Author Interview: Jamie Wesley – Fake It Till You Bake It is a contemporary romance between a reality TV star and a professional football player. It features fake dating and a bakery – it’s available now! This post may contain links to purchase books & you can read our affiliate disclosure here.
Jamie Wesley has been reading romance novels since she was about 12 when her mother left a romance novel, which a friend had given her, on the nightstand. Jamie read it instead, and the rest is history.
She started her first manuscript, a contemporary romance, after she graduated from Northwestern University in 2002 and couldn’t find a job. Life got in the way as it often does, i.e. she found a job, and she didn’t finish the story. However, she never forgot about it and finally got serious about completing it in 2009. And then she finished a few more stories. In 2012, her manuscript, TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD, was named a finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart competition and was published by Entangled Publishing in 2014.
Jamie holds a master’s degree in sport management (yes, that’s a real thing 🙂 ) from the University of Texas at Austin, so it probably comes as no surprise that she loves sports and spends an inordinate amount of time rooting for her hometown Dallas’s pro sports teams and her alma maters.
She also adores Walt Disney World, shopping, and pop culture. Want to know if your favorite TV show is going to be canceled or what the newest Disney attraction is? Ask Jamie. She’ll probably know the answer.
Synopsis for Fake It Till You Bake It by Jamie Wesley
Jada Townsend-Matthews is the most reviled woman in America after turning down a proposal on a reality dating show. When she comes home to lick her wounds, Jada finds herself working at San Diego’s newest cupcake bakery, Sugar Blitz, alongside the uptight owner and professional football player Donovan Dell.
When a reporter mistakenly believes Jada and Donovan are an item, they realize they can use the misunderstanding to their advantage to help the struggling bakery and rehabilitate Jada’s image. Faking a relationship should be simple, but sometimes love is the most unexpected ingredient.
Fake it Till You Bake It is a sweet confection of a novel, the perfect story to curl up with and enjoy with a cupcake on the side.
Author Interview: Jamie Wesley
Jamie, I’m so excited to talk to you today about Fake It Till You Bake It, out June 21st, 2022. Thank you for joining me for this Q & A.
First of all, thanks for having me.
Can you tell me a little about the inspiration behind Fake It Till You Bake It?
I’m a huge sports fan, including football. But football is such a brutal sport—on and off the field. Players don’t have guaranteed contracts, and often their careers are shorter than athletes in other sports like baseball or basketball. So I started there, thinking about how football players prepare for life after football. My initial inspiration was Michael Strahan who has built a very successful career for himself in media. Then I started seeing a Microsoft Surface commercial featuring football players who own a cupcake shop, and I knew I had to incorporate that idea into my book.
I would love to hear more about Jada, “the most reviled woman in America after turning down a proposal on a reality dating show.” Can you tell us more about Jada?
I’m so glad you asked about her. That’s the other half of the inspiration for the story. I’m a huge fan of The Bachelor, and one day, it came to me—what would happen to the winner if she turned down the proposal? In my mind, she would be hated, and I knew I had to write about that. I love Jada. I think she’s misunderstood. She is impulsive, but she always means well. She definitely acts before she thinks, which gets her into trouble—more than once.
I envisioned her as the grown-up version of Dionne from Clueless, one of my favorite movies.
Donovan is the uptight owner of the Sugar Blitz cupcake shop and a professional football player. Can you tell us more about him?
I love Donovan to pieces! He’s the nicest guy. He just needed someone to help him get that stick out of his ass. Lol. He carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. He wants to do right by his family. He wants to do right by his friends. He just needed someone to show him that he can have happiness AND security, even if he chills out a bit.
Jada & Donovan meet at a cupcake shop, do you have a favorite cupcake? I’m a fan of red velvet with cream cheese icing.
I love cookies ‘n’ cream cupcakes!
Author Interview: Jamie Wesley: Let’s Chat About Writing
Do you have any favorite scenes in Fake It Till You Bake It?
I don’t want to say too much, but there’s a scene toward the beginning where Donovan gives Jada an unexpected gift. I knew from the moment I came up with this story that this scene HAD to be in the book.
