Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This Week's Special Guest is Jana Richards

Welcome, Jana.

1). Tell us your latest news?

I’m very excited that my first novella, “Burning Love”, is being released by The Wild Rose Press tomorrow, January 20, 2010. Here’s a blurb and a short excerpt:

After causing three cooking fires in her apartment, Iris Jensen finds herself homeless. She lands on Riley Benson's doorstep, looking to rent a room in the beautiful old home he's restoring. It's only for six weeks until Iris leaves Portland, Oregon for her new job on a cruise ship. Firefighter Riley knows exactly what a bad tenant she can be. But he needs money to finish the work on the house he loves. And something about Iris pulls at his heart…

Meanwhile, in Heaven, two angels watch over the young lovers. Angelica and Hildegard work in Heaven's Relationship Division, where angels match mortals with their soul mates. The angels believe so strongly in Iris and Riley’s love that they break Heaven's rules to help them. Can the the angels convince them their love will last a lifetime before time runs out?


Riley looked into her beautiful blue eyes and her smiling face and did the only thing he was capable of doing at the moment.

He kissed her.

Maybe later, he told himself, when sanity returned, he’d think of a hundred reasons why pulling Iris into his arms, holding her tightly against his body, and plundering her soft, sweet mouth was not a good idea. But for now, right now, as she wound her arms around his neck and made tiny sounds of excitement deep in her throat, it felt exactly right.

Heaven. Having Iris in his corner made him believe everything was possible.

He stepped backwards towards the stairs, pulling Iris with him, intent on taking her to upstairs to his room. He suddenly tripped, nearly losing his balance. He glanced behind him and saw the object he’d stumbled over. A set of luggage sat next to the stairs, still bearing tags from the retailer.

“What the hell is this?”

Iris kissed his neck. “I’m sorry. I should have taken them up to my room.”

Iris had bought new luggage for her trip. Her plans hadn’t changed.

She’s leaving me.

The thought acted as effectively as a bucket of cold water tossed over his head. What was he doing? She was leaving in three weeks and didn’t plan to return. The calendar in the kitchen reminded him of that every day. Why start something that would only lead to heartache?

No, this was crazy. Why couldn’t they take pleasure in each other for the next three weeks? Why should they deny themselves what Riley knew would be the best sex of their lives? Why was he throwing it all away?

Because he’d already lost too many people in his life.

And Riley instinctively knew that if he let himself get close to Iris, let himself love her, a part of him would not survive when she left.

You can look for “Burning Love” at The Wild Rose Press website at http://www.thewildrosepress.com

2). When and why did you begin writing?

Well, I read a few romance novels, loved them, and had the crazy idea that I could write one too. Little did I know how much work goes into crafting a novel! Now I’m completely hooked. This is what I’m meant to do.

3). What books have influenced your life most?

There are so many books, and so many authors. I love the books of Nora Roberts, Suzanne Brockman, Mary Balogh, Jo Beverly, and so many more. A good writer will inspire me to “up my game” much as a good tennis partner will help you to play better. I’m always inspired by a wonderful, emotional read that takes me on a journey.

Lately I’ve been influenced by a lot of research or craft books, as I work to take my writing to the next level. I’m currently working my way through Donald Maass’ “Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook”. The exercises really make me think about my characters and plot and how to make them something special and truly unique.

4). What are your current projects?

I’m working on a couple of projects at the moment. In my contemporary manuscript Welcome to Paradise, Paradise is more like Hell for Bridget Grant. Her marriage and career are gone, her daughter's in trouble, and her confidence has hit the skids. Retreating to her home town of Paradise, she's confronted with her still strained family relationships. When her daughter faces expulsion from the local high school, Bridget turns for help to Jack, the man she’d left behind. Their growing attraction has Bridget hoping for new future. But the problems that kept them apart twenty years ago still exist. Until Bridget faces the truth about herself and her family history, she and her daughter will remain prisoners of the past.

