I hope everyone had a lovely holiday! It’s back to work for me…I’ve finally completed my first draft (minus a scene or two) and it’s now in dire need of revision, but before I do that, I’d like to share the second half of my interview with author Jilly Wood, whose newly published short story appears in Stories for Homes.
You can catch the first ten questions from my interview here. So, without any further ado….
11. What other books are similar to your own? What makes them alike?
I don’t really know. Mostly they sound like me, but I’d love to think there was a touch of Susan Elizabeth Phillips about them – larger than life characters, lots of heart, and a strong feeling of community.
12. Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
That’s like trying to pick a favorite child, impossible. I love them all.
13. How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
All my characters have faults, but that’s part of the fun. I’m not sure I could write them if I didn’t love them, faults and all.
14. When you’re writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters? Which one?
Yes, always, all of them. I am whichever POV character I’m writing at the time. I have to be in their heads or I can’t write them.
15. Now some more personal questions. Which writer would you consider a mentor?
Jenny Crusie. I love her books and when I saw she was going to teach the romance writing program at McDaniel I knew I had to sign up. I’m so glad I did. She’s a patient and generous person and an excellent teacher, as all the Eight Ladies can attest. If I manage to turn Rent and Cornflakes into a good book it will be mostly thanks to Jenny.
16. About how many hours a day/week do you spend writing? Do you have a consistent writing pattern, or are you more hit-and-miss?
I’m pretty consistent during the week. I make fresh juice and coffee, have a quick scan of my emails and 8LW, and then get comfortable on my sofa with my laptop and disappear into my own head. I try to do at least 1,000 words per day. I wish I was more prolific, but so far that seems to be where I’ve settled. Weekends are a bit looser – I’ll probably take time to write blog posts, read other authors, and think about problems with my WIP as I’m cooking or doing chores.
17. What do you do when you are not writing?
I love to travel, and I’ve been hiking and bird-watching in amazing places from Bhutan to Madagascar. I’m a foodie and I have a share in a small but perfectly formed wine importer that brings top-notch independent wineries to the UK. I take full advantage of London’s brilliant ballet, opera, theatre and sports scene: I spend far too much time and money at the Royal Opera House; by the time you read this I’ll have been to see Tom Hiddleston on stage as Coriolanus, and for my birthday I got tickets to next year’s NFL games at Wembley Stadium. I try to make the most of every moment.
18. Are there certain characters in other people’s work you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
One of my favorite books is Georgette Heyer’s Devil’s Cub, starring the bad-boy son of the disgraceful Duke of Avon, hero of These Old Shades. I also adore Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels. The eponymous hero, Dain, adopts his illegitimate son, Dominick, at the end of the book. Dominick has a troubled childhood, his father’s looks and temperament, legitimate younger half-siblings, a wild Dartmoor home…in fact all the potential to grow up into a wonderfully disgraceful hero. I wrote a short piece about him for one of our writing exercises at McD. I’d LOVE Loretta Chase to write Scoundrel’s Son (with a better title, of course).
19. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?
I’m so glad I finally got round to writing, and even happier that I took the McD course and met Jenny and the other Ladies. I’m working my socks off to get Rent and Cornflakes finished, because I have a ton of ideas for the next three books and I’m desperate to get on with them. If there’s anyone out there who’s always wanted to write a novel – stop reading this, and get started!
20. Lastly, can you give us a tantalizing snippet from your current WIP?
Tantalizing? Hm. The Ladies have been talking a lot about sex scenes lately, so how about this, from the first time Ian and Rose get together?
“Race you,” he said, looking over at her four-poster and back again. “I’ll give you a start for the camisole.”
“That’s very fair of you.” Her own voice sounded unfamiliar, sultry, like a come-hither country maid egging on a lusty farm boy.
She held his gaze, slid the camisole very slowly up her body and over her head, and he followed the movement like a man hypnotised. She held it out at arm’s length and let it float to the floor on top of her shirt. Then she resumed her stance, bare-breasted, looking up at him.
It was cheating, and it worked. He seared her body with a look, as she said “Three, two, one, go,” skimmed out of her jeans, underwear and socks and ran across the room naked, taking a flying dive onto the bed with a victory yell.
He cursed once, and then his jeans came skidding across the floor, and in a blur of activity he was there, naked and magnificent, reaching for her.
“I win,” she said.
“No, I do,” he said, and the time for talking was over.
Oooo! HOT! I can’t wait to read your book, Jilly, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Thank you so much for the interview. Ask your questions for Jilly in the comments below. You can also follow her on Twitter (@jillywords) or visit her website.