Thursday, 3 October 2019

CWD Member Interview – Jessica Kate

Most Thursdays in 2019 we will be interviewing one of the members of Christian Writers Downunder – to find out a little bit more about them and their writing/editing goals.

Today’s interview: Jessica Kate

Question 1: Tell us three things about who you are and where you come from. 

  • I am passionate about romantic comedies, apple pastries and theme parks. 
  • My parents are basically The Man From Snowy River married to a beach babe. 😊 I grew up in a couple of different locations, mostly across rural Australia, as my parents compromised on their vastly different preferences for where to live. 
  • I try to keep fit by going to boxing training. I have mediocre success. 

Question 2: Tell us about your writing (or editing/illustrating etc).  What do you write and why?

I write romantic comedies with a hearty side dish of drama! Some of my favourite movies include Sweet Home Alabama, The Proposal and Admission. The enemies-to-lovers trope is my FAVOURITE for a few reasons:

  • It gives the characters a chance to display loyalty despite their differences, which is a character trait I really value
  • It allows the characters to be more honest with each other, because they’re not keeping up a façade
  • It’s straight-up hilarious.

I’m planning a StoryNerds podcast episode where I delve into this in TREMENDOUSLY nerdy detail. I love nerding out over fiction!

Question 3: Who has read your work? Who would you like to read it?

It was amazing to have Love and Other Mistakes endorsed by Rachel Hauck, Melissa Tagg, Rachel McMillan and David Rawlings. 

I love the work of Jenny B Jones, so if I ever got an endorsement from her I’d be over the moon!

Question 4: Tell us something about your process. What challenges do you face? What helps you the most?

Discouragement is definitely my biggest challenge. Dealing with that has involved God really teaching me how to rely on Him, getting some better coping strategies from a psychologist and learning when and how to take breaks and fall back in love with stories!

And my process? It’s always evolving. I love listening to podcasts like The Writers Panel and Scriptnotes and hearing about other writers’ processes and pinching the parts that sound good.

For instance, I used to brainstorm my book out by just typing these long, endless notes into Scrivener, but I’ve just switched to using index cards. It’s way easier to go back and find relevant info and also frees your brain up to pursue different ideas and not get stuck on one track. For example, I’ll label a card ‘meet cute’, and then brainstorm ten different ways that could happen. I never used to do that just typing into Word or Evernote or Scrivener. 

I’ve spent much of the past 2 years editing drafts of novels I’d already written, so it’s been a while since I tackled a brand new book! I’ve learned so much in that time, it’s going to be interesting to see how my process keeps evolving. 

Question 5: What is your favourite Writing Craft Book and why? 

Writing the Romantic Comedy by Billy Mernitt. I love that it delves into the history of the genre and breaks down what made those stand-out movies so great, all from the perspective of just giving the audience a great time. 

Entertaining the heck out of readers has always been my goal. I identify more strongly with screenwriters than more literary writers or poets, so this book has a lot of insights that I apply to novel writing.

Question 6: If you were to give a shout-out to a CWD author, writer, editor or illustrator – who would they be?

I enjoy Kara Isaac’s stories and Iola Goulton has been an amazing editor and critique partner!

Question 7: What are your writing goals for 2019/2020? How will you achieve them?

It’d be amazing if I could ‘earn out’ on my recently released debut Love and Other Mistakes and my upcoming A Girl’s Guide to the Outback, and I’d love to write a third book with my publisher! 

My main marketing goal is to double my newsletter mailing list. I hope to do that by cross-promoting with other authors, doing (but not overdoing) the occasional giveaway, maintaining an engaging presence on social media, updating the reader magnets on my newsletter (free ‘sassy shorts’ and a book sample) and working with some specific book bloggers. 

Plus, I hope to really engage readers through the StoryNerds podcast, which I co-host with Hannah Davis. It’s a place where we can nerd out over fiction we all love, which is super fun to do.

Question 8: How does your faith impact and shape your writing?

Basically I write Christian fiction because every time I dig into what my characters really need, the answer ties back into God somehow. Placing your identity in God, trusting God, surrendering to God…etc. I love getting the chance to share that in the story – and to learn some lessons myself, too!


Australian author Jessica Kate is obsessed with sassy romances. 

She packs her novels with love, hate, and everything in between—and then nerds out over her favorite books, movies and TV in the StoryNerds podcast. When she’s not writing or discussing fiction, she’s hunting the world for the greatest pasta in existence.

Her debut novel Love and Other Mistakes releases July 2019, while A Girl’s Guide to the Outback hits shelves in January 2020.

Receive her sassy short The Kiss Dare FREE when you sign up for her newsletter at 

Book links
Love and Other Mistakes –
A Girl’s Guide to the Outback –

Social media
Facebook and Instagram: Jessica Kate Writing
StoryNerds podcast – Nerd out with us over books, tv and movies! Available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts and at


  1. How delightful it is to read about you and your writing life from your own perspective, Jess. How curious it is that enthusiasm and discouragement seem 'attracted' to each other in a writer's experience. I can certainly identify with that apparent mismatch. Perhaps, ironically, it's that relationship that gives our fictional stories the touch of real life and makes our characters not only believable, but relatable. I'm looking forward to reading your book.

  2. Thanks Mazzy! Yep, that probably helps keep us grounded. Hope you have fun with Nat and Jem!

  3. Your books sound like a lot of fun, and so do you, Jessica! Great to learn more about another fellow CWD. :)

  4. Love your covers Jessica and your books sound like a lot of fun to read.