Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the three hundred and eleventh, is of novel collaborators Alicia Long and Jayne Jones. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at author-spotlights.
Jayne Jones and Alicia Long, co-authors of Capitol Hell began their political careers working for former Senator Norm Coleman (MN) as staffers in both his St. Paul, MN and Washington, D.C. offices. Fast friends, the two stuck together through thick and thin, recently joining forces to write a novel about life as a Capitol Hill staffer.
Jayne Jones, a graduate of William Mitchell College of Law, worked for US Senator Norm Coleman from 2002-2006, then headed to the Minnesota House of Representatives, where she was the Executive Assistant to the Speaker of the House, Steve Sviggum.
Jayne loves reality television, funky jewelry and skirts under $20. She thrives on meeting current and former United States Presidents, cheering for the University of North Dakota Sioux hockey team, catching Alaskan halibut, and aiming to win her family’s salsa making contest! On her bucket list: being on the Wheel of Fortune, going to happy hour with Kelly Ripa, and figuring out how to boil corn-on-the-cob for that oh-so-darn-good buttery taste.
Following her passion to teach others about the legislative process, Jayne is starting a summer academic program for teens to master public policy. She also teaches political science at Concordia University, where her students have gained national attention for their legislative activities. Her students drafted, advocated for, and passed the Kyle Herman Bill of 2010 and worked hand-in-hand with state and federal elected officials on legislation to curb child abuse in the classroom. This year, Jayne’s students drafted the controversial “No Boozin’ and Cruzin” legislation to eliminate state legislator immunity from impaired driving. The bill soared through committee hearings, passed deadlines, but got tanked for floor action.
Jayne is a member of the Concordia University Advancement Committee, and a former inner city Girl Scout troop leader and live-in nanny. She is proud of her work with Margaret’s Missions, ensuring travelers with disabilities get access to see the world and enjoy life’s greatest adventures! Jayne is currently planning her wedding on a shoestring budget, and resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Alicia Long, a South Dakota native and graduate of the University of St. Thomas School of Law, worked for the United States Senate from 2002-2007 for Senators Norm Coleman (MN), John Thune (SD), and George Allen (VA) as a scheduler, caseworker, intern coordinator, legislative correspondent, and legislative aide.
In her spare time, Alicia loves cheering on the Green Bay Packers, working on her golf swing, and reading everything from In Touch magazine to The Great Gatsby to Supreme Court opinions. She also loves finding deals on fashion, funky high heels, and opts for wearing Calvin Klein dresses and a blazer in lieu of a suit any day.
By day, Alicia fights the good fight at her current job in the Chief Counsel’s office of the Drug Enforcement Agency. By night you can find her scoping out happy hours, playing co-ed sports, or hitting up any of the endless social activities going on in D.C. Her bucket list includes sky diving, traveling the world, mastering the New York Times crossword puzzle, and marrying Green Bay Packer Quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Alicia is originally from Hartford, South Dakota, a small town outside of Sioux Falls. In 2003, she received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and then moved to Washington, D.C. to work on Capitol Hill, where she mastered the metro system, became proficient at crashing receptions, and acted as a tour guide for friends and family.
In 2007, Alicia returned to the Twin Cities to pursue her law degree at the University of St. Thomas. During law school, she worked as a law clerk in the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office. After graduating from law school, Alicia was selected to be a Presidential Management Fellow in the Department of Justice where she worked as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (SAUSA) in the criminal division of the United States Attorney’s Office. As a SAUSA, Alicia brought 31 matters to trial, resulting in 26 convictions.
Alicia is a board member of the D.C. Chapter of University of Minnesota Alumni Association, a member of the University of St. Thomas School of Law’s Annual Giving Committee, and a former inner city Girl Scout troop leader. Alicia currently resides in Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia with her German Shepherd / Black Lab mix, Sarge.
And now from the author themselves:
Our Capitol Hell – Campaign & Journey
Capitol Hell is our debut novel and we couldn’t be more thrilled about the reception it’s had or the wild ride it has taken us on. After spending nearly ten years in politics, we realized we had so many crazy stories, we just had to share them, and we thought how better to do it than by writing a fun, funny, and witty novel about what life is really like inside of the beltway.
Capitol Hell tells the story of Allison Amundson, a small town girl from South Dakota who lands the highly sought after job of scheduler to the newly-elected and rising star of the US Senate, Senator Anders McDermott III (MN). While she thinks she is on the fast track to success, she quickly learns that life on Capitol Hill is even more dysfunctional than portrayed on TV. In fact, it is ‘Capitol Hell.
We had an absolute blast collaborating to come up with our funny little novel. We had a taxing time going through the editing process, and a nerve-wracking time wondering if it would be done in time for our target release date. But, when we finally got to hold what we had begun to refer to as “our baby,” in our tired little hands, we were ecstatic and we knew all of our hard work had paid off. But, what we soon realized was that our work was nowhere near done.
We learned the hard way that finishing the book wasn’t the end of our journey as authors. Because we opted to go with a smaller independent publisher, we realized that we would have to do much of the marketing ourselves, so we decided to get creative and we took Capitol Hell on a campaign of its own.
It has been almost a year since our books “birth” and what a journey this first year has been! We have taken craziness in DC to cities across America and have been selling out at book signings across the Nation. Capitol Hell has taken us to signings in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Washington, DC. And the fun hasn’t ended there. We were almost at a loss for words when we realized we had won six book awards and couldn’t believe it when we got to make national TV appearances on CNN and the Jeff Probst Show.
But throughout this incredible journey, what has truly the best part has been getting to work alongside your best friend while meeting and hearing from Capitol Hell fans. We truly hope you will give our book a read and we hope even more that you’ll reach out when you are done to let us know what you thought! Because there is nothing we love more than to hear from our readers!
You can find more about Alicia and Jayne and their writing via… http://www.capitolhellbook.com.
You can sign up to receive these blog posts daily or weekly so you don’t miss anything. You can contact me and find me on the internet, view my Books (including my debut novel The Serial Dater’s Shopping List, various short story collections and writer’s block workbooks) and I also have a blog creation / maintenance service especially for, but not limited to, writers. If you like this blog, you can help me keep it running by donating and choose an optional free eBook.
For writers / readers willing to give feedback and / or writers wanting feedback, take a look at this blog’s Feedback page.
As I post a spotlight or interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t unfortunately review books but I have a list of those who do. If there’s anything you’d like to take part in, take a look at Opportunities on this blog.
I welcome items for critique for the online writing groups listed below:
Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group
We look forward to reading your comments.