Today we have brand-new author Jennifer Delamere on the blog talking about herself and her debut book An Heiress at Heart. We want to give her a warm welcome, so grab your tea and pull up a chair and get to know her. Also don’t forget to ask Jennifer a question to be entered to win a copy of her book. US only.
TBRG: Jennifer, thank you so much for coming on TBRG today.
JD: Thank you so much for having me!
TBRG: Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?
JD: It’s impossible for me to pin down one person. I could start with my parents, who both instilled in me a love of reading, or my mother, a journalist from whom I got the love of writing. Then there are all the writers whom I admire for their marvelous storytelling abilities, from Charles Dickens to modern-day writers like Mary Stewart.
TBRG: What is the one thing your readers would be the most surprised to know about you?
JD: Hmmm…perhaps it would be that I know how to tap dance! I’ve loved musicals ever since I was a kid and discovered the old movies of Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire.
TBRG: Where is the one place you have always wanted to go, a place on your bucket list?
JD: I want to go to Greece. Spend time exploring the ancient ruins and also sailing on that marvelous blue sea.
TBRG: What was the first romance book that you read?
JD: If you count the romantic suspense novels of Mary Stewart, it would be Nine Coaches Waiting, which I read in high school. I rapidly read all of her other books, too. I loved the combination of intrepid heroine and (usually) scarred heroes, plus plenty of adventure.
TBRG: Who are some of your go to authors, and what are you reading right now?
JD: I’m a pretty eclectic reader. I love classics, histories, travelogues, and historical and contemporary romances. I’ve rated my favorites of all kinds on my GoodReads page (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5814224.Jennifer_Delamere). Right now I’m reading The Iron Duke, by Meljean Brook. I decided to delve into some Steampunk since my own books are set in the Victorian era, and I’ve heard this book is fantastic.
TBRG: If you weren’t writing and keeping us in books (thanks for that by the way), what would you be doing?
JD: Thanks! In the evenings I’d be relaxing by the fire and doing much more reading than I have time for now. By day, I’d be snow skiing, hiking, or traveling.
TBRG: What is your guilty pleasure?
JD: Watching romantic comedies or foreign films and catching up on BBC miniseries on Netflix. I have so little time for watching movies or TV that when I do, I have to choose carefully.
TBRG: Who is on your playlist when you are writing?
JD: I don’t listen to music when I write. There are some romantic songs that inspire me, but I listen to them at other times, such as when I’m driving and pondering my book.
TBRG: Where do your ideas/characters come from?
JD: They largely come from the history books I’ve read. I love to say that truth is stranger than fiction. I take snippets of things that have actually happened, and then embellish and rework them into my plot lines. Sometimes I’ll see a movie and its themes will spark an idea for a story, as was the case with An Heiress at Heart.
TBRG: Are you a planner or a fly by the seat author?
JD: I write out a pretty detailed synopsis and then go from there. That gives me a good road map, but also leaves room for inspiration and discoveries along the way.
TBRG: How did you come up with the premise for the book?
JD: For years I’ve been fascinated with stories about a person who steps into another person’s shoes and tries to live their life. This probably began when I saw the French film The Return of Martin Guerre, starring Gerard Depardieu. (It was later made into the American film Somersby.) Happier movies like While You Were Sleeping and Monte Carlo are in that mold, too. Maybe I’m so intrigued by these stories because of the lovely irony that in the end, each character actually discovers their true self. Lizzie’s story was also inspired partly by a small subplot in Charles Dickens’ novel David Copperfield.
TBRG: Tell us about Geoffrey and Lizzie.
JD: They both come from very different backgrounds and experiences, but they are about to discover how much they truly have in common.
TBRG: What do you want us to know about them and their story that we won’t find on the book blurb?
JD: Lizzie is very unusual for a Victorian heroine—she has a “past.” That was a lot to overcome in those days, especially if you happen to fall in love with a clergyman…. Unlike Lizzie, who has known love (and heartbreak) in the past, Geoffrey has just fallen in love for the very first time. It’s quite a novel experience for him! Unfortunately, Lizzie is (supposedly) the widow of his deceased brother. In those days it would have been against the law for them to marry, and Geoffrey is amazed at himself for seriously contemplating going against the laws and mores of the day.
TBRG: Using 3-5 adjectives describe Geoffrey and Lizzie.
JD: Geoffrey is serious, principled, and earnest. Lizzie is impulsive, loyal, and loving.
TBRG: What are you working on now?
JD: I’m working on the next book in the Love’s Grace trilogy, A Lady Most Lovely, which will be out next year. Readers will recognize some characters from An Heiress at Heart. It has as its central plot a marriage of convenience, which is one of my favorite kinds of stories.
TBRG: Once again we want to thank Jennifer for coming on and introducing herself to us.
JD: Thank you for these fun questions! I hope readers will enjoy the book. I always love connecting with readers on my Twitter: @JenDelamere and also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jennifer.delamere. Readers can find fun extras and keep up with my news and guest blogs at my website: www.jenniferdelamere.com.
TBRG: Ok I have to interject here..I love the story of The Return of Martin Guerre..as a french lit minor I had to read it and watch the movie in French of course. An awesome french comedy is Le Dîne de Con.
A youthful indiscretion has cost Lizzie Poole more than just her honor. After five years living in exile, she’s finally returning home, but she’s still living a secret life. Her best friend, Ria’s dying wish was for Lizzie to assume her identity, return to London, and make amends that Ria herself would never live to make. Bearing a striking resemblance to her friend, and harboring more secrets than ever before, Lizzie embarks on a journey that tempts her reckless heart once again . . .
A committed clergyman, Geoffrey Somerville’s world is upended when he suddenly inherits the title of Lord Somerville. Now he’s invited to every ball and sought after by the matchmaking mothers of London society. Yet the only woman to capture his heart is the one he cannot have: his brother’s young widow, Ria. Duty demands he deny his feelings, but his heart longs for the mysterious beauty. With both their futures at stake, will Lizzie be able to keep up her façade? Or will she find the strength to share her secret and put her faith in true love?