Interview & Contest: Jane Graves

Jane Graves COWBOY blog tour graphic

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jane Graves is a nine-time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Rita Award, the industry’s highest honor, and is the recipient of two National Readers’ Choice Awards, the Booksellers’ Best Award, and the Golden Quill, among others. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Jane lives in the Dallas area with her husband and a very sweet kitty who kindly keeps her lap warm while she writes.


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Jen: Please tell us a little about your newest release.
Jane: I was talking to good friend and fellow author Lori Wilde about a new series concept, and she suggested I do something with animals. I surfed around a little and saw the Legend of the Rainbow Bridge. I imagined a fictional town in the Texas Hill Country that is said to be the home of this mythical Rainbow Bridge, a spirit world tied to earth where pets go when they die. They wait there for their human companions to join them before crossing the Rainbow Bridge to Heaven. Consequently, Rainbow Valley has evolved into “the most pet friendly town in America,” where all businesses welcome pets and an annual pet festival brings animal lovers from miles around.

The first book, Cowboy Take Me Away, is a reunion story. Luke Dawson is Rainbow Valley’s most notorious bad boy, and when he left after high school, he swore he’d never return. He’s on the verge of the becoming the world bull riding champion, only to sustain a knee injury that forces him to recuperate in Rainbow Valley. He gets a job at the Rainbow Valley Animal Shelter, where he’s reunited with Shannon North, the good girl who stole—and broke—his heart. As their rekindled relationship deepens into desire, old secrets resurface, and Luke must choose between the future he’s always dreamed of and the only woman he’s ever loved.

Jen: How do you remember ideas that come to you at odd times?
Jane: I love to soak in the bathtub, and that’s always where my best ideas come to me. I hurry to finish, get out, dry off enough not to leave puddles in the hall and run to my computer. I keep repeating my brilliant thought to myself over and over so I don’t lose it. With luck, I’m able to get my fingers on my keyboard before the thought vanishes into the mist, never to be seen again.

Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest? Most rewarding?
Jane: I’m a full-time writer. I have all day long to put words on the page. But no matter how hard I try, I don’t make much progress until about six or seven o’clock in the evening. By eight or nine o’clock, I’m really cooking. But when is my husband home so we can have dinner and spend time together? After six o’clock. My internal clock really sucks.

The easiest thing for me to do is write light, comedic banter between my heroes and heroines. That stuff just flows.

The most rewarding thing about writing? Reader mail, hands down. I’m always astonished at what they take away from my books and how much they look forward to the next one. My readers are the best!

Jen: If you were able to travel in time, where would you go and what three things would you take with you?
Jane: I love the idea of time travel! Only I’d like for somebody to time travel from the past to 2013 and let me show them around. Imagine flipping through an iPhone with Alexander Graham Bell. Showing Benjamin Franklin Times Square lit up on New Year’s Eve. Putting a Kindle in the hands of Johannes Gutenberg. Or just demonstrating to an overworked frontier wife how a microwave works. I think that would be the coolest thing ever.

Jen: How do you come up with characters’ names?
Jane: I go to SSA.gov, the Social Security website, and find out what the top names were in the year my character was born. Since I personally don’t like weird, exotic, or trendy names for my heroes and heroines or the other major characters in my books, that works well for me. Now, for strange or oddball characters, I’m liable to name them just about anything. For those, I just let my imagination run wild.

Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you’ve received about your books?
Jane: I had what I thought was the misfortune of having one of my romantic comedy books hit the shelves within days of 9/11. I wondered who in the world would be eager to read something funny after that tragic day. Then I received a letter from a New York reader who read the book and thanked me, telling me it was the first time she was able to laugh again after that terrible tragedy. I realized then that humor will always have a place in this world no matter how dark things seem.

Jen: What’s next for you?
Jane: Right now I’m finishing up the next Rainbow Valley novel, as yet untitled. The hero is single dad Marc Cordero, the owner of a vineyard outside of Rainbow Valley. He’s spent his whole life taking care of others, but with his daughter off to college and his brother taking over the family winery, he’s ready for an adventure. He just didn’t expect it would start with a runaway bride in a heap of trouble landing on his doorstep one stormy night.

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30 thoughts on “Interview & Contest: Jane Graves

  1. Leanna H says:

    I think that I eould want to bring someone into the present that had invented a vaccine such as the polio vaccine or measles vaccine to see what a great effect their invention had on the lives of so many people. I think that authors from the past would love the publishing world today, because it is so much easier to reach readers today and they would love being able to self publish and be in charge of their own promotion.

