*Looking for a heartwarming book to read? Check out this exclusive interview with Jane Porter and come back next week for a chance to enter a TEN book giveaway and win an copy of Jane’s latest book, She’s Gone Country!
Jane Porter is an award winning author with over 30 novels and 5 million books in print. While abroad at the age of 13 for a year, Jane developed a deep seeded love for books and traveling. These days, she’s typing away at her keyboard and channeling that same love into her books.
Jane writes classic Harlequin romance such as Duty, Desire, and the Desert King and Hollywood Husband, Contract Wife as well as modern women’s fiction. Her latest chic lit novels include Easy on the Eyes, Mrs. Perfect, Odd Mom Out, Flirting with Forty, and The Frog Prince. The most recently released, She’s Gone Country, follows a 39 year old divorcée from the hustle and bustle of New York back to her hometown Texas with her three teenage sons. Jane lives in Seattle, Washington and has a passion for traveling, happy endings, and never ending adventure.
The Write Stuff is overjoyed…literally jumping up and down for the chance to talk with Jane! Her novels are always filled with inspiration and characters that really resonate regardless of who’s reading them!
1) Was the road to publishing your 1st novel, easy and fast, or long and difficult?
It wasn’t easy and it certainly wasn’t fast. In fact, it took me nearly fifteen years to get my first sale! I have close to thirteen manuscripts that will never see the light of day and a file full of rejection letters. It took me a long time to find the right agent and editor for my voice, but once I did, I’ve really found my niche.
2) After publishing so many novels, what advice would you give new writers?
Never give up. Write, write, write. Don’t be afraid of putting words to paper. You can always edit. Don’t be afraid to get criticism. Getting feedback is a great way to make your writing better and stronger. And keep learning the craft. Read craft books, attend workshops, interact with other writers. If you keep working at it, you’ll succeed.
3) Can you describe what it’s like for you to write a novel from start to finish?
Exhausting. Exhilarating. Exciting. There’s nothing more rewarding than the feeling of creating new characters and taking them on their journey—whatever its going to be. I write slow when I first start a book, often reworking the first chapter up to twenty times, before I’m comfortable moving on to chapter 2, but once I hit the midway point in a story, I really pick up steam and can write twenty, thirty, or more pages in a day.
4) When you’re writing, what must you have next to you?
A cup of hot green tea, my iPod and Bose headphones, and sometimes a scented candle.
5) What makes it all worth it as an author?
It’s always a thrill to have finished a book…to have made a difficult story come together. And then it’s amazing when readers embrace a story, and you hear from them that a book has touched them deeply. I love to make my readers laugh and cry…I love to make my readers feel. That’s pretty cool that my stories can do that.
6) What do you when you’re not writing?
I love spending time with my boys. I love to be there for all their sports events or watching them surf, or just playing on the beach with them. And if we’re all home, sometimes we just hang out on the couch and watch a TV show and relax as a family.
7) You have a Masters in Writing. How did that aide in your writing ability? Do you recommend it for aspiring writers?
The MA program at USF pushed me to write in different voices and styles. I learned about craft and I had to write new material every week. But the program didn’t teach me to sell in a particular market, or give me a manuscript I could submit to a commercial fiction publisher. That comes from plain old hard work, and lots and lots of writing—something writers can do without going to graduate school.
8 ) Tell me about your latest book, She’s Gone Country:
A former model, Shey Darcy is devastated when her famous photographer husband suddenly announces he’s in love with someone else and wants a divorce. Shey decides to move back home to Texas to the family ranch with her three teenage sons. While Shey tries to figure out what to do next, her sons are struggling to adjust to life in a small town and dealing with depression. Add to the mix her old crush, former bull-riding champ, Dane Kelly shows up on the scene and suddenly life gets even more complicated. Shey realizes that in order to find true happiness, she’ll have to let go of the past.
This is a book I’ve been wanting to write for a very long time. I’m the daughter of a Texas rancher who once owned three cattle ranches. We spent many of our holidays on my grandfather’s ranch and some of my best memories come from our vacations there. The ranch wasn’t fancy though. We really had to rough it and as kids we rode horses, climbed on the corrals, splashed in the water troughs at the windmills. It was ranch life at its finest!
9) Can you give us any hints as to what is in store for your next novel?
I’m working on a new series about a family in San Francisco–the Brennans. The family has four daughters and one son and this story is really about the sisters’ relationships to each other, and their own families. It’s got a lot of good things in it, but I haven’t given up on returning to Texas. I’d love to write more about the Callen Family!
10) You’ve spent time abroad in South Africa, Ireland, and Japan. What was it like being in these three different countries?
Enchanting. I love to travel. I got bitten by the travel bug when I was very young and it’s stayed with me since. Visiting different countries, learning about new cultures and the people is exciting and fun. I love to people watch and traveling to different places gives my imagination free reign to dream up some exciting scenarios and brand new stories.