Jodi Ellen Malpas is the number one, New York Times best-selling author of the This Man and One Night trilogies. Her character, Jesse Ward, from the This Man series became an instant alpha-male archetype in the erotic-romance genre and catapulted her into the public eye. Her latest novel, The Protector, is her first standalone and releases this week. MW: What was your life like before you started writing romance? Was it difficult to be thrust into the spotlight with the incredible success of the This Man series? JEM: Before This Man went crazy, I worked for my father doing an office role within his construction business. It wasn’t really me, though it was a natural progression in my life and my father offered me flexibility around my young family, which was invaluable as a working mother of two boys. The success of This Man was very unexpected and very fast. I was thrust into a world that I knew very little about, and it was quite daunting. It was incredibly hard to balance my old life with my new life, especially since I was in an unhappy marriage and I knew my success would be blamed if I were to find the courage to break away from it. Which, of course, it was, but I’ve fast learned to grow a thick skin and not keep others happy, at the expense of my own happiness. Life is too short.