25 July 2013

Getting to Know you Thursdays with Jennifer Delamere.

Please join me in welcoming Jennifer Delamere to my blog today. Her first book An Heiress at Heart is being toured by the ACRBA (Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance) this week. Her second book is coming out in September and the cover is amazing.

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’ve lived all over the United States for both work and study, plus I spent three wonderful years in Canada (Montreal and Ottawa). I am now happily settled in Raleigh, North Carolina. Although the wandering bug hasn’t left me, I now prefer to travel with a suitcase rather than a moving van! I currently have a “day” job editing educational materials for schools. About five years ago I decided to try my hand at writing fiction. I can be a lot more creative than at my day job, that’s for sure! An Heiress at Heart is my first novel.

2. When you were a child did you have a favourite book or books?

As a child I was a voracious reader. I probably read nearly everything in my school library. As for favorites, I was a big fan of the Black Stallion series by Walter Farley. I also read all of the Nancy Drew mystery series.

3. Do you have a favourite Genre to both read and write?

I love to read historical fiction of all types, plus nonfiction history books. I also enjoy classic writers like Charles Dickens. At the moment I’m writing historical romance, but in the future I may branch out into other genres. I love reading time travel books, and I may try to write one someday.

4. Did you have favourite authors growing up who have influenced you?

When I was in high school I discovered the romantic suspense novels of Mary Stewart. I have read and reread them numerous times over the years. Most of her books are set in France, Greece, or Great Britain. Each one gives such a captivating sense of place that I’m sure they are responsible for my desire to travel to those countries. Her descriptions are so vivid, and I love her heroes, who are usually dark, tortured, and initially mistaken by the heroine for the villain! I love that her writing is detailed, intelligent, absorbing, and keeps me turning the pages.

5. When did you know you wanted to be an author?

It was a gradual process. There are writers in my family tree: my mother was a journalist, and her grandfather kept a detailed diary for many years. I also kept a diary, although that faded out a year or two after college. Initially I wanted to be a screenwriter. At university I studied screenwriting as well as English. I’ve written several romantic comedy screenplays. It was through a series of somewhat unusual circumstances that my interest in screenwriting led me to meet authors who were members of Romance Writers of America. I decided to join RWA myself, and it was then that I began to seriously consider novel writing.

6. How did you go about becoming an author?

When I decided to write a book, I began with what I had learned about story structure and dialogue from my screenwriting studies. Then I took many workshops and classes offered by RWA and applied what I learned there. Through my involvement with RWA I got excellent critiques and advice from other published authors. As for choosing my story, I wanted to write a romance that included inspirational elements but didn’t short-change the excitement and sizzle of falling in love. I was aware it might be too “sexy” for traditional Christian publishers and yet too “PG” for mainstream publishers. I had no way of knowing that a mainstream publisher was in fact currently searching for just such a book. I basically wrote the kind of story that I would want to read, and you can see why I believe that’s the best piece of writing advice I can give to other new authors.

7. If you were not a writer what would you like to be?

Happily I have a “day” job that I enjoy very much. If I was not doing that, I’d love to be involved in filmmaking somehow.

8. Outside reading and writing what do you like to do?

My husband and I enjoy hiking in the summer and downhill skiing in winter. I love being out in nature where I can enjoy God’s handiwork firsthand, and a good physical challenge is a welcome change of pace from writing and desk work.

9. Do you have a place you love to visit or would love to visit?

I have been to both England and France, and would love to return to either of those places. I would also love to visit Australia and New Zealand! Reading The Fatal Shore years ago piqued my interest in Australia, and I’ve read many books about it since. I’d love to actually visit some of the places I’ve read about! (Jenny here I hope you get to visit her at some stage.)

10. If you could have a meal with 3 living people who would you choose and why?

Mary Stewart – I understand she’s still alive, although she is in her 90s. I would love to ask her more about her approach to writing and her travels in France and Greece in the 1950s and 60s. Since that may not happen, I’ve settled for a marvelous interview she did in the early 1990s that can be found on YouTube.

Micheal Wood, English historian and filmmaker – His exciting four-part series In Search of Shakespeare totally renewed my fascination with Shakespeare’s plays as well as the life and times of the man himself. He relates what he knows with such energy and enthusiasm that I think he’d be marvelous to talk to.

Bill Bryson, because he adores travel and history as much as I do, and because his books and interviews are so humorous I think he would be a fun dinner companion.

Finally can you tell us about your current books and/or any that will be coming out soon. Also where we can find you on the web.

My next book, A Lady Most Lovely, will be released on September 24. The book takes place in London, but there is a strong Australian connection. Before the hero arrives in England, he has survived a shipwreck off Melbourne, the bushfires in Victoria in 1851 known as Black Thursday, and made a fortune in the gold fields. Here is the cover blurb:

Socialite Margaret Vaughn is the wealthiest heiress in London—or so everybody thinks. Saddled with debts left by her father, she agrees to marry a rich man who can save her family’s estate. But when her fiancĂ© turns out to be just another poor social climber, Margaret faces financial ruin—and social humiliation. Just when she thinks all is lost, she finds an unlikely savior in Tom Poole . . .
After amassing a fortune in the gold fields of Australia and surviving a harrowing shipwreck, Tom Poole is the toast of London society. Yet despite his newfound fame, he’s never forgotten his own humble beginnings. When he learns of Margaret’s plight, he offers her financial assistance—but his interest is not strictly business. This rugged adventurer now seeks a different kind of gold. Although many men pursue Margaret’s hand because of her beauty and lands, can Tom convince her it’s her heart he’s after?

My website is www.jenniferdelamere.com. I’m also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jennifer.delamere, and on Twitter: @JenDelamere.

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