Need a hot man for a cold winter’s night? Jenny’s debut novel, A Man for All Seasons, and her hero, Chad, seem more than ready to oblige as we head into winter.
Welcome, Jenny, and thanks for treading the boards with us today!
1. Are you inspired most by places, people or experiences and how do these work their way into your writing?
Landscape is a particular source of inspiration for me. The development of my characters is greatly influenced by their geographical location. But I think that every facet of my life and experience becomes part of my writing, although often this is a subconscious process. Sometimes I think my writing is the sum of all my mistakes! So, plenty of scope there.
And don’t we often use our own life moments in our writing!
2. How did you come up with the idea of A Man for All Seasons?
My titles tend to evolve. Usually they are taken from a particular line that especially moves me. This may happen early on or not until the work is nearly finished. You'll be able to spot the moment for yourself if you read the story. It's a particularly poignant moment for Seraphim.
Sir Thomas More has always been the definitive “Man” since high school English. Looking forward to Chad giving me a newer image!
3. How do you come up with your characters’ names?
For A Man For All Seasons I wanted names that created an invisible bond between the characters. They are both such good people that angels seemed appropriate.
4. What is your favourite holiday?
I think all holidays are pretty fabulous. But, for me, going back to the UK to see the folks is pretty special. I particularly love the Thames Valley area, and lived for several years around the location where Midsomer Murders was filmed. (I'm probably lucky to be alive.) I also have a soft spot for Scotland, especially in the west around Oban.
Oh me too, Jenny! We spent a few days in the west of Scotland, around Oban and Kilmelford – it’s picture postcard stuff!
5. How many times were you turned down before you finally got published? For A Man For All Seasons I was very lucky, only three. This is a fantastic time to be writing. The explosion of e publishers and readers really has created new windows of opportunity for the industry.
6. What reason(s) did the publishers give for their rejection of your manuscript?
One said it was "a bit too niche" and another hinted that my work wasn't quite spicy enough for their particular line. The third didn't give a specific reason. All rejections were kindly worded and encouraging.
7. Who is your literary hero?
Heathcliffe. I just adore the dark hero.
8. Who do you most admire and why? OR If you could meet anyone, alive or dead, and spend an hour with them, who and why?
That's a hard one. There's quite a list of people I'd like to meet. To narrow it down to three I'd say Ann Boleyn, Joan of Arc, and Boadicea. Under the threat of torture (trust me, a threat would be enough) I think I'd have to finally choose Anne Boleyn, for whom I have held a lifelong fascination. Just imagine an hour with Anne. What secrets would be uncovered? Awesome!
9. What is your favourite book of all time that you can reread a hundred times, and it still feels like the first time?
Heathcliff – it’s me, I’m Kathy, I’ve come home (okay, Kate Bush. Enough of that!)
10. What do you need to set the mood for you to write?
Not a lot. I'd rather write or research more than anything else. Who wants to clean the house or work when you can kiss a tall dark stranger beneath a star encrusted sky?
11. If there is one genre that you have not written in yet, but would love to try writing a book in that specific genre, what would it be? I'd have to say Historical romance. This is the genre that I wanted to write originally. I'm working toward it. One day...
What I want to know is, will there be tall, dark and brooding starring in it? Please!
12. How many blurbs did you have to write before the final one?
About half a dozen variations of a theme usually. The hard thing is to decide which works best.
13. If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be? And why? I would love to bring Seraphim's slightly dotty but delightful nanny into my life. Everybody needs a Nanny M.
18. What are you working on now?
Another rural romance. This one's set against the glorious, rugged wilderness of Queensland's far north, and the explosive sport of rodeo.
When Angelina arrives home from boarding school to her beloved cattle station, she has one goal. Never to leave.
Jed, roustabout, confidante and partner in crime, is delighted. As friendship slides into a steamy affair, life seems filled with promise. But when Jed discovers Angelina's carefully guarded secret, their world falls apart. Fate forces them to walk alone.
It is in the gritty, grinding arena of the rodeo circuit that their destinies are finally fulfilled.
19. Would you like to share an excerpt from your writing or a photo or music link that inspires you?
Here's an excerpt from A Man For All Seasons:
Chad gazed at Seraphim and listened to her fiancé in frank amazement. What the hell was his problem? Too risqué? He was kidding, right? Too risqué for what exactly? Was the man gelded? Perhaps they still had eunuchs in England.
The dress was a bloody ripper. She looked like something out of a Bond film. It clung to her soft curves like plastic wrap, her porcelain white skin gently warmed by the candle light. Chad felt his blood thicken in his arteries. He longed to run a finger down the long, naked length of her spine.
And with those sparks heating up our cool winter nights, thanks Jenny. Loved having you tread the boards and best wishes for wonderful sales of your debut novel.