WRITE QUESTIONS:Jean Drew writing as Jean Adams

December 17, 2007 at 2:57 pm 11 comments

Today I’m posting an interview I did with a fellow Wild Rose Author. I asked the questions and she answered. Check it out. If you have any questions or comments for her feel free to do so in the comments. I’m sure I can drag her over here to answer.

When did you start writing?

Probably about 20 years ago.

What was the defining moment that made you sit down and start to write a book?

I decided at an early age that I wanted to write and even had a go at a couple. I saw myself as the next Agatha Christie, LOL, but I had no idea what I was doing back then. About six months later I met an NZ editor, told him what I wanted to do (I was very naive in those days) and he asked if I read romance. To cut a long story short, I bought a couple of Mills & Boon and it was love at first read. That’s when I decided I wanted to write romance and I’ve never looked back. I forget the editor’s name now, it was so long ago, but I bless him every day.

What made you take yourself seriously?

When my first book was accepted. The title was THE SABINE CONNECTION The company accepted my book and said some nice things about it. I was over the moon, felt validated. It was great. Later that book was republished by Treble Heart Books.

What did you learn about writing that shocked you the most?

I always thought that after one book, it was all over. That the well would dry up. Nothing was more of a shock than that I could come up with other story ideas.

What sub-genre(s) did you gravitate to when you first started? Is it the same as now and why do you think it’s changed or stayed the same?

At first I gravitated towards Mills & Boon because that was all I knew.* Mills and Boon were bought by Harlequin years ago. They are traditional boy meets girl and called Presents in the U.S.* Then I discovered the world of American books. What a revelation to find that the heroes had thoughts and points of view of their own. Of course, Mills & Boon has changed a lot since that time so I’m gravitating toward them again. I’m also including other genres such as an Egyptian time-travel and historicals. I’m developing an ancient Egyptian trilogy, my passion after writing.

What kind of research do you do? Are you’re characters royalty or every day individuals? Tell me a little more about the time you write in.

Egypt is my passion so my research is a labor of love. There’s still a lot we don’t know and probably never will now, but I tried to keep it as authentic to the time as I could. I had to be very careful what words I could use. I confess to using writer’s license, but only where it enhanced the romance. ETERNAL HEARTS, the time travel, is set during the religious upheavals of Akhenaten and Nefertiti. They feature in the book, but it’s the ordinary people who populate it. My hero, although a lord, is also a captain of charioteers.

What advice have you gotten that you live by?

I learned that I don’t have to limit myself to one genre.

What advice would you give a newbie (if it’s not the same as above)?

Learn your craft and don’t be afraid to ask questions. We’re all still learning. Most important is believe in yourself, keep writing and never, never, never give up.

What’s you’re writing process? Has it changed since writing your first book?

It’s changed over the years. I began writing about eight hours a day but that’s reduced to about six.

Are you a plotter? Panster? A hybrid between the two? How does the story for you go from an idea to a book?

I started out as pantser, but my stories never turned out the way I intended. They kept going off at tangents. Then I came to an RWA conference, met a lot of very friendly and helpful women, one of whom told me about, you guessed it, the joys of PLOTTING!!! Hallelujah. I was a writer reborn and bought everything I could lay my hands on about plotting. I devoured Alicia Rasley’s advice and regularly check back with her website for anything new. That woman answers questions I didn’t know I had. Now though I’m a bit of a hybrid, because I rarely plot in detail. I have an idea in my head, write down a few bullet-points so I stay on track, and now I can write an outline from the bullet-points, and ultimately the book. Works for me, because I have the flexibility to change the plot any time I want to.

What keeps you writing?

I can’t not write. It’s a compulsion.

Do you have a support system? Did you have a writing community? What valuable lessons have you learned from them?

Funny you should ask that. Many years ago I heard about the UK-based Romantic Novelists’ Association and thought it was a good idea (I hadn’t heard of RWA at this stage) so I founded Romance Writers of New Zealand. We’ve been going about seventeen years and every year at our conferences, we host US authors, editors and agents. I have four CPs in NZ and we work via email because we can’t always meet up. It works well.

Define success for yourself?

I’ll be able to answer that when/if I ever get to be a success.

What are your comfort reads?

I love Helen Kirkman and Laura Kinsale’s books.

Who are you reading right now?

I’m not reading a romance at the moment. I’m also into personal development so I’ve just finished reading a Joe Vitale book. Inspiring stuff.

What book(s) that makes you want to write better (or stop writing because you’ll never be that good)?

I can think of only one off the top of my head that almost made me give up, but there are probably others. It’s Laura Kinsale’s Flowers From the Storm. It had me in tears for almost two weeks.

Plug Away…You can find Jean Drew at http://www.jeandrew.co.nz You can see my video of my Egyptian book trailer there, too, or at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4y6MeAzlepA,

Books:ETERNAL HEARTS by Jean Adams, Highland Press, Spring 2008
A PLACE OF HEALING, TBA, Wild Rose Press, Champagne Rose
PRINCE OF SECRETS, finalist, Wallflower, 2007

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MORE PROCRASTINATION MY WRITING MOJO

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Miss Mae  |  December 17, 2007 at 4:05 pm

    Great interview, Jean. You’re an interesting lady!

  • 2. Anonymous  |  December 17, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    Very inspirational.

  • 3. Mel  |  December 17, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    Thanks both of you for stopping by.

  • 4. Sheryl  |  December 17, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    Twenty years! Me too, hun. Compulsion or not, keep writing. and keep it fun! 🙂

  • 5. Marianne Arkins  |  December 18, 2007 at 12:21 am

    Writers gotta write… that’s clear! And twenty years–woot! You go girl.

  • 6. Ciar Cullen  |  December 18, 2007 at 1:10 am

    Very nice interview. Ack, but a pantster can become a plotter? Sacriligious ;o)

    Thanks for visiting me today, Mel. Much success to you.

  • 7. Edie  |  December 18, 2007 at 2:55 am

    Waving hi, Jean! Great interview.

  • 8. raine  |  December 18, 2007 at 5:49 am

    Excellent interview. 😉

  • 9. Mel  |  December 18, 2007 at 6:06 am

    Twenty years is a very long time to write. Finding this out during the interview amazed me, and made me realize I was doing the right thing interviewing authors. I learned a true writer first and foremost write because they love to.

  • 10. Patricia W.  |  December 18, 2007 at 4:45 pm

    Melissa, I have to keep coming back just to keep up with the changing look of your blog.

    Wonderful interview!

  • 11. Mel  |  December 18, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    Thanks, Patricia. I love purple, but I think it was too much. And I wanted a more professional look.

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