Bio: Jen Turano is the best-selling, critically acclaimed author of The Ladies of Distinction series, and A Class of Their Own series, published through Bethany House Publishers. Her novel, After a Fashion, was chosen as a top pick from Romantic Times, as well as being named a top ten romance of 2015 from Booklist. It is also a nominee for Romantic Times 2015 Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her book, A Most Peculiar Circumstance, was chosen as a top ten romance by Booklist in 2013. Her seventh book, Playing the Part, will release in the spring of 2016, followed by a new four-book series, Apart from the Crowd. When she’s not writing, Jen spends her time outside of
with her husband and neurotic Cattle Dog, enjoying herself as an empty-nester
since her son recently abandoned her for the college life. She may be found on
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jenturanoauthor/
or visit her on the web at www.jenturano.com.
She is represented by the Natasha Kern Literary Agency. Her books may be found
in most fine bookstores, or follow the Baker House Publishing link to find
additional places to purchase her work - http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/authors/jen-turano/1761
Welcome, Jen. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I’m sure there’s always a small bit of me in all of my characters, but for the most part, they decide exactly what personality they want to embrace. After that decision has been made, it’s next to impossible for me to get them to change into the character I originally thought they were going to become on the pages of my stories.
I so understand that. I’ve had some of those characters. What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Quirky has just always been a way of life for me, so to claim one thing as being the quirkiest would be difficult. To show why my days are quirky—let me tell you about a week ago, when it snowed, something it does often out here in
Denver. I’d been shoveling snow for a few
hours—we have an elderly lady who lives a street over whom I’ve been helping
for years—she’s a stubborn sort and if I don’t get over there, she’ll pull out
her own shovel, at 89 years of age no less. But … I digress. After finishing
the shoveling, I came inside and was soaking wet, so slipped on a pair of super
comfortable pajamas pants. Unfortunately, those pants were missing their
drawstring, but … I wore them anyway and didn’t experience any difficulties
until my dog needed to go outside. My dog is a spoiled girl, and old, and she
apparently took issue with the part of the yard I’d shoveled out for her. So,
grabbing a shovel, I went to widen her spot, and the next thing you know … my
pants fell off. There I was, faux fur coat, Ugg boots, and … yes, pants pooled
around the top of those boots for everyone to see because … of course, all the
neighbors were out doing their shoveling. I laughed so hard as I retrieved my
dog and then waddled up the driveway and back into the house. You may very well
ask why I didn’t pull my pants up while I was outside, but that would have
caused me to have to lift my coat. And, well, I thought I’d been exposed quite
enough as it was, especially since I’m sure my very white winter legs were
gleaming in the dimness of that particular day. J
LOL. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, but since my family was more on the scientific side, I never considered writing as a career choice. With one of my brothers being a surgeon and my other two brothers being engineers, I’m fairly certain my parents were beside themselves when I had the audacity to announce I was going to major in fashion—I’m sure if I would have chosen writing over fashion, well, I shudder to think what their response would have been to that. But, while I was in college, I found the English classes to be remarkably easy, and because of that, I’m afraid I might have gotten a bit … smug … until I walked into a creative writing class and met my nemesis. That professor and I seemed to loathe each other on sight because she was a throwback from the sixties and I was your typical sorority girl with a proclivity for wearing bows in my hair—think Madonna. Well, she assigned the first paper and I pulled out my tried and true method of writing, one that had always stood me well up until that point. I handed in the paper, confident I would see a lovely A marked on it after she graded it, but instead of an A, the professor gave me a big, fat D. I’d never had a D in my life, so … armed with righteous indignation, I set about on a quest to do better. That quest, in hindsight, taught me about writing for a target audience because the next paper I turned in was dark, creepy, and perfectly suited to that particular professor’s personality. I took Edgar Allen Poe’s “A Tell Tale Heart,” and rewrote it, using a giant eye instead of a heart. After I turned it in, I went back to class the next week, only to soon find myself in the dean’s office. My professor was certain I had stolen the work, or paid someone to write it for me, because she felt a sorority girl could not have penned such a piece. Luckily for me, this was before computers, so all I had to do was run off to my dorm room, grab my waste basket, and bring it to the dean’s office, the proof of my being the author seen in the many crumpled pieces of paper I’d used as a first draft. From that point on, I was the professor’s favorite student, and that is when I realized I might have an aptitude for writing—not that I acted on that realization for many years, but …
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I’ll read just about anything except Science Fiction and naughty. I really enjoy romances, both historical and contemporary, love suspense, and I’m a huge fan of YA—I was really into the dystopian books, but I’m a little bored with that theme now.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I rarely keep my sanity when I’m in the midst of a first draft, but after I get that done, I can socialize with people again, and try to limit the hours I work in any given day. I will work on the weekends while doing a first draft or if I get galleys back from my editor, but other than that, I take that time for family things.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I use a lot of old census data from the 1800’s, or scroll through old newspapers. I also really like asking readers to submit names to me—I’ll be having a character by the name of Miss Temperance Flowerdew in my next series. It’s just a fabulous name and was given to me by a friend of mine from high school. She’s been researching her ancestry and came across Temperance. From the moment she told me about her ancestor, I knew I had to have the name, and luckily, my friend gave me full leave to use it.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My son has to be my greatest accomplishment. He’s a sophomore in college, majoring in engineering, and he’s just a great guy. My husband and I aren’t actually certain how he turned out the way he did, especially since he was a complete terror in his younger days.
