Today I’m talking to Jean M. Grant, author of three romances and one Women’s Fiction (set to release in April). She is a contributing author to the Deerbourne Inn series, and her book Soul of the Storm is available today.
What’s the first book you remember reading on your own as a child, or your favourite childhood read?
Oh, good question. I am sure I did read books earlier than this, but I distinctly remember the thrillers by R.L. Stine in my tweens. I also remember Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein. Sweet Valley Twins. Judy Blume’s 1980s classics. Am I dating myself here…? I guess I can’t remember the wee early ones. If I was to pick my current favourites that my kids used to read, I would pick all of Mo Willems books. Love them.
What’s your favourite place to write?
Desk, couch, coffee shop, under a blanket. I am versatile. I usually write on my laptop but when traveling I use a good old pen/pencil and notebook. I remember bringing a draft version of one my manuscripts (printed on paper) on a hike up a mountain a few years ago. We were staying in a hiker’s hut that night and besides taking in the gorgeous view, eating a scrumptious cooked meal, and playing cards, I wanted to get some work done. It was a peaceful setting to read and edit as the sunset (and rose) on top of a mountain.
What’s the most important lesson you have learned on your writing journey so far?
My motto is the 3 P’s: Patience, Perseverance, and Putting in the time. I’m working on getting thicker skin. Rejection is part of the journey, as are those 3 P’s. For some writers, “success” (or whatever we define as success) happens quickly, for some us it takes years. My advice: keep on keepin’ on and find some buddies to come along with you for the ride to cheer you on!
What do you do when you feel stuck?
I jump around in my manuscript if needed (though I am a plotter and I do a lot of character development up front), work on other projects (there are always other projects…), or focus on something else in my house/family/life that I need to work on. I’ve only been really blocked once, and it was a hard month, but I got back into the swing quickly! I tend to be spinning plates, so I am never bored and never not have something to do!
Writers are readers too. Please recommend a romance you recently read and enjoyed.
I’m enjoying the novella-length books in this series so far. Recently, I read one in the Candy Hearts series by CJ Fosdick called Hot Stuff. It’s more like a novelette. Short, about 50 pages. I read it in one sitting. Her voice and the polished writing just lured me in! In my TBR pile is another book (full novel) by her, The Accidental Wife. I can’t wait to read it.
What was it that appealed to you about the Deerbourne Inn series?
I live in New England so writing about a state near me (Vermont) was enticing, and I
already had this “hiking/New Zealander/woman with a hurt past” idea percolating in my mind. I loved the idea of writing something shorter (novella, about 150 pages) and being part of a series with other authors.
What was the inspiration behind Soul of the Storm?
A bit of my own life, but it’s quite fictionalized. I lost my sister to an accident when she was young. I’ve been burned by an ex. I love to hike. I absolutely love New Zealand. And before I knew it, this idea came together.
Tell us about Soul of the Storm in 100 words or less.
Charlotte lost the thrill of conquering mountains five years ago when her sister disappeared on a hiking adventure without her. Charlotte heads for a vacation to Vermont but she’s still plagued with guilt and questions. Matiu is an outdoorsman and works multiple jobs to save for his dream of owning an outfitter in New Zealand. He’s restless and yearns for his Maori roots. Matiu and Charlotte form a bond through their shared love of the outdoors. But can Charlotte surmount her demons to assist Matiu on a mountain rescue when a late-season snowstorm hits? Can love help her heal?
Do you have an extract you can share with us?
She went to feel her ring on her finger with her thumb…but the ring wasn’t there. That old habit would not die even years later.
A dog bark intruded. The man crossed to the back door. “Reka, sweet girl, take your nap. Only a few hours here and then home, okay?” He spoke to her like a father to a toddler. The dog barked again. “A swim and walk this morning weren’t enough for you?”
He approached the dog, petted it, and whispered affections.
Charlotte made a soundless “Aww” and kept perusing.
The man returned, nearer. Residual sweat traced his brow. He pointed to a selection of books in the middle. “These are the best. Depends on what you’re looking for. Honest reviews or glorified fantasies?”
“Honest reviews, always.”
He stroked a hand through his neck-length black hair, the longer top layer falling over his forehead. He squatted and withdrew a few books from the lower shelf. “You could go with the popular or famous names, sure, but I like these authors.” He handed her one.
A book on South America sat in her hands. She muttered, “Thanks. Don’t need that one.”
“Oh, already been there, eh? All good, all good.” He took it and shoved it back on the shelf. “Where do your dreams lie then?”
She swallowed. No, I wasn’t there in that way. I was supposed to have been there. Five years ago. Instead she said, “Well, Vermont for now.”
“You’re in luck. I’m from Willow Springs.”
Buy links for Soul of the Storm:
You can also pre-order for my April 17th release, Will Rise from Ashes:
Where can readers find you online?
Read about more Deerbourne Inn titles:
- Lyrical Embrace by Amber Daulton
- Freedom’s Path by Linda Carroll-Brad
- Spirited Quest by Julie Howard
- Hope’s Dream by Peggy Jaeger