After you're finished reading, be sure to leave a note to Jayne in the comments section below. On Friday, TWO commenters will be chosen at random to win a free copy of Jayne's newest release, RIVER ROAD. Squee!
Q: Tell us about your new release.
A: RIVER ROAD is my return to straight romantic-suspense -- no paranormal involved. It has been a while since I’ve written a book that doesn’t have a psychic twist. It was a lot of fun to go back to the “pure” form of what has always been my favorite genre. Hey, I grew up on Nancy Drew.
Q: You write under three pen names: Jayne Ann Krentz, Amanda Quick, and Jayne Castle. What is the biggest challenge for you when juggling so many names?
A: I’ve never thought of having three names as a challenge. Each of my names suits a particular world and I find it refreshing to write in the various fictional landscapes. Different plots and different kinds of characters work in different worlds. When I come out of one world, I can’t wait to dive into another landscape. I can’t move back and forth between worlds when I’m in the middle of a story, though. Can’t walk and chew gum at the same time, I guess. When I’m in one world and a particular story I can’t leave it until it’s done.
Q: You've said: "It took me six years to get published and during that period I told myself over and over again that it was hopeless; that I should give it up and concentrate on my real career (I was a librarian)." What made you keep going? What would you recommend other writers do who might be going through this dark time?
A: I kept going because I literally could not stop writing. It is an addiction and, like all addictions, it has a dark side. But I love it. As for what I would do differently in today’s market, that’s easy – I would not hesitate to self-publish. But that option was not available when I started out. Here’s a blinding flash of the obvious: The world has changed! Writing is a self-taught craft. Writers learn by writing. I see no good reason not to start out on your own. If one of the big publishers comes calling, that’s great. But why not get going on your own future?
Q: You've said: "[Romances] are books that celebrate women's heroic virtues and values: courage, honor, determination and a belief in the healing power of love." Who are some of your favorite romance authors who really show off these strengths?
A: Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Christina Dodd, and Elizabeth Lowell are a few of my favorites.
Q: You are an incredibly prolific writer. How do you write so many books?
A: I write at the pace that suits me. Every author I know has her own pace. It is what it is. If I tried to write more slowly I would lose interest in my story. By the same token, I can’t speed up very much, either. For the whole of my career it has always taken me about the same length of time to write a book.
Q: Do you ever suffer from “burn out?” What are some things you do to refresh and recharge between projects?
A: I’m never sure how to answer this question because I don’t know exactly what “burn-out” means. If you are a storyteller, the stories just come. The hard part is turning off the tap. For as long as I can remember I have always told stories to myself. There is always one waiting in the wings and it doesn’t take much to trigger it. Now, it may not be a great story – it may not be a marketable story – but there’s always a story hanging around. And in my experience, creativity begets creativity. I suspect that what most people mean by burn-out is simply loss of interest in a story. I don’t know of a cure for that except to move on to another story. I think one of the biggest mistakes beginning writers are inclined to make is to write a story to death. When that happens, everything, including the writer, goes flat.
Q: What is your favorite part about being an author?
A: Watching a book come together. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen for me until I get to the very end and then – suddenly – I find out where I’ve been going all along. There is a reason they call the first draft the “discovery draft.”
Q: What do you do when you’re not writing?
A: Cook, shop and travel; not necessarily in that order.
Q: Which one of your many characters do you feel is most like you? In what way(s) are you two alike?
A: I never think of any of my characters as being like me. However, all of my heroes and heroines do share my own core values. I could not write one who went against those values. I have always said that if you enjoy my books, it is probably because we share similar core values.
Q: You mentioned in other interviews that your typical day starts at 7AM and you write until noon. How do you stay so disciplined? When you are going through a rough patch in your personal life, how do you stay focused on the story?
A: I took the discipline of the work world into my writing world. But that was easy for me to do because I have always been a fairly disciplined person. (Hmm. Note to self: Consider writing some BDSM erotica). Ahem. Where was I? Oh, yes – I like my work routine so I tend to stick to it. Sometimes life gets in the way, of course. When that happens I deal with it.
Q: What one item can you never leave the house without?
