Friday, October 26, 2012

Jayne J. Jones and Alicia M. Long - Capitol Hell - Author Interview

Author Interview

1. How did you come up with the title?
The title was just kind of intuitive. We wanted to find a pun that was fitting with Capitol Hill and 'Capitol Hell' just kind of came up. We thought it was a fun tongue-in-cheek way to poke fun at what life on the Hill can be like.

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The main message of the novel is to work hard, pay attention to detail, and to be ready for anything. We poke a lot of fun at politics, politicians, and the Hill. And, we certainly show how tough that job can be. But, we both actually loved our time on the Hill and would encourage anyone who has public service in their heart to try and serve.

3. How much of the book is realistic?
Our parents always told us to never kiss and tell. That being said, some of the stories in the book are based on our own experiences, some are from stories we've heard, some are highly embellished, and some are completely made up. It is up to the reader to try and decide what they thing might have actually happened!!

4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
So far we have had a great ride and have had tons of positive feedback on the book. Much like life, neither one of us would go back and change a thing. It is the experiences that you have that make you who you are. And, its the experiences in the book that make Allison and Janet who they are! :)

5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Finding time to write! Both of us have full time jobs. Much of the book was written while Alicia was in law school and while Jayne was working for the State of Minnesota. It took us four years to finish it, but every moment we took to sneak away to write, edit, and re-edit was worth it!

6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Editors and proofreaders are a gift from God!! We couldn't have written this book without the support of our friends and family and the help and advice we received from our editor, proofreader, and publisher. They are truly all amazing. The rest we are still figuring out as we go!

7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Both of us have always had creative spirits and we both have always been big readers. When we got the idea to tell a story about something we love, politics, it kind of all just came together! 

8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Alicia: I have too many favorite authors to count. I love reading anything and everything. But I would say some authors that I really love include John Grisham, Stephen King, and Vince Flynn. I also love a guilty pleasure "beach read" and "chick lit." Stephen King's book 'On Writing' was monumentally helpful in the writing process as was Strunk and White's 'Elements of Style'.

Jayne: Without question, Karen Kingsbury. I can't put down her books once I start them and am waiting in line for every new release.

9. Tell us your latest news.
The 'Capitol Hell' campaign continues! After stops throughout DC, Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and Texas, we are headed to New York, California, and Florida. Check out to find out where the campaign is headed next!! We'd love to meet you in a bookstore near you!

10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
THANK YOU!! We love you all and hope you enjoy the book and laugh out loud! We would LOVE to hear from you. Drop us a line at Tells us what you think, invite us to your book club, talk politics or fashion with us. Bottom line, we LOVE our readers and LOVE hearing from them!!

About the Book

When recent college graduate Allison Amundson, a small town girl from South Dakota, lands the highly sought after job of scheduler to the newly-elected and rising star of the United States Senate, Senator Anders McDermott III, she thinks she is on the fast track to success.

However, she quickly learns that crazy co-workers, a high maintenance boss, an over-the-top family and an unexpected Presidential bid make Capitol Hill seem even more dysfunctional than portrayed on TV. In fact, it is Capitol Hell.

The second Allison sets foot in the prestigious Senate Russell Building, things begin to go awry. Allison soon realizes her co-workers consist of a Chief of Staff who has little to no control over the antics in the office, a Press Secretary who is not only pompous, but who is constantly primping and preening, and worst of all the Senator himself, who cares more about his rise to fame than the people of Minnesota.

As Allison struggles to juggle a new career, her blooming love interest in Cam (a quiet but loyal Legislative Assistant), and her ever-declining bank account, she is comforted only by her co-worker Janet, a fireplug who spends the majority of her time on-line dating, trying to land a Senator of her own.

Just as Allison and Janet begin to figure out the ins and outs of Capitol Hill, their lives are turned upside down when Senator McDermott announces his bid for President of the United States. Soon, Allison and Janet find themselves at the center of one of the craziest campaigns in history, and hilarity ensues.

This off-beat, funny novel captures and shares what it is like to be a young staffer working on Capitol Hill.

Price/Format: $15.95 paperback, $7.99 ebook
Pages: 328
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Publisher: Beaver's Pond Press
Release Date: September 4, 2012
Buy Links: Amazon, Kindle,

About the Authors

Jayne Jones, a graduate of William Mitchell College of Law, left Capitol Hill to work for the Minnesota House of Representatives, where she was the Executive Assistant to the Speaker of the House.

Following her drive and compassion to teach others about the legislative process and drafting legislation, Jayne is starting a summer academic program for teens to master public policy and the legislative process. Additionaly, Jayne teaches political science at Concordia University.

Jayne’s students have gained national attention and praise for their legislative activities and involvement. 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 state and federal legislation to curb child abuse in the classroom—especially special education classrooms. This year, Jayne’s students tackled eliminating state legislator immunity from impaired driving with their legislation, “No Boozin’ and Cruzin.”

Jayne is a member of the Concordia University Advancement Committee and a former inner city Girl Scout troop leader and live-in nanny.

Jayne is proud of her work with Margaret's Missions, ensuring travelers with disabilities have access to see the world and enjoy life's greatest adventures!

Jayne is full of life and loves reality television. She wholeheartedly believes in living each day to the fullest and loves a great sale for 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, securing emergency medical visas for orphans and aiming to win her family’s salsa making contest!

Jayne prefers bright colored shoes, trendy handbags that can be used as briefcases, and not missing an episode of the Young and the Restless.

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.

She is currently planning her wedding on a shoestring budget and resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.


Alicia Long is originally from Hartford, South Dakota, a small town just outside of Sioux Falls. In 2003, she received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Upon graduation, she moved to Washington, D.C. to work on Capitol Hill. While working on Capitol Hill, she served for United States Senators Norm Coleman (MN), John Thune (SD) and George Allen (VA). She also served in various capacities, including scheduler, legislative correspondent, legislative aide, intern coordinator and caseworker. While working on the Hill, she became proficient at mastering the metro system, crashing the nearest receptions, and acting as a tour guide for friends and family.

In 2007, Alicia returned to the Twin Cities to pursue her J.D. at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. She worked as a law clerk in the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office. Upon graduation in 2010, she joined the Department of Justice as a Presidential Management Fellow and spent nearly a year working as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Columbia.

Alicia is board member of the D.C. Chapter of University of Minnesota Alumni Association and is also a member of the University of St. Thomas School of Law Annual Giving Committee. She is also a former inner city Girl Scout troop leader. In her spare time, Alicia enjoys working on her golf swing, cheering on the Green Bay Packers, and reading everything from “In Touch” magazine to “The Great Gatsby.”

Alicia loves finding good deals on fashion, funky high heels, and opts for wearing Calvin Klein dresses and a blazer in lieu of a suit any day. You can often find her out to happy hour with friends, checking out local shops or at the beach. Her bucket list includes: going sky diving, traveling the world, mastering the New York Times crossword puzzle and marrying Green Bay Packer Quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Alicia currently resides in Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia with her German Shepherd/Black Lab mix, Sarge.

Links to connect with Jayne and Alicia:
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  1. Great interview! Love these authors and Capitol Hell!

  2. I couldn't refrain from commenting. Well written!
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