Monday, November 28, 2011

An Interview With Jana Richards

Jana Richards
What do you find the most difficult about being a writer?

A couple of things. The first is finding the time to write. It’s tough juggling a day job and family and domestic duties, while still trying to make it to the gym. The second is getting readers to know I exist! Before I was published I thought the hard part would be writing the book. I’ve found that the writing is only the beginning.

What is your hero's biggest challenge?

Finn Cooper, my hero in “The Girl Most Likely” faces the challenge of convincing the heroine, Cara McLeod, that he loves her just the way she is. He’s fighting an uphill battle because Cara is sensitive about her weight, and her age. She’s eight years older than Finn and can’t believe a gorgeous younger man like him could be interested in a woman like her, a woman who’s on the other side of forty and not as svelte as she used to be. After all, why would Finn find her attractive when her ex-husband no longer does?

What is your heroine's biggest flaw?

Cara’s greatest flaw is believing that her self-worth is tied to her looks. She has to learn that she’s so much more than a pretty face, and that she’s a fabulous woman even if she’s not a perfect size two.

What prompted you to write this story?

The Wild Rose Press put out a call for submissions for a series in the Last Rose of Summer line called the Class of ’85 . The series centers around the 1985 graduating class of Summerville High School as they prepare for their 25th year reunion. It sounded like a fun series. A high school reunion can be full of drama and angst and nostalgia. I felt the situation was ripe with possibilities!

What is your least favorite genre? Would you ever consider writing it?

I probably couldn’t write inspirational romance since I don’t possess the faith-based background to do one justice.

Who has helped you the most?

Lots of people. I’ve belonged to the Saskatchewan Romance Writers for many years, and without the support of this group I don’t think I would have become an author; I wouldn’t have believed in myself without them. Friends from my critique group (we call ourselves Lovers’ Knot) have provided invaluable critiquing help over the years, not to mention good friendship. And my friend and critique partner Janet Corcoran has helped me navigate my way through edits on more than one occasion. Thanks Janet!

Do you have a favorite theme? Eg: love conquers all; good vs evil; How do you use it?

I often find myself writing about trust, usually regaining lost trust. Sometimes my hero and heroine must learn to trust each other, but often they must learn to trust themselves first, to believe in themselves.

What have you learned about yourself from your writing?

I’ve learned that I’m more determined than I ever thought I was. I’ve learned that aside from my family and my health, writing is the most important thing to me. I’ve learned that when deadlines loom and things look tough, I can buckle down and get the job done. I’ve also learned to trust my own judgment when it comes to my writing.

Why will your reader think your book is different?

For a start, my heroine is older than my hero, a situation that’s not used too often in romance novels. Though I love stories about outsiders in high school who return for their reunion as winners, Cara’s story is the reverse. In high school she was one the popular girls. But now life has thrown her some curves. She’s afraid that her former classmates will either feel pity for her because she’s lost her perfect marriage, her perfect figure and her perfect life, or they’ll be happy to see her get her comeuppance in life.

As well, Finn has some secrets that make him an atypical romance hero. But those secrets make him the perfect match for Cara. That’s all I can say about him without giving too much away!

Buy link: “The Girl Most Likely” will be released on November 30, 2011 as part of the Class of ’85 series. To check out other titles in the series, click here.

Blurb: Cara McLeod, the girl most likely to have the perfect marriage, is now divorced and, in her own words, “fat, frumpy, and over forty.” The thought of facing former classmates—and the ex-husband who dumped her—at her high school reunion terrifies her. Cajoled into attending by her kids and her best friend, Cara enlists help at the gym to lose weight and look great for the reunion. Personal Trainer Finn Cooper is more than willing to help—but does he have to be so to-die-for gorgeous?

Finn thinks Cara is perfect just the way she is. She’s everything he wants in a woman, except for one thing—she can’t get past the fact that he's eight years younger. To Finn, age and weight are just numbers. But can he convince Cara the numbers she worries about add up to only one thing for him—love?


He chuckled. “Jessica better watch her back. You could give her a run for her money.”

He heard Cara’s throaty laugh, and various parts of his anatomy tingled in response. “Yes, that’s my evil plan. Take over Rochester Noon, then the world.”

“If you set your mind to it, I’m sure you could do it.”

“Thanks Finn.”

“For what?”

“For believing in me.”

“Are you going to be okay now?”

