(Jennifer Quail has stories in two of the Read on the Run Anthologies – “Only Ever Slowly” in A Kiss and a Promise, and “Ghostlife” in Vampires, Zombies and Ghosts,Volume 1. However her name may also be familiar to you because she was recently on Jeopardy; it was amazing to watch her..)
Answer: 8 time Jeopardy winner, author, and wine expert
Question: Who is Jennifer Quail
Q: We already know you’re a Jeopardy 8-time winner. Besides that, what is the one thing about you that would most surprise readers?
A: Hard to think of anything that hasn’t either been in an author bio or Alex asked about it on Jeopardy! Hm. Probably that I’m a total clutterbug. I’m not good a being organized at all and my house definitely reflects that.
Q: How did you prepare for Jeopardy?
A: Everyone asks this, but there really isn’t much I did that’s special. Now with the possibility for a Tournament of Champions, I’m trying to fill in gaps. My sports knowledge is hit or miss as far as major sports go (except Navy Football #GoNavy #BeatArmy) and I really don’t know much about pop music, so I’m trying to study trivia books.
Q:What genres do you write in?
A: I sort of think of myself as a fantasy writer, and I’ve sold a mystery to a collection where I got imposter syndrome just reading the other ‘about the author’ entries, but I’ve also written romance. My friend Laurie likes to point out that I have a tendency to ALWAYS have a romance in there, even if it’s usually less than conventional. (My thing is pretty clearly older man/younger but not young woman, no Hallmark-movie tropes.)
Q:What’s your favorite genre — to read, to write?
A:Whatever one I’m inspired to write as the moment, as far as writing goes. I think with reading, I probably favor nonfiction more than anything, followed by mysteries. I love Dorothy Sayers’s Lord Peter Wimsey, Christopher Fowler’s Bryant and May, and all sorts of Nordic Noir.
Q::How long have you been writing?
A:Um…I think the first thing I ever wrote was a story (a couple pages, hand-written) based on a dream I had about my friend and I and the ponies from Misty of Chincoteague. So technically fan fiction! That was in second grade. I’ve been writing ever since (including fan fiction, which I still work on when I have the time. Not the same story, though. One I started in high school. It’s got about five books or stories to it and around 350,000 words and was probably my first practice at really revising something.) That means going on thirty-odd years.
Q:How do you write? (computer/typewriter/paper… software… with/without music… how many hours/day, days/week)
A: Sporadically! I write the final product on the computer (mostly using WordPerfect, Word if I’m forced to against my will) and most of the time I write directly that way. But I also have a very random collection of semi-legible notebooks that I will write in if I’m away from the keyboard or just need to get an idea down right away.
Q:How did you first hear about Smoking Pen Press?
A:Angie Benedetti’s market listing blog! I saw the call for submissions for A Kiss and a Promise and for some reason decided “Nothing else I’ve been doing has sold so why not?” And then I sat down and wrote the antimatter version of a Hallmark movie: male point of view, grumpy middle-aged protagonist, foreign but not exotic setting, and only one person ever says “I love you” and it’s not in the romantic sense. I’m still kind of stunned it sold. But I like it.