Writers On Reading: Rural Romance Author Jennie Jones Talks All Things Books

This week it’s my pleasure to welcome back to the blog the lovely Jennie Jones author of The House On Burra Burra Lane. 

Jennie Jones_B&W_1

 

The House on Burra Burra Lane is Jennie’s debut, bestselling novel. Available in eBook and paperback it is the first in her Swallow’s Fall series of rural/small town Australian romances and can be purchased from all good eRetailers through Escape Publishing or in paperback from many Australian bookstores at Harlequin (Australia) MIRA.

 

A dilapidated house, a city girl looking for a tree change, and a rugged vet with a past. Just another day in rural Australia… 

Just ten days after her fresh start in the isolated Snowy Mountains, Samantha Walker trips over a three hundred pound pig and lands in the arms of Dr. Ethan Granger — and the firing line for gossip. It was hardly a ‘date’ but sparks of the sensual kind are difficult to smother in a community of only 87 people. Now there’s a bet running on how long she’ll stay and what she’ll get up to while she’s in town.

Ethan has his own issues — Sammy’s presence in his childhood home brings with it painful recollections of family scandals and a bad‐boy youth. When the gossip around them heightens, his life is suddenly a deck of cards spread on the table for all to see. Then Sammy’s past catches up with her… and it looks like all bets are off. 

 

BB Print Cover_FULL 9781743567746

 

A Christmas novella, Twelve Days at Silver Bells House and book two in the series, The House at the Bottom of the Hill will be available late 2014/early 2015. Also penned are novella, The Turnaround Treasure Shop and book three, The Lonely Homestead – Magic on Main Street.

 

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1. Which books do you most vividly remember from your childhood?

Enid Blyton first. In my mind I was an additional character from the Famous Five because I could never decide whether to be George or Anne. I think I veered towards George (Georgina) because I really wanted a dog and she had Timmy.

Later, in my formative years, although I was far more aesthetic than academic in my approach to anything, I read Miles Franklin (My Brilliant Career and My Career Goes Bung), Nevil Shute (A Town Like Alice) and even ploughed my way through War and Peace, which I discovered some years later on my book shelf, and given the sticker on the inside cover, suggested I had forgotten to return it to the library – oops.

 

2. Who are your three most favourite literary characters? Tell us what you love about each of them.

A tricky question for me to answer because, being born an actor (or at least, being born with an emotive personality whether I liked it or not), having trained as an actor and worked for my living as an actor – I have difficulty distinguishing the best dramatized works (film, TV or theatre) from the literary works some of them came from. But, here are those literary characters I feel can never be portrayed more brilliantly than they were on the page:

Jane Eyre – such tenacity and enduring love in the light of painful realities. My favourite all time book.

Jean Benoit Savard (Ben) from Queen of Swords by Sara Donati (Into the Wilderness series – if you haven’t read this series – go do so!)

Ben is a sometime solitary, intelligent, capable warrior. Family orientated when he’s needed. Feels no need to control heroine Hannah Bonner (a very capable, independent woman). He allows her to be who she is, and somehow manages to guide her by not demanding; letting her find her own way to him. Doesn’t hold back his love for her, but   doesn’t push for her love. Cares for her in times of trouble, saves her, and repays horrendous callousness and brutality shown to her with his own stealthy and deadly methods. Feels deeply. Loves deeply, and isn’t afraid of anything, including emotion, although he rarely feels a need to show that. In order to help her, he almost gives his life. In the end, he gives up his passions, his family and lifestyle and takes on hers. With enigmatic, unperturbed confidence. (As you can tell – I totally fell for  him!)

John Grant – from Tied to the Tracks, again by Sara Donati, because of the way he handles his born-to-greatness-in-a-small-town-family lifestyle, heritage and culture – and changes it, and everyone around him. A beautifully written modern day literary love story.

