The Interview: Jessica Calla
KB Full Disclosure: I first ran across Jessica Calla by chance. She had entered a contest I was judging. I don’t see names or anything, but I fell in love with She Laughs in Pink, and it stuck with me. I was happy to see it in print (or digital.)
KB: Welcome to Kissing Bandits Blog! Tell us a little bit about yourself!
JC: Thank you for having me!
I’m Jess. I’m born, raised, and currently live in New Jersey. I spend my days working as a lawyer and my nights writing romance and women’s fiction. I have two sons, a husband, a dog, and a beat up old minivan without air conditioning. My favorite famous people are The Rock, Beyonce, and Eddie Vedder. If the three of them were to read this interview, I think The Rock would be the most likely to buy me a new car with working air. I’m addicted to caffeine and sugar, hugs from my kids, Twitter (@jess_calla!), and romance novels.
KB: Tell us a little bit about your most recent release.
JC: My most recent release SHE LAUGHS IN PINK, is the first in the Sheridan Hall new adult romance series. It centers around freshmen Juliet and Chase, who meet in the dorm on move-in day at the fictional New Jersey University. Juliet followed her best friend and crush from home, Ben, to NJU in an attempt to make him love her. But then she meets Ben’s roommate Chase, an artist and city boy on scholarship, and quickly figures out that he’s kind of awesome, too. Lots of other stuff happens–friendships are made, people are lost, past issues re-emerge, love (and sex) happens. I think SHE LAUGHS… has all of the elements that make new adult such a great genre, and I’m really proud of it.
KB: Tell us about your first kiss.
JC: My first kiss happened in sixth grade at a sleepover. Here’s the scenario: One of my friends had a finished basement and really liberal parents who let the boys come hang out until midnight. While us girls had them there, we organized a game of “spin the bottle.” Except we, being twelve-year-olds, had no bottle. We used a toothbrush holder instead and played “spin the toothbrush.” My first spin landed on Mark. I was fine with Mark. He had freckles and cool hair. With all of our friends watching, Mark and I leaned over the toothbrush holder and our lips met in the middle of the circle. His were cold and softer than I’d imagined boys lips could be. I can still remember exactly how they felt. I decided kissing was gross, and didn’t do it again until high school.
KB: Share an excerpt of a first kiss in one of your novels.
JC: This is from THE LOVE SQUARE:
“Are you going to kiss me?” Her tone didn’t reveal whether or not she wanted him to. She was simply asking.
They watched each other until Alex leaned closer to Jenna’s face and traced her lips with his thumb. This time, no plane flew overhead and no memories or fears entered his mind to stop him. He carefully brushed his lips against hers and moved away.
She reacted, wiggling closer to him, and he touched her chin and tilted her face to his. When her lips turned up into a grin, he kissed her full-on, as softly as he could manage.
It took every ounce of self-control to resist moving his hands down her body to pull her closer. But while his body was on high alert, her gentle kiss, like her friendship, calmed him in that way Jenna always did. With her, he had a purpose and someone to share his life. He had a family. He was an adult with dreams and goals instead of the hyped-up, crazy kid he often felt like on the inside.
Soon, the gentle kiss morphed into something more. He couldn’t lose control. Not with Jenna. So he slowed down and tried to imprint the feeling of kissing her, then he pulled away.
“Now this night has been perfect,” he whispered in her ear as he held her close. “Go to sleep, Jen.”
KB: What is something nobody would guess about you?
JC: Something that nobody would guess about me is that I used to be a dancer. From the age of five through college and beyond, I danced ballet, tap, and jazz. In high school I taught preschoolers and worked on the business side of the studio. I spent all of my free time at the dance school. Most of the stories I write have a dancer. In THE LOVE SQUARE, Jenna is a ballroom dancer and teaches a charity class for underprivileged girls. In SHE LAUGHS IN PINK, Juliet is a ballerina. She’s good and loves it, but knows she’ll never go pro. Dancing is a big part of both Jenna and Juliet’s stories, and it’s lifted right from my past experiences and feelings.
Find Jessica Calla at these places:
Facebook Author Page: https://goo.gl/cglG7j
Author Website: www.jessicacalla.com
Read these titles by Jessica Calla:
THE LOVE SQUARE (Romantic Women’s Fiction, Limitless Publishing, 1/12/16)
SHE LAUGHS IN PINK (NA Romance, BookFish Books, 5/17/16)
SHE RUNS AWAY (NA Romance, BookFish Books, November 2016)