Welcome to Author’s Limelight, Jennie Jones and a huge congratulations to you – your current e-book release, The House on Burra Burra Lane will be released in paperback in January 2014 with Harlequin Mira. Yay!
Thanks Sarah, I do love a spotlight so thank you for inviting me.
What was the first story you ever wrote?
A Mills & Boon western when I was twenty-five or thereabouts. They didn’t want it (it was pretty bad) but I kept the manuscript (thankfully) and decided to give writing fiction another go (which thankfully worked). Writing romance was a no-brainer. I actually penned my first words of romance at the age of thirteen when I was heady-in-love with my Girl Guide leader’s son. That story had a lot of long dreamy looks and a fair amount of kissing in it. No saucy nonsense though – my first year as a teenager and I was really only ‘looking’ at boys. My attention was focussed on getting a pair of high-heeled shoes and my first bra.
Of all the individuals you have created, do you have a particular favourite? What appeals to you the most about this character?
Funnily enough I don’t have a favourite, although I’m partial to one or two of my secondary characters like Mrs J and Grandy in The House on Burra Burra Lane. I’m also falling for each of the men I write, for their particular masculine appeal and for the story they’re involved in.
Has being published changed you at all? If so, how?
Yes it has changed me because it’s moved me into a different groove. For one thing, I’ve achieved something I desired, for another, the ride has taken me beyond my initial expectations so I’m excited, surprised and happy, but the bubble wouldn’t last for me if I hadn’t made the decision to dedicate myself to this job. I love this job. I’m so happy to be part of a writing community and I plan to stay (she said nervously, but with gusto – since she’s in the Sarah Belle limelight).
Lol Jennie! With all the gorgeousness you brought to the MC role at RWA13, you are a much loved member of the writing community. What a velvety voice you have!
What would we find on your bookshelf / e-reader?
Lots of unread romantic fiction books. Lots. Oh, and women’s fiction, contemporary and historical.
What’s the most unappealing thing you’ve ever eaten?
Anything that tastes of aniseed. Yuk!
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.
Holly Golightly. I’d love to be that breezy and beautiful. A country girl at heart with such an eclectic lifestyle and following – and an unnerving desire to be someone else. I wouldn’t change the ending. Holly found her home.
Of all the books in history, which do you wish you wrote and why?
Em… Pass. Why? Because there are too many and they’re diverse. For example, as a teenager I read (or think I read – I might have skimmed through it a bit) War and Peace. Yes, I know. Years later I found my copy of War and Peace, along with the library sticker stating it should be returned by April the year I turned fifteen. Oops. But it was probably the film that held my attention – therefore I also wanted the book (and happened to get that book… Not sure why I wasn’t hunted down by the library mistress).
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
Oh, you do ask challenging questions, Sarah. Emm… I don’t think I’d want one. Too complicated to haul around all that emotional angst of right and wrong.
If you could go back in time, where would you go and when? What is one thing you would want to take with you?
WWII. I’d be an ambulance driver (and I’d take nylons. Lots of nylons for those off-duty moments.) I will never forget a lady I sat next to on a London bus when I was in my twenties. Can’t remember where either of us were going, or why the conversation struck up, but she told me the best time of her life was during WWII in London. She was thrilling to talk to. She spoke of the unanimity of comradeship during the bombings and the bread queues, of the courting by the uniformed men, the dances where they could all let their hair down for a moment – and – of the repercussions for women. She said WWII made her ‘whole’ and she wasn’t being flibbertigibbety about the war. She had lived the hardships, the losses, the worries and she got through it, evolving (as she put it) a better person.
I’d have to say I am with you on that one, Jennie. WWII is an amazing time in our history, particularly for women.
Can you tell us about your works in progress?
Yes please! Book #2 in my Swallow’s Fall series is written and I’m at the exciting arty stage of going through each scene and really getting the crafting to the best I can. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing this story. We meet all the locals from Burra Burra Lane and a few new ones. My hero and heroine are newcomers to Swallow’s Fall township and they’re taking it by storm. Its working title is, The House at the Bottom of the Hill.
Finally, can you give us a sneaky excerpt from The House on Burra Burra Lane, please?
Sammy raised her face and saw sunlight and peace on Ethan’s. He suited the place he stood: outdoors. Had he been born with patience, or had he learned it? She had the impression still waters ran deep. There was a waterfall cascading inside him somewhere, but someone or something had turned off the tap and all that gushing water was trapped. He was too solitary most of the time. Too unperturbed, but she didn’t know if it was a trait, or a rule.
Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Sarah. It’s always fun and rather contemplative when asked questions that make us remember episodes in our lives that make us smile. J
Jennie is also giving away an e-copy of her novel, The House on Burra Burra Lane. All you have to do to be in the draw is leave a comment below. The e-copy will be either Amazon Kindle or ITunes only. This competition is open world wide and will be drawn one week after the publishing of this post.