. Lastly, where can people follow you? (i.e. social network sites, blogs, websites, etc)

Facebook – Jean Joachim, Author

Ms. Joachim, thank you so much for this lovely interview. I really do hope we have another opportunity to do another one in the future. Thank you so much! :-)

Thank you so much for having me, Ray. It’s an honor to be here. Do you think I could get one more eenie weenie Cosmo before I go out. It’s cold here in Manhattan and I need something to keep me warm.

Defintely (reaching for a martini glass)


“I’m not tellin’.” His brow furrowed, Benson asked, “Say Captain…you sleep good?”
“Okay, I guess,” he lied.
“I see things. I wake up. I don’t sleep all night,” Benson said quietly.
Danny nodded, looking away.
“Will those things go away? Will I always be seein’ Joe or Cal when I go to sleep?”
“I hope not,” Danny said, without conviction, looking down at his hands.
“At least I’m still here. Thanks to you.”
“I told you, just shut up about what happened,” Danny snapped, making a fist.
“Everybody here does his bit. I did mine…with you. Don’t talk about it,” Danny said in a
low voice.
“Okay, okay.”
“You’re one brother I’m returning home,” Danny said softly to himself.
“Hey, Maine, we’re coming down over Syracuse. This is your stop, right?” the pilot hollered
back to Danny, who moved up to the cockpit.
“Yeah. That’s me.”
“Where do you go from here?”
“I got a ride with Sgt. Marie Willis to Willow Falls,” Danny said.
“Some hick town?”
“College town.”
“You going to school?”
“Marie, huh?”
“Better warn her about the Captain,” Benson piped up from the back.
“Shut up Benson or I’ll have to break your arms, too,” Danny called.
“Ever see her, Benson? Don’t think the Captain will be interested.”
“She’s female, isn’t she?”
“As far as I know.”
“I’m interested,” Danny said with a snicker.
“Your vitamin E pack, Captain.”


  1. Love this interview! I am glad to know such an interesting person.

  2. Great interview Jean and Ray! Fascinating that you've been writing non-fiction for so long, i would wager it's freeing to write no-holds-barred now! I wonder will you ever go back to writing non-fiction or are you smitten with fiction for good now? :-) fantastic books and I look forward to more in your series!

  3. Love the excerpt, and great interview!

  4. Loved this interview and excerpt. It just goes to show there is more to people than meets the eye. (((hugs)))

  5. Very interesting interview! You are a very talented lady, Jean.

  6. Great interview! I always enjoy learning more about the person behind the writer and the way they work.

  7. Hi Ray, great interview. Hi Jean, nice knowing more about you. I did not know you wrote so many non-fiction works, that's great.

  8. I FINALLY got here! Whew! Ray, thank you so much for having me here. It's been fun. Tessa, yes, I plan to stay in fiction, although I do have one unfinished non-fiction project my agent would like me to complete. Maybe. When I run out of fiction ideas, which may be...never? Thank you all for stopping by and leaving comments.