Hot off the Press
by K.E. Morrison
Released: Apr 10, 2023
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Why this book and why now?
I decided that Jenna’s should be the second story to tell in the Branded Hearts series, which will eventually be a quadrilogy, each focusing on one of the four friends as they find romance. In many ways, because of her ‘player’ reputation, Jenna is perhaps the least likely to settle down, which is why I wanted to break that stereotype and have her be the second of the friends to find love. It also felt right for her book to follow Not in the Script given the role she played in bringing Charlie and Robyn back together at the end of that story; I was excited to explore her career as a journalist (something I knew nothing about!). Hot off the Press also needed to come before Book 4 of the series as one of the side characters will make a return in a much bigger role!
What is a significant way your book has changed since either the first draft or the way you thought it would turn out when you first had the inspiration?
When I first planned out the story, Sarah genuinely had an issue with the age gap between her and Jenna. As I wrote it and got to know her a little better though, I realized that wasn’t the real problem and instead, was an excuse to mask her true insecurities. I enjoyed finding this out about her, and definitely need to thank Sarah’s friends Emily and Katharine for helping me uncover the root cause. They insisted on asking particular questions as I was writing their dialogue and those worked more effectively than my original plan.
What TV show would your main character(s) most likely binge watch and why?
Sarah and Jenna would most definitely spend a night binge watching the brilliant BBC drama Vigil. Not just because it’s a gripping storyline but because they’d see the significance in having Suranne Jones and Rose Leslie as a romantic couple in a primetime drama on BBC One, something that never would have happened when they were younger. Plus, it’s Suranne and Rose!
Aside from the obvious food and shelter, what 3 things would your main character want with them if they got stranded away from civilization, and why?
Jenna: 1. Notebook 2. Pen 3. Sarah
As long as she could continue to write, Jenna would be happy anywhere Sarah was.
Sarah: 1. Climbing gear 2. Wine 3. Jenna
Climbing helps Sarah work through most things, and if climbing hasn’t helped, wine will! She would also want Jenna but might swap this choice for chocolate if she’s going to be stranded for a while!
One of your main characters is planning a romantic night. Tell us about it. What do they do?
Jenna’s idea of a perfect date to surprise Sarah with would go something like this… She’d arrive at Sarah’s workplace and persuade her to change out of her suit and heels into the jeans, jumper, and Converse she’d packed that morning without Sarah knowing. Then she’d take her for food, not anywhere fancy with tiny portions, but an off-the-beat, family-run affair with a slightly unusual cuisine. They’d talk about everything and nothing while they leisurely enjoyed their meal, most likely sharing a dessert. Probably a cheesecake. Then they’d go for a walk, maybe along the Thames, maybe in a park, maybe doing some window shopping, just wherever the night took them really. They’d be hand-in-hand the whole time, sometimes chatting, sometimes enjoying a comfortable silence. It would be simple and easy and oh-so meaningful.
Publishing a book is a huge accomplishment and it’s time to party! Choose a celebratory beverage for one of your main characters to toast the release of your new book!
Jenna’s choice of drink is an Old Fashioned, which she prefers to have made with Scotch not Bourbon, so she’d be toasting with that. Sarah would be raising a good glass of wine. She’s not fussy but does like the expensive Italian varieties. Meanwhile, I would be sitting in a quiet corner enjoying a hot mug of tea!
What song does your character put on to start your book launch party?
At a fictional launch party, because there definitely wouldn’t be one in the real world, Jenna and Sarah would choose anything by Little Big Town; they played on repeat throughout the months of writing, so as far as the characters are concerned, other musicians do not exist!
Their favourites are ‘Three Whiskeys And The Truth’ and ‘Sugarcoat’, but even I know they’d be terrible choices to get a party going, so they’d probably go for a more uplifting option like ‘Wine, Beer, Whiskey’, ‘Pontoon’ or ‘Day Drinking’.