Fun interview with author Jen Turano & a giveaway!
I'm delighted to host my friend and USA Today Bestselling Author, Jen Turano, one of the funniest voices in Inspirational Romance. I've been a fan of Jen's since her first book released. If you follow my blog, you know that Jen is one of my favorite authors (she a ball of fun, too!). And she's a writing machine.
She's visiting my blog this week and has offered a copy of To Write a Wrong for a giveaway. If you'd like a chance to win a copy of To Write a Wrong, leave a comment for Jen. (*US residents, only.) I'll draw the winner next Monday and announce it next Tuesday.
Her newest release is To Write a Wrong:
Daphne Beekman is a mystery writer by day, inquiry agent by night. She happily works behind the scenes, staying away from danger. But when Herman Henderson arrives on the doorstep, desperate for someone to investigate numerous attempts on his life, Daphne finds herself in the thick of a case she's determined to solve--and finds her heart in jeopardy as well.
I invited Jen to stop by and discuss her new book and writing in general:
1. To Write a Wrong features writers as the main characters. Can you share any of the quirks that you used in the book that are really Jen-isms? (Do you dress up to get into character?)
I have to admit that I have not dressed up as a pirate to get those creative ideas flowing, although I have put on corsets, bustles, panniers, and drawers to make sure I’m writing how a lady in the 1880s would get properly dressed. As for the Jen-isms in this book, there are quite a few – the whole dramatic my career as an author is over happens all the time, and I’m notorious for crumpling up pieces of paper (there’s just something therapeutic about that,) tossing them over my shoulder and then, at some point, throwing myself on top of all those pieces as I bemoan my plight as an author.
2. Do you always have a particular spiritual thread/theme/faith message in your books/series?
I never know the spiritual thread in a book before I start writing. It just always shows up at some point, and it always ends up being authentic to the characters and the trials or lessons they need to learn.
3. Your books are set in the Gilded Age. What is it about that time period that draws you to set your stories there?
I was first introduced to the Gilded Age after I read “The Glitter and the Gold,” Consuelo Vanderbilt’s story. I’d never learned about this particular time in history in school, but I found the story of Consuelo and her mother, Alva, fascinating. That’s when I began researching the era, and I have to say, it’s a fascinating time in history. You have all this wealth being made at an unprecedented rate, and with that wealth came unbelievable scandals and intrigues. I have enough fodder for stories to last for decades.
4. How much research goes into your novels, or have you lived so long in the Gilded Age it comes as second nature?
That depends on the setting of a book. I know far more than I ever thought I would about the Upper Crust of New York City, commonly known as the New York Four Hundred. If I set a book in the city, I just have to research particular things – such as street names, what stores were around the area, and any key historical event that took place during that time. However, if I take my characters out of New York and send them, say, to the Hudson River Valley, that means I have to immerse myself in that area through research books or trips, and that does take a lot of time out of actually writing the book.
5. Friendship always seems to play a big part in your books. Why is this important to you as an author?
For me, one of the most enjoyable aspects of my life is the friendships I hold dear to me. It’s a natural for me to include friendships in my stories because they are such a big part of my life.
6. Do you have a particular reader in mind when you write your stories?
At this point, I have a fairly good handle on what readers of my books enjoy, so I do keep that in mind as I’m writing. I’ve deleted a ton of scenes when I hear the voices of my readers in my head at times, telling me that whatever I’m writing is not going to be something they enjoy. And, if I don’t listen to those little reader voices, my editing team normally picks up on those scenes and encourages me to rethink them.
When Jen visited my blog last summer, she told us about her she-shed writing office that had been constructed in her yard. Since then, she's completed the project and the inside is adorable!
As usual, she's been writing away in that shed, and her next book, To Disguise the Truth is book three in The Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency series.
When Arthur Livingston arrives out of the blue at the Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency, anxious to hire the agency to seek out a missing heiress, Eunice Holbrooke realizes her past has finally caught up with her.
Don't forget, leave a comment, and you could win a copy of To Write a Wrong!