Author on the Couch:

An Intimate Look Inside the Minds of Our Favorite Authors

Today I’d like to welcome

Jennifer Savalli

to my Couch.

At the end of our session, I’ll post details about how win a copy of her new novella


JenSavalli-web-292x300Me: So Jennifer, I’d like you to tell me about an experience that had a profound impact on your life.

Jennifer: Moving to San Francisco after college. This was the late nineties and before that I hadn’t experienced much outside the Florida town I grew up in, and Gainesville where I went to college. Suddenly I was all the way across the country from my family, in a breathtakingly beautiful place, immersed in different sights and sounds and people and foods and the insane chaos of the dot-com world. At that age, I was way of my comfort zone—which was exactly what I needed to feed my writer’s mind.

Me: What personality trait of yours helps you most an author?

Jennifer: I’d like to say optimism but that’s putting a rosy spin on the real truth: I’m too stubborn to give up.

Me: You have to be stubborn to succeed in this industry. What a good trait to have! What personality trait of yours hinders you most an author?

Jennifer: Perfectionism. I could polish my prose until the world ends and still not be happy with it. I’ve learned to let go of my stories (aka “my babies”), but I still think of all the things I maybe should have changed or done differently. On the other hand, perfectionism can motivate you to work harder and strive for that next level. And that’s my optimistic (stubborn) spin on it.

Me: I love your spin on perfectionism. It gets a bad rap too often. Of course part of the reason I’m saying that is because I’m right there with you on the perfectionism issue.

What was your high point as a writer—a time when you were happiest, on cloud nine, flying high? What happened?

Jennifer: Definitely the day Samhain contracted MUST LOVE GHOSTS. I’d been writing seriously for four years by that point – and off and on for three decades – with not much to show for it. Getting that e-mail saying they loved my novella and wanted to publish it was like a double shot of validation. Maybe I wasn’t wasting my time after all!

Me: Congratulations on your first book getting ready to come out on April 28th–just a few days away! Now that we’ve talked about your high point–let’s talk about your low point as a writer—a time when questioned your path, a time when you felt really crappy about your writing. What happened? How did you get over it?

Jennifer: Funny how this question and the previous question are tied together. By the time I started submitting MUST LOVE GHOSTS, I was in a deep blue writer’s funk. All those years, all those trashed manuscripts… The first half of the year had gone into rewriting an urban fantasy novel I’d rewritten three times already and still the story wasn’t gelling. I spent about a week telling myself I should give up this writing thing. How many hours had I sunk into a futile endeavor? How many more hours of my life was I going to waste? But I woke up every morning with my mind spinning on story ideas and my fingers itching to write. So I decided that even if the only people who ever read my writing were my critique group, I was still doing this thing. And going back to that stubbornness trait…I’ve started rewriting that urban fantasy again.

Me: To end our session, lets switch gears and talk characters, books, and other authors. Who is your book boyfriend? Why?

Outlander 2014Jennifer: Oh, I’m way too much of a book hussy to have only one. Mr. Darcy from Pride & Prejudice, Mark Darcy from Bridget Jones’s Diary, Heath from Susan Elizabeth Philips’s Match Me If You Can, Eric from the Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series, Adam from Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series, Zsadist from J.R. Ward’s Lover Awakened. And the one that I’m obsessed with right now: the valiant, protective, loving Jamie from Outlander. Swoon.

Me: Jamie is my new obsession too! That brings me to the question–if you could be any character in any book for a day who would you be? Why?

Jennifer: Rachel Morgan from Kim Harrison’s Hollows series. She’s a bounty-hunting witch with a non-practicing vampire and a potty-mouthed fairy for best friends and a varied cast of supernatural creatures for allies and enemies. Plus she really knows how to kick ass.

Me: If you could have dinner with any famous author who would it be?

Jennifer: George R.R. Martin. I’m convinced his brain works differently from those of us regular mortals. Plus maybe I could find out what happens next.

MustLoveGhosts72webMe: Let’s talk about your new novella MUST LOVE GHOSTS–available April 28th.

