Jen: Today we are excited to welcome Jane Porter back to Romancing the Book. Jane, will you share a short bio with us?
Jane: Bestselling author of the Jane Porter has been a finalist for the prestigious RITA award four times, has over 12 million copies in print . Jane’s novel, Flirting With Forty, picked by Redbook as its Red Hot Summer Read, went back for seven printings in six weeks before being made into a Lifetime movie starring Heather Locklear. September 2012 brought the release of The Good Woman, the first of her Brennan Sisters trilogy, followed in February 2013 by The Good Daughter, and book three in the series, The Good Wife, has just hit shelves this month. A mother of three sons, Jane holds an MA in Writing from the University of San Francisco and makes her home in sunny San Clemente, CA with her surfer husband. To learn more about Jane, visit her website at www.janeporter.com
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Jane: The Good Wife is the third book in the Brennan Sisters series and its Sarah Brennan’s story. If you’ve read the first two books in the series, you’ve met Sarah already and you know she’s the youngest Brennan, beautiful, smart, and strong. But even though she acts like a tough cookie on the outside, on the inside, she’s vulnerable girl and still madly in love with her husband Boone.
Sarah is the sister who has it all – two beautiful kids and a gorgeous, sexy husband, Boone Walker, a professional baseball player. They have a comfy, well-off lifestyle thanks to Boone’s success but living apart for most of the year, due to Boone’s schedule puts a huge strain on their marriage. Sarah loves her husband fiercely but he made a mistake three years ago that she’s still finding it hard to forgive him for. Now Boone is facing yet another career change and it makes things even more tense for their marriage until Boone gives Sarah an ultimatum. Either get over the past to forgive and forget, or they go their separate ways. Sarah has to decide if her marriage is worth keeping or if it’s time to walk away.
My Brennan Sisters were inspired by my younger brother’s wife and her family. My brother Rob married a stunning San Francisco girl named Andrea Callen. Andrea’s father is a fourth generation San Franciscan, as well as third generation firefighter, serving the city with his grandfather, uncles, and brothers. Over the years I’ve gotten to know Tom Callen, and I respect his commitment to his family, the San Francisco Fire Department, and his community. Tom’s dedication and passion, coupled with the heroism of the NYC fire fighters on 9/11, made me want to tell a story about good people, people with integrity, strength, and courage. Before I knew it, the fiercely loyal, loving, Brennan family with the four Brennan sisters, sprang to life, and once those sisters started talking, they wouldn’t be quiet.
Jen: What kind of research did you do for this book?
Jane: I research extensively. I have a huge book collection–ordered and read dozens of books on nearly aspect of Irish-Catholics in America, San Francisco history, the history of Irish in SF, the history of SF firefighters, etc.–for this series, and then spent hours on the internet finding the right house for the Brennans, learning everything I could about baseball and the current team players, the schedule for the season, reading up traffic reports, looking for the perfect images to match my characters.
Jen: Who has influenced you as a writer?
Jane: Every working writer out there. Writing is hard, and getting published is tough, and the publishing industry has been in tremendous flux these past 3-5 years. It’s a challenge to juggle creativity and practicality and publishing savvy when everything is changing so rapidly, and so I really respect those who are writing, and making their living by writing and publishing books.
My Grandmother Lyles was also a very strong influence on me because she worked her entire life, into her 90’s, and she worked uncomplainingly. She was very successful but also very humble and simple. Through her, I learned that actions speak louder than words. I apply this to my career, and my writing as well.
Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you’ve received about your books?
Jane: “It’s like you were in my head and you knew just what I was thinking, and how I’ve been feeling.”
Jen: What’s been the highlight of you career to this point?
Jane: There isn’t one highlight but many. I feel so blessed that my books have been widely loved and read, that the 2006 release, Flirting With Forty, was excerpted in Redbook Magazine for three months and then made into a Lifetime TV movie. I am grateful for my 4 Rita nominations for best book of the year in the Romance industry, as well as all my readers and fans that make me want to keep writing. So maybe that is the highlight—that I have so many fans and readers and getting to meet them is so rewarding. They inspire me every day.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Jane: I’m working on stories for my new publishing venture, Tule Publishing, and our first mini-series set in the small fictional town of Marietta, Montana. My story, Take Me, Cowboy, focuses on Colton Thorpe and Jenny Wright who have both come back home to Marietta after moving away after high school. Sparks fly during the Copper Mountain Rodeo weekend and it’s a fun story full of classic romance. I love it and hope my readers will, too!