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FIRST TIME is here! (Plus a reading playlist, and character inspirations)

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Hooray hooray, it’s release day! First Time has hit online retailers. Time to do a happy dance and celebrate!

First of all, have you entered the giveaway? You can earn extra entries by annoying your followers on social media with incessant reposts of the same tweet, every day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(I’m hearing that some people are having trouble with the Rafflecopter widget on their mobile devices. If anyone has a solution to that, feel free to shoot it my way! In the meantime, try that link!)

Now, on to some First Time release day fun!

Do you already have First Time on your phone, tablet, or other device? You might want a soundtrack while you’re reading! Here’s the playlist I used to write First Time, or you can just put “Call Me, Maybe” on a three and a half hour loop, which I also did while writing the book.

Wanna know who I saw in my head as the characters of First Time? I’ve got faces in mind for all the major players:

Craig Ferguson
Ian Pratchett
Dianna Agron
Penny Parker
maria doyle kennedy
Annie
Daniel Radcliffe
Fr. Danny
Diane Guerrero
Rosa
Joel McKinnon Miller
Bill

And if you don’t have First Time, you can order it in e-book or paperback (Penny’s paperback is coming soon, there was a formatting issue with the cover, but I promise she’s on the way!)

First Time New Cover

 

IAN:

Newly divorced and romantically pessimistic, Ian Pratchett doesn’t know why he’s been set up with Penny Parker. She’s unrelentingly positive, utterly superstitious, and sexually inexperienced—everything Ian is not. But when sparks fly between them, Ian sees the possibility of a life he’d given up hoping for…with a woman he would never have expected.

Amazon • Barnes & Noble • iBooks • Smashwords

PENNY:

With the wounds from a bad breakup still healing, Penny Parker is reluctant to dive back into the dating scene. She’s especially wary of being set up with an older man, but Ian Pratchett wants the same future she’s after: family, stability, and true love. Though all the signs point to Ian being The One, can the timing ever be right between two people born decades apart?

Amazon • Barnes & Noble • iBooks • Smashwords

Thanks everybody, for listening to me jabber on and on about my books! 😀

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37 Comments

  1. Chris
    Chris

    I checked to see if my Kindle had downloaded it from my pre-order then decided to open it up. I only got a few pages in (where Penny shows up at the restaurant) & already I’m drawn in & hooked. Unfortunately I have to leave for work so I had to force myself to set it aside. Something to look forward to! Yeah!!!!!

    August 4, 2015
    |Reply
  2. Jay
    Jay

    Which one do I read first?!

    August 4, 2015
    |Reply
  3. Father Daniel! So fucking perfect.

    August 4, 2015
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  4. Laura C
    Laura C

    i can’t see the paperback editions ? is it an amazon problem or…HELP I WANT MY PAPERBACKSSSS

    August 4, 2015
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      The paperbacks are distributed through Createspace and therefore there might be a delay in reaching non-Amazon retailer’s catalogues. Penny’s paperback isn’t quite ready to roll yet, but Ian’s is. However, the paperback version is for some reason not linked to the kindle version on Amazon.

      It wouldn’t be a Jenny Trout book launch if something didn’t crash and burn, LOL! I’ll keep everybody updated when the paperbacks are available.

      August 4, 2015
      |Reply
      • Laura C
        Laura C

        oh, thanks! 😀

        August 4, 2015
        |Reply
  5. Anon123
    Anon123

    Wait, are these literally all white people? What the hell, Jenny? You know better. :-/

    August 4, 2015
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    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      Not gonna lie, there are a lot of white people. Mostly because Ian and Penny spend much of the book alone together, and they’re both white. The majority of the characters in Ian’s book are his sister’s family, because he’s depressed and not spending time with anyone else. The most constant person in Penny’s life is her BFF/roommate, Rosa, who is a Latina transgender woman (though she isn’t disclosed as trans in Ian’s book because that’s none of his damn business).

      Because the books, (especially Ian’s) feature a predominately white cast, I’ve tried to consciously keep the characters from living in an all-white world by including minor characters of color. Still not an out-of-the-park home run for diversity, I get that, and again, I won’t deny that the books are pretty white, but it’s not something I was willfully/totally blind to. It’s also not something I foresee continuing in sequels, where there will be more opportunity to see their lives outside of the initial falling in love/meeting the family/spending all our time with just each other scenarios

      August 4, 2015
      |Reply
  6. Kelly
    Kelly

    Now I really want to see a face inspiration post about the Boss series…

    August 4, 2015
    |Reply
  7. Promise
    Promise

    Glad to know I’m not the only one who finds Craig Ferguson sexy.