A: A credit card. I consider retail therapy at Nordstrom to be the most effective therapy for me.
Q: Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what kind of music?
A: I love music -- Mozart and serious Rock – but I can’t listen to it when I write. Too distracting.
Q: What was the most outrageous thing you've ever done?
A: Sadly, I am not a very outrageous person. I save the outrageous stuff for my characters.
Thank you so much Jayne for stopping by and spending some time with us. We're honored!
Okay, now it's your turn. Do you have a question for Jayne? Leave it in the comments section below. If you don't have a question, that's fine. Comment on the interview, or how much you love her books. Reminder: Just be sure to leave a comment, because on February 7th, TWO commenters will be randomly chosen (through random.org) to win a free copy of Jayne's newest release, RIVER ROAD!!
More about RIVER ROAD:
Hardcover - 326 pages
On Sale January 7, 2014
Putnam; ISBN-10: 0399165126
Buy it from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo Books, iBooks, or Sony ebookstore.
From the New York Times—bestselling author of Dream Eyes and Copper Beach, a brand-new quintessential Jayne Ann Krentz romance.
It’s been thirteen years since Lucy Sheridan was in Summer River. The last time she visited her aunt Sara there, as a teenager, she’d been sent home suddenly after being dragged out of a wild party—by the guy she had a crush on, just to make it more embarrassing. Obviously Mason Fletcher—only a few years older but somehow a lot more of a grown-up—was the overprotective type who thought he had to come to her rescue.
Now, returning after her aunt’s fatal car accident, Lucy is learning there was more to the story than she realized at the time. Mason had saved her from a very nasty crime that night—and soon afterward, Tristan, the cold-blooded rich kid who’d targeted her, disappeared mysteriously, his body never found.
A lot has changed in thirteen years. Lucy now works for a private investigation firm as a forensic genealogist, while Mason has quit the police force to run a successful security firm with his brother—though he still knows his way around a wrench when he fills in at his uncle’s local hardware store. Even Summer River has changed, from a sleepy farm town into a trendy upscale spot in California’s wine country. But Mason is still a protector at heart, a serious (and seriously attractive) man. And when he and Lucy make a shocking discovery inside Sara’s house, and some of Tristan’s old friends start acting suspicious, Mason’s quietly fierce instincts kick into gear. He saved Lucy once, and he’ll save her again. But this time, she insists on playing a role in her own rescue . . .
Booklist (starred review). “Irresistible: scintillating humor, stunning suspense, & sexy romance.”
Library Journal (*starred* review): “Wonderfully appealing protagonists, a clever, skillfully crafted plot, soul-stirring sensuality, and delicious flashes of humor result in a classic tale of romantic suspense.”
The author of a string of New York Times bestsellers, JAYNE ANN KRENTZ uses three different pen names for each of her three "worlds". As JAYNE ANN KRENTZ (her married name) she writes contemporary romantic-suspense. She uses AMANDA QUICK for her novels of historical romantic-suspense. JAYNE CASTLE (her birth name) is reserved these days for her stories of futuristic/paranormal romantic-suspense.
"I am often asked why I use a variety of pen names," she says. "The answer is that this way readers always know which of my three worlds they will be entering when they pick up one of my books."
In addition to her fiction writing, she is the editor of, and a contributor to, a non-fiction essay collection, DANGEROUS MEN AND ADVENTUROUS WOMEN: ROMANCE WRITERS ON THE APPEAL OF THE ROMANCE published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. Her commitment to her chosen genre has been strong from the very beginning of her career. Each year at the annual convention of the Romance Writers of America she participates in a special day-long workshop for librarians and speaks on the importance of the romance genre.
"The romance genre is the only genre where readers are guaranteed novels that place the heroine at the heart of the story," Jayne says. "These are books that celebrate women's heroic virtues and values: courage, honor, determination and a belief in the healing power of love."
She earned a B.A. in History from the University of California at Santa Cruz and went on to obtain a Masters degree in Library Science from San Jose State University in California. Before she began writing full time she worked as a librarian in both academic and corporate libraries.
She is married and lives with her husband, Frank, in Seattle, Washington.