#LRAuthorSpotlight #AuthorSpotlight #CelebratingAuthors

For the month of June, I’m excited to introduce y’all to Maren Jenner – a sweet and spicy contemporary author. I discovered her books thanks to a giveaway where I received two of her books as a prize. Both were part of the Sweet Nothings series and recently, Maren released the final book – The Red-Hot Stakes, so it was perfect timing to feature her for June!

Hey Maren! Thank you for taking some time out to share your author life with us! Tell us a little about you.

My name is Maren Jenner. My debut novel, The Cupcake Standard, was published August, 2023 but I’ve been writing all my life. I started writing novels in 2018. I live in Michgan, am married with one daughter, and if you can’t find me at home, I’m most likely visiting the shore of Lake Michigan. It’s one of my favorite spots to read and write.

Where do you draw inspiration for your stories or characters?

Many of my stories have been inspired by dreams. Others are experiences that I’ve had. A place I visit, an excursion I go on, everything around me contributes to the little details in my stories.

Can you share the origin or initial spark that led to your first book?

The Cupcake Standard is my first published book and I was inspired to write a fake dating romance after reading Ali Hazelwood’s The Love Hypothesis. But the way Avery and Derek meet in my book was inspired by a dream. I wrote the first draft of that book in seventeen days. The story was begging to be told.

How do you develop your plotlines and characters? Do you outline extensively or are you a pantster?

I’m a pantser. I usually start with a character and a scene in my head then let it flow from there.

What does a typical writing day look like for you?

I work very part time so I get to dedicate a lot of my day while my daughter is in school to writing. I also have several friends I beta or ARC for.

Are there any specific rituals or habits that aid your writing process?

I’m not one for listening to music or going anywhere. I like the quiet of my couch and my kitty usually curls up near me.

The Jellybean Dilemma by Maren Jenner

What techniques do you use to create relatable and multifaceted characters?

Being a pantser, it’s not always easy to get to know your characters. The quirks and tells reveal themselves along the way for me and I go back and add them in for continuity. Other times, most of my female characters have at least one of my quirks. For example, Avery, in The Cupcake Standard, has many of my eating habits, including cutting up all my food before eating any of it. The little details like that make the characters real.

Which authors or books have significantly influenced your writing style or storytelling?

Ali Hazelwood for sure. But I’m an avid reader. I devour books and don’t stick to one style or genre, though I prefer romance.

Are there particular genres or authors you enjoy reading for pleasure?

Romance in general and the more banter the better.

Have you had any remarkable discoveries or insights during your research process that shaped your storytelling?

When I started this journey, I first discovered alpha and beta readers, which I’d never heard about before. Alpha readers are your first round of readers, more big picture things like plot holes and character development. Beta readers are the next round. Depending on what the author wants, they can look for continuity, grammar/spelling errors, plot smoothness.

By beta reading for others, I also learned what worked in writing. I’d point out what didn’t work and remember that for my own stories.

The Red-Hot Stakes

What themes or messages do you aim to convey through your books?

Most of my stories have an extra, more serious undertone though the overall arc of the book is lighthearted. In The Cupcake Standard, Avery’s father has Alzheimers. It’s a side plot but one that many people have enjoyed having. I believe it adds a depth to the story that I strive for.

What are the most challenging aspects of writing a book and/or series?

Because I don’t necessarily know all the characters up front, it’s hard for my secondary characters to have depth until I’ve written their books.

Could you share a particularly rewarding moment or experience during the creation of your books?

I’ve made many friends along the way and am so thankful for all them. Christine, Kirsten, Damian, Travis to name a few.

But holding my first book in my hands, seeing words on a page that I had written…that is a experience I will never get over.

Can you provide any hints or insights into your upcoming projects or books in the pipeline?

My main focus at the moment is a four book brothers series, one book for each brother. It’s a contemporary romance and all books are enemies to lovers with different subtropes.

How can readers connect with you?

I’m Maren Jenner on all the social media platforms – TikTok, Facebook, Threads, and Instagram. My website is www.marenjenner.com and I have a monthly newsletter with author updates as well as a spotlight that highlights other authors. 

Thank you for hanging out with us, Maren! I’m looking forward to more of your books!