The other scene also involves Donovan. Things are out of control, but he’s realized he has feelings for Jada, and he’s freaking out. As I wrote that scene, I wanted to give him a hug, but I was also laughing at him because he’s got it bad for Jada, and he doesn’t know what to do! He’s so cute in that scene.
I would love to know if you’re a plotter or a pantser. What seems to work best when you’re working on a new manuscript?
I lean more toward being a plotter. Some plotters plan every single scene before they start writing. I can’t and don’t do that because I feel like it would take away the joy of discovery as I write. However, I do write a basic synopsis that hits on the major plot points that I refer back to if/when I get stuck.
Do you have any favorite snacks, music or rituals for your writing? For instance, are you blasting music or need complete silence?
I don’t really eat much while writing. I can’t write if I’m hungry, so I eat first, then write. LOL. But I definitely need music while writing. 90s R&B is a fave. When I really want to get in the writing mood, I turn on the Dirty Dancing soundtracks. There are 2, in case you didn’t know. LOL. I’m also a big Ariana Grande fan. I listened to her album, Positions, A LOT, when I was editing FAKE IT.
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Do you have any advice for fellow writers?
Yes! I’m always up for giving advice. LOL. Seriously though, read the genre you want to write and analyze as best you can why those stories work and why they appeal to you. Admittedly, that’s hard for me to do because when I love something, it’s hard to articulate why because all I want to do is squee. But try. LOL.
Another thing to do is write and find other writers who are at about the same point in the journey as you are. Exchange your work and critique it. Critiquing others’ work will help you so much in your own as you identify what works and doesn’t work. These people, hopefully, will become your support system as you either seek to sign with an agent and publisher or self-publish your work. Writing is such a lonely career. Having people who understand what you’re going through is priceless.
And don’t give up. Write when you can. You’ll eventually finish the story. There’s no timeline.
What started your foray into reading and loving the romance genre?
In third grade, my teacher asked if I had a library card. I said “no” and went home and asked my mom to take me to the library. I’ve been a voracious reader ever since. I started with The Baby-sitters Club and never looked back. A few years after my teacher asked me that fateful question, my mom’s friend gave her a book. Great, except my mother isn’t a reader, so it sat on her nightstand. At that time, I would read any and everything, so I picked it up. It was a romance, and I was hooked! I’ve been a romance reader ever since.
The thing is I’ve always loved romance, even when I was a kid. Like, I loved Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and Adventures in Babysitting because they both had a teeny, tiny romance it. That’s all it took for me to declare them the best movies ever. LOL.
Reading Recs, TV Casting & More
Fake It Till You Bake It, is one of my top Summer 2022 reads! What are some romances on your TBR and/or must read romances?
Thank you so much! It really does mean a lot to me that you enjoyed the book.
I can’t wait to read Farrah Rochon’s The Hookup Plan, Danielle Jackson’s The Accidental Pinup, Can’t Resist Her by Kianna Alexander, and Booked on a Feeling by Jayci Lee.
I always love talking about TV and movies. If you were to cast an adaptation for Fake It Till You Bake It, do you have anyone in mind for your characters?
I honestly haven’t thought too much about it. I used Justine Skye as my inspiration for Jada, but she’s a singer. Not sure she acts.
Do you have any favorite TV shows or movie franchises?
I go through phases. I had my Law & Order: Special Victims Unit phase for a few years. Reruns are king! I spent the past few months binging old seasons of Project Runway. It was hilarious watching episodes, being outraged about something that happened and wanting to talk about it, but not being able to because the episode first aired in 2010.
There was also my To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before phase. I LOVE teen romcoms. For a while, those movies were my sole reason for having a Netflix subscription.
Who is the ideal reader for Fake It Till You Bake It?
Someone who loves cute, adorable romantic comedies featuring flawed, well-meaning women trying to figure out their place in the world and the decent, romantic, upstanding men who love them. It also doesn’t hurt if you like fake dating, opposites attract, and cupcakes!
Thank you again for taking the time to speak with me, Jamie! How can readers best connect with you?
Thank you for having me! I spend way too much time on Twitter (@Jamie_Wesley) and Instagram (@jamiewesleywrites). If you want to know when my next book releases, please sign up for my newsletter at jamiewesley.com.