In The Mind of Jen Talty – 30 Years of Happily Ever Afters

This week we’re jumping over the hump with our featured workshop presenter, award-winning author Jen Talty with Cool Gus Publishing.

Jen will be giving one, two, three, yes THREE, workshops at our conference in October.  Building Your Author Brand, E-pub, POD, and the Future of Publishing for the Writer, and Sweet, Snarky, or Sexpot: What Makes A Good Heroine are just three of many fabulous workshops we have scheduled.

For more information on our conference, on when registration opens, and other popular questions, please visit our website at

Please welcome Jen!

How did you come up with the idea for Deadly Secrets?

The idea came while writing Dark Water. A character kept popping up in the story and I kept thinking, this guy has a secret. I just didn’t know the secret, but when I got to the end of writing Dark Water, I figured out what his secret was and that secret is now coming back to haunt him and the women he loves.

How long did it take you to write Deadly Secrets?

It’s in draft form and it took 3 months to write the draft. It will take another 2 months to make it shine.

What is your process for writing a book? For example, are you a plotter or a pantzer? Do you start at page 1 and write your book sequentially or do you skip around? Do you start with your characters or the plot?

I’m a little bit of both. I write what I think I know about my idea, then I write the backstory, then I write the opening and the ending. Then I make an outline.

Do you use any techniques, tools, or aids to help you write?

I’m a spreadsheet junky.

Do you write multiple drafts or barely need revisions when typing, The End?

I write a rough draft, then edit it a couple of times.

How do you make time to write?

I write at nights and on weekends.

Who has had the most influence on your writing?

Everyone I meet.

Have you had any “ah ha” moments as a writer?

The biggest ah ha moment I had was the very first time I heard my business partner present his Idea and Conflict workshop. I had a million little ah ha moments. It helped me focus on my weaknesses as a writer.

What advice do you have for other writers?

There are many roads to Oz and Oz means different things to different people. Never quit.

If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?

That’s easy, because I’m doing it. Five years ago, I approached Bob Mayer and asked him what he was planning on doing with his backlist. He shrugged. I told him all about how he could self publish. A few months later, we formed Cool Gus Publishing. It’s has been the best five years of my career. I’ve learned so much about this business and about myself. Its hard to balance the writing and Cool Gus and as we’ve grown its become a passion of mine that is as big as my passion for writing.

What do you want your readers to take away with them after reading the story? 

While there is a happy ending and a romance, I’ve got a creepy mind and my bad guys are oh so wicked.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned as an author?

That every author has their own unique situation. There is no “right” way to publish. No “one size fits all”.

If you could choose anyone, past or present for a mentor, who would you choose?

Well, I am the luckiest person because I have that mentor in my business partner, Bob Mayer. I meet him at a conference his workshop just blew me away. I had read his books and loved them, and was honored he even spoke to me at the conference. From there, we talked business and formed Cool Gus. He’s quite brilliant on many levels.

With so many changes in publishing over the past year, where do you see the future of publishing going?

Publishing is going to continue to change. eBooks will continue to grow. I think we will see a shift from mass market to Print on Demand books and the espresso machine. We’re already seeing that. Both self publishing and traditional publishing have their advantages and disadvantages. Discoverability is going to be a key factor in the future. Regardless, it’s a wonderful time to be an author.

Do you have an ebook reader? If so, which one?


What makes a man attractive to you?

Sense of humor.

What is the most interesting thing you’ve ever done?

Went to Australia with my daughter for 3 weeks. We saw more of that country than most who live there. It was amazing. I saw “The Rock”.

Tell us a little about the state/country you live in.

You don’t want to know about Rochester, NY.

What is your favorite quote?

“It’s been a hell of a day at sea, Sir.” From the movie Overboard.

What’s your favourite place in the world to visit?

Lake George, NY

Cat or dog person?


Okay, Jen, get ready, we have our rapid response portion. Don’t think about your answers, just say the first thing that comes to mind. Ready?

Favorite color: Blue

Favorite number: 2

Favorite Actor: Paul Newman

Favorite Actress: Sandra Bullock

Wine or liquor? White Wine

Tea or coffee? Diet coke

Decaf or caffeinated? Leaded

Boxers or briefs? Both

Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate

Donald Duck or Goofy? Goofy

Frozen (the movie) or Tangled? Frozen

Channing Tatum or Johnny Depp? Channing Tatum


Want to meet or attend Jen’s workshop? Make sure you check out the information on our conference at and register come June 1st!

Jen Talty


One thought on “In The Mind of Jen Talty – 30 Years of Happily Ever Afters

  1. I LOVE that Jen wants her readers to walk away totally creeped out by her villain. That is actually a goal of mine – to create villains so incredibly insidious and evil that the reader will ALWAYS remember them. Also, I love Lake George, NY. I spent a whole year in Pottersville near Schroon Lake, and we’d take trips into Lake George for Walmart, lol. Jen, we are so excited to have you at our conference, and I cannot wait to meet you!

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