Monday, September 15, 2008

Who Me, an Old Timer?

We authors here at Harlequin American hope our readers enjoy learning more about us. Therefore, we’re running interviews twice a month, once with a newer author and another with a – gulp – old timer.
Who, me?
Well, yes. My first book in the line, The Dream Never Dies, was published in 1984. That, according to my 22-year-old son, occurred during the Late Jurassic Period. My January 2009 release, Million-Dollar Nanny, will be my 65th book for Harlequin (I’ve also written for other lines, including Intrigue and the now-defunct Duets, which featured romantic comedies).
I’m happy to report that the list of questions I’ve been given does not include queries about whether my bones creak or I have to pluck hairs from my chin. So here goes:
Q: Do you ever get tired of writing romances?
A: If I start to burn out, I go write something else, such as a murder mystery, and then I rediscover the fun all over again.
Q: What's the strangest thing you've ever eaten?
A: That can’t be one of the questions. I think my 19-year-old slipped that one into the queue.
Q: What comes first: the plot or the characters?
A: First comes the concept. Example: in my January '09 book, an heiress antagonizes the neighbors by planning to replace a historic cottage with a mansion. When she loses all her money to a con man, she has no choice but to live in the cottage and make nice with the neighbors, especially the grumpy guy across the street, who hires her as his nanny. After coming up with the concept, I developed Sherry’s personality so that hopefully you’ll like her despite her high-handedness, and created a storyline in which she and Rafe discover that opposites really can fall in love.
Q: When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?
A: Ouch.
Q: Do you re-read your books once they're in print?
A: After going through a rough draft, a couple of polishes, revisions, a copy edit and proofs … are you kidding?
Q: Did you ever eat paste or Elmer's glue when you were a kid?
A: Where is that boy? I thought he left for college.
Q: What did you do career-wise before becoming an author?
A: I was a reporter and a TV columnist for the Associated Press in Los Angeles. Before that, I worked for a newspaper and, even earlier, for a public relations agency.
Q: Has the American Romance line changed since you first began writing for it?
A: Repeatedly. We’ve gone through a fairy tale phase (The Improperly Pregnant Princess), a suspense phase (The Baby’s Bodyguard) and an era when paranormal was allowed (Daddy Warlock). Anybody remember those?
Q: What do you want to know about the future?
A: The older I get, the less I want to know about the future.
Q: Have you ever made a crank phone call?
A: That does it. I’m on the next plane to Tucson (University of Arizona) to chew out that kid.
Q: Who's your personal hero--past or present?
A: My husband, Kurt. We’ll celebrate our 30th anniversary on October 8.
Q: If you were stranded on a desert island, what kind of hero would you want with you--a cowboy, a Viking warrior, a CEO, a forensics investigator, a chef or an accountant…and why?
A: Kurt, because he’s very handy. He could have gotten those Losties back to civilization in a month.


Ann Roth said...

Twenty four years! That's amazing!

A huge kudos to you, Jackie.

Sara said...

Congrats on the excellent writing career! I've read some of your older books - and have some hanging around here still I am sure!

Estella said...

Congrats on your 65th book! I have enjoyed many of them.

Anonymous said...

An entertaining post. Congrats! And thanks for writing your romances.

Jacqueline Diamond said...

Thanks to everyone who responded. I just returned from a trip to China (more about that later) and am catching up on my reading. I also read the comments on my Sept. 1 post, but didn't get a chance to reply at that time.

Ellen said...

I know I'm late getting this posted but congratulations on your 65th book. I've read many of them. Keep them coming.

Barbara White Daille said...

Jackie, your interview was a real hoot! Thanks for all the chuckles.

Thanks even more for all those books. 65? WOW! Math is not my strong suit, but that's a sensational average over American's 25 years.

May you have many, many more books on the shelves!