The Write Way Café welcomes Jean Drew. A prolific author with a fondness for anything Greek, she shares tidbits about herself and her book Honey's Greek Billionaire.
When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
I told a publisher friend I wanted to write and he suggested I try Mills and Boon. I bought some and it was love at first read. When I discovered that American publishers liked the male POV, I was hooked. I like to know what the man is thinking and feeling.
What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
I researched Greek weather at certain times of year and what I thought a billionaire’s home might look like. Then, the hero being Greek, I gave him what I thought his family would consider good taste and found a beautiful home which I drew on. I still have the pictures stored on my computer. I also had to research the island of Limnos so I could throw in a taste of its history. Since I had already published several books through TWRP, I offered it to them and they accepted it?
Where did the idea for your story come from?
Like most of my ideas — right out of the blue.
Why did you pick the setting you did?
I wanted a contrast between cold, wintry London and a warm climate.
Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
They are totally imaginary.
Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret?
The only block I did have was in the proposal, whether it was binding or not. Since I couldn’t find any reference to that I had to leave it open.
What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
I’ve uncovered a deep and abiding love for Greece and everything Greek. I’ll watch anything Greek (films set in Greece always seem happy, i.e. My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Opa!) and I’ll read anything about Greece.
What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about working with your love interest, about Greece and billionaires?
This is the second book I’ve set partially in Greece, the first being No Other Love, and I’ve fallen in love with it. I could happily live there. The people are warm, friendly and welcoming. The other thing I discovered is that rich people, not just billionaires, get bad press from movie and TV writers. They are always shown to be greedy and petty, when in truth they haven’t got time to be. They are also very generous with their time and knowledge to anyone who wants to learn.
Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
I’ve recently moved house so my writing space is a jumble at the moment. The jumble doesn’t bother me and I’ll clear it gradually but writing must come first.
What are some of your favorite books and why?
So many wonderful books and so many wonderful authors, how can I possibly choose?
What are you working on now?
I love ancient history. I’m working on an archeological paranormal set partly on Atlantis (Greece, of course J) and am enjoying working with ancient characters. I’m also working (very slowly) on a trilogy set in ancient Egypt during three pharaonic periods.
Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre? Which one and why?
I sometimes think I might like to write thrillers, a la Agatha Christie, so if a story hits me in the eye, maybe I will.
If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
I would love to have been an archeologist.
What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?
Long love scenes. Don’t get me wrong. I adore writing love scenes, but I’m always afraid they will turn out corny or stilted. I usually leave them until last because by then I know the characters really well and can fit the love scene to suit the couple concerned.
Who is your favorite hero/heroine?
I have two heroes. Is that allowed? In Forbidden by Helen Kirkman, the hero, Wulf, is a prince, now slave, and although he says and does nothing in the first chapter, you can feel his frustration, humiliation and anger. My other favorite hero is the Duke de Jervaux in Flowers From The Storm by Laura Kinsale. Both these books are keepers of mine.
In an effort to stop his embarrassing flirtations, Honey Preston jokingly asks her billionaire boss, Paris Magdalinos, to marry her.
Much to her surprise, he accepts, and no amount of wriggling on her part will induce him to let her off the hook. Besides, she doesn't believe she's good enough for him.
Paris has his own agenda. He's using Honey's innocent proposal to help him out of a sticky situation. And their marriage will only be for a short time...until he kisses her and discovers she's the woman he's been seeking. She's perfect for him, and he wants to stay married. But Honey's beliefs are hard to shake.
Preorder for Kindle from Amazon.com
Or in paperback from the publisher, Wild Rose Press
Release date: January 27, 2017
About Jean: Jean is a firm believer in happily-ever-after and enjoys writing books with happy endings. She has published nine romance novels. She is working on several other books, including a trilogy set in ancient Egypt. She likes dark, mysterious heroes and strong heroines, who are their perfect match. They are soul mates, and their love for each other goes soul deep. Jean is the founder of Romance Writers of New Zealand.
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