    August 4, 2015
    |Reply
    • Anonymous because of what I'm posting
      Anonymous because of what I'm posting

      Hi Jenny,
      I usually lurk and have only rarely posted, but given that I devoured both First Time books in about a day and a half probably to the detriment of my social and work lives, I thought I should post something. (FWIW, I read them at the same time – 2-3 chapters of one then back track story-wise to the other. May not be the way you intended, but it was really good that way)

      So, I wanted to tell you that you very accurately described what it’s like to be a virgin in your twenties. I was a virgin until *gasp* 29 years old. And all of those things Penny complains about re: guys’ reactions were dead on. I personally was also not raised with any religion and was not “holding out” for religious reasons. I just had this stubborn idea that I wanted the right guy and hadn’t met him yet. Then the longer it got, the entire idea of it (particularly the loss of control in orgasm) became kind of terrifying and I would sometimes psych myself out. Like Penny, this did not make me a prude or unwilling to do other things – I just was woefully unexperienced in particular areas. Oddly enough, when I met the man who I ended up marrying, he was the first guy that when I confessed my virginity to told me that it would be entirely on my timeline and then didn’t pressure me at all. Turns out that with the pressure off, I ended up jumping him about a week later, but there’s no way he (or I honestly) could have known that. Then he was absolutely amazing at it and an all around great guy so I decided to keep him, lol.

      Too often in books, if a woman is a virgin, she’s either from an ultra-religious background or has some other hang up. Or god forbid, is the “ice queen” trope that needs to be “thawed”. That’s just BS. A lot of men and women don’t have sex until later in their twenties or even their thirties and it doesn’t mean they are prudes or freaks. I was so happy to see that recognized. SO, thank you for that. 🙂

      (Also, I really do hope you do sequels because I really liked Ian and Penny)

      August 7, 2015
      |Reply
  8. Lily
    Lily

    Hi Jenny, occasional lurker here.

    Sorry if you’ve already answered this elsewhere but I was curious – rereading your 50 Shades recaps, there was a paragraph where you were saying you absolutely couldn’t understand the idea of wanting to write or read the same story from two different characters’ POV. So… what changed your mind? Just wanting to prove it could be done better than EL did it?

    Because honestly I agreed with your first opinion, haha. But I’m open to being persuaded.

    What you said before, in case you have no idea what i’m talking about:

    “what the fuck is up with people writing a book in the heroine’s first person POV, then rewriting the same book from the hero’s first person POV? From a reader’s perspective, that doesn’t even sound remotely interesting to me; I cannot think of a single book I would want to read over, from a different POV. […] So from now on, if you’re writing a book, and there are pertinent details in the other character’s view point, why not just– and this is revolutionary, I tell ya– put all that shit into the book in the first damn place?”

    August 4, 2015
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    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      LOL, I didn’t do it to prove I could do it better than E.L.–she didn’t announce Grey until June, and First Time was well into editing by then–but because I was seeing it become so common in the New Adult genre. If a book got popular, about a year later, a novella or something would come out with the same book, but from the hero’s perspective. And as it kept going on and on, I was like, one, that would be incredibly hard, to go back and get into the mindset of the story a whole year or whatever later, but how would you do it in terms of continuity. So I started to view it as a challenge. I wrote about it and my change of thinking on these types of books here: http://jennytrout.com/?p=8385 Hope that clears some of it up! 😀

      August 5, 2015
      |Reply
      • Lily
        Lily

        Thanks for explaining. I guess I’m still not that convinced how it’s interesting for a reader to read the same story twice even if it’s a good challenge for a writer.

        (I meant that at the end of 50 Shades there was a short chapter from Christian’s POV that inspired you original rant I quoted above, right? So EL had already started doing something of that kind. I agree “writing better than EL” is not really much of a challenge for anyone though…)

        August 5, 2015
        |Reply
        • WEll, starting to read both of the first time books, it’s simply interesting to know what both people were thinking in the same moment. Because if you have one first-person book, you only ever now the insecurities of the main character, but nothing about the thoughts and motivations of their love interst, e.g.

