Writing Romantic Novels: An Interview with Jessica Dorsey

Where did you grow up?

I spent my childhood in upstate, New York. The small college town where I lived with my mother, father, sister, and brothers was idyllic in many ways. The college community was built up around the southern end of the lake. In the spring the hills were bright green and covered in flowers. In the summer they turned dark green and lush. The fall brought a rich array of autumn colors, and the winters covered the hills with a blanket of white.

Every Sunday, regardless of the season, our family would visit my grandparents. My family would pile into the old white station wagon and spend the afternoon having a meal in the city, or the country, with one set of our grandparents, or the other.

What did you enjoy doing as a child?

As a child, I enjoyed reading, sewing, playing with dolls, and above all else, I enjoyed writing. Every year I would begin a new diary, each with a tiny brass key, and a small golden clasp.

I dreamed of becoming a writer, in particular, I dreamed of writing romantic novels!

I was blessed with a vivid imagination. As far back as I can remember I had insomnia. Often I would lie awake for hours in my still, dark bedroom, watching the lights of passing cars flash across the bedroom walls.

I would fantasize about romance stories. I imagined places I would visit one day, friends I would have, and romantic adventures that would carry me across the ocean to unknown lands.

Did you always live in New York?

No, when I turned 15, my family moved to southern California. I continued to write, recounting each day in my journal. Following high school, I enrolled at the university, and majored in creative writing. My days, however, turned from writing into teaching and the raising of a family.

While visits to grandparents and a passion for reading continued, I found that I was caught up in the living of life rather than in the recording of days. It wasn’t until our children were grown that I began to write romantic novels in earnest.

Where do you see yourself today?

Today, I am blessed to have traveled the world with my husband. We’ve met other romance writers and we’ve experienced life. I now have the freedom to turn my childhood dream of writing love novels into a reality!

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