 

3. Who is your favourite literary villain? Why?

Scrooge. Because he was fearsome, vitriolic and downright nasty but then he had the dreams and he changed. Some might say he was forced to change, I believe he always had those compassionate realms of appreciation within him. They just had to be forced into the forefront of his mind so he could remember them – and do something about it.

 

4. If you could invite any five writers to a cosy dinner party who would you ask and why?

Miles Franklin

Sara Donati

Helen Keller

Anita Shreve

Tom Stoppard

I have an eclectic love of so many authors and their works but you said I could only name five (darn!). I’d like to be a waitress around the dinner table of this room. There’d be no need to ask questions, these artistic and brilliant people would bring forth conversations, humour and wit that I would probably have trouble jotting down in my shockingly-forgotten shorthand. But oh, what an evening it would be.

 

5. What book has made you laugh out loud?

So many! I don’t like to read stories that are all comedy though. I need measures of emotional torment or competition, fight and gumption. All that stuff makes a great read and let’s not forget that comedy and emotion sit either side of that thin line called life and all its trials and triumphs. Some humour makes life real and bearable.

 

6. What book, or scene from a book, has made you cry?

Jane Eyre. I cry from sorrow and from hope with this book. Twofold – what could be better or more appropriate to life and what we see, or have to endure, no matter the century or the endurance that sits on our shoulders? This story encapsulates every hardship and romantic endeavour for me and yet it still gives us a fulfilling ending.

 

7. Where and when do you do most of your reading?

Bedroom. Night time. Cup of tea and maybe a biscuit or three. The time when I feel I deserve to let the day and all its doings rest and fold myself up in a time and narrative that will take me out of the above and into the sweet dreams of oblivion, another world, and hope.

 

8. Is there a genre of book you’d never read? Why?

Apologies, but I don’t necessarily take to fantasy stories. I recognise the wonderful writing of course, but books like Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter books are not my personal idea of a get-away. My husband and daughter are gasping as I write this … totally aghast at my honesty in public. Totally disbelieving of my sanity because this is what they love to read!

I know I’m in the minority here … That’s okay. I can live with it.

 

9. Can you give us a mini-review of a book you’ve recently read and enjoyed?

 Light on Snow by Anita Shreve. The story is told from the point of view of twelve year old Nicky and how she and her father find an abandoned newborn in the snow. In light of this discovery, their world changes and their emotive responses to everything bad that has happened to them up to this point changes too. Nicky has lost her mother and one year old sister in a car accident. Her father has packed up and moved them to a remote American township. Anita Shreve’s depiction of the emotional evolvement of the characters, seen through the eyes of growing-up-and-getting-a-sense Nicky is both poignant, sad, amusing and at times downright funny.

 

10. What are the top three books in your TBR pile?

There are no three ‘top’ books in the pile. The pile simply gets bigger each month. I love reading romance (contemporary or romantic comedy usually). I love reading chick lit. I love reading historical fiction. I love reading what is termed ‘women’s fiction’. So the list is always endless and there is always a list and therefore, always            something to read. I’m also an advocate of reading my peers’ work and the works of the writer friends I have found over the last few years. Pretty happy to have such a huge TBR pile waiting for me at bedtime …

 

Thank you, Pamela, for having me on board! It’s been a privilege.

 

And thanks for visiting, Jennie :)

 

Jennie’s Books Are Available here:

Harlequin Books: http://www.harlequinbooks.com.au/product/9781743567746#

Escape Publishing: http://www.escapepublishing.com.au/product/9780857990532

 

Connect with Jennie:

Jennie Jones Romance Author webpage

http://www.jenniejonesromance.com

Jennie Jones Romance Author Facebook page

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jennie-Jones-Romance-Author/290261037740578?ref=hl

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Hi Pamela and Jennie,
    I also wanted to be George of the Famous Five. I love Enid Blyton too.

    And my TBR pile grows faster than I can read it!

    Lovely interview.

    Cath xo

    Reply

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