          If you try to write the worst book of all time on the other hand, like E.L. James continues to do, there is no fucking point to it because you don’t learn anything new. Reading the same painfully edited email twice? Why??

          August 21, 2015
          |Reply
  9. Sarah P.
    Sarah P.

    Wait, are these literally all white people? What the hell, Jenny? You know better. :-/

    I’m pretty happy to see non-white, non-binary, non-hetero people, even in a hetero romance novel. Maybe I’m just used to the complete non-existence of “minorities”, but I was pretty happy about Rosa being trans and Latina, and at the inclusion of Deja and Hollis relationship in The Boss series, and Neil being bi.

    Oh shit, I hope I didn’t just spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read “The Boss”.

    ANYWAY. I’m trying to include non-white people in my writing but, as a white person, I sometimes feel like a huge imposter writing about Persons of Color – like, how can I presume to understand their experience?

    August 4, 2015
    |Reply
    • Mandi Rei Serra
      Mandi Rei Serra

      I sometimes feel like a huge imposter writing about Persons of Color – like, how can I presume to understand their experience?

      THIS.

      That’s something I’m dealing with in my own work. I want to write POC and I want to be mindful that their experiences are different than mine, but I don’t want to fall into the ‘token black guy’ or the ‘magical negro’ tropes inadvertently.

      For example, I’m writing of racehorses, and there are a few POC characters (African-American and Native ancestry)… and the last African-American jockey to win the Kentucky Derby was in 1919. While this information is much more relevant to a secondary character, I figure it’s a valid topic to address. More so if I move the location of the stables from the Pacific Northwest to Kentucky (debating on that, currently) where race relations take on a whole other dimension. I don’t know if I’m capable of doing POC justice by writing of nuanced experiences I’ve only read or watched (I’ve found this documentary VERY informative regarding POC after the Civil War to before WWII, and the attitudes that following generations have inherited http://video.pbs.org/video/2176766758/ ) to learn about.

      And personally, I would feel super-awkward asking a POC to read my manuscript and tell me how to make it more supportive of POC and their experiences. “Excuse me, can you tell me if this story is unintentionally racist? Thanks.” Maybe that’s a reflection of my white privilege, I don’t know. But then the Sword of Damocles is that how can one improve certain aspects of their craft if they aren’t willing to listen to those in the know? I don’t have a problem with the listening part, just the asking a stranger to read and let me know if there’s an issue with how different races are portrayed.

      August 5, 2015
      |Reply
      • Yeah, it might be a bit awkward to ask a stranger to tell you whether or not your words are inclusive – I haven’t thought of asking . I know, am close friends with, and have spent enough time with Asians and Latinx to feel somewhat comfortable including them as secondary characters in my stories without feeling like a total imposter. I don’t know that I would ever feel ok writing a POV of anything other than a white cisfemale, because that’s how I identify. But I might be overthinking it.

        August 5, 2015
        |Reply
        • Kk the Bunny Girl
          Kk the Bunny Girl

          Jumping in as a young black woman, the best advice I’ve heard for white writers is write diverse characters not the experience. Basically, by all means write diverse characters, but don’t write about what it’s like to be in that group (or at least don’t make that the center of your story). So, as a cis person, I should include trans characters in the main cast, but I would cross the line by trying to write a book about the trans experience (because it’s not my lane). I try to write books that include all types of people and the first thing to realize is that people are just people. Maybe it’s because I write fantasy (mostly), but I feel like if I can get into the head space of a imaginary creatures then writing other people is easy. In fact it’s super easy to make a diverse cast. Just ask “Is there a reason this person has to be white/straight/cis?” If there isn’t, which there usually isn’t, then feel free to change them. Believe me, just about any white character you write could be a person of color, we’re just people. If you really feel the need to write about the experience to make it feel authentic then there are tons of online resources. My personal favorite is Writing with color on tumblr. Otherwise read books written about people of color by people of color. I hope I don’t sound harsh, but it really is not hard if you stay conscious of your decisions.

          August 6, 2015
          |Reply
          • Kk the Bunny Girl, it doesn’t sound harsh at all! I appreciate the feedback and I’ve gone through and looked at my characters again with that in mind.

