Interview with Jennifer Rebecca, Author of The Complete Presidential Affair Series

25 May 2021

What can you tell us about your new release, The Complete Presidential Affair Series?

The Presidential Affair series is a complete four book series that starts with a US Senator running for President and ends with the Vice President finding a second chance at love. But nothing in DC is free from scandals, plots against the President, and a lot more excitement that I don’t want to give away.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

My maternal grandfather, Murray Luftig. He was a criminal court judge and a WWII veteran. He wrote a book, a mystery, about a man hiding secrets years after the war and the end of the Japanese Internment camps, as the communities in southern california began to put their lives back together. He wrote the book in the 1980’s, way before indie publishing was even a thing really. He shopped it around, sent it to different content editors, etc, but by the time he was ready to shop it again, Alzheimer’s Disease had begun to claim his everyday reality. He passed away in 2015 and today the book is still unpublished. It was his one regret. When I published my first book in 2016, it was for him, and every book since, I feel like we did it together. Although he’d have probably been a little scandalized by some of the content in my books, I feel a connection to him knowing that I’m living his dream.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

Rebecca by Daphne du Mauier

Heaven and Hell by Kristen Ashley

Twisted Bond by Emma Hart

The Bride by Julie Garwood

Whiskey Rebellion by Liliana Hart

Honorable Mention goes to: Macbeth by Shakespear, How Hard Can it Be by Robyn Peterman, and Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

DEAD: Probably Daphne du Maurier. She was really ahead of her time. The twists, the turns, the mind twists. I love it all. I’d ask her what inspired her? What was her muse? And how hard was it for her to be taken seriously as a woman in that time?

LIVING: Julie Garwood. I’d want to know how she comes up with her characters? How she navigates contemporary and historical and does it well. What inspires her?

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

I love that it’s whatever I can dream up. I love plotting the reveal of the bad guy, I love writing a redeemable hero or a less than perfect main character, someone you can relate to. I love killing a main character. There’s not much I don’t love. Maybe deadlines, but that’s it. Everything else is sunshine and rainbows.

What is a typical day like for you?

I get up, get my kids moving, pack lunches, find shoes, get them on the bus, and then I get to work. I handle a lot of the real busniessey stuff in the am during normal hours so anything for my other hustle, LitUncorked. Then I write for a bit before heading down the road to my parents house where I might run errands with my dad or do something with my mom. I work from their house until the kids get home from school then it’s off to do homework, drive them to sport or team practices, etc. I make dinner for all of us at my parents and then my husband and I take the kids home to our house where we all hang out for a bit. Then they go off to bed and I’ll hunker down to write for a few more hours before I crash for the night. It’s wild and it’s crazy but I’m honestly living my best life. I love every last one of those weirdos so it’s worth it. I’d also be lying if I claimed to be super mom. Truthfully, I get by with a boat load of coffee and a nap whenever I can.

What scene from The Complete Presidential Affair Series was your favorite to write?

I loved them all. I really enjoyed writing this series more than most. It was so fun and delicious to watch good people be a little bad. If I had to narrow it down, when Ryan is shot in the end of book two because you don’t know where his loyalties lie. I love making you wonder if someone is good or bad or both.

My second pick is in the final book, Kayla is a single mother and Afghanistan widow. She’s had a good life, she has a family who loves her, and she works an honest job to provide for her daughter. But she doubts if she can take a risk on love because every time she does, she gets hurt, either by death or betrayal.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

I read an interview with Chelsea Handler years ago and they said that her being a nice person was actually the worst kept secret in Hollywood. She laughed and said she tried to stay away from the really ugly competitive nature of the business. She said that she had heard this quote and it stuck with her. It was “Blowing out someone else’s candle doesn’t make yours burn any brighter.” It really resonated. Years later, I carry it with me still. As I grow in my career, I do it honestly and compassionately. If I can help another author, whether it’s answer a question, give advice, help write a blurb, I do it. Emma Hart and Andrea Johnston were my two biggest cheerleaders then and now. If I can give a little bit back of what they gave to me, I will. Every time. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my bestie who kept me going when I didn’t think I could publish, Alyssa Garcia, but she published after so she was a mentor in other facets then.

Jennifer Rebecca is the author of the new book The Complete Presidential Affair Series

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