Well, I know what I’m doing now. First books are first books and there is nothing better to teach you how to write a book than actually writing a book. I have been doing this a long time and I have always strived to learn and challenge myself as a writer with every book. Sometimes after I had written a book, if there was something I thought I didn’t do well, I would put it in the next book and force myself to learn how to write it. Just a Kiss Away, an adventure book came right from that. I felt I didn’t write action well so I set out to write an action adventure, JB style.
First books are first books and there is nothing better to teach you how to write a book than actually writing a book. I have been doing this a long time and I have always strived to learn and challenge myself as a writer with every book.
I am a huge believer in writing to your own vision and truth. I write Jill Barnett books. I write commercial fiction books, which are stories about people and about honest emotion and life and love.
I have younger characters in these books, women in their 20’s who would probably appeal to a younger, different generation.
The books are stylistically and in maturity and technique light years apart now from where I began. If you don’t learn craft, how can you tackle bigger and more complex stories? How can you write books people have to read? How can you say well what it is you have to say?
Where do you see it going now that romance novels are delving into more erotic grounds or into the “chic lit” genre?
It had better go backwards soon. Back to good books and good stories and books set somewhere other than Regency England.
These two facets you mentioned, chic lit and erotica, now attached wrongly to romance, and the dull uninspired limits placed on the historical romance genre by publishing houses is the reason we have lost 75% of our romance readers. Romance has always sold strongly before, so a new genre attaching itself to romance only helps the new genre. But it is the brilliant writers within a genre who make it more than merely genre, who elevate the content and a story and character and who rise to bestsellerdom.
Even for top sellers now inside the genre, the print runs are 70% less than they used to be. Readers buy an author’s voice, her way of storytelling, not a type of book. There is little room for voice inside erotica and erotica gets old fast. Chic lit is its own genre. However, paranormal series books are very popular, selling better than chic lit and erotica, and are written by authors whose vision is and always was to the paranormal, authors like Christine Feehan and Laurel K Hamilton and Sherrilyn Kenyon. Their visions and voices are successful. Readers recognize honesty.
I noticed there’s always an insufferable pet included in your novels. *g* There’s Beezle, Gus, Pitt, Jack, Medusa, to name a few. And then, there are the secondary characters. Thud and Thwack (Wonderful, Wild and Wicked), oh LOL, I love them! And Old Gladdys too—she is sooo hilarious! Did you model any of them from someone you know in real life?
Never. I have a sick mind. Plus animals, pets, say a lot about who we, their owners, are. Look back and you’ll see the pets just told us more about the characters.
How about the situations they’ve been in? Something wacky and funny you’ve experienced personally and just have to write about it?
The scene in Just a Kiss Away, where Lollie is running for her life to get away from the tarantula happened to me. (My friends made me put it in a book when I told them the story at lunch one day.) Otherwise, I pretty much make everything up. They pay me to lie for living.
That really happened to you? LOL
Speaking of Lollie, (sorry, I can’t help it *shame*) are we going to see any of these previous characters again in your future books? (Pretty please... *shamelessly begging*)
I might write a historical romance again at some point, but I need to get back to writing a book a year. There’s been a lot for me to handle in the past few years and when the time is right, I will probably write a historical romance every so often. I have a great idea for a trilogy. I might write them on the side in a few years.
Someday I would love to write two books I always wanted to write that were tied to Bewitching and Dreaming. But right now I need to write the books I’m writing, the family dramas.
I’m pretty sure every fans of Alec and Scottish, Richard and Letty will be delighted to hear that. Hmm, maybe their kids could marry? :P
Is there a favorite amongst your stories? Favorite story, favorite hero, heroine, etc?
What is the story that you had the most fun with?
The most difficult time?
How about derived the most satisfaction from?
Tell us about your new book, The Days of Summer.
It’s the story of two families whose lives are changed, turned into what becomes a family of men and a family of women, and how they eventually find love and peace and happiness.
It’s a complex story about all the different kinds of love we experience: first love, lasting love, lost love, and love that time a long time to find its right time. Each character has their own different definition of love and we see how their love and experience with love (and mistakes) are often shaped by how their lives evolved up to the point when love becomes important.
It’s set in the California I knew and loved, an idyllic California, the real California, not the one Hollywood and the news shows us. The California coast towns are lovely. This book is set in Newport Beach and Catalina Island, 1957, 1970-71 and 2002. It is NOT a saga. I believe it is the most beautiful and honest story I have ever written. I can guarantee you won’t forget these people.
Okay, now for our silly questions. Which do you prefer: boxers, briefs, or going commando? *g*
I don’t know, bikini briefs or those boxer briefs, I guess. You’re asking the wrong person this. You see, I really don’t care what a man wears under his clothes. But I melt for a man in tux or a suit. (Be still my heart.)
Oh my, I do LOVE a man in suit. *sigh*
Why do you think men become smarter during sex?
They don’t. They are forced to become smarter in order to GET sex.
LOL, true. :P Jill, thank you so much for your time. One question you would like to ask your fans?
No question. I just want them to know I will always try to make a Jill Barnett something unique and special. I hope they will always one to read them.
Labels: author interview