I’m also working on a time travel historical set in England in World War 2. In Twice in a Lifetime, Frank Brennan is given a second chance at love. An angel shows up in his nursing home room claiming to be able to take him back in time, to Plymouth, England in 1944. It was here Frank experienced, and lost, the love of his life. Even after all these years Frank is still bitter over Claire’s betrayal. And he still mourns the death of his best friend Cal, who died in a training accident just before D-Day. He accepts the angel’s offer, hoping he can save Cal this time around. Can Frank change history or is his reaction to events the only thing he can truly change? As he relives the events of 1944, Frank discovers new insights into old tragedies. He also discovers a love for Claire even stronger than he remembered. But unless he learns to trust that love, Frank is doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.

5). Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Finding enough time! I’d love to lock myself away for weeks at a time, just me and my laptop, someplace where I don’t have to cook, clean or go to my day job. But since that isn’t possible I have to carve out time in my day for writing.

6). Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I have several favorites but probably my all time favorite writer is Nora Roberts. I love the way she can bring characters and a setting to life. The writing is full of emotion and the plots are exciting. Her characters are often flawed, but they are always people a reader wants to root for.

7). When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always liked to write, and at one time in high school I thought I’d try journalism. That didn’t pan out and the dream stayed on the back burner for a while. In university I took a creative writing class, but it was more geared towards literary fiction, and I thought I wasn’t meant to be a writer. I honestly didn’t think of writing fiction again until many years later, when I started reading romance novels and discovered my niche.

8). How long does it take you to write a book?

Way too long! I am not what you’d call a fast writer. With revisions it probably takes me about a year to eighteen months. But I have been known to leave a partially written book lie dormant for several years before picking it up and finishing it, so it’s difficult for me to answer that question.

9). What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I try to devote two to three days a week solely to writing. After walking the dog early in the morning I’ll write until noon before taking a break for lunch. After lunch I’ll work till around 3 or 4. I spend most evenings writing blogs, answering emails and doing other promotional activities.

10). Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your “r”s or dotting your “I”s with heart (or anything like that)?

Does messy handwriting count? Probably my strangest handwriting habit is my tendency to lift my pen and leave a gap between letters in words. For instance, if I wrote “romance”, I might not connect the r to the o and leave a small gap between the two letters. I have no idea why.

11). What do you want to know about the future?

I would like to know if I am going to write a book or a series that will be a best seller. And then I’d want to know if I can afford to quit my day job!

12). Are you a morning person or a night person?

I am more of a morning person. If I am going to accomplish something, it will likely be in the morning.

13). Do you like thunderstorms?

I absolutely hate thunderstorms! My dog and I hide out in the basement when they get really bad. She’s even more afraid than I am!

14). What is the best way for readers to contact you? Email, myspace, twitter, etc?

The best way for readers to contact me is through my website at www.janarichards.net. I’m always available at my email address at jana.richards@hotmail.com Please check out my MySpace page at www.myspace.com/jana_richards

15). Anything you would like to add?

Just that I’d love to hear from readers! Please check out my website and take a look at the excerpts for my books. I’ve also got a contest running on my website until February 17 and some free short reads on my website. Enjoy!


  1. Congrats on your upcoming release...only more more day to wait! The premise sounds fun... I love the idea of the Heavenly angels!

  2. Great interview and excerpt! Yay for the Wild Rose Press authors. : ) Congratulations on your release, Jana. I wish you much success!

  3. Congrats on your release, Jana! Sounds like a good read. Personally, I love thunderstorms though both my dogs go into hiding at the first clap.

  4. Hi Jana,
    Great interview. All your books sound wonderful, but your WW2 story has really caught my interest as I have a published book written around that era too.
    Best of luck.

  5. Congrats on the release, Jana! Wishing you mega sales. Who doesn't love a sexy firefighter? =)

  6. What a great interview, jana. And I love your excerpt. Congrats on the coming release.

  7. Wooo hoooo, Jana! What a super interview. And congrats on the new release! Sounds great.

  8. Congrats on persisting to realize your dream, Jana! Best of luck with Burning Love. Sounds like a great read.

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