Thank you to Romancing the Book for having me as a guest!
Imagine two convicts meeting on their parole officer’s doorstep. She’s on parole for accessory to murder. He’s on parole for aggravated robbery. As they pass each other for their weekly appointments, an attraction sparks. They both know what it’s like to struggle to find jobs, to adjust to life on the outside, to strive to recapture their dignity…and soon, romance blossoms in the unlikeliest place.
How in the heck did the author come up with that story?
It all started with my slobbering love affair with the TV show Prison Break. Maybe prison stories fascinate me because I’m a goody two-shoes who always follows the rules, or because I’m a control freak who can’t imagine my freedom stripped away…or most likely because the actor Wentworth Miller is the hottest damn man I’ve ever seen. Wentworth plays Prison Break’s hero Michael Scofield with integrity, intelligence, and vulnerability, inspiring me to write the character Grant Madsen (the hero of The Conduct Series).
As for creating the heroine Sophie Taylor, I followed the advice to “write what you know” and made her a psychologist like me. But unlike me, she breaches all professional ethics by sleeping with her client. That act alone wouldn’t cause a psychologist to go to prison, so I had to up the ante by bringing in a criminal element to the story.
Time for some Mafia action! I love movies like The Godfather, and scenes of psychologists doing therapy with Mafiosis like in The Sopranos and The Departed, so I made Grant’s relatives a powerful Mafia family in Chicago (my favorite city).
Unbeknownst to Sophie, the client she slept with is a Mafia capo…perhaps from Grant’s family? Here comes some conflict!
Themes of redemption and healing drive my stories. I get to witness the incredible power of human resilience in my career as a therapist, and I put my characters through hell to give them that opportunity to prove their mettle and bounce back from tragedy. Of course therapy helps, and I love to write therapy scenes.
I hope this background gives you some insight into the development of this series. I’m working hard writing the third and final novel of the series: On Best Behavior. This time, Grant and Sophie have put their troubled pasts behind them. Or have they? Mwa ha ha! Movies that have inspired book #3 include Donnie Brasco and Return of the Jedi.
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People fascinate the psychologist/author (psycho author) known as Jennifer Lane. Her therapy clients talk to her all day long about their dreams and secrets, and her characters tell her their stories at night. Jen delights in peeling away the layers to scrutinize their psyches and emotions. But please rest assured, dear reader, she isn’t psychoanalyzing you right now. She’s already got too many voices in her head!
Stories of redemption interest Jen the most, especially the healing power of love and empathy. She is the author of The Conduct Series—-romantic suspense for adult readers—-and is currently at work on the third and final installment: On Best Behavior. Streamline is her first foray into writing for young adults, but she’s found this sort of writing even more fun. A former college swimmer, Jen was able to put a lot of her own experiences into this book.
Whether writing or reading, Jen loves stories that make her laugh and cry. In her spare time she enjoys exercising, attending book club, and hanging out with her sisters and their families in Chicago and Hilton Head