Jennifer: Tia McGarry believes love is nothing more than a biochemical cocktail, and she’ll have the research to prove it—as soon as she and her calm, stable, almost-fiancé land a research grant.

Her biggest mistake, bad boy ex-boyfriend Dec Mancini, is firmly in her past. But when the ghost of her long-dead great-uncle moves into her living room, Dec is the only paranormal investigator with the skills to get rid of him.

Dec is used to scorn and ridicule, but he never quite got over Tia’s refusal to believe. With irrefutable proof that ghosts exist manifesting in her house, he can finally earn respect for his profession—and maybe find common ground for himself and Tia to rebuild on.

Tia can’t deny their crazy, chaotic chemistry is strong as ever, but as the ghost’s pranks threaten to put her grant out of reach, she must decide which is the greater risk: letting a ghost jeopardize her career, or falling in love with the man who could destroy her safe, stable life.

Warning: Contains lovesick ghosts wreaking havoc, an absent-minded professor with a repressed wild side, and a hunky paranormal investigator who’s decided the best place to start rebuilding is in the friend zone.

Me: Share with me one of your favorite passages from MUST LOVE GHOSTS. Why do you love this paragraph? What makes it special to you?

Jennifer: This exchange takes place between the heroine Tia, the hero Dec, and Billy, who’s a ghost and Tia’s great-uncle. I love this because Billy’s such a romantic and tells Tia what she desperately needs to hear, even if she’s not ready to believe it yet. She’s clinging to her theory that love is nothing but a biochemical cocktail meant to ensure the perpetuation of the species—a safe, clinical belief she hopes will protect her heart. And Dec loves her anyway. The first line is Tia’s.

“You think Dec is playing me.”

Dec’s face turned to stone.

“Like a trumpet.” Billy leaned back against the fireplace bricks, crossed his arms. “And you’re letting him because you’re in love with him, no matter how much psychobabble you use to deny it. That’s what love is. It reaches into your chest and rips your heart out and you don’t care because your heart doesn’t belong to you anymore. You’ve given it, and everything else you’ve got, to someone else.”

“We call that codependency,” Tia said, and Dec gave a bark of laughter.

Me: Wow! I’m already in love with this book. Can’t wait until it hits my kindle!

Do you want to win a copy of MUST LOVE GHOSTS?

To be eligible, just leave a comment–it’s that easy. On April 28th–release day–Jennifer will draw a random name from all those who comment to win a free copy!

Care to answer any of the questions I asked Jennifer?

Who’s your book boyfriend?

What author would you like to have dinner with?

What personality traits help and/or hinder your writing life?

You can find MUST LOVE GHOSTS at:




You can find Jennifer at:

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About the author: abbieroads

28 comments to “Author on the Couch: Jennifer Savalli”

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  1. Jennifer Savalli - April 28, 2015 Reply

    Thanks so much to Abbie for having me visit, and thanks for all the comments. This has been so much fun!

    And by the magic of…drumrolll….drumroll…drumroll…Becky Lower, you are the winner of a copy of MUST LOVE GHOSTS. Woot woot!

    • abbieroads1 - April 28, 2015 Reply

      Congratulations Becky!

      And Jen–>Thanks for being my debut Author on the Couch Jen! I had a blast!

      MUST LOVE GHOSTS landed in my Kindle in the middle of the night! I can’t wait to read it!

  2. Taylor Tryst - April 28, 2015 Reply

    This book sounds fabulous. I’m in the process of beginning a romantic paranormal/horror story. Congratulations, Jennifer. Awesome premise!

    • abbieroads1 - April 28, 2015 Reply

      Hi Taylor!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      And Kudos to you for starting your story. The only way to get to the end is the get through the beginning!

  3. Wendy Larken - April 23, 2015 Reply

    Love the Author on the Couch idea, Abbie! Great interview, Jennifer!

  4. Brinda - April 23, 2015 Reply

    Count me in the Jamie fan club. As for book boyfriends, I have too many to list. I sort of feel like a literary hussy saying that. lol

    • abbieroads - April 23, 2015 Reply

      Hey Brinda!
      Yeah. I get what you’re saying about being a literary hussy. Maybe I could pick one or two boyfriends from each genre and still I’d be leaving out some good ones!

