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An Interview with Jen Turano
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An Interview with Jen Turano

02 Mar Posted by in Interviews | 10 comments
An Interview with Jen Turano

JenTuranoJen Turano is the acclaimed author of The Ladies of Distinction Series, published through Bethany House publishers. Her second novel, A Most Peculiar Circumstance was chosen by Booklist as a Top Ten Romance for 2013. Her fourth book, A Match of Wits, released in July, 2014, and her newest novel, After a Fashion, just hit shelves.

We recently had the pleasure of talking with Jen about her writing career:

How did you get started writing?

One of the first books I wrote came about all because my son and I trudged through an awful series when he was in the third grade that centered around…birds. It started out pleasantly enough, but by book six, I truly thought I might just lose my mind. That’s when my son and I decided we’d try our hand at our own story, especially since I’d been making up stories for him ever since he was little and I needed to keep him entertained in his jogger stroller while I got a bit of exercise – and as an aside – it’s a lot harder to think up stories about dragons, smelly creatures, and mayhem while running – I think it might have something to do with a lack of oxygen, but…that has nothing to do with me beginning to write. My son and I had a blast creating this story we named…”Fanglers.” It was a wild adventure, filled with odd creatures and far-fetched story lines, but I enjoyed whole story-telling business and decided I’d give it a go –After quite a few manuscripts, and quite a few different genres, I finally settled on historical romance and I was finally fortunate enough to write something a publisher wanted to buy.

 

After-a-Fashion-final-cover-finalTell us about your newest novel, After a Fashion:

“After a Fashion” is a story centered around Miss Harriet Peabody, a young woman who works in a hat shop, but has dreams for a better future. When she forms an unlikely alliance with Mr. Oliver Addleshaw, one of the wealthiest gentlemen of the day, her life takes a very interesting and unexpected turn. Harriet is joined by a cast of quirky characters – Miss Millie Longfellow, a nanny who has an unfortunate propensity of getting dismissed from her positions on a far too frequent basis – Miss Lucetta Plum, one of the leading actresses in all of New York City, but a young woman who has a very mysterious past, and…Mrs. Charles Hart – a wealthy society matron who enjoys nothing more than…meddling. Throw all of them together, add in the delicious Mr. Oliver Addleshaw, who is a bit pompous at the beginning of the novel which makes things interesting, and I hope I’ve created a story that will entertain and amuse readers for a few hours of their lives.

 

Who was your favorite character to write in this story? Why?

I really enjoyed writing Harriet’s character. She’s a no-nonsense type of woman, has been on her own for many years, and has risen above truly unfortunate circumstances, while not turning bitter or jaded in the process.

 

Where did you get the idea/inspiration for After a Fashion?

I’ve always wanted to write a novel loosely based on “My Fair Lady.” The idea of a down-on-her- luck lady falling in love with a wealthy gentleman and then having him fall in love with her in return is one of my favorite storylines. But, since that’s been done time and time again, I had to mix things up a bit to make the story my own.

 

Do you have a separate space set up in your home or a favorite place to write?

I have an office where I do the bulk of my writing. I’ll occasionally pull out my laptop or write by hand if I get stuck on a chapter, but I’m most productive when I sit at my desk with my big keyboard and type away.

 

What is your favorite book? 

My favorite book is “Ain’t She Sweet” by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, although I recently read “The Prayer Box” by Lisa Wingate and I really enjoyed that as well.

 

Where can people connect with you online?

On Facebook or check out my website at http://jenturano.com

 

Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become writers?

Read as much as you can in the genre you want to write – make sure there is a target audience for what you want to write because there’s nothing more disappointing than writing a book and having an agent tell you they can’t sell it because there’s no market – and, last but not least – write all the time. You’ll only improve with each story you write, and you never know what’s going to sell. I have a ton of manuscripts that will never see the light of day, but that’s okay. They were my stepping stones, and I needed those stones to perfect my craft.

Thank you so much for having me!

 

10 comments

  • Love Jen Turano since her first book, “A Gentleman of Her Dreams” and the rest of the Ladies of Distinction series. Enjoy a good, clean historical novel these days amongst so many “fifty shades” versions out there.

  • Debora Wilder says:

    This is a great interview. I loved finding out what inspired Jen to write After a Fashion. I have read ALL of her books including After a Fashion and LOVED each and every one of them. You can’t go wrong in picking up one of her books.

  • Paula Parker says:

    We have several of Jen’s books in our church library. I have not made it through all of them yet but looking forward to doing so.

  • Charlyn says:

    enjoyed the book I read by Ms. Turano. Would like to win one.

  • liz kilcher says:

    sounds like a good book

  • Laurie says:

    i enjoyed Jen Turano’s interview. I have never read any of her books but the interview has sparked my interest. I like her advice to aspiring writers. And, the Harriet character sounds like someone I’d enjoy reading about.

    Lauigl [at] carolina [dot] rr [dot] com

  • wilma says:

    have not read any of Jen turano books looking forward to reading her books

  • Caryl Kane says:

    I enjoyed learning more about Jen. She is a new-to-me author. After A Fashion sounds like a great read.

    psalm103and138[at]gmail[dot]com

  • Robin Bunting says:

    What a great idea to write about ladies of distinction in a time when there wasn’t much distinction for women. Thank you for a great interview.

  • […] Jen Turano is the acclaimed author of The Ladies of Distinction Series, published through Bethany House publishers. Her second novel, …read more       […]

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