Sunday, October 31, 2010

❤author: Jillian Hart Interview and Giveaway!

Stephanie: Exciting news...after what seems like weeks of scheduling and planning, I've finally gotten my first author interview on ¡Miraculous! It’s my pleasure to introduce author, to the blog today. Readers, be sure to help me welcome her. Jillian, will you please share a short bio with us?


Jillian: I grew up in western Washington State on a family homestead raising cattle, riding horses, river boating, fishing, hiking, camping, shooting, riding dirt bikes and, of course, reading, reading, reading. I went to college, earned an English degree and was fortunate enough to work in travel and then in advertising before selling my first novel. Since then I have written over sixty books. I love to knit, garden and catch as many movies as I can.


Stephanie: That's a lot of books! Can you tell us about some of them?


Jillian: Right now I am working on a few series. One is called The Granger Family Ranch, which are seven connected stories about the Granger family of Wild Horse, Wyoming. My current release in that series is Autumn's story, entitled His Holiday Bride. The second is my historical Buttons & Bobbins series about a sewing circle of best friends who each find true love. Patchwork Bride is my latest release in this series and it was out this last summer. The McKaslin Clan, series 4, will be resuming, hopefully, next year.
Stephanie: I'm keeping my fingers crossed too, as that's the series I keep up with :) When and why did you begin writing?

Jillian: I was in grade school when I wrote my first story, but I began telling myself stories long before that. My mom caught me when I was two years old in my crib telling myself stories out loud. It's just something that I have to do. : )


Stephanie: What inspired you to write your first book?

Jillian:
I was in fifth grade and for a class assignment wrote a short story about Murphy the Martian who had a green and purple flying saucer and a pesky little brother. I had so much fun I kept writing and that story became chapter one of my book of Murphy's adventures.



Stephanie: Precious! How did you first get published, then?

Jillian:
After six long years of full time writing and rejection, I was fortunate enough to receive a revision letter on one of my manuscripts. I rewrote the story, resubmitted and finally received a call from Harlequin Historicals. I couldn’t believe it at first. It was too good to be true. : )



Stephanie: How much of your actual life gets written into your fictional stories?

Jillian:
It depends. I have a busy imagination, so a lot of my books are born out of that. But I do put in small things, like in His Holiday Heart, Lucy's cat was named Bean. I once had a cat named Bean and I made all kinds of puns to amuse both me and the cat. Like, "Stay out of the dryer, or you will be a baked bean" or "Where have you bean?". The Granger Family Ranch has been full of things from my life. The cows I have known, horses I've loved, values I learned working with cattle and having animals' lives depend on me. Small town nuances and activities and experiences.



Stephanie: What are your biggest motivations for writing?

Jillian:
I love it. I love being carried away by a story. It's just something I love to do.



Stephanie: That's absolutely wonderful to hear! Which books, do you think, have most influenced your life most?

Jillian:
Ooh, so many books. Stories by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Lucy Maud Montgomery, to name a few.



Stephanie: What books are on your nightstand right now?

Jillian:
The first three books in Nora Robert's wedding quartet. I'm waiting for the fourth book to come out next week to start reading book one. I love reading series all in a row.



Stephanie: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing?

Jillian: It's difficult to write honestly about emotion. It's difficult for me to describe emotions and emotional development because it's not a physical thing, and it can be very draining.


Stephanie: The easiest?


Jillian: Pre-work, where I gather all my ideas, add plot and character and see the story develop.


Stephanie: And the most rewarding?


Jillian: Getting to the final page when my hero and heroine are happy in love and I know they will live happily ever after. It's a total "whew" moment.


Stephanie: What’s the most interesting comment you have ever received about your books?

Jillian:
From a reader who used to have a dress when she was young that was just like Meredith’s dress on the cover of Patchwork Bride.



Stephanie: What's next for you?

Jillian:
I'm working on several projects all at once. For my McKaslin Clan series, Brooke's story is in the drafting phase. For Granger Family Ranch, I just finished the rough draft of Addy‘s story. And I start writing the final draft on Ruby's story in my Buttons & Bobbins series Monday.



Stephanie: Where can you be found on the web?

Jillian:
My website is www.jillianhart.net.

Stephanie: Before we conclude this interview, is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?

Jillian:
What kinds of stories are your favorite romances? What kinds of heroes make you melt? What kinds of heroines do you relate best to?

Thanks so much for having me, Stephanie. You are awesome and a fabulous hostess. :)

Stephanie:
And thank you, for being here today, Jillian! Readers, Jillian is kind enough to give away TWO autographed copies of her newest release, His Holiday Bride to two lucky commenters! I also have four Harlequin Ambassador copies of one of her older titles, A McKaslin Homecoming up for grabs, which means we will have SIX winners total! To enter, all you have to do is:

  1. Follow this book blog http://thestephanieloves.blogspot.com. You must be a public follower through Google Friend Connect (or Twitter or Yahoo).
  2. Comment on this post with an answer to Jillian's question. YOU MUST INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN YOUR COMMENT.


That's it. Both things count as one entry. You're entered, my darlings! And then again...
There are additional entries. Woohoo! If you want a higher chance of winning, do any or all of the following:

  1. Go to Jillian's website at www.jillianhart.net and look through her bookshelf. Check some of books from out, and leave another comment on this post, telling me which one you'd most like to read, and why. Remember to make a new comment for this entry in order for it to count! YOU MUST INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN YOUR COMMENT. (2 EXTRA entries!)
  2. Follow me on Twitter @lovestephanieg and leave a separate comment with your Twitter username. YOU MUST INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN YOUR COMMENT. (2 EXTRA entries!)
The more entries, the higher your chance of winning!
All winners will be chosen at random on Sunday, November 7 at 11.59pm EST. Best commenter will win an especially awesome prize (so make your comments for Jillian good!). Winners have three days to claim their prizes. After three days, consolation winners will be chosen. Good luck!

WINNERS: Congrats to Kathy and Jessie who both won signed copies of His Holiday Bride, and congrats to Lauren who won a signed Harlequin Ambassador copy of A McKaslin Homecoming as well! Thanks for entering, ladies!