            I’m in an interracial relationship and there have been plenty of moments where my white privilege has made me blind to her experiences, even when I am with her and something stupid happens, and I really really REALLY don’t want to perpetuate that! So I want to write with at least that in mind.

            October 2, 2015
    • ali
      ali

      i think Kk the Bunny Girl has great advice (not sure if that’s going to shwo up above or below this in the thread), and i would also like to gently suggest– you probably don’t only write characters who are your same gender, ages you have already lived, from places you have already lived, etc. honestly, representation can be so lacking that i don’t just get excited about characters who are multiracial like me or are filipina like my mom, i get excited about asian characters, immigrants, and children of immigrants in general. if you make an effort to include characters who are different from you, there are tons of people out there who will appreciate it.

      as far as asking for feedback on your work, i think that’s totally fine, provided that you ask the right person in the right context. i wouldn’t ask a stranger, but what about another writer or a beta reader? or even an internet friend? it can be so obvious when a writer goes too far outside of their experience without consulting any real people who are like their character. (for me that’s obvious more with movies/tv, maybe because it’s painful to see a woman or poc act out the words of someone who clearly doesn’t think about them as a full person.) remember that we’re people too, not just a label or a minority experience. also– most people are trying to assimilate with whatever the majority group is. it’s just how people work. for ex: just because someone speaks a different language at home, that doesn’t mean they’ll have a noticeable accent at work/school/the grocery store or throw in random words from their language.

      September 30, 2015
      |Reply
  10. Kate
    Kate

    Okay, total lurker here, but I had to jump on to say something. I’ve mostly hung around for your recap work, but I finally caught some of what you were saying about First Time and picked up both pieces to read side by side. I stayed up all night reading both and LOVED them. The emotions felt so genuine and the conflicts felt so realistic. I have a hard time with the genre because it kind of feels anti-woman to me sometimes, but these were so great. I love the characterization on both sides and that we saw a meeting of equals which seems like a really rare representation for ANY kind of media these days(at least to me). Thank you! Now to look for The Boss…

    August 5, 2015
    |Reply
    • Emme
      Emme

      Ohhhhh please change the way you look at the romance genre!

      It’s a genre written for women. By women. About women.

      It’s the least anti-woman genre of writing there is possible to be. There are bad books, but there are SO MANY fantastic, feminist friendly books. So much more than literary fiction written by and dominated by white men.

      Please don’t say romance is anti-woman. It’s not just Jenny’s books. SO many romance novels are incredible.

      August 5, 2015
      |Reply
      • Kate
        Kate

        Always looking for recommendations for pro-woman/feminist leaning works in any genre…

        August 6, 2015
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  11. iheartbusterk
    iheartbusterk

    Is it odd that I saw Peter Capaldi as Ian? Because I did and hoo boy…

    August 5, 2015
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    • Kate
      Kate

      Challenge accepted!

      August 6, 2015
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      • iheartbusterk
        iheartbusterk

        It’s the swearing that made me think of him, not that Craig Ferguson doesn’t swear.

        And let’s just say that my crush on Capaldi has reached epic proportions now….

        August 6, 2015
        |Reply
  12. Continuity question, and spoilers for The Ex and First time ahead!

    So in The Ex, Gena mentioned she has an IUD. In First Time, Ian frequently mentioned how he and Gena were trying to conceive and had fertility tests done for about a year. So I’m a bit confused about that.

    August 6, 2015
    |Reply
    • JennyTrout
      JennyTrout

      Yeah, I was thinking about that when I was writing it, and I thought they probably had given up trying to conceive at that point and things were already careening downhill. I could see Ian being fine with not trying anymore, and then a few months later being not as fine.

      August 6, 2015
      |Reply
  13. Katie
    Katie

    I finally had time to read these books. I read both in 24 hours. I couldn’t put them down… Love love love this couple. To be honest, I was a little skeptical when there was that hint at the end The Ex. But you made me love Penny and Ian together, and I’m so excited for more.

    P.S.: Maria Doyle Kennedy is the perfect choice for Annie.

    August 19, 2015
    |Reply
  14. Jordan
    Jordan

    Will there be a sequel to Ian and Penny’s story?

    November 13, 2015
    |Reply

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