“Yes, I’m fine. Thanks to you.”

He wanted so badly to tell her he loved her, adored her, thought she was the most amazing woman in the world. But fear stopped him. Was she truly over her ex-husband? Why else would losing weight for the reunion be so important to her if not to impress Peter?

“I’ve got to run. Thanks again. I’ll talk to you later at my condo, right?”

“Absolutely. I can hardly wait to hear about your big TV debut. Break a leg. Isn’t that what they say in show biz?”

She laughed. “Yeah, that’s what they say. Bye.”

Finn replaced the receiver and closed his eyes. He hoped everything went well with this interview. Cara deserved to realize how amazing she was.

If she did come to that realization, would there still be room in her life for him?

Jana Richards


Laura Breck said...

Hi Jana, thank you for being our guest today. Great excerpt, and what a fun interview (questions provided by our own Barbara Edwards) Sounds like you truly enjoy being an author.

Jannine Gallant said...

Thanks for visiting with us today, Jana. I can honestly say I've read every book in the Class of '85 series (having written 3 of them) and it is a terrific series. Can't wait to read yours!

Brenda Whiteside said...

Hi Jana. Nice interview. The book sounds like fun.

Jana Richards said...

Thank you for having me on the Roses of Prose. This is a great blog and you should be very proud of it.

Jannine, I haven't made it through all the titles yet in the Class of 85 series. I plan to give myself a little Christmas gift of the remaining books. And may I say, I am in awe of you writing three novellas for this series. Very impressive!

Brenda, I hope readers find "The Girl Most Likely" a lot of fun. I tried to give readers a few tears and a few laughs, and with any luck, an entertaining read.


Nancy Jardine Author said...

This sounds like a series I have to find time to read. Great interview questions, ladies. Glad I popped in.

Lynne Marshall said...

I love this premise, Jana. Trust and self-worth a big issues for a lot of us, so I think you've hit on a good theme.

Thank heavens for mentors! So glad you found Janet. :)

BTW, I read your WWII Blue Diamond book and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Barbara Edwards said...

Hi Jana,
Looking forward to reading your new release. Glad you're our guest,

Jana Richards said...

Nancy, I don't think you'll be disappointed by the Class of '85 series. The stories are really great. I hope you find time to read them!

Lynne, self-worth is a big issue for my character Cara in "The Girl Most Likely". She has to learn to separate her worth as a person from the size of her body. The two are not related. Thanks a lot for mentioning my Jewels of the Night book, "Flawless". I'm so pleased you enjoyed it.

Barbara, thank you for having me here today. And thanks for the great interview questions!


Karyn Good said...

Hi Jana. I think trust issues are favorites of mine, too! Can't wait to read your latest offering, The Girl Most Likely!

Jana Richards said...

Thanks Karyn! I'm really looking forward to the release of your romantic suspense, "Backlash", too. Release days are so exciting!


Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Jana,
Thanks for paying us a visit. I certainly like the idea of an older heroine and a younger man. An author can certainly get plenty of mileage out of that scenario.



Jana Richards said...

Hi Margaret,
Yes, an older heroine/younger hero story brings up several scenerios. My heroine is already suffering from lack of confidence. She can't help wondering how long she will maintain Finn's interest. She has to learn to trust him, and their love.

Thanks for stopping by,

Liz Flaherty said...

Love the excerpt, Jana. Enjoy your tour!

Margo Hoornstra said...


Sounds like a great story. Can't wait to read it. As a fellow Class of '85 author (I was lucky like Jannine to contribute three) welcome to the party!

I really enjoyed reading your answer to what you've learned. What an inspiration. Way to grow!

P.L. Parker said...

Great post Jana. Great concept for your book and original. Not many heroines older than the hero but sounds like you've made it work --and well!

Jana Richards said...

Thanks Liz! The tour's a whirlwind but it's great talking to readers and writers.

Have a great day!

Jana Richards said...

Hi Margo,
You and Jannine are amazing! Three stories to the series is awesome.

Writing has taught me a lot about perserverence and determination. Now if I could only use those lessons to lose weight!


Jana Richards said...

Hi Patsy,
I noticed that there weren't a lot of older heroine/younger hero stories out there (with a few notable exceptions of course) and I thought it would be an interesting subject to explore. I'm very pleased with the way "The Girl Most Likely" turned out.

Thanks so much for dropping by.