We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Millikin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, as a parent, what have you done for you children that you feel has had the most significant impact?
I’m sure there are many answers to this question, some I know and some I won’t know until they’re older and I’m looking back on their childhood. Early on, I struggled with mommy guilt when I took time to write. I feared I was missing important moments with them during those hours when I retreated into my office. But then both my kids began writing stories, creating covers, and writing their names down as the authors. I saw that what I initially feared as selfish, was actually me showing them how to prioritize a passion.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
People hear I’m a romance writer and think I must sit poolside every day with a brightly colored drink in my hand. That couldn’t be further from the truth! The business of writing books isn’t for the faint of heart. Publishing a book, no matter the genre, takes grit and determination. You have to be willing to show the world what’s going on inside your head, while also telling them exactly why they should read your work. My stories are emotionally charged snapshots of a challenging period in characters’ lives. I don’t just write romance, I write about the journey’s people must go on to become a whole-hearted person. That won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and it has taken time for me to learn to be okay with that.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m a born and raised Phoenician, and I still don’t feel like I know all the special spots. But if I had to choose… A morning hike up to Tom’s Thumb. Brunch at St. Francis. A walk through El Dorado park because it has mature trees and a stream running through it and you forget you’re in the desert. An afternoon at the Wildlife World Zoo. Dinner at the Salt Cellar because it’s an underground restaurant and what’s cooler than that? End with a visit to Cave Creek to watch bull riding. It’s kitschy and fun and the people-watching is as fascinating as the sport.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Definitely my husband. He helped me figure out how I define success, which has shaped my attitude when it comes to how I spend my working time, and even what I want readers to get out of every book I publish.