Guest Author: Jessica Peterson

My guest today is Jessica Peterson author of of The Key to Life. She has some great insight about her experience with self-publishing, including the important to remember concept of your work being “good enough.” Thank you Jessica for being a guest!

If you are interested in participating in the program, you can submit here.

Jessica Peterson

1.Tell us your name, and a link to where we can find you (blog, Facebook, etc).

My name is Jessica Peterson.  I can be found on Facebook Here:

and my blog here:

2.How many books have you written? This can include both published and unpublished works. Describe each of them in 1-2 sentences apiece (if published, feel free to include the links as well).

I have written three books, two unpublished and one published.  My first book: The Key to Life is publithisoneshed and can be found at smashwords, here:  Here’s the blurb: When Anna took on the daunting task of restoring her friend Matt to a state of happiness, she never expected to fall in love; and she certainly wouldn’t have guessed the object of her growing desire would be Matt’s father.
My second book is the sequel to The Key to Life and I’m hoping to have it ready within the next six months.  It’s written, it’s just going through the editing phases.
My third book was my first attempt at NaNoWriMo and is nowhere near ready as I haven’t even had one look back since I’ve written it.


3.Tell me a little bit about your current WIP.

I mentioned this above, but it’s a sequel to The Key to Life.  It’s got a lot of twists and turns and I’m pretty excited about it.


4.What does writing preparation look like for you? Do you do full outlines and character profiles, or do you just start with a general idea and write?

I start with a general idea and ponder upon it for a while.  As the story develops in my mind, I’m able to write a semi-outline.  When the urge takes me, writing commences.


5.Editing is a challenge for many writers. Give us some of your tips for editing efficiently and well.

I’m kind of a perfectionist so I read through my work over and over and over and over.  I try to let it sit at least a week, sometimes more in between.  Crit partners are vital for spotting things you might otherwise be blind to.  But most importantly, you have to realize that you could edit forever and your manuscript might never be perfect.  At some point, it has to be good enough.


6.Research is another challenge writers face, but is an important part of the writing process. What are some of your research tips?

Google is my best friend.  I try to research things as best I can, for no one wants to look foolish and get caught by an expert reading their stuff, knowing full well they’re wrong.  Also, rely on those around you who might know something you don’t.


7. if you have been published (self or traditionally), what type of marketing did you find worked the best for you? What was the least helpful?

I’m still in this process, so I’m not sure what’s working yet.  I’ve posted about my new book through my blog and facebook and I’ve contacted people I know, it’s working somewhat. 🙂


8. What genre do you write in? What are some of the challenges to writing this particular genre well?

I like to consider the genre literary fiction because it’s more broad and I don’t want to pigeonhole myself, however some have considered it women’s fiction.  I think the challenge to writing well in any genre is having a good grasp of what that genre entails which can be just as confusing as classifying your book into a genre to begin with.


9.What advice would you give to a writer who is starting out?

Follow your dreams and ignore what others have to say.  There are going to be people along the way who don’t believe in you, who are going to try to beat you with the reality of the writing/publishing world, use them as fuel.  Think of how good it’s going to feel to prove them wrong!


10. What are your writing, editing, marketing, and research goals for 2013?

My writing goal is to get the sequel to The Key to Life finished and published.  I guess the editing goals kind of tie into that as well.  Marketing goals I’m still working on.  It’s kind of exhausting thinking of what you can do to promote yourself.  It seems to be more work than the writing itself.  As for research goals, I guess I just want to make sure all the information in my book is accurate.  I also like to research on new authors. 🙂  Especially self-published authors.


11. Pretend I am from a publishing house and you are looking for me to take on one of your books. Pitch it to me in 1-2 paragraphs. Here’s my pitch:


Nearly drowning in her listless work atmosphere, completely unaware of the real reason behind the Emerald Hotel’s decline, Anna innocently stumbles upon something that just might be the shred of hope everyone has been searching for.  But when Anna runs to Matt, ready to relay the news, she’s met with a drunken declaration of his love for her.


Matt’s not only her good friend, he’s her boss, so to say Anna is caught completely off-guard would be like calling the moon pretty– it’s a bit far from the mark of reality.  Knowing Matt is tottering between depression and sanity, Anna wishes she could fix everything by telling him she loves him back, but she just can’t.  So she decides to search for someone who can.


Perhaps the solution lies with Matt’s father, Tom.  Despite the fact everyone believes he is dead, after finding his old journal Anna has reason to believe otherwise.  Embarking on a search through shark infested waters to a hellish island in the middle of nowhere, Anna discovers that the man she is looking for is indeed alive.  A father’s love certainly isn’t the same as the love of a woman, but Anna hopes it will be enough to bring Matt back to himself and relieve her from the burden of guilt that’s been slowly smothering her.
12.Finally, is there anything else you would like your readers to know?
I would love my readers to know that I appreciate each and every one of them for taking the time to pick up my book and have a read. 🙂

5 thoughts on “Guest Author: Jessica Peterson

  1. “There are going to be people along the way who don’t believe in you, who are going to try to beat you with the reality of the writing/publishing world, use them as fuel. Think of how good it’s going to feel to prove them wrong!”

    I must admit that I’m often tempted to put a dedication in my books like, “Dedicated to all the people who said I couldn’t do it. Suck it, bitches.”

  2. Thanks so much for having me Sarah! You’re so sweet to help out other authors.

    Tyler, I love the idea of dedicating your book to all the non-believers. 🙂

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