JRA: Hi, Jillian! I'm excited to have you here. The premise of SOLO HONEYMOON intrigued me to no end. What was the inspiration for this “groomless bride” story?
JC: It's hard to say how Emma came about. I usually get the hero in my head first. The hero in this story, Dario, was inspired by my friend who is a ballroom dancer. Her partner/instructor is Italian. He's not handsome but he's quite a dancer. I watched them and he inspired me to write about Dario. I can tell you that Emma started out as Tess and since I don't plot out my stories, she was very hard to write. UNTIL I changed her name – then she decided since she now had the right name, she'd come out of my head easier. This was the second time this has happened to me in relation to my female character. The right name is so important.
JRA: That's very true! During the story of SOLO HONEYMOON, Emma’s best friend also finds some Italian romance that we don’t get to see much of. Might there be any follow-up tales in this setting?
JC: It's possible. I guess you caught that! I put in a teaser about that very thing. Gwen was fun to write. She's pretty sassy and I liked her.
JRA: I'll be keeping an eye out for that! When you aren’t wearing your writer’s hat you’re a practicing lawyer. Can you tell me a little bit about how a romance writing career developed out of a legal practice?
JC: Interesting question. The practice of law is very high stress and being a type A personality, it sometimes is hard for me to let things go. I tend to fret. I needed an outlet; something to keep my mind engaged when I wasn't at work and that would put work out of my head. So, I started to write fiction. I also have a non-fiction Bankruptcy Manual I wrote that is in the 6th edition. It was quite dull and no hunky men in it at all, so the fiction is much more fun! And it helps keep me grounded.
JRA: LOL!! Imagine a manual with hunky men in it! ;) Your current release is set around the music and fashion industries, and your next has a “surfer” theme. Do you ever consider writing romance tales in a legal setting? Why or why not?
JC: I actually have one with the heroine that's a lawyer. It's called Code Name: Galahad's Daughter. I was sending it to agents and editors in New York but I just got the last rejection I was expecting and I now plan to stick to e-publishing, so you may see it soon with a home. I'm deciding whether to cut the new beginning I added for a NY publisher that said it was too short at 72,000 words. Now that I have it to 88,000 words, they said the pacing was too slow. So, I decided NY was not the place for this book. I prefer the shorter version myself and will be sending it out soon.
JRA: Interesting point--we do need to follow our instincts with our books! Will watch for that one. Meanwhile how do you organize writing time for all your stories?
JC: I normally write on the weekends. I write some evenings when I'm in the middle of a good scene. I have an Alpha Writer that I take to lunch when I can. It keeps me from surfing the internet since it's basically a word processor. I jot notes in the car. I travel to Tallahassee (3 hours each way) once a month for court and I jot notes as I drive. I make a soundtrack for each of my books and I immerse myself in the songs that I choose for that novel. This helps me come up with scenes. When I get back from my long drive, I usually have the nucleus of a couple of scenes jotted. Those six hours in the car help me a lot.
JRA: Smart tip...the Internet can be a definite word count killer! What type of scenes/dialogue are most difficult for you to write? The most fun?
JC: I'm really not that great at descriptions of the scenery/settings. I have to go back and tweak that all the time. I'm not really fond of describing the couch, bedroom, walls, etc. I know what I see in my head, but I hate putting it down.
The most fun is the dialogue. I adore dialogue.
JRA: Gotta love a good verbal banter! What are you working on now?
JC: I just finished the first draft of a novel I'm calling OBSESSION for now. I want to change the name but nothing spectacular has come to me yet. I'm starting the edits on it as soon as I finish the edits on my historical novel that comes out in July. It's called Redemption for the Devil.
OBSESSION is a romantic suspense that features a former Green Beret that's an amputee. He's become a painter of nudes and the daughter of an Earl pursues him-to paint her portrait. It's a bi-racial story set in London. There's a very evil villain in this one that made my head hurt to write. That person's head was not a nice place to be, but my beta reader loved it.
Thanks for letting me pop in today. I appreciate it and would like to give away a copy of SOLO HONEYMOON to one commenter. Just leave me a comment about where you'd like to spend some time with your true love and I'll let www.random.org choose a winner.
JC: That's great! Thanks for being here today. I encourage everyone to visit Jillian on the net at http://jillianchantal.wordpress.com/. Meanwhile, good luck to our readers on the contest. Post a comment for a chance to win!
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