    • Jennifer Savalli - April 23, 2015 Reply

      LOL. Yeah I had to stop myself after the first few or I could go on and on. And on…

  5. abbieroads - April 23, 2015 Reply

    Jen Savalli!

    I have a question for you…

    Speaking of your wonderful title MUST LOVE GHOSTS–was that “your” original title or did you publisher change it? I’m just curious.

    • Jennifer Savalli - April 23, 2015 Reply

      Hi again, Abbie. 🙂 Must Love Ghosts was my title — and I was delightfully surprised when my editor said she loved it too and wanted to keep it!

      • abbieroads - April 23, 2015 Reply

        Jen–one of the reasons I was asking was because I know how awesome the title of your second novella is! Fingers crossed you get to keep that title too!

  6. Di R - April 23, 2015 Reply

    Thank you for reminding me that the writer’s blue strike all of us, it sure feels like you’re the only one when you’re sunk in the quagmire.

    Jennifer, this sounds like a fun story, I have preordered it and will read it on the 28th!

    Abbie, great blog!

    If I could have dinner with any author, wow what a hard question. I am lucky to know and be friends with several authors I admire. But I think I would choose Judith McNaught, her books were some of the first books that went on my keeper shelf, and they remain there to this day.


    • Jennifer Savalli - April 23, 2015 Reply

      Thanks so much, Di! I hope you enjoy it. And oh, Judith McNaught. Hers were some of my first romances as well. Another blog post inspired an old school romance kick for me and I picked up the infamous “Whitney My Love” at the used bookstore the other day. 🙂

    • abbieroads - April 23, 2015 Reply

      Hi Di!

      Thanks for the positive feedback! I really appreciate hearing it!

      I’ve got MUST LOVE GHOSTS preordered too! Can’t wait for it to hit my kindle so my greedy little eyes can gobble it all up!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. jenn sutherland - April 23, 2015 Reply

    great title. Must Love ghosts definitely intriguing

    • Jennifer Savalli - April 23, 2015 Reply

      Thanks, Jenn!

    • abbieroads - April 23, 2015 Reply

      Hi Jenn Sutherland!

      MUST LOVE GHOSTS–it is a great title isn’t it? You already know there’s going to be some love and some ghosts! What could be better?

      Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Pam - April 23, 2015 Reply

    Reading Jennifer’s quotes about getting the writerly-blahs was like reading my own thoughts. Congrats on the validation and the sale. Ever onward.

    Great interview, Ms. Abbie!

    • abbieroads - April 23, 2015 Reply

      Hi Pam!

      Thanks for the positive feedback! Those writerly-blahs–we just can’t escape them can we?
      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Jennifer Savalli - April 23, 2015 Reply

      Thanks, Pam! Oh those writerly-blahs. The only good thing is that they eventually pass!

  9. Becky Lower - April 23, 2015 Reply

    I’d most like to have dinner with Jedediah Smith. He’s not a famous author, although he did pen a couple of journals that still exist today. I find his life, and his death, a fascinating glimpse into American history. At a time when the country was wild and the men were wilder, he stands tall. I’d love to be able to peer into his mind a bit.

    • abbieroads - April 23, 2015 Reply

      Hi Becky!

      I have no idea who Jedediah Smith was, but with a name like that–he just sounds like someone cool to have dinner with!

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Jennifer Savalli - April 23, 2015 Reply

      Hi, Becky! Jedediah Smith sounds fascinating. I love reading historical memoirs and immersing myself in times past.

  10. Dyanne Conner - April 23, 2015 Reply

    Morning Ladies~
    Glad to know I’m not alone lusting after a certain redheaded Scotsman! Jennifer your novella sounds awesome. Can’t wait to read it. Abbie, thank you for the introductions.

    • abbieroads - April 23, 2015 Reply

      Hi Dyanne!

      Jamie… sigh… I have no words.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Jennifer Savalli - April 23, 2015 Reply

      Thanks, Dyanne! Mmmm, Jamie. He’s got book girlfriends in the legions. 🙂

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