Alicia M. Long & Jayne J. Jones, co-authors of “Capitol Hell”
About Alicia M. Long and Jayne J. Jones: Jayne Jones and Alicia Long, co-authors of Capitol Hell began their political careers by working for former Senator Norm Coleman (MN).
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. Her favorite adventure is teaching others about the legislative process and how to draft legislation in her capacity as a political science professor at Concordia University. Jones is also in the process of starting a summer camp for teenagers interested in public policy.
Alicia Long, a South Dakota native and graduate of the University of St. Thomas School of Law, also worked for United States Senator John Thune (SD) as well as former United States Senator George Allen (VA). After graduating from law school, she obtained employment as a Presidential Management Fellow in the Department of Justice. In that capacity, she worked as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office in the District of Columbia. Currently she is an attorney working in Washington D.C.
How did the idea of co-authoring a book come to be? We were sitting on Jayne’s couch reminiscing about our time working on the Hill, and we were in stitches remember all of the crazy things that happened to us. People always told us we should write a book, so we decided to give it a shot! Alicia wrote the first chapter, sent it to Jayne, and the rest is history!!
What are you reading right now? Alicia: I am re-reading the Great Gastby. I haven’t read it since high school and thought it was time to re-visit it. I will also admit that I am a sucker for reading trashy magazines by the pool!
Jayne: I have a pile of books right now for our pontoon rides on the lake! I’m bouncing around between The Assistant and Mothering and Daughtering a Teenager. I just became a bonus mom to a 14 year old terrific gal in January!!
Describe what was the writing/editing/publishing process was like: Alicia: I think to both of our surprise, writing was the fun and easy part. It has been the editing, publication, and promotion that have been the really heavy lifting. But we are blessed to have one another and are totally enjoying the ride!
Jayne: I laughed out-loud while writing Capitol Hell and it was simply enjoyable plus maybe free therapy! HA. The post publishing process is where the work sets in. But, we learned from the Hill to work like dogs so we are peddling our book at every moment’s chance. I mean every stinky moment. HA.
Who or what inspires you? Alicia: Well obviously our original inspiration stemmed from our time on the Hill and that still continues to be an inspiration. Now I get inspiration from our readers. It is so fun to hear what they enjoyed about the book, and it makes we want to write more!
Jayne: To make others laugh. And, believe it or not also to teach.
What would people be surprised to know about “Capitol Hell”? Alicia: How much of it is based on true life! While the book is fiction, we did base much of it on experiences we had. One of the fun parts of the book is trying to figure out how much of it is true!
Jayne: The number one question—Are you Janet or Allison? Um, really?! We are creative, but not that creative! HA!
Where is your dream writing location? Alicia: On a quite tropical beach somewhere…However the sunlight and sand is tough on the laptop! 🙂
Jayne: I have two. Southwest Florida and rural Wisconsin. From the farm to the ocean, Capitol Hell 2 will soon be born!!
If “Capitol Hell” were turned into a movie who would you like to play the parts? Alicia: We get asked this all of the time! Most recently people say that Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy would make for a funny duo, but since the characters are supposed to be in their early 20’s we’d probably have to find some younger actresses… although we LOVE those two!
Jayne: Oh Lord, please make Janet cute! That’s all I care about! HA!
Every writer needs a…: Alicia: Great editor!! Jayne: An honest up-front tell it like it is publisher!
I saw you both on The Jeff Probst Show (great interview by the way), tell us how the social media has helped “Capitol Hell” become a success: Alicia: Thanks! We had an absolute blast going on the show and he was sooo nice! Social media has been HUGE for Capitol Hell. So much of what people decide to read is based on referrals from friends. Websites like yours, Facebook, Twitter, etc. has helped us get the word out and has helped our readers pass it along as well!
Jayne: Thanks for watching! It was a fun interview and Jeff is fantastic! Here’s the deal without social media, our book would be sitting on a warehouse shelf. Big publishers pay boatloads of money for marketing. While we have champagne taste, we are on a beer budget. Social media has been our champagne—and it tastes of so good!!! 🙂
What do you want your readers to take away from “Capitol Hell”? Alicia: A good laugh! We love reading books that make us laugh and love to do the same for our readers!
Jayne: Careful of who you vote into office!! Lordy, if we have 100 Karma McDermotts on the loose (Karma is the Senator’s wife—she’s a real trip!) America would be changed. HA!
What advice would you give to those who want to co-author? Alicia: Find someone who you can work with and be critical with because writing is a process. Jayne and I like to say that we are more like sisters than co-authors because we are always 100% honest with one another.
Jayne: Co-authoring is truly a special part of Capitol Hell. Trust me, neither one of us would be jumping off the diving board alone with this saucy novel. We are a team—someone described us as eggs and ham. We do it all together. I think that is important. We are equals and it has to be that way. Or, I don’t think it would work. You hardly ever just get eggs, right.
Are there any upcoming projects you would like to tell us about? Alicia: Funny you should ask! We actually have written the first few chapters of Capitol Hell 2! Although we are working on the right title for it. 🙂
Jayne: Alicia answered it—-and nailed it! HA.
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