My love of reading is no secret and the fact that I adore anything and everything written by Jen Turano- pretty sure that’s no secret either. I mean, who doesn't love witty, charming, funny and inspiring books?! ;)
I personally believe that interviews with writers in the Christian fiction genre are sorely lacking so I reached out to Jen. Not only did she agree to an interview but she graciously offered up the chance for one of you lucky readers to win a signed copy of Diamond In The Rough - her novel that was just recently released!
Let's get started, shall we?
Mercy: Can you share a little bit about yourself?
Jen: I live outside Denver, Colorado, but I’m originally from this small town in Ohio. I majored in fashion of all things in college, and after college, I moved to New York where I met Al. We had one of those whirlwind romances, got married a mere seven months after we met and we just recently celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary – and everyone said it wouldn’t last. Al and I have one son, Dominic, and allow me to simply say that if any of you have a Dominic, you understand exactly why he’s an only child. Thankfully, he outgrew that whole terror stage, and he recently graduated from college with an engineering degree, so whew.
Mercy: When did you first realize you wanted to be an author?
Jen: Oddly enough, I never had aspirations to become an author. I’d always enjoyed writing classes, but in my mind, authors were mysterious creatures, which I’m certainly not, so never considered trying to break into the publishing business. With that said, when Dominic was in third grade, we plodded through this ridiculous series about this bird. Well, after book six, Dom decided that the stories I’d made up for him when he was little to keep him in this jogging stroller (he was notorious for unbuckling himself and launching himself out of said stroller) were far more interesting. He suggested we write our own book, which we did. And while that book will never see the light of day, I decided that I liked using my brain again after being a stay-at-home mom for years. I wrote one book after another and experimented with different genres until I finally landed on historical romance. I signed with an agent, and then she very kindly sold my work to Bethany House. I’ve been writing for them ever since.
Mercy: What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Jen: Living in Colorado, Al and I enjoy visiting the mountains as well as socializing with our friends. Reading is obviously a must, and I end every night with a good book.
Mercy: How many books have you written? which one is your favorite?
Jen: One would think this would be an easy questions – but…I’ve published 12 full length novels with Bethany House as well as two novellas, and have turned in the final book in the American Heiress series. I’m now working on a new series, but it’s early days with that. I also have seven books that I wrote before I landed an agent, but they were riddled with problems, so I don’t really count those. As for my favorite, I think it’s “Diamond in the Rough” because that book was just a blast to write, and the characters didn’t give me many problems.
Mercy: Does writing energize or exhaust?
Jen: Depends on the day. Some days I’m all about diving into the work, while others, well, I’ll find whatever distraction I can to get out of writing, such as mowing the lawn, moping floors, or cleaning out the garage.
Mercy: What is your favorite under-appreciated novel?
Jen: “Caught by Surprise.”
Mercy: What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?
Jen: To read as much as possible in the genre of your choice. Reading allows a writer to understand what readers expect in a specific genre. I’d also encourage aspiring writers to learn everything they can about the publishing business. Writing and publishing are two very different creatures, and if you’re looking for a career as a writer, you need to understand how publishing works.
Mercy: Describe your ideal writing space.
Jen: I only write in my office. I have three computer screens, an enormous desk, and plenty of room to stretch out on the floor when I’m stuck and bemoan my fate as a writer.
Mercy: Can you tell us a little bit about your recently released book- Diamond In The Rough?
Jen: “Diamond in the Rough” is a madcap adventure that centers around Miss Poppy Garrison. She’s made a deal with her grandmother, Viola, that, in exchange for Poppy agreeing to a social season in NYC, Viola will save Poppy’s family from financial ruin. It’s a certain fish out of water story because Poppy grew up on a horse farm and is ill-equipped to deal with high society. Enter Mr. Reginald Blackburn. He’s the second son of a duke and has traveled to America to help his cousin select a grand American heiress. Viola decides he’s the perfect gentleman to teach Poppy proper decorum, and after he accepts that challenge, chaos descends. 10. Do you have a favourite character that you have written? If so, who? And what makes them so special. I have a lot of favorite characters, but my most recent favorite is Mr. Murray Middleton. He’s a secondary character in “Diamond in the Rough,” but he was only supposed to have a very minuscule role in the story. However, after he showed up on the page, he took on a life of his own, and he was just so charming I had to weave him into the story more.
Mercy: Where can we find you on social media?
Jen: Purchase Link - http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/diamond-in-the-rough/390520 Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/jenturanoauthor Twitter - JenTurano@JenTurano web - www.jenturano.com