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This blog was featured on 11/16/2019
Jodi Ellen Malpas on Challenges, Inspiration & What Makes a Good Book
Written by
She Writes
November 2019
Written by
She Writes
November 2019

When Jodi Ellen Malpas began writing, she penned her debut series, This Man Trilogy, in secret, worried about what people might think. At the time she was working an office job at her father’s construction company in Northampton and raising her young family. But her character, Jesse Ward, became an instant alpha-male archetype in the erotic-romance genre and launching her into the public eye. This Man went on to be called one of "The 20 Greatest Ever Romance Novels According to Goodreads Reviews" by O, The Oprah Magazine as well as among "The 10 Best Romance Novels to Read if You Love Fifty Shades of Grey" by Today.com.

Her success came fast, but not without cost.

"In This Man I created Jesse Ward, whose forceful personality was appealing to me. There is no denying I fell in love with him," she admitted to Daily Mail. "After all, I created him and I made him the way he is for a reason. I wanted to create my perfect love story."

Before long, however, the success of her books and the popularity of her male character led to the breakdown of her marriage.

"Sadly it was not solid enough to withstand the changes success has brought to my life."

Now six years later she is recognized as a #1 New York Times, Sunday Times and international bestselling author. This month she released Leave Me Breathless, introducing Ryan and Hannah to fans who won’t be able to help but fall in love.

In this "very satisfying mix of dizzying intrigue and steamy romance, " Malpas delivers a novel that's "perfect for those who love a good alpha male and a damsel in distress who doesn't wait for someone else to rescue her," said Publishers Weekly.

On Challenges

Barnes & Noble asked Malpas about her hardest book to write. To that, she replied The Forbidden – because she knew it would cause a stir.

“I knew some people would take the story as a message that I basically condone affairs. But I don’t. I just wanted people to consider the fact that it’s not always black and white. For a time, I seriously considered shelfing it. But my agent got her hands on it and reminded me of the advice I preach: write for yourself.”

On Advice

And that's the same advice she gives herself when she needs a reminder. 

“I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it. Write for yourself, not what you think people want to read. That’s my rule No. 1, she told Barnes & Noble. “A writer will always struggle if they’re not writing what their heart wants them to write.”

On Process

Susan Johnson, also known as CC Gibbs in the literary world, interviewed Malpas on Facebook, asking her about her writing schedule.

"I have no schedule whatsoever. Once I start writing, I can't stop, which plays havoc with my sleep pattern. Saying that, I have a schedule in the sense that I always know what I'm going to be writing.”

While she may steer clear of a routine, she does have her rituals:

"I tend to write the skeleton of the story from beginning to end, and then go back through to enhance the scenes, build chapters etc. Every author has ‘their’ way, and this is what works best for me.”

This excerpt was originally published in The Huffington Post. Read the full interview here.

On Inspiration

Malpas has shared that she always carries around a journal, since inspiration could strike at any moment. She also makes notes on her phone when she suddenly feels an idea coming on.

"I find it really hard to zone-out from my imagination,” she told Thrillers and More. “Writing relaxes me, and when I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing.”

On What Makes a Good Book

"It’s all relative, but for me, it has to be the feelings. I love nothing more than a book that has your heart pounding and flipping the pages like a mad person, because you are that invested, and the story is that gripping. I also love books that broaden my knowledge and spike my interest in different subject matters. Dan Brown always achieves this when I read his books.”

This excerpt was originally published in Thrillers and More. Read the full interview here.

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