Jana Richards

Read more about Jana Richards.

Interview By: Tamazon

Date: June 01, 2009

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Hello Jana,

Thanks for joining me today on Night Owl Romance.

Tammie King of NOR: To get us started can you please start by telling us a little about what you are working on or have coming out?

I'm very excited about the novella I've just sold to The Wild Rose Press called "Burning Love". It's a light-hearted romance about firefighter Riley Benson who falls for Iris Jensen, a young woman prone to starting fires. When Iris is evicted after starting her third cooking fire, she lands on Riley's doorstep, looking to rent a room in the old house he's restoring. It's only for six weeks, until she takes a job on a cruise ship and leaves Portland forever. Riley knows firsthand what a rotten tenant Iris can be, but he needs the money to help restore the house he loves. And something about Iris pulls at his heart... Meanwhile in Heaven, two angels watch over the young lovers. Angelica and Hildegard work in Heaven's Relationship Division, matching mortals with their soul mates. They believe so strongly in Riley and Iris's love that they break Heaven's rules to bring them together. Can they convince them their love will last forever before time runs out?

As yet I don't have a release date. I'll keep you posted via my website. Tammie King of NOR: Could you please tell us a little about yourself?

I've had a variety of jobs over the years, but nothing makes me as happy, or challenges me as much as writing does. I live in Western Canada and many of my books are set here. I live with my husband, my two daughters, a couple of goldfish, and Lou, our Pug/Terrier cross.

Tammie King of NOR: If you could be one of the characters from this book - Who would you be? And why?

I'd love to be Angelica. She's one of the angels in "Burning Love" and she's a new arrival in Heaven. Even though she's an angel, she's not perfect. She makes mistakes, she's sometimes disobedient, and she's extremely vain. One of her favorite hobbies is wearing dresses from dearly departed designers, like Coco Chanel and Versace. She never goes anywhere without her nails buffed to a shine and her blonde curls just so. But underneath it all she's got a generous, kind heart.

Tammie King of NOR: Please tell us what you have planned next?

I'm working on a couple of things right now. One is a contemporary romance called "Welcome to Paradise" about a woman who returns to her small hometown after her marriage and business both fail. The other is a work in progress I call "Twice in a Lifetime". An old bitter man is taken back in time to World War II and given a second chance at love. I love this story because who wouldn't want to go back in time and "fix" something they made a mess of in the past?

Tammie King of NOR: What kind of research did you do for this book? Did you enjoy the research process?

For "Twice in a Lifetime" I'm doing research on World War II, particularly the Normandy Invasion of 1944. I'm kind of a WWII buff so I'm enjoying the research. For "Welcome to Paradise" I've done some research on Down syndrome, because the hero's daughter is affected by it. Researching is always interesting and fun.

Tammie King of NOR: What would you like to tell your readers?

I would like readers to know that I love to tell a story in which a man and a woman become better people because they dare to love. My stories are sensual, sometimes with a touch of comedy, or sometimes with a touch of the paranormal.

Tammie King of NOR: Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?

I belong to a critique group in my city, and I also communicate with critique partner via the Internet. I very much value the opinions of my critiquers. They are all wonderful writers themselves, and can really pinpoint areas I need to work on. They always give me good suggestions.

Tammie King of NOR: Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?

Excerpt from "Burning Love":

He'd drown in those eyes if he wasn't careful. For the past week he'd thought about her, worried about her, and had come perilously close to searching for her. Riley liked to be in control. The fact that he had no control where Iris was concerned scared the hell out of him.

He cleared his throat and looked pointedly at his watch. "It's been nice talking to you Iris, but if you'll excuse me I've got a lot of work to do."

He started to shut the door.

"No, wait." Iris stuck her foot in the door, wincing when the heavy wood met her sneaker clad foot. "I need to talk to you about the room you have for rent."

Finally it made sense. He'd placed an ad in the paper offering a room for rent, hoping to bring in a little extra cash to finish renovations. So far he'd had no takers and he was getting a little desperate.

But not that desperate. The idea of living with Iris, her bedroom just across the hall from his, made Riley break out in a cold sweat.

"You're kidding, right? You want me to rent you a room? You caused three fires at your last place. I'd have to be out of my mind to let you anywhere near my house."

"Look, I know I'm not ideal roommate material." She took a step closer, her eyes imploring him. "I just need a place to sleep and store my things for the next six weeks and then I'm leaving Portland."

He couldn't think with Iris so close. Hell, he could barely form a coherent sentence. The light floral scent of her perfume tantalized his senses, intoxicating him. Riley drank in the sight of her, from the bright turquoise scarf holding back her dark hair to the colorful skirt in shades of blue and green that swirled around her ankles. She reminded him of beautiful, exotic gypsy.

A gypsy who could steal his heart without a second thought.

"I don't think so. Goodbye Iris."

He started closing the door again.

"No! Please, listen!"

This time she managed to wedge the plastic cat carrier in the door. Whiskers howled in protest as the door made contact. Buddy's ears stood at attention.

"Iris, I really don't have time for this."

"I don't have any place to go!" Her chin trembled and tears rolled down her cheeks. Riley's heart squeezed painfully at her distress. "Joe Gardiner had me black-listed with every landlord in the city. No one will rent to me. He sued me for the damages. I convinced him to take a cash settlement, but now all my savings are gone and I don't get paid for another week so I can't pay for a hotel room. I'm staying with my friend, but her boyfriend is allergic to Whiskers and wants me out. I'm desperate."

How could he turn her away? At least it was only for six weeks. What could happen in six weeks?

Tammie King of NOR: What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?

Readers can contact me through my website at www.janarichards.net or through my MySpace page at www.myspace.com/jana_richards

Every Monday I blog at http://prairiechickswriteromance.blogspot.com I'd love to have you join me there.

Tammie King of NOR: What was your first published work and when was it published?

My first published work was my romantic comedy "Her Best Man". It was published by www.uncialpress.com in February 2007.

Tammie King of NOR: Do you outline your books or just start writing?

For the most part I outline my books. It's often a pretty rough outline, but it provides a road map and gives me some direction. However, even though I might have an outline, that doesn't stop me from going off in a new direction occassionally if a character takes me there.

Tammie King of NOR: Who is your perfect hero? And why?

I don't think I want a perfect hero. I like people who are flawed, but overcome problems and find love despite these flaws. I like imperfect heroes who learn and grow and become better people. That said, I have to have a hero with great eyes and great abs!

Tammie King of NOR: Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet?

I would love to try my hand at a Regency. I love this time period with its manners and dress. It is a more genteel age that I would love to explore.

Thank you for this opportunity!