Thursday, March 6, 2014


My guest today is a writer who loves pop culture and manipulating language. Her writing comes with lots of fun one-liners, puns, and double entrendres. Her stories always make me laugh and leave the me feeling good. 
I'm happy to welcome romance author, Judi Fennell, back for a visit to Over Coffee.
  • So, inquiring minds want to know: what was your muse drinking when she came up with hunky men being maids?
I was at my friend's house and her housekeeper was a guy. A young, pretty good-looking guy. So I just started the thought process from there. Sadly, she doesn't have that guy anymore. I'm guessing one of his clients scooped him up since, seriously, who doesn't want a man who can clean a house? Lol!
  • I really like Mac. She’s a woman after me own heart. I love the way she suckers her highly successful brothers in a poker game and the losers become maids. Priceless. This series had to be a lot of fun to write?
Yup, this series was a blast because of the characters. The timeline, however… not so much. The stories all take place within the same month and these siblings are close. So that means a lot of interaction between them which means scenes that get written and then published that can’t then be UNwritten so I have to fashion the next book around those scenes and so on through all four. 

But, yes, exploring the siblings’ relationships with each other and how they look out for each other was a lot of fun. It’s a very interconnected series since the opening of each book takes place at that poker game, but from the different sibling’s point of view, depending on whose story it is.

  • You've written and been published mostly in the light paranormal genre. What drew you back to contemporary romance?
The stories are what drew me to contemporaries. I have a Beefcake, Inc series about male strippers and it was that story that came to me. The characters are the same, well, minus the merman tail and/or magic, but they’re still men we want to fall in love with. It’s just a different venue for sharing their story. But just as challenging—I might not have to make up a whole new world, but I have to fit the characters in the real world, so that’s a new world that I have to build. And it’s been fun with four siblings, each with their own place in this town I've created.
  • You've been traditionally published for several years plus you've also had several indie published books. So you've been on both sides. What’s the advantage, in your opinion, of doing both?
The advantage to readers and to me of indie-publishing is that I get to write the stories I want without having to worry about traditionally publishing’s P&L statements. The downside is I’m the one who has to invest in editorial. The stories have to stand on their own and be as good as the ones published through a traditional NY publisher. The advantage there is the up-front money and distribution and mass market print books that keep the costs down for readers. The good news is, though, that with indie-publishing and traditional publishing, readers have a variety to choose from and a quicker delivery time between books.
  • Given your success, what do you still struggle with?
I still struggle with making the story cohesive. Making sure I have all the elements my readers have come to expect with my stories. That doesn't go away. If anything, the pressure is greater because there are a lot of people reading them. You’re only as good as your last book; I don’t want to put out a bad book. That’s always in the back of my mind. Luckily, my characters like to talk over that seed of doubt and I've learned to trust them.
  • Give me a triumph--something you're proud of accomplishing.
Writing-wise, winning the awards I've won (Prism and Golden Leaf), having ten books out with traditional publishers (as of February 2015 and hopefully more to come), and having a great fan base who keep clamoring for more stories. Life-wise: raising my kids and showing them that hard work and perseverance can make your dreams come true.
  • Any words of advice?
Yup: read a Judi Fennell book. Oh, you mean to aspiring writers? Keep writing, join a professional writing organization and put your work out there for critique—and seeing this as the business it is. Oh, and of course, write the damn book. J



What happens when three irresistibly sexy brothers lose a poker bet to their enterprising sister? They get hired out for her housecleaning venture. Now, the Manley Maids are at your service. Satisfaction guaranteed. It’s what a woman wants...
Resort entrepreneur Sean Manley was all set to buy an historic mansion at a great price, making a name for himself while making millions, when the seller and a poker bet change the game. Now he’s in the place as a hunky male maid and there’s one more complication: Livvy Carolla.
The house is Livvy’s inheritance. Her plan? Unload it to the highest bidder and use the cash to start her own bakery business. One look at “the help” and she’s hot to take him with her. Until she finds out he’s got a secret agenda.
But when Sean falls for the free-spirited, strong-willed Livvy, he has new ideas for the estate—and Livvy’s part in it. If all goes well, they’ll both be getting what they want. And then some.


Kat Sheridan said...

Judi, you know I LOVE your books! This one sounds like so much fun! Best of luck with it!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Nice to meet you Judi!! Best of luck :)

Julie Flanders said...

Nice to meet Judi! What a fun interview. I cracked up with the first question and now want to read about the hunky maids. :D

Carol Kilgore said...

These books sound great! The interview was informative and fun.

Hi, Sia! And it's great to meet Judi.

Judi Fennell said...

Good morning everyone! Thanks for stopping by and thanks, Sia, for again having me! :)

I really did have a lot of fun with this series. I'm working on the sister, Mac's, story at the moment and having just as much fun!

Wish I knew who my friend's cleaning guy was - I bet he'd love to know he inspired a series of books! :)

Anonymous said...

This series sounds like entirely too much fun! Add to that the talent you bring to paper, it has to be hugely successful.

Veronica Forand said...

Love the first book in this series. I can't wait for more.

CarrieMarie said...

This series looks like so much fun! Can't wait to dig in! : )

VA said...

This sounds funny. Though I know several men who are responsible for the cleaning in their domiciles.

Olivia Cunning said...

Your books are always so much fun to read. Can't wait to read this one. And I can totally identify with trying to maintain interlocking time frames in different POVs through a series. It is definitely a "challenge". :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Judi and Sia,

Great to see Judi stopping by the blog on the occasion of her new book. Her First Chapters entry was my intro to romance and I very much enjoyed reading the first two books of the Mermaid series (number 3 on tap for one of these days). I admire her mastery of writing craft, but she never forgets to mix in memorable characters and a good story. I'm amused at the idea of hiring men out as maids (good plan!). Best of luck with this book.

Dana Fredsti said...

Judi, so much fun to see you here on Sia's blog - two of my favorite people in the writing field together again! Your books are so much fun, Judi, and always make me laugh and leave me happy... Can't ask for more than that! Except for maybe zombies, but I'll let that one go...

~Sia McKye~ said...

Wow! this feels like old home week. Good to see so many familiar faces from our Wombat group. :-)

~Sia McKye~ said...

Dana--your zombies hunter kicks some serious ass. :-)

I'm glad zombies are fictitious because I'd hate to be in a world where they were running free--especially with the cost of ammunition these days.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Judi, you know I've loved this one since I read the proposal for the series. I'm so glad to see Penguin pick it up!

I noticed you can pre-order the next in the series, What a Woman Needs.
When does that one release. Meds are interfering with clear thought.

Judi Fennell said...

What a Woman Needs comes out in June!

Sheila Deeth said...

Sounds fun. I was tidying my bookshelves and moved favorite Mers back to the front. I have books three-deep, two-high on some of those shelves.

~Sia McKye~ said...

SHEILA--I also have my own collection of Judi Fennell books and I love the Mer series.

If you haven't read her Beefcake and Cupcakes, you should. It's a fun book and this new series is also great.

Jo said...

Blow the books, I want to be able to hire a handsome hunk to clean house for me.

Sound like fun stories.