JP Thank you so much for inviting me onto your blog.
AW You’re very welcome, Janice. So, tell me, what is your current release?
JP The Governess’s Secret Baby – a gothic-style Regency beauty and the beast story, with a scarred hero, a secret baby and Christmas! This is the fourth book in The Governess Tales series, each book having been penned by a different author. It is a standalone story, so it isn’t necessary to read the others to enjoy The Governess’s Secret Baby. The first chapter is available to read on my website www.janicepreston.co.uk
AW What first got you into writing and why?
JP I loved writing stories as a child but somehow real life got in the way and as an adult I had no thought of writing, although I still made up stories in my head. Usually with a gorgeous hero! I rediscovered my love of the Regency era (via the novels of Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen and also contemporary authors) when my children left home. Inevitably, there came the day when I read a book and thought ‘I could do better than that!’ (Not, I hasten to add, after reading Austen or Heyer!) And that was it. I began to write.
AW You write Historical Romance novels. Is it all imagination or do you also undertake research?
JP As my books are set in the Regency era there is always a certain amount of research. I have read widely about the Regency era and so I do have a ‘feel’ for the times, but there are always details that need researching. And it is not always the history that needs to be checked. The hero in The Governess’s Secret Baby keeps hawks and is rehabilitating a golden eagle to the wild, and so I went on a bird of prey experience to get a feel for handling and flying the birds. That was huge fun!
AW And what about other types of writing? Have you ever dabbled with short stories, for instance, or other genres?
JP My very first published work was a contemporary short story – a romance – which was published in an anthology. Other than that, I have written a crime novel, which needs a huge edit before I can do anything with it, and I have the beginning of a fantasy novel – a modern take on the Little Mermaid fairy tale, which won the Elizabeth Goudge trophy at the RNA conference in 2014. I will one day complete that story, but the scale of it does scare me a bit – I know where it is going, and it’s quite complex! Shortage of time is a constant problem.
|Janice's writing 'shed'|
JP Our loft has been converted into a third bedroom, which in reality is my office with a sofa bed, and with a gallery landing area that forms my husband’s office. So, we both work up in the eaves with far-reaching views. The downside of this is that my husband now runs his own company and spends quite a lot of his time on the phone. Not helpful when I am in the middle of a romantic scene especially as he has a loud voice! There are times when I long for one of those garden rooms at the bottom of the garden, with no internet and no husband, just plenty of coffee. I need peace and quiet to lose myself in my writing. From the photo, you can see how messy I am when I’m working – my desk gets a good tidy up between books, but piles of paper and books soon accumulate again!
AW Finally, if you had a whole afternoon to yourself and could choose to spend it with any one individual, living or dead or a character from a book, who would it be, and what would you want to discuss?
JP There’s an interesting question. I’m going to rebel and give you two people.
AW Rebel! Others have tried that, Janice, and have been brought to book accordingly. But I will listen before I decide whether I should press you to choose only one individual.
JP First, I would spend it with my mum, who died fifteen years ago. She knew I had started writing, but never read anything I wrote and of course never knew I was published. I’m sure she would be proud – and she would remember when I was at primary school and used to say I was going to be an author when I grew up! As for what else we’d talk about… family, of course, in particular my 4-year-old grandson, and there are many things I wish I’d said while she was still alive. One of my biggest regrets is that I left things unsaid.
Second, it would have to be Jane Austen. How fascinating it would be to talk to someone who actually lived in the era I write about. I would ask her all sorts of details about everyday life, and I’m sure she would keep me entertained with her wickedly witty observations of human behavior in all its absurdity.
AW I know exactly where you’re coming from in relation to your mum. My dad hasn't seen my work in print, not even my earliest short story. I’m also a lover of Austen… so under these particular circumstances I’m happy for you to rebel!
JP Thanks again for having me, Angela, and for asking such thought provoking questions!AW My pleasure.
About the book... The beauty who tamed the beastNew governess Grace Bertram will do anything to get to know her young daughter, Clara. Even if it means working for Clara's guardian, the reclusive and scarred Nathaniel, Marquess of Ravenwell!
Nathaniel believes no woman could ever love a monster like him, until Grace seems to look past his scars to the man beneath But when he discovers Grace is Clara's mother, Nathaniel questions his place in this torn-apart family. Could there be a Christmas happy-ever-after for this beauty and the beast?
You can find the book : http://mybook.to/SecretBaby
About the author... Janice Preston writes emotional, sensual and satisfying Regency romance for Harlequin Mills & Boon. She grew up in Wembley with a love of reading, writing stories and animals and has worked as a dairy farmer, a police call-handler and a university administrator. She has two children, two step-children (all now adult) and a gorgeous, cheeky grandson. She now lives in the West Midlands with her husband and two cats and enjoys swimming, yoga and pottering about the garden when the sun is shining.
You find Janice online : www.janicepreston.co.uk Facebook Twitter Amazon and Goodreads