Author Jillian Kent joins us from Cincinnati, Ohio, the home of Skyline Chili and Graeter’s Ice Cream. Her first novel, Secrets of the Heart is coming out in May 2011 from Realms.
When did you first start writing?
“I’m not one of those folks who can say they always wanted to be a writer. I really started writing back in 1990 when I discovered a local writing group. My timing was awful because I’d just had my first baby and was working full-time. I joined Ohio Valley Romance Writers of America and became a member of its parent organization Romance Writers of America. I don’t think I finished my first manuscript until about 1999 after I got my first computer. And I don’t remember the year I joined ACFW, but that changed my life and my writing career.”
Who are your major influences in writing?
“Let’s see, if you mean who did I read that influenced my writing, there have been many: Carolyn Keene, Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Daphne du Maurier, and more recently: Robin Lee Hatcher , Francine Rivers, Sidney Sheldon, James Scott Bell, Amanda Quick, Tess Gerritsen, Nora Roberts, Sharyn McCrumb, Elizabeth George, Elizabeth Thornton and a lot more.
“If you mean who helped me along the way, I’d have to say James Scott Bell, Kathleen Morgan, Linda Windsor, Mae Nunn, Tamera Alexander, Colleen Coble, Mary Lu Tyndall, Robin Lee Hatcher, all of ACFW and many from RWA.”
What is your favorite historical era? What draws you to that era?
“Regency England. I studied in England my senior of college with a group of my peers from Bethany College West Va. and fell in love with the country and culture. I’m still learning fascinating facts about this country and its people. I’m immersing myself in the workings of Parliament now for book two of my series.
“I’m drawn to this time period because of the illness (madness) of King George III and what transpired during the years he was still living but incapable of carrying out his duties. His son, known as the Prince Regent, Prinny was in power; a very interesting character.
“It was later discovered that King George suffered from porphyria, a medical illness. However, there’s more to this very interesting story. You can click on this link for some amazing information. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/3889903.stm
What do you enjoy most about writing historical fiction?
“That it takes me away to another place and time.”
What resources helped you the most in your research?
“That could take awhile. I’d suggest you follow this link to one of my blogposts at www.jilliankent.com and scroll down to Research Fun.”
Why do you think accuracy so important in historical fiction?
“It gives you a flavor for the people and society of that time. Did I tell you I majored in Sociology and Psychology in college?Can you imagine reading a historical novel such as a Regency and your hero suddenly reaches for his keys to the car? Okay, that may be a bit over the top, but you get my meaning. Also, there are a lot of readers out there who know their history and if you get too much wrong they are never going to read that authors books again.”
Tune in for part two with Jillian’s interview on Friday!