by Jennie Marsland
- What genre(s) do you write and what attracts you to that genre?
I write romantic historicals. I’ve always liked history, and I enjoy research. I’m also an incurable romantic, so it’s a good fit.
- What’s your writing strength? What do you think separates you from other authors?
People tell me that my characters are very real and that their emotions ring true. I think that’s the biggest compliment anyone could give me as a writer.
- What’s your writing kryptonite? What is always tough for you to tackle?
I’d say my biggest challenge is causing enough pain for my characters. My most recent books, Shattered and Deliverance, deal with the Halifax Explosion of 1917 and its aftermath, so I had to really put my characters through the ringer, which included the deaths of close family members. I found this especially difficult when it came to my heroes, who had already endured their share of suffering in battle overseas, but it had to be done. Who was it that said ‘no tears in the writer, no tears in the reader’?
- Do you work with critique partners?
I don’t have a critique partner, but I do have a few trusted beta readers who read my final drafts before I send them for editing. I enjoy getting feedback from several readers. If they all mention the same problem, I know it’s a real issue, rather than just one person’s opinion.
- Where are your favourite places to find inspiration for new ideas?
I never know where inspiration will come from. The main character for my first novel came to me out of the blue when I was on a camping trip. The idea for my Halifax Explosion trilogy came from a ghost story a friend told me. She lives in a house that was built on the foundation of a house that was destroyed in the Explosion, and one day she came home from work and saw a man in old-fashioned clothes sitting at her kitchen table. While she was staring at him, he vanished. That story rattled around in my imagination for years before I started writing Shattered.
- What piece of advice has stuck with you most since joining RWAC?
To believe in myself. Rejection happens, disappointment happens. You have to push through it and keep believing you have something to offer.
- Can you tell us what you’re working on now?
I’m working on the final book in my Halifax Explosion trilogy. It’s called Flight, because the hero, Cam Hatcher, is a former RAF pilot, now a barnstormer. The heroine, Georgie O’Neill, is a sister to Alice, the heroine of Shattered, and to Carl, the hero of Deliverance. Georgie’s a product of her times, a free spirited flapper with a lot of reservations about commitment and marriage. Of course, Cam’s just the man to change her mind.
You can find Jennie online here: Jennie Marsland