  2. Anne says:

    Publishing today would be appreciated since there are more options and many authors have more chances to have their books published and read. I would want to bring a brilliant scholar here to experience the twenty first century and learn what has occurred and his thoughts about the technology, medicine, science and the inventions.

  3. Leanna, I really like the thought of bringing somebody forward who created something in the past that has had a monumental effect on mankind. That would be really cool! And it’s interesting to imagine what popular authors of the past few hundred years would think of self publishing. It’s all about reaching readers–it wouldn’t take so long for hundreds of thousands of people to enjoy their work.

  4. Anne, I agree. I’d love to sit and talk to somebody with a truly great mind about twenty-first century life. I’m betting somebody like that has already imagined a lot of the technological and scientific advances we enjoy now. It’s amazing to look back at just the things Benjamin Franklin invented and imagined. And they say the modern day helicopter came from an invention Leonardo DaVinci imagined over 600 years ago.

  5. Crystal B says:

    Probably not the most unique answer but I would love to time travel to spend time with my grandparents. They past away when I was a baby. My mom has some wonderful stories that I would have loved to have gotten to know my grandparents.

    I would also love to be able to show my Dad different things in my life that I know he would enjoy.

  6. Crystal, that would be one of the best uses of time travel I could possibly think of. Imagine how much your grandparents would love seeing you all grown up!

  7. holdenj says:

    I would bring my grandmother to the present day. She passed away before I was born and raised 5 kids after the Depression alone, my grandfather passed away in the 30’s. I think she’d be amazed at the many timesavers we have now. Who could have a imagined a washer/dryer combo back then!?

  8. Tracy says:

    Great interview, Jane–and Jen! Jane, I am really looking forward to Cowboy Take Me Away showing up on my Kindle.

  9. BookLady says:

    I would like to bring Benjamin Franklin forward to the present. He was an amazing inventor and statesman who would be fascinated by all the technological innovations that have been developed.

  10. bn100 says:

    I’d show Thomas Edison a flatscreen TV. Authors from the past would like it because you now have ebooks, so more people have access to them.

  11. holdenJ–I know! Part of my time travel fantasy is showing an overworked woman how easy we have things now. We gripe a lot–and sometimes we should–but at least we don’t have to clean our clothes in a washtub!

  12. BookLady, most people don’t know how much of an inventor Benjamin Franklin was. Can you imagine the look on his face if he saw air travel, or even something as simple as wheels on luggage? (That’s my number one pick for “Why didn’t something think of that a LONG time before it happened!”)

  13. bn100…can you imagine showing Thomas Edison a flat-screen TV where they were playing a documentary on the life of Thomas Edison? Okay, so sometimes my brain works in weird ways.

  14. Vanessa says:

    Great questions….I am currently doing genealogical research on my family roots. They traveled by ship on a journey from Ireland that took a couple months. I think they would be amazed at the advances in modern travel. Authors from the past would be surprised at recent changes in publishing. Between ebooks and self publishing, more people are reading and having access to books. I think authors from the past would see this as a great thing. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of Cowboy Take Me Away. Enjoyed hearing about this new series!

  15. erinf1 says:

    Congrats to Jane on her new release! WOW… hard question. I guess Benjamin Franklin to see how much his “inventions” impacted the future 🙂

  16. Jane V says:

    I have enjoyed all of your books, Excited about your Rainbow Valley series. I love the idea behind it, having had many wonderful friends in fur coats already cross the Rainbow Bridge. Thank you for sharing your talent!

  17. Chelsea B. says:

    I would bring Jane Austen. To show her how much she is loved and appreciated– both as a writer, and a person.

  18. Marcy Shuler says:

    I’d love to bring back my mom. She died before I married and never got to meet my hubby…or my two sons.

  19. Helen L. says:

    I would love to bring back Bob Hope – he was so funny and would love to talk with him about his stories about the troops.

  20. Patoct says:

    I would like to bring back my dad and grandma so they could have met my granddaughter.

  21. LRmegtom says:

    I would bring back Abe Lincoln and show him all the new advancements we made to make our lives easier – computers, microwaves – I think he would like that. He would love to see that we have a black president and that a woman ran for president against him.

  22. Mickey MacD says:

    I’d like my good health returned! It sure isn’t fun having illnesses! and it would make me very happy to introduce my grandkids to their great-grandparents!! So for now, they’ll have to be Ok with looking at pictures of them and listening to stories about them…this way their memory will never fade away and they will live on forever in everyone’s hearts!

  23. Joanne B says:

    I’d like to bring back my Grandmother. She loved to read and I think she would find all the ereaders interesting.

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