13. Jill Marie Landis: Historical/Inspirational Romance!
Welcome to Holiday Bash 2010! Contestant #13:
Jill Marie Landis is the author of 25 bestselling novels. Her books have been on the USA Today and New York Times lists. The winner of two Romance Writers of America Rita Awards, Jill Marie lives in Hawaii with her husband. She enjoys sunning, writing on the beach, raising orchids and dancing hula.
Eggnog or Mimosas? Are you old enough to drink?
Eggnog. When that runs out, Mimosas.
Old enough to drink and old enough to know better but that never stopped me.
We’re also taking pictures with Santa, did you bring a gift for him? (Maybe a new release or a pretty book cover…)
2 autographed copies of HEART OF STONE.
Raised in a tribe of street urchins, Maddie Grande was taught to be a thief and beggar on the streets of New Orleans. She and her twin “brothers” have recently left New Orleans and moved to the bayou. The twins are rarely there, but Maddie has come to love the swamp and longs to change her life but she knows that her brothers will never give up their lawless ways. When the twins kidnap the daughter of a wealthy carpetbagger, they force Maddie to hide the precocious eight-year-old while they return to New Orleans to wait for notice of a reward.
Pinkerton agent Tom Abbott is assigned to the kidnapping case in which Maddie has become an accomplice. In a chase that takes them to Baton Rouge, a mutual attraction becomes evident, but Tom is a man of honor and Maddie is a thief and a liar.
Will Maddie and Tom listen to their hearts or choose honor over love?
OOOooooo, it looks awesome! Why don’t you come in and we’ll talk! First off…let’s play a game!
You’re standing in front of a Christmas tree, dressed as Santa’s helper. Your publisher asks what you are doing holding a copy of your book with a big smile. What do you tell him/her?
That I’m doing shameless self promotion as usual! I’ve danced the hula in a Borders Store to drum up business.
We don’t think you’re shameless! We’d love to see you hula!
Okay another: You’re in a Holiday writing contest. You have to plot a book in 30 minutes. You’re given a sleigh, a reindeer and a Santa hat. What do you come up with? How do you go about this?
Yikes! I grab a huge piece of art paper and start drawing circles and write the names of each character in a circle. Then I brainstorm and connect the dots:
The reindeer is dead. The sleigh appears to have run into something, half if it is crushed. Santa’s hat has a spot of blood on it. He is nowhere to be found.
Obviously, this is heading into the contemporary romantic suspense arena. The detective on the scene is lovely Sheila Reynolds. She’s a rookie, trying to act confident. She’s a knock out. Blonde and shapely. She has to overcome the handicap of being beautiful. No one ever takes her seriously. It’s the blonde thing, you know.
A crime scene vet is called (Is there such a thing?Must check sources.)He’s to do forensics on the reindeer. His name is Brick Dirk and he’s tall, dark and devastatingly handsome—but he’s got a thing against good looking blondes. Stems back from the time his stepmother locked him in a pantry for two days and he tried to eat all the canned food stored there and ended up sick.
But something draws him to Sheila. Something he tries to resist but it’s impossible.
Sheila’s boss, the chief of police arrives. The tension in the air is palpable.
And that’s how it goes. Stop me now.
Nooooo! More! LOL. So, are you a plotter or pantser? What is your routine?
I’m a plotter. I do character studies, usually end up with a 32 page synopsis but it’s just a road map to get me going. As I write I become a day to day pantser. I stop to research along the way. You can find a lot of plot in research details.
What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Get to the end then rewrite at least 4 times.. Even when you think you’re done, you’re not.
How did you start your career? Who was your first publisher?
On my second attempted novel I entered the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Contest for unpublished writers. I won the Historical Romance division that year and the book was bought by one of the judges who was an editor at Berkley Jove (Putnam now Penguin). The rest is history.
What are you working on right now?
HEART OF GLASS Book 3 of the Irish Angels series. It’s set in on a ruined plantation along River Road in New Orleans ten years after the War Between the States. A Beauty and the Beast theme. The heroine is an architect (self taught and in a man’s field for the times) who goes to restore the old home where she spent much of her childhood. The hero is the owner; he’s shut himself away in the garconniere and refuses her help. She feels it’s her duty to save him. She owes it to his family (his sister was heroine’s best friend.) I think of the 3 books in the series, this is my favorite. Although whatever I’m working on at the time is my favorite, usually.
What news would you like to share with your readers?
Life news? I dance the hula and recently my hula sisters and I danced at elder care homes on the island where I live. My husband and I will be in California with my family for Christmas.
Book news? I love what I do (most days) and know how blessed I am to get to be a working writer. I have a new series I’m working on that is so much fun. Can’t wait to leak the news in 2011.
You’re wonderful! Where can readers find you?
Facebook: Jill Marie Landis (two different pages…one books…one life)
HEART OF STONE, HEART OF LIES (Feb. 2011), HEART OF GLASS (Jan. 2012)
HOMECOMING, THE ACCIDENTAL LAWMAN,
See Amazon.com for other titles or visit your local bookstore.
Will you be willing to answer questions in regards to writing and publication today?
Of course. But I can’t give away “the secret” to publishing. Once you sell, they swear you to secrecy.
Thank you so much for joining us at Romance Author Hotspot!
Mahalo for asking me!
Author’s Holiday Gift: 2 autographed copies of HEART OF STONE Book 1 of the Irish Angels series.
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