I discovered Jennifer Joy’s work a couple of months ago with Earning Darcy’s Trust and I couldn’t stop reading it from the moment I started. I remember staying up until 3h in the morning on a working night just to finish it, which meant looking like a zombie at the office the following day, but it was worth it.
After that book, I discovered that Jennifer Joy was working on a trilogy called the Cousin Series.
It started with Darcy’s Ultimatum, which I have also devoured, continued with Anne’s Adversity, and last week she published the latest of the series: Col. Fitzwilliam’s Challenge.
With the release of the latest book from The Cousins Series, I thought it would be interesting to know more about the it, so today, I’m having Jennifer Joy as my special guest at From Pemberley to Milton with an interview plus giveaway to all our readers 🙂
When and how did you discover JAFF?
I’ve enjoyed Jane Austen’s novels since I was old enough to appreciate her sarcasm and wit. My first experience with JAFF was in 2007 when my mom recommended a book to me. It was Amanda Grange’s novel, Mr. Darcy’s Diary and it opened up a whole world of story variations to me. Thank you, Mom!
What inspired you to start writing?
I remember the day my grandma bought me my first real journal. She wrote in the front of it that it was for me to write all of my stories in. I think I was about 9 years old at the time and I have since lost count of how many journals I have written through. As the content became less factual and more entertaining, it soon became evident that I needed to do more than just journal. With the encouragement of my mom and husband, I outlined my first series!
Why write JAFF and not another type of literature?
It’s what I enjoy reading. Jane Austen wrote characters with depth and flaws— people we can relate to. It’s a true testament to the genius of her work that they have stood the test of time so well and with so many readers wanting more.
I find your writing exquisite, so I would personally like to know how is your writing process. When and where do you write? Do you still use pen and paper or do you write on the computer?
Each novel has been different because I wanted to try every writing method out there before settling on what works best for me and my family. Here’s what works: I wake up early and get half a chapter done before I wake the kids up for school. Then, I write what needs to happen next while it’s still fresh in my mind. Then, after taking care of our normal morning activities, I steal away for long enough to finish my chapter.
All my notes and outlines are done on paper. After years of writing freeform, it’s what is the most comfortable for me. But I’m much quicker on the keyboard, so the fun stuff happens on my desktop with a timer (to keep the fingers flying) and my favorite writing music. (Right now, it’s the SimCity soundtrack).
What are your biggest challenges as a writer?
My biggest challenge is stopping. It’s a thrill spending time with my favorite characters and spinning some mischief for them, but I have a family. I want to experience things with them, help the kids with their homework, build and fly paper airplanes with my son, mix paint and color with my daughter, go on dates with my husband, keep the house presentable… you know, live life!
What gives you more joy in this activity?
I’m in love with the whole process. Writing, in itself, is enough for me. However, hearing from people who are entertained by my stories through reviews, social media, and email sends my spirits soaring.
How did you conceive the idea for the cousin’s series?
It started with the title. It hit me in the middle of the night (yep, it woke me up) and I scribbled it down so I’d remember it the next morning. Then, I obsessed for days about an event which would change the lives of all three characters (Darcy, Anne, and Colonel Fitzwilliam). My husband and I were waiting for our kids to finish their swimming lessons and I was musing out loud (obsessing, really, but musing sounds much more creative and artsy) about this pivotal event when the letter came to me. I started writing my outline on a grocery receipt in the car then and there. 5 months later, we released Darcy’s Ultimatum.
You mentioned a letter that appears in Darcy’s Ultimatum and is also important in Anne’s Adversity, but is it also relevant to Col. Fitzwilliam’s Challenge?
I wrote each of the three books in The Cousins series as stand-alone novels. Only Darcy had to suffer curiosity about the letter because I couldn’t reveal the contents of it until Anne’s story. (He had his hands full anyway, so he didn’t mind.) However, circumstances reveal the mystery to Colonel Fitzwilliam in book 3, so readers won’t miss out if they haven’t read Anne’s Adversity. (Richard is the curious type and I didn’t have it in me to leave him hanging.)
What can you tell us about Col. Fitzwilliam’s Challenge?
It’s my favorite. The colonel finds love where he least expects it and he learns the hard way that his instincts are not as trustworthy as he believes them to be. Leaving behind his sturdy, reliable routine, he must deal with spies, smugglers, and traitors only to find that his path to love and his lifelong ambition are on a collision course and he must choose between the two.
What message would you like to give to your readers?
Keep your love for the written word alive! Read for the pure joy and entertainment of it… well, that, and for the improvement of our minds through extensive reading. Mr. Darcy knows what he’s talking about!
It’s giveaway time!!!
Jennifer Joy was kind enough to bring to From Pemberley to Milton one paperback and one e-book of Col. Fitzwilliam’s Challenge to offer to her readers across the globe.
The giveaway is international and to participate all you have to do is place your own questions to Jennifer or just share your kind words and love with her. Leave a question or comment on this post, and if you want to double your chances of winning, you can also comment on the review for Col. Fitzwilliam’s Challenge that From Pemberley to Milton will post on the 14th of December.
The giveaway is open until the 16th of December and the lucky winners will be randomly picked and announced on the 17th.
Good luck everyone, and I hope you enjoyed the interview!!! If there is any question I forgot to ask but that you wish to know the answer, be my guest, send it over. I’m sure Jennifer will gladly answer you 🙂