Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday spotlight on fiction author Jeneva Rose. Jeneva Rose is the bestselling author of The Perfect Marriage and One of Us is Dead. Her work has been translated into more than a dozen languages and optioned for film/tv. Originally from Wisconsin, she now lives in Chicago with her husband and stubborn English bulldog.
Jeneva, where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester–though they should totally check here first!)
My work can be found pretty much anywhere books are sold, but Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester should be the first place they look if they’re in the area 😊
How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?
Readers can follow my work by visiting my website, jenevarose.com. All of my social media accounts are linked there. I’m most active on Instagram and TikTok, although I do update on Facebook and Twitter as well.
What can readers expect from One of Us is Dead?
One of Us is Dead is about a salon owner who gets entangled in the lives of her elite, wealthy clients. When one of them ends up dead, it’s only her and her accumulation of town gossip that can help the police solve the murder. Told from multiple points of view and switching between past and present, the reader doesn’t know who’s dead, who killed them, or why. Readers can expect a twisty, fun, and entertaining thriller in the vein of The Real Housewives meets Big Little Lies.
What was the inspiration for One of Us is Dead?
A small exchange between myself and my hairstylist inspired this story. I came up with the idea when I was sitting in a salon chair back in Wisconsin. My hairstylist mentioned something I had previously told her, something personal, that I didn’t even remember saying. I looked to her and said, “Wait. I told you that!? I can’t believe I told you that!” She responded, “Oh, yes. You wouldn’t believe the things that people say when they’re sitting in this chair.” It was a lightbulb moment, and I thought a salon would be the perfect setting for a thriller, especially with a hairstylist at the center of it all—because they hear and see everything.
What is your favorite part of being a writer? Of the whole writing and publishing process? What do you think has been your greatest lesson in the journey thus far?
I have a few favorite aspects of being a writer. First, I love writing, so most days it doesn’t feel like work. Second, the flexibility of the job is wonderful. I can write from anywhere, and I can do so on my own time (as long as there’s not a looming deadline). Third, I adore being able to interact with readers. Hearing how they connected with my work and what it meant to them is so rewarding. Prior to going on a book tour for the launch of One of Us is Dead, my interactions had only been online. I met hundreds of my readers in-person over the past few weeks at my events, and it was such a surreal and incredible experience—one I’ll never forget.
What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?
My advice to aspiring authors is to just keep writing. I endured hundreds of rejections, and I had written five books before my first novel was published. But I didn’t let any of that stop me. I just kept writing because in this industry, the writing is the only thing you can control.
What else can we expect from you in the near future?
I recently signed a five-book deal with Blackstone Publishing, so readers can expect a thriller from me every spring/summer through at least 2027. My next thriller titled You Shouldn’t Have Come Here will release on April 25, 2023, and readers can add it on Goodreads now. It tells the story of Grace Evans, an overworked New Yorker who books an Airbnb on a ranch in the middle of Wyoming. When she arrives, she’s pleased to find the host, Calvin Wells, is a handsome and charming man. The two immediately start to fall for one another; however, a lack of cell service and the feeling that something isn’t quite right with the town gives her pause. When a sheriff comes around asking about a previous missing guest, things take a turn, threatening their budding relationship. As her departure date nears, Grace worries that Calvin’s infatuation has morphed to obsession and that he might not let her leave. Calvin thinks Grace is hiding something from him, including her true intentions as to why she booked his Airbnb. Told from dual points of view, You Shouldn’t Have Come Here is a cautionary tale of what can go wrong when you open up your home and your heart to a total stranger.
What is/are your passions when you’re not writing? How do you make time for your non-writing hobbies/things you love?
When I’m not writing, I enjoy reading, cooking, standup comedy shows, playing board games, traveling, and making videos for TikTok and Instagram. I’m also a movie buff, and I love a good tv show binge. I try to keep a normal Monday-Friday work schedule so I can have a life outside of writing, but I usually find myself working on Sundays too. Since becoming a full-time author in 2021, I have no issues with living a balanced life. Prior to that, I wrote six novels over the course of five years, while working full-time as a global social media manager at a Fortune 500 company. My life wasn’t so balanced then and required a lot of sacrifices in order to chase the dream of becoming an author, but I wouldn’t change any of it because it led me to where I am now.
Writers very often have furry or feathered or otherwise non-human companions to “help” them through their work. Do you? What do you have? How do they “help” (or, “not-help”) with your writing?
I have an English bulldog named Winston, Sir Winston, to be exact. Don’t let his title fool you though. He does not have the proper etiquette of a royal subject. In terms of his contributions, he is no help whatsoever—aside from providing the background noise to my writing sessions, which are a mix of snores, flatulence, and grunts when he needs his ears and belly scratched.
Jeneva, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions.