Whenever people find out I write romance novels the first question they ask is ‘Have you always wanted to write?’

I never know how to answer that query. Because, honestly, until five years ago I had no interest or desire to write - to read - definitely, but to actually pen a manuscript - no way.

My day job is implementing computer finance systems.

I’ve always enjoyed my work and still do. I like the fact that it’s either win or lose. Either the system works or it doesn’t. No nebulosity, nothing intangible there. I hate gray areas, relish black and white definitions of what’s wrong or right.

But I’ve always loved to read favoring the classics of course. I read my share of Mills and Boons in high school (at an all-girl convent high school what else was there to do?), but I hadn’t picked up a romance novel in years.

In 2005, we receive an invitation to a wedding in Wales, which we declined. Two days before the wedding my DH decided for business reasons he had to make an appearance.

You may have guessed by now that I like things in place. I organize my todo lists ( I know, why bother?) So this threw me for a loop.

The DH always throws me off-kilter. I think he lives for the horrified expression on my face every time he drops a bombshell.

Think about it; different voltage, last minute presents (sure to be too expensive because everyone else got the moderate stuff on the list), not to mention a dress that won’t show off every single one of those fifteen pounds added by each child.

We arrive at the airport and I don’t have a book to read on a ten-hour trans-Atlantic flight.

Not going to work.

We’re late, the flight’s boarding, and I grab the first book I find, pay for it, and board.

It’s Christina Dodd’s Once a Knight.

I’m still reading when they wheel the breakfast cart in, so totally enthralled I almost forget to wake the DH (snored through the whole affair - cute little puffy sounds) for food.

When we get to Clearwell Castle, the site of the wedding, I am enchanted. I’m still living in the past, in the medieval days of chivalry and honor that Christina painted so perfectly.

The wedding is amazing; the castle, built in 1735, is magical. Picture sunny weather in the UK (!!!!), croquet on the terrace, an arched chapel, a string quartet playing classical music, bubbly flowing, canapés to die for, the most perfect setting for a marriage ceremony in the world.

For three days we explore the area and immerse ourselves in history, and then we return to London to journey back to Florida.

The plane’s accelerating down the runaway, I turn from the window to face the DH and say, “I’m going to write a romance novel.”

He frowns, cocks his head to one side, and asks, “How much champagne did you have?”

So do I know why I decided to write a book? Not a clue to this day!

Yet I've published seven books with two more scheduled to be released this year, and I have at least five more in the works.

Go figure.

Cheers,

Jianne

9 comments

  1. Scarlet Pumpernickel // July 14, 2010 at 9:22 AM  

    Jianne, for me it started this way. I'd read romance since I'd found Jane Austin in the school library in fifth grade, but years later a friend handed me a book at work and said, "You've got to read this!" The book was Shanna, by Kathleen Woodiwiss and the rest as they say is history. I finished the book took a deep breath, sighed and said, "I want to do this." I've been writing ever since. It is just something I have to do.

  2. Judy // July 14, 2010 at 10:25 AM  

    I guess I didn't have any one defining moment. I've always read and enjoyed writing and had a million stories in my head. I can't seem to sit in an airport without studying others and developing a story about them - who they are, where they're going and why. The work of all this is producing better and better writing and learning the business of writing. The idea of stopping does not exist for me. I've had enough small successes to keep me going, waiting for the first big novel. Hopefully that will come soon!

  3. Jianne Carlo // July 14, 2010 at 1:43 PM  

    It's funny, but the common thread in both your comments is the fact that you both couldn't stop if you wanted to. I find that too.

    It's compulsive the business of writing.

    Wow Scarlet - 5th grade. That's so wonderful to have found a passion so young.

    And Judy I know what you mean about airports. I always played that makeup game with my dh when we travel together. Who is she? Where's she from? Why is she so pissed?

    Airports are fascinating for people watching - malls too.

    Thanks for your comments guys,

    Jianne

  4. Autumn Jordon // July 14, 2010 at 4:11 PM  

    What a great story. I would've loved to seen your DH's face when you told him.

    I'm one of those who always wanted to write and did, but not for publication for many years. I too can't imagine ever putting down the pen.

  5. Mary Marvella // July 14, 2010 at 6:54 PM  

    Hey, Jianne. I started telling stories to the other kids before I started school. I was a real ham!
    By second grade I was addicted to reading. College slowed my reading and teaching and being a mom and wife stole my reading time.

    When I retired I decided to write stories, since I had relished classes that allowed me to write fiction.

    I want people to read my stories since I can't sit them down and make them listen anymore.

    I have 8 completed novels, none sold, though.
    Good topiec, girl!

  6. Mary Ricksen // July 14, 2010 at 9:54 PM  

    You were meant to be an author.
    Cute little puffy sounds still cute?
    I am so out of date with your books! You have that many in the works!!
    Amazing Jianne, AMAZING, with your job and hours and all the company that stays with you, how the heck did you have the time?
    You must have a maid, housekeeper, cook? Something?
    If you don't you should!!!
    I am so proud of you my friend!

  7. Beth Trissel // July 15, 2010 at 9:13 AM  

    I've written since elementary school, I just advanced in my writing. :)

  8. Jianne Carlo // July 15, 2010 at 2:15 PM  

    Sorry everyone - the day job spiraled out of control yesterday late afternoon.

    Mary, I remember all your marvelous (pun intended) tales at RT last year. You had us enthralled. You should be the American equivalent of a skald.

    Wow Beth to have written since elementary school. That's awesome.

    Autumn - after that inauspicious beginning, the DH is now my biggest fan.-:)

    Mare, you'll be happy to know I'm working on Dragor, though it will take at least until the end of the year to finish. Right now I'm working on Lucifer's Choice, the second in the Hades Squad series.

    Thanks everyone for contributing,

    Jianne

  9. Joanne // July 15, 2010 at 8:34 PM  

    What an interesting story, Jianne. So Christina Dodd was an inspiration? With her beautiful writing, I'm not surprised. And congrats on your continued success.