I have a daughter like that, but now she is a responsible adult, grandmother, and able to minister to young women in ways many of us can’t because of her wild years. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’ve never actually thought about that before, but, if I had to choose an animal to be … I say I’d be a penguin because … well, who wouldn’t want to be one of those?
What is your favorite food?
Oh, food … I love food, all kinds of food, but the older I get, well, I just can’t eat the way I used to eat. Some favorites would be pasta, and then there’s peanut butter, but … don’t get me started on chips. I adore chips, although they seem to adore my hips, so … it’s a rare occasion indeed when I allow myself to have chips.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Since I write comedies, I’m always second-guessing whether or not I’ve written an amusing scene, or just dumb. I normally have to hit the walking trails and puzzle the scene out, talking out loud as I walk, which normally brings about some unusual looks from fellow walkers. When I return home, I’ll open the scene up again, and if it makes me smile, I’ll keep it, but if not, I delete and start again—hoping for the best.
Tell us about the featured book.
Playing the Part is the third and final book of the A Class of Their Own series. It revolves around Miss Lucetta Plum, one of the most sought-after actresses of the day. Because she’s so sought-after, she attracts quite a bit of unwanted attention from the gentlemen, and when one of those gentlemen, the dastardly Mr. Silas Ruff, turns threatening, she’s forced to abandon the theater and flee the city. She soon finds herself, at the suggestion of her very good friend, Mrs. Abigail Hart, standing before a rather intimidating castle by the name of Ravenwood, a castle that just happens to be owned by Abigail’s rather mysterious grandson, Mr. Bram Haverstein. It quickly becomes clear that something is gravely amiss at Ravenwood, but before Lucetta can puzzle that out, or come to terms with the feelings she’s developing for Bram, her past comes back to haunt her.
Historical romantic suspense. One of my favorite reads. Please give us the first page of the book.
October 1882 –
New York City
“Forgive me, Miss Plum, but there’s a gentleman outside demanding to speak with you. He claims to be your father.”
Miss Lucetta Plum paused in the act of removing her stage makeup and turned, finding Mr. Skukman, an intimidating gentleman she employed to manage her overzealous admirers, standing in the doorway of her dressing room. “How fascinating, Mr. Skukman, especially considering my father died years ago.”
Mr. Skukman arched a single dark brow her way. “Fascinating indeed.” With that, he withdrew, pulling the door firmly shut behind him. Seconds later, the sound of what was surely some type of a scuffle drifted into the dressing room.
“This is an outrage,” a man bellowed. “I demand you unhand me at once, sir.”
Recognition of the voice was immediate. Rising ever so slowly from a vanity stool upholstered in red velvet, Lucetta navigated her way across the cluttered dressing room. Stepping over a pair of high-heeled shoes she’d slipped off her feet the moment after she’d taken her last curtsy, she drew in a steadying breath and yanked open the door.
We must find out who is on the other side of the door. How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is http://jenturano.com/
My Facebook author page is https://www.facebook.com/jenturanoauthor/ or readers may write to me at – firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, Jen, for spending this time with us. I've loved chatting with you.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.Playing the Part - Christianbook.com
Playing the Part - Amazon.com
Playing the Part - Kindle
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