Honorary Heartlette – Jessica Andersen

June 1, 2008 at 7:00 am | Posted in contests, Honorary Heartlette, Jessica Andersen, writing | 17 Comments
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I’m a New Englander, which by definition means I drive way too much in the snow.  I know that isn’t really what we want to be thinking of when we’re at the verge of summer, but bear with me.  Or better yet, let’s turn it into a hydroplaning metaphor: it’s raining buckets and the roads are soaked. . . and you start to skid.  What do you do next?

Well, let me tell you from experience that ‘hit the brakes’ usually isn’t a great answer.  You’re way better off steering into the inertia, and either pausing a second… or hitting the gas.  If you hit the gas, you might go flying off the road, you might break the skid and continue on your way, or you might do something in between those two extremes.  But if you hit the brakes, you’re probably going to wind up spinning in place. 


And personally, I’d rather make a mistake going forward than keep spinning my wheels, going nowhere. 


The same can be said of the men and women of Nightkeepers (NAL, 6/3/08).  They’re ordinary people like you and me (most of them, anyway) who are just now learning that they’ve inherited extraordinary powers and the task of saving the world from the prophesized 2012 doomsday.  Time isn’t going to slow down and wait for them to catch up, nor are the Mayan demons who seek to precipitate the apocalypse four years before the 2012 end date.  The Nightkeepers don’t have time to coast, and they sure as heck can’t hit the brakes.  They can only go forward and deal with the consequences.


Will they fly off the road and wind up in a ditch?  Maybe.  Will they punch through and fulfill their twenty-times great-grandparents’ vow to protect mankind?  Maybe.  But you can be sure of one thing: they’re not spinning their wheels.


When I’m faced with a choice, whether in my writing career or my life, I try to make the active decision.  It’s not always the right choice, but it’s a choice, dang it. 


After I first conceived Nightkeepers, it took me a good eighteen months of research and writing, as well as an agent change, to get the project sold.  But I kept writing and rewriting, throwing out version after version as I iterated to the final story.  The same can be said of the writing process once the book sold, but in both cases, I kept moving forward.  When something didn’t work, I tried something else with one goal in mind: making the story the biggest, best, brightest, loudest, sexiest book it could possibly be.  I’d rather go down in flames for having tried something amazing and failed, than only partway failing because I only halfway tried.


So today, how about you challenge yourself?  Make sure you make at least one of your mistakes going forward (but do your best to stay out of the ditch, okay?).  And if you feel like it, let us know how it goes.  Or tell us about a recent forward-moving decision that worked… or didn’t.  Tell us… how did you hit the gas?



Jessica Andersen writes sexy medical thrillers for Harlequin Intrigue.  Her first single title book, Nightkeepers, will be released by NAL on June 3, 2008.

We’ll be giving away a copy to one lucky winner at the end of the week. Post a comment to be eligible.


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  1. Jess,

    Thanks so much for being with us today! How true that indecision can be so paralyzing. Action begets action so it’s important to keep moving forward! I’m so glad you hit the gas on NIGHTKEEPERS. The more I hear you talk about it, the more I know your actions were destined to lead you there! What an exciting week with your new release!


  2. Can’t wait to check out this series! It sounds both original and high stakes.

  3. Hi,
    I’m really looking forward to your novel NIGHTKEEPRS. As soon as he hit the store, I will buy and read it. The more I hear about it, the more I want to have it (lol)


  4. Jess — Thanks so much for blogging with us this week. I’m awaiting the arrival of my pre-ordered book! I can’t wait. I’ve already scheduled a sleepless night 🙂


  5. Jess,

    If NIGHTKEEPERS has one tenth of the energy you have, it will be a huge hit! Your attention to detail, perseverance and polish will have copies flying off the shelves (via word-of-mouth).

    No flames for you, keep soaring!

    Can’t wait to get my copy!
    Thanks for the resurgence to my own writing!


  6. Great blog. congrats on the new book release!


  7. Hi, Jess. I can certainly relate to winter driving since I’m from upstate New York. I always learned to drive into the skid to gain control of the vehicle. So, as with writing, it’s all in how you handle things, going with the flow.

    Would love to win a copy of Nightkeepers. Sounds like an exciting book. Hope it’s a great success.

  8. Jess, I’ve heard wonderful buzz about NIGHTKEEPERS, and I’m eager to read it!

    Your blog today is terrific. I love your energy, and I hope your series is a HUGE hit.

    Going forward …

    Nancy Haddock
    La Vida Vampire

  9. Jessica–
    Congratulations on your book. Love your medical thrillers. Can’t wait to read Nightkeepers.

  10. […] discussion of writing prompts would dovetail nicely with the topic of Jess Andersen’s guest post this week, because a prompt is one more option to use when feeling stuck in your writing.  If you’re […]

  11. Ladies,
    Thank you all for stopping by and sharing your comments for Jess. Stay tuned to see who wins a copy of her new release, NIGHTKEEPERS!

  12. Enjoy your release day tomorrow, Jessica, and congrats for hitting the gas and trying something new!

  13. […] NIGHTKEEPERS (released today!), at the end of the week.  Please visit Jess’s guest blog on Hit the Gas and post a comment to be eligible.  A lucky winner will be chosen at random on Friday […]

  14. Nightkeepers is on my list to be purchased. I can’t wait to read it.

  15. Jess, congrats on a wonderful book! I just finished reading it about 3 hours ago, Google’d and found this site. Listen, this is very important! Party today in celebration of your book’s birthday, but go home and start writing the sequel tomomorrow! Hurry. The fate of the (un)known world depends on you!
    P.S. Who does Strike closest resemble? I’m having a hard time visualizing him (other than the “yum” part).

  16. Congrats on the release, Jess. I’ve been hearing about it and like what I’ve seen so far, and on my buylist now.

    I once went down a steep hill in town during a snowstorm when my car skidded. Scary, managed to keep my foot of the gas and still don’t know I avoided hitting all the cars parked on both sides of the road, somehow I managed to turn the wheel just in time before hitting, only to zag across the road to the next car, until I got to the bottom. Maybe I would have been better off getting stuck in a tailspin in the middle of the road, lol.

  17. Just could not resist to buy your book. Reading the back synopsis hooked me. I did have to wait an extra week before I could… but there was no hesitation about it.

    Then I had to wait until I finished my current book. Let’s just say that I could not tear myself away from the book.

    I had read a Roxanne St. Claire bulletchaser where the heroine was a researcher (or something) of the Mayan culture and their prophecy.. so when i read that’s what your book was about and more, I could not help but be interest and intrgued.

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