Today I welcome to the Limelight, Jane O’Reilly, author of contemporary romance novels – with heroines who are smart, sexy and strong willed. Hello Jane and welcome to Author’s Limelight!
What was the first story you ever wrote?
The first book I wrote was set in my old school. It was about a girl who moves to a small town in Yorkshire after her father dies, and discovers that she is a witch. It featured a Mary Sue heroine, a putrid ghost and lots of death. Fortunately, it’s never been published.
Of all the individuals you have created, do you have a particular favourite? What appeals to you the most about this character?
I’d have to say Nic, the heroine of She Who Dares, is my favourite so far. She’s prickly, and she doesn’t always have great control over what comes out of her mouth. But she’s hard working and stubborn and follows her passion, which makes her an easy character to root for.
Has being published changed you at all? If so, how?
It has made me work harder, and view writing as a job. There aren’t any days off now!
What would we find on your bookshelf / e-reader?
A mixed bag of romance – I like contemporary, historical, romantic suspense, some steampunk and some erotica.
What’s the most unappealing thing you’ve ever eaten?
That’s tricky! I would have to say an entire platter of raw shelfish in Paris. Which actually, I was too cowardly/sensible to eat. My husband ploughed his way through it though (ugh).
If you could be any of the following characters for one day, who would you be and why? How would you re-write the ending?
a) Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind.
b) Thelma or Louise from Thelma and Louise.
c) Princess Leia from Starwars.
d) Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffanys.
I would have to be Leia. She gets to shoot stuff. I would have liked to see her in Jedi training at the end, really fulfilling her potential (watch out Han Solo!)
Of all the books in history, which do you wish you wrote and why?
I wish I’d written The Hungry Caterpillar. So simple, and yet so right. Is there a kid anywhere who hasn’t read it?
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
I wish I could fly. It would save on petrol, and it would make life so much easier. No more reversing out of spaces in supermarket car parks. I bet Superman never has to reverse.
If you could go back in time, I’d where would you go and when? What is one thing you would want to take with you?
I would like to go back to the 80’s, so not too far back. I was too young for white stilettos and a bubble perm, and I’ve never got over it. I’d probably take plasters with me. For the stilettos.
Can you tell us about your works in progress?
I’m currently writing a sci-fi romance. I’d describe it as X-Men in space, with added nudity.
Finally, can you give us a sneaky excerpt from She Who Dares, please?
The blurb- The Ugly Duckling meets Top Gear when a plain Jane mechanic comes face-to-face with the bad boy of rally racing… Nic Sinclair spends most of her time hiding under the bonnet of a car. With her obsession with engines, a total lack of feminine wiles, and a stepsister who looks like Barbie, she understands that it’s the safest place to be. But when Nic’s stepsister sells her half of their vintage car business and does a runner, Nic is forced to set down her wrench and deal with the fallout. Soon she’s engaged in a battle of wills with her new business partner, superstar rally driver Sebastian Prince — a battle he dares her to win.
‘Please, Sebastian, just…’ But it was too late. Nic started to back away. The last thing she wanted was a photo of her in her ugly overalls with her hair in a state appearing anywhere anyone might see it. She took another step back, another, until her foot caught on something.
She glanced down, then back at Sebastian, her heart pounding right up into her throat.
‘Nic,’ he said, green eyes fire bright and full of mischief. ‘Don’t make me come and get you.’
‘Don’t come any closer.’
‘Or this!’ With one rapid movement, Nic bent her knee and wrapped her fingers round the hosepipe that snaked past her feet. The water dribbling from the end instantly became a jet when she jammed her thumb over it.
He swore as the cold stream hit him square on the chest, his arms flying up to cover his face, the roar of laughter from their audience booming in her ears. ‘Nic,’ he said, his voice low, as water continued to bounce off his chest and stomach. ‘Put that down.’
Once a Bad Girl by Jane O’Reilly – Desperate to save her family’s auction house, stubbornly sensible Lottie Spencer needs a high-profile client—who better than a reclusive film star? Unfortunately for Lottie, this client comes with strings attached—an overprotective son who will do anything to shield his mother from the prying eyes of the press. But Lottie is sure she can handle it. If only being around a bad boy didn’t make it so hard to be good…