Today I’ve got Jen Black visiting my blog. Her debut novel ‘Reluctance’ is out this week! This is the first time I’ve interviewed someone. It’s quite exciting actually.
Hello Jen, tell us a bit about yourself
I’ve always lived within forty miles of where I am now in Northumberland. The only continent I haven’t visited is South America – and I’ve no plans to do so! With a degree in English/History and recently retired from library management, I write almost every day – usually historical adventures.
What inspired you to write Reluctance?
There’s a National Trust property called Gibside nearby, and in the seventeen hundreds, a certain George Bowes made immense wealth from the coal trade. Without sons, his daughter inherited everything and made a very unfortunate marriage which scandalised society at the time. I thought I could use the basic thread, and make a very good story out of it. The reasons people married then, as now, are many and varied, and I wanted to explore why a woman might give up her wealth, independence and property to a scoundrel.
Which character did you identify with first, Frances or Jack?
Frances was the character who initially formed in my mind. Well educated, and with an aversion to marital duties after her first marriage, she had absolutely no incentive to marry again. Yet she would. So what was it that changed her mind? That’s what intrigued me.
What’s the best thing about your hero and heroine as a couple? They are first and foremost friends. From that, comes everything else. He, for different reasons, is also against marriage, but I cannot say more without giving away the plot.
What’s your current research obsession?
I’m currently writing about a male protagonist in sixteenth century in France, and swotting over a siege at St-Dizier in 1544.
Reluctance by Jen Black is out on the 6th of April 2012
“It takes courage to love again…
Perhaps marriage is the safest place to hide if you’re afraid of love.”
If there was one thing Frances didn’t want to do, it was marry again. She is perfectly happy with her life as widow and looks forward to spoiling her cousin’s children as they come along. But in England in 1803, an heiress was fair game to fortune-hunters and some were more tiresome than others. When two strangers enter her life, she has no idea that between them, they will change it it forever.
Reluctance is available from http://museituppublishing.com