Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Welcome to Regency Author - Jenni Fletcher

I’m delighted to welcome Regency author Jenni Fletcher to my blog.

Jenni Fletcher - Author

Hello Jenni – Like you, I’m a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and it was through the RNA that I’ve been able to connect with so many amazing authors – such as you.
But before we discover more about your latest release, An Unconventional Countess, here are a few questions which will hopefully give your readers an insight into some of the things that matter to you.

Arabella: How did you manage to get your first Regency novel published and what did you learn from the experience?
Jenni: This is my ninth book, but my very first Regency. I was a little intimidated by the time-period because it's so popular, but then I had an idea for a series set in a biscuit-shop and I just really wanted to write it! Fortunately, my editor liked the idea, too, so it became 'Regency Belles of Bath - From Shopkeepers to Cinderella Brides'. I'm not sure how many books there'll be yet - probably four or five - but I've almost finished the second.

Arabella: If you could choose, which would it be: A stroll in the woods, a walk along a beachfront to dip your toes in the sea, or a day shopping for clothes?
Jenni: A walk along the beach. I don't care if it's sunny or not. I just love being by the sea. Not in it though - I really don't like being underwater!

Arabella: Who or what inspired you to write your latest Regency release, An Unconventional Countess?
Jenni: So many writers inspire me. Jane Austen is obviously the greatest of all, but I also really love Mary Balogh (especially the Bedwyns and most especially 'Slightly Dangerous') and Julia Quinn. I only recently read the Bridgertons and they're addictive!

Arabella: Learning the special symbolism of flowers became a popular pastime in the 1800’s.
A Pink Rose symbolises: grace, happiness and gentleness, and a Forget-Me-Not symbolises: true love memories. Do you have a favourite flower, and does it hold a special symbolic meaning or sentiment for you personally?
Jenni: I live in Yorkshire so I'd have to say a white rose. The one time I wore a red rose was to my grandfather's funeral because he was from Lancashire. We used to tease each other about the rivalry so it seemed fitting. I also really love bluebells. I like that they're a woodland flower and that they come at such a nice time of year.

A Carpet of Bluebells
Arabella: Some authors write at first light, others need a gallop across the fields or a glass of Madeira before putting pen to paper. When writing, are there any “essentials” you need to help the words flow?
Jenni: I'm an early morning person, but more of a work-in-bed-with-coffee-writer than a galloper. I'm not much use in the afternoons so I tend to do all of my non-writing jobs then. I tend to perk up again after 5pm, but I usually have my best ideas in the middle of the night.
Arabella: You’re halfway through the work-in-progress, you’re about to kill off the hero and there is going to be no happy-ever-after. In other words, you’re stuck! If you had to contact an “author/publisher/editor friend” for guidance, who would it be?
Jenni: I have a wonderful editor, Linda, who's also incredibly patient, so I'd probably ask her and try not to cry. She always offers great suggestions and she's the kindest critic I've ever met. I'd go for a long walk first though. That always helps to clear my thoughts.

Arabella: Your next Regency WIP (work in progress) is on schedule, and it’s time to take a break and relax. Which Jane Austen adaptation would you choose to watch (again ) ?
1) Persuasion
2) Pride and Prejudice
3) Northanger Abbey
4) Mansfield Park
Jenni: Persuasion - the Amanda Root/Ciaran Hinds version. It's one of my favourite films, but this is a very cruel choice. I'd happily watch all of them, even though my family object to my 'cravat programmes'.

Arabella: In Georgette Heyer's "Frederica", when Alverstoke is contemplating the merits of Miss Frederica Merrivale, his thoughts turn to her two brothers. Alverstoke believed he had allowed himself to yield to the blandishments of Felix (detestable imp!); then Jessamy had got himself into a scrape (tiresome young chub!), and as for Frederica, she had been as cross as crabs, and was a top-lofty little pea-goose.
What endearing nick-names or slang expressions have you used, (if any), for your characters in your Regency novels?
Jenni: Nothing as good as those! My heroine Annabelle Fortini has a biscuit shop (and a type of biscuit) named after her - Belles - but she prefers to be called Anna on principle. My hero's friend also refers to her as a termagant, but lofty pea-goose would have been better!

Arabella: Do you have any great writing, publishing, or marketing tips you’d like to share to “want-to-be” historical authors starting out on their writing journey?
Jenni: Just get writing. I used to spend way too much time trying to get the beginning of a story right in the hope that the rest would somehow appear by itself. Now I try to write a full draft (which is usually awful) and then revise. I think the pacing works itself out that way, but to be honest, I think everyone finds their own way. It's just trial and error. You need to find out what works best for you!

Thank you for joining us on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat, Jenni.
'Cravat programmes' – that’s a new one on me. J  And I have to agree that a woodland full of bluebells is a lovely sight.
Best wishes for your latest release - An Unconventional Countess
Arabella Sheen

About Jenni Fletcher

Jenni Fletcher - Author

Jenni Fletcher is Scottish by birth and now lives in Yorkshire where she writes historical romance novels for Mills & Boon. She has a PhD in English and teaches creative writing when she's not running around after her family. She has been nominated for four RoNA Awards and her ninth book is out now.

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Book Blurb:   An Unconventional Countess

From shopkeeper - To earl's wife!

Part of Regency Belles of Bath. Two things are certain: Annabelle Fortini makes the best biscuits in Bath and Samuel Delaney, the charming bachelor who's just entered her shop, is trouble! Her mother's unfair exile from society has taught Anna aristocrats can't be trusted. Samuel may be a famous naval hero and reluctant heir to an earldom, but Anna can't fall in love with him! Unless she can overcome her pride and surrender to her heart!


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