Good morning Kittens! Today starts our Authors for the Holidays event! Welcome!
We've got a wonderful debut author with us today, Jennifer Delamere. Her book An Heiress at Heart totally won me over [check out the review & grand prize giveaway here]. She also happens to be one of my local to me in NC authors. Very cool, right? Anywho. Please give her a warm welcome, check out our little chat and don't forget to enter for some signed SWAG & books down at the bottom! :)
Good morning Jennifer! Thanks so much for joining us today and helping kick off "Authors for the Holiday"!
Thank you so much for having me! I’m excited to be here today.
I just finished reading An Heiress at Heart and absolutely loved it. The storyline was so unique and really caught my attention right away. Could you tell us a little about the book and what inspired it?
I’m so glad you enjoyed the book! I’ve always been drawn to stories of people who pretend to be someone else in order to leave behind a troubled life for what they perceive as a better one. Dramas like The Return of Martin Guerre and Somersby and romantic comedies like While You Were Sleeping and Monte Carlo have this theme. (I loved the tagline for Monte Carlo: “She’s having the time of someone else’s life.”) I’m intrigued by these stories because of the lovely irony that in the end, each character actually discovers their true self and their sense of purpose. They end up improving the lives of those they’ve met.
Do you remember that show Pop Up Video? I *loved* all those fun behind the scenes facts. Could you share 4 things about the book you think readers would get a kick out of knowing?
(1) I had originally planned to set the book in contemporary New York City, but decided it would work better as a historical.
(2) Lizzie’s back story was partially inspired by a small subplot in Charles Dickens’ novel David Copperfield.
(3) Lizzie and Geoffrey’s visit to the whispering gallery in the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London was inspired by my own visit there in 2010.
(4) James Simpson, the lovable rogue who always has a lighthearted quip, is a blend of someone I was very fond of in high school and also the characters of Jack and Algernon in Oscar Wilde’s play The Importance of Being Earnest.
I think that’s the wish of most avid readers! Books allow us to live any number of lives and go to places and times we could never reach in reality.Your secondary characters were just delightful. From Grandmama and cousin James (adored him!) to the awkward Miss Lucinda. Any chance we'll be seeing more of them in the future?
Yes, indeed! James and Lucinda will each have their chance to shine, and I think readers will be pleased. Lucinda was a character that especially took me by surprise. I had intended for her to have a “walk-on” part, but she had other plans! I discovered, as her hero one day will, that there is more to her than meets the eye. I knew she had to have her own book.
My husband and I went out to dinner at my favorite French bistro. It was the same place that we had gone to about a year before, on the day I had been laid off from my day job. At that time we had determined that rather than mourn the job loss, we would celebrate my “promotion” to full-time writer. Once I sold the book, it seemed appropriate to go back there to celebrate the new milestone!
My primary desire has always been to take my readers on an enjoyable journey. If they feel they’ve been entertained and uplifted by my books, then I’ve done my job as a writer.
I have a favorite leather chair in my living room for writing. I settle in with my laptop and a cup of coffee (and, for the tough scenes, plenty of dark chocolate!).
Mmmm. Chocolate is always good! Since we're right in the middle of holiday season...Do you have anything fun or exciting planned? A favorite tradition you're looking forward to?
My own personal tradition is to listen to the unabridged recording of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, read by Jim Dale. It’s only about three hours long, and it always puts me in the holiday mood. I think it’s better than any movie adaptation. This is also the time of year when my husband and I start getting excited about our next ski trip. We try to go out west every February or March.
Oh that sounds really nice! Hope yall have a great trip :) Now before we let you go how about a little lightning round?
- Go-to favorite comfort food? Cheddar cheese on Triscuit crackers (preferably accompanied by a glass of wine)
- "Best" cooking disaster? A crockpot onion soup. One of the few recipes I’ve tried that was unsalvageable.
- Cats!!! or dogs? I’ll allow my black cat Scout to answer that question... *score 1 for the kittehs! yay!*
- Strangest thing in your purse right now? Ticket stub from the movie The Globe on Film: Doctor Faustus
- Cookies or cupcakes? Cookies—especially my mom’s recipe for white chocolate macadamia nut cookies!
- City girl or country girl? Touch of country in the city...
- Favorite lawn ornament? Since I love travel so much, I guess I’ll have to go with the roaming gnome. You never know where he’ll turn up!
LOL. That is an AWESOME lawn ornament! Thanks again for dropping in Jennifer! It was lovely chatting with you! Hope yall have a great Christmas and New Year!
The youngest child of a Navy pilot and a journalist, Jennifer acquired a love of adventure and an excitement for learning that continues to this day. She’s lived in three countries and traveled through the U.S. An avid reader of classics and historical fiction, she also enjoys biographies and histories, which she mines for the vivid details to bring to life the characters and places in her books. She resides with her husband in North Carolina.