Friday Fast 5 with Jessica Cale

December 12, 2014

Today I welcome fellow historical romance writer Jessica Cale to the Friday Fast 5!

Who do you credit with being your biggest influence as a writer?

My grandmother. She was a writer, and she used to let me play with her typewriter when I was very young. She wrote romances and kid’s stories, but really loved horror and forensics. This explains a lot about the way I turned out. She used to read maybe seven books at once while the TV was on and all hell broke loose around her, and her vocabulary is formidable. She’s a walking dictionary and drops a lot of 1920s slang and bits of Gaelic into everyday conversation. She told me to write and it didn’t matter what — there was no high culture vs. low culture, all creation was equally valid (and sex, violence, and swearing were totally fine). She gave me my own typewriter when I was twelve, and that’s when all this started…

Do you cast people to play the characters in your stories?

Yes! I have to borrow actors for my characters because they can’t all look like my husband! Haha! Physically, most characters are a composites of different people. I may have borrowed a feature or two belonging to Nikolaj Coster-Waldau for Mark Virtue. Mark is a major supporting character in Tyburn and I loved him so much that I gave him his own book! He’s going to be the hero of the second book, which I’m putting the finishing touches on now.

PB&J or fluffernutter?

Neither, but we have a Maine Coon kitten that I call “Mr. Flufferbutter” because he has a very fluffy butt. That’s not his real name…

If you could chose a period in history to be born in, what would it be and why?

I would actually pick this one. I write historical romance and would love nothing more than a TARDIS to take me back for visits (could you imagine?!), but the more you read about the reality of other periods, the more you realize how good we have it now. Women write under their own names (or feminine pen names), we can go to college, we can get married or not, we can vote, own property, and we can control our own reproductive destiny. How great is that? If I would have been born in any other time period with my personality, I would have been burned, left in a convent, or committed to Bedlam.

What advice would you give new authors?

Write, and write now. Don’t wait! The more you write, the easier it gets, and you can always edit it later. The important part is to get it down. Don’t be afraid of how much time it takes to write a whole book, just take it one day at a time and enjoy the process. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, and learn to enjoy editing. These things might make you cringe at first, but they will help you to improve and you will eventually love them. If one project doesn’t work out, try something new. You don’t have to commit to just one thing. The important part is that you’re writing.

Don’t Miss Tyburn

tyburn (2)Sally Green is about to die.

She sees Death in the streets. She can taste it in her gin. She can feel it in the very walls of the ramshackle brothel where she is kept to satisfy the perversions of the wealthy. She had come to London as a runaway in search of her Cavalier father. Instead, she found Wrath, a sadistic nobleman determined to use her to fulfill a sinister ambition. As the last of her friends are murdered one by one, survival hinges on escape.

Nick Virtue is a tutor with a secret. By night he operates as a highwayman, relieving nobles of their riches to further his brother’s criminal enterprise. It’s a difficult balance at the best of times, and any day that doesn’t end in a noose is a good one. Saving Sally means risking his reputation, and may end up costing him his life.

As a brutal attack throws them together, Sally finds she has been given a second chance. She is torn between the tutor and the highwayman, but she knows she can have neither. Love is an unwanted complication while Wrath haunts the streets. Nick holds the key to Wrath’s identity, and Sally will risk everything to bring him to justice.

Unless the gallows take her first.

Where to Find Tyburn

 Liquid Silver


Jessica CaleMore About Jessica Cale

Jessica Cale is a historical romance author and journalist based in North Carolina. Originally from Minnesota, she lived in Wales for several years where she earned a BA in History and an MFA in Creative Writing while climbing castles and photographing mines for history magazines. She kidnapped (“married”) her very own British prince (close enough) and is enjoying her happily ever after with him in a place where no one understands his accent. You can visit her at

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