Saturday, July 23, 2016

Author Jean C Gordon talks writing and farm life!

I am so happy to be interviewing long time friend and RWA chapter mate Jean C Gordon! Jean will be giving away 2 print copies (USA only) of The Bachelor's Sweetheart. So be sure to leave a comment in the comments section below to be considered. And we need a valid email so we can notify the winners!

For Amazon Bestselling inspirational and sweet romance author Jean C. Gordon, writing is a natural extension of her love of reading. From that day in first grade when she realized t-h-e was the word “the,” she’s been reading everything she can put her hands on. She and her college-sweetheart husband tried the city life in Los Angeles, but quickly returned home to their native small-town Upstate New York, where she sets her books.

A founding member of the Capital Region Romance Writers (Albany, NY), Jean currently serves as membership chair. She’s also a member of the Romance Writers of America and its Faith, Hope and Love Chapter, the American Christian Fiction Writers, and Novelists, Inc.

Jean is currently working on a new series for Harlequin Love Inspired and looking forward to the release of her first single title romance, Mending the Motocross Champion, in October.

Tracey: Jean I know you and I use the same setting for our books. The beautiful Adirondack Mountain region of upstate New York. Can you tell us a little about why you choose this area for your setting?
Jean: I’m a “rabid” Upstate New Yorker. I’ve set all but one of my books in Upstate NY. I chose the Adirondacks for my Love Inspired books because, as you noted, it’s such a beautiful area, and its tiny towns and community cohesiveness fit my stories. Also, the Adirondacks are close enough for weekend trips for research.

Tracey: You live in a 170-year-old farmhouse with a 112-acre backyard! What’s the best and worst part about living on a small farm? Are there any anecdotes you’d like to share with us?
Jean: The worst part is that we don’t have municipal services. So if there’s a problem with the well or septic, it’s 100% our problem to resolve. The best part is all the beautiful land. We don’t have to go anywhere for a scenic walk. We can hike down to the Hudson River on the electric company right of way that runs down the border of our property. We can have livestock. Currently, I have chickens, and my son-in-law has Guinea fowl. Our families share the house. In the past, we’ve had goats, and my son-in-law used to raise pastured pigs commercially, which leads into an anecdote.

One January when my daughter and son-in-law and their family were in Florida visiting her father-in-law, I came home from work to three pair of eyes shining in the dark moving up the driveway toward my car. It was 500+-pound Bennie and two of his dainty 300-pound sows. The three of them had broken a gate and gotten out. I immediately called the number of nearby farmer that my son-in-law had given me if we had any problems. He wasn’t home. He also delivered fuel oil part-time and was out on a delivery. But his wife said she’d be over. She arrived about the same my husband got home from work. I filled a bucket with feed and worked at luring the trio back into the fenced area while my husband and our friend herded them through the snow from behind. Once they were in, my husband held the gate while our friend and I scrambled for tools and materials for a temporary fix. We fixed it by flashlight and our fix held until my son-in-law returned from vacation.

Tracey: Tell us about those Donnelly Brothers.
Jean: Jared is the oldest “bad-boy” brother and the hero of Winning the Teacher’s Heart. He’s a retired world-champion motocross racer who now runs a nonprofit racing school for underprivileged kids. Connor from Holiday Homecoming is the youngest. He’s pastor of Hazardtown Community Church on Paradox Lake, his dream job. And Josh, hero of The Bachelor’s Sweetheart, is the middle brother in oh so many ways. At the beginning of the book, he’s all about making money and getting out of Paradox Lake. He thinks his brothers are crazy for coming back to settle there. The brothers grew up with an alcoholic father who was essentially the Paradox Lake town drunk, which gave me lots of fodder for internal and external conflict in the stories. (She rubs her hands.)

Tracey: Briefly describe your writing day.
Jean: On a perfect Monday-through-Thursday writing day, I get up with my husband at 6:30. I do email, Facebook, and other non-writing writer tasks until 8:30. I may throw in a load of wash or do some other fast house thing. Then I dress and exercise and try to be at my computer to write by nine. I generally write in hour-long chunks, with 15-minute breaks. I take lunch from 1 to 2 pm, as I did at my former day job, and go back and write until 3:30 or 4. On Fridays, I write mornings and try to schedule any errands and appointments for the afternoon. I don’t always achieve perfection.

Tracey: Why did you decide to write romance?
Jean: I started reading romance when I was in my 30s and fell in love with the happily ever after, feel-good aspect of the genre. For a time, I did romance reviews for the now-defunct Paperback Trader. One day, it struck me that since I was already a professional writer (tax and financial articles), I should take a stab at writing a romance novel. I did, and I was hooked.

Tracey: How does your faith play into your storylines?
Jean: My faith is an important part of my daily life, as it is for book characters. In my Love Inspired books, faith is a strong, integral part of the story. As soon as I “meet” my characters, I know what their faith journey is going to be. In my sweet romances, the characters share my values. They may or may not attend church or church activities in the story, and they don’t have a faith journey.

Tracey: What’s next for Jean C Gordon?
Jean: I’m very excited to be launching a new sweet romance series in October to complement my Love Inspired romances. The series is Team Macachek: The strong women and fearless men of the motocross circuit. The first book is Mending the Motocross Champion, a single title light inspirational/sweet romance. It’s my “book of the heart.” I wrote the first version of it back in the early 2000s. The second in the series is a Christmas novella that will be included in a boxed set with several other sweet romance authors.
On the Love Inspired front, my third Donnelly Brothers book released July 19, and the manuscript for my next book, which I’m calling Reclaiming His Family, is due to my Love Inspired editor on Monday. I have another connected book contracted. No publication dates for either yet.

The Bachelor’s Sweetheart backcover
Falling for the Bachelor 
Tessa Hamilton never imagined the hardest part of having her best friend help renovate her small-town movie theater would be keeping her heart safe. She can't fall for a man who has no interest in a serious relationship with any woman…and who doesn't know the secret she hides. Besides, Josh Donnelly is too eager to leave Paradox Lake—especially when his estranged father returns. Tessa struggles with the turmoil, but as she falls deeper for the bachelor, she knows she must be honest if there's any chance for them. But will telling Josh put everything at risk—including their friendship?
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Joanne Todd said...

Your newest book sounds really good, Jean. Besides seeing how the most independent brother finally falls truly in love, I'm anxious to see how the visit will go, of the former town drunk/father of the three Donnelly brothers!

Hannah Rowan said...

We recently visited the Adirondacks and I can see why you'd chose that setting for the small-town appeal. It was a very relaxing place to spend a few days.

Unknown said...

Hi! It's a pleasure to read about another 'rabid upstate
new-yorker! I'm one of those as well. Most of my books are located in upstate NY, especially the Finger Lakes region! Thanks for joining us on The Diamond Mine!

TraceyLyons said...

Nancy can you leave your email address so Jean can contact you? thanks so much!