Thursday, October 24, 2013
Author Interview--Jen Turano
Anne: This morning's interview is with the author of A Talent for Trouble, Jen Turano. If you would like to read my review of the book, click HERE.
Good Morning, Jen; great to have you here! What inspired A Talent for Trouble?
Jen: The idea for A Talent for Trouble began the moment Miss Felicia Murdock was snatched away from her friends by her brother, Mr. Jeffrey Murdock, in the middle of a ball in A Change of Fortune. She was dressed in a rather peculiar fashion, with far too many ribbons and bows, and the question began to plague me as to why she would dress in that manner. Once Mr. Grayson Sumner showed up at the end of that first book, I began to toy with the idea of putting them together. Grayson was a rather brooding character, although he hid that well, and Felicia was, well, far too prone to landing herself in troubling situations. As I began to write, their relationship just took off. Although it was hardly a normal relationship, I knew they were perfect for each other; they just needed to figure that out.
Anne: [Readers: I also reviewed A Change of Fortune. If you would like to read that review, click HERE.] Okay, Jen, why do you write? Do you consider writing an occupation or a calling?
Jen: I suppose I consider writing a little bit of an occupation and a calling. I’ve always had these stories roaming around my mind, absolutely love daydreaming, and through writing I’m able to get some of the characters out of my head and down on paper. As my son got older, I knew I’d want to get back to work, so discovering I have a small bit of talent for the written word has allowed me to pursue a career I really never imagined and one I find completely delightful.
Anne: You're too modest. I would say your talent is a good bit more than "small." Other than the two main characters, who is your favorite? Why?
Jen: Miss Agatha Watson is one of my absolute favorite characters. She’s been with me through all the stories, including the prequel novella, and I just love her to pieces. She’s independent, quirky, and always meddling in the affairs of her friends.
Anne: Why did you choose this setting?
Jen: I really enjoy The Gilded Age. It was a time in American history when fortunes were being made on a daily basis and those fortunes caused New York Society to begin to change. No longer were extravagant balls simply for the old order, but for the nouveau rich as well. Rivalries were fierce as Mrs. Caroline Astor tried to retain her power over society even though ladies like Alva Vanderbilt were doing their very best to knock Mrs. Astor off her throne. Marriages were made for social standing in exchange for wealth and the time lends itself well for fun stories about the social elite.
Anne: What is your favorite pastime, other than writing?
Jen: I enjoy spending time with my husband and teenage son, not that I actually see my son much these days since he’s now a senior in high school. Socializing with friends is how I spend my weekends unless my husband and I travel up to the mountains to see the sights and hike.
Anne: When you're under a deadline, how do you find time to get other necessities done, like cooking, cleaning, church activities, giving interviews, etc?
Jen: I’m afraid a lot of things get pushed aside when I’m under a deadline. Cooking has never been one of my favorite things to do, but since my guys do enjoy eating, I stop working about 4:00 and fix something for dinner...although I will admit, I sometimes get a little grouchy about that. Cleaning the house gets delayed, except for vacuuming and dusting, but I don’t work on the weekends at all. That’s my family time, and I won’t give that up, even if it means working really late on the weekdays.
Anne: Would you like to tell us about your next book?
Jen: I’m currently finishing up the edits on book four, A Match of Wits. It’s Agatha Watson’s story and she’s still being Agatha. Mr. Zayne Beckett is in the story as well, which I’m pretty certain everyone realized he’d be, but…he’s a mess, and it’s up to Agatha to take him in hand. In order to do that though, she has to get him back to New York, the problem being that someone just might want her dead in the city. I also just signed a new contract with Bethany House for an additional three books. That series is going to center around not ladies from society, but ladies of the working class. The first book’s heroine is Miss Harriet Peabody and how she comes to form an unlikely alliance with Mr. Oliver Addleshaw, an intimidating and extremely wealthy man of the time.
Anne: Two more books I would really love to review! I hope you will keep me in mind for that. Thank you for being here, Jen. I enjoy the interviews with you nearly as much as I love your books!
Jen: Thank you so much for having me, Anne. It’s been an honor to be on your blog again!