Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is very happy to shine our Friday spotlight on women’s romance and fiction author Jean M. Grant. Jean will be at the store on Saturday, December 7th at 1:00 PM to sign her latest book, Will Rise From Ashes. Jean’s background is in science and she draws from her interests in history, nature, and family for inspiration. She writes historical and contemporary romances and women’s fiction. She also writes articles for family-oriented travel magazines. When she’s not writing, she enjoys gardening, hiking, and exploring the outdoors.
I asked Jean where people can find her work (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester –though they should totally check here first!), and this was her response:
How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?
I’m local and you can find me hanging around local libraries and coffee shops, but you can find me online: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Bookbub ~ Amazon Author Page ~ The Wild Rose Press ~ Instagram
What draws you to the particular genre or style that you write? What do you think draws readers to these kinds of books?
I write romance and women’s fiction. I am drawn to romance that delves into deep emotion, whisks us off to dreamy locales, is thick with plots/twists/complicated villains…and ends us with a happy every after. I’ve always loved the middle ages and Scotland. Throw in a paranormal twist and you have my historical romance series. My contemporary romances are real and relatable and steeped in emotional backstory. As for women’s fiction, the focus is on the emotional journey of a woman and doesn’t always have a happy ending…so far, in my case, my books do. I like to end with hope and healing after the character deals with heartache. Readers can relate to the hardships and the hope for a better future.
What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?
My ongoing motto in writing (I’ve spoken about it a library event and write about it on my blog) is the 3 P’s: Patience, Perseverance, and Putting in the Time. Patience: you will not publish overnight. It takes a surplus of patience as you weave through your writing career. Much time is spent waiting. But we keep busy while waiting or else we’d go mad! Perseverance: rejection and setbacks abound. Keep on keepin’ on. Publication is tough, but we don’t know until we try and we don’t learn without failure. Putting in the time: nobody is born an author. It takes time to learn the craft and navigate the industry. I took 19 years and four books before the one (#4) made it to print. Since then, I’ve published 3 more, have another in the queue for next year, and another two in the writing process.
How important has the New England setting been to your writing?
Good question! My first few books are set in historical Scotland, but Will Rise from Ashes starts with a road trip that begins in Maine. Soul of the Storm is set in a fictional town in Vermont, and my current manuscript will be set in a fictional central Massachusetts town. I love writing about New England, but I am also not afraid to step out and write books that take me to places I’ve never visited. I wrote about Scotland long before I got to visit this rugged, resplendent country.
What has been your favorite adventure during your writing career?
Research! Historical or contemporary, I love to dig deep into research. I have visited locales in my books from Scotland (castles, mountains, and winding roads, oh my!), to a real-life recreated viking ship in Mystic, CT, to Yellowstone National Park, to the Mad River Valley (Vermont). I’ve also consulted numerous authenticity readers for accuracy and respectful representation (Search and Rescue canine unit, a Vermont State Police officer, a woman with Maori heritage, Civil Air Patrolman, US Post Office, two people with a disability I’m writing about, myself as a parent to a child with autism, former military, librarian (I am on the board, too), local politician, nurses…the list goes on). When in doubt, I find an expert or somebody with first-hand knowledge). I walked the local cemetery to get name ideas for my newest book. Museums. Websites. Books galore. I love research! Anything to make a story ring true.
Writers very often have furry or feathered or otherwise non-human companions to “help” them through their work. Do you? What do you have? How do they “help” (or, “not-help”) with your writing?
Usually my cat does more to distract than help. But she is a gem. We said a sad goodbye to our beloved 15-year-old cat this summer and welcomed a frisky 1.5-year-old kitty who we adopted from a friend (she had been fostering her). She is a blessing and sweetheart and keeps this full-time at-home writer company. Ironically, her name is Tres (she had three babies)…and I named a cat Tres in one of my books. I had named this book cat before I even knew about the foster cat. Freaky or providential? Either way, she is a sweetpea and a lovely welcome to our busy home. When I get lonely while writing, she is always ready to chat/meow/chirp/squeak, play, and cuddle.
Are there any groups, clubs, or organizations that you would recommend to other writers that have helped you in your career?
Local writers’ groups (critique groups), critique partners, RWA, WFWA, Twitter’s #5amwritersclub and #writingcommunity, Facebook groups, fellow Wild Rose Press authors, and the editors and staff themselves at my publishing house. Though we write alone, we are not alone on this journey. Utilize resources and network. I’ve met many friends along the way.
Thanks for taking the time out of your writing schedule to answer our questions. We will see you at our store on December 7th at 1:00 PM for your book signing!