Author Interview: JEAN M. ROBERTS
I've been pretty rushed off my feet lately, but I'm popping back in with a couple of awesome author interviews today!
With a passion for history, author Jean M. Roberts is on a mission to bring the past to life. She is the author of three novels, Weave a Web of Witchcraft, Blood in the Valley and The Heron. After graduating from the University of St. Thomas, Jean served in the United States Air Force, she has worked as a Nurse Administrator and is currently writing full-time. She lives in Texas with her husband and is working on her next novel, The Frowning Madonna.
Social Media Links:
My Website: The Books Delight
Amazon Author Page
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The past calls to those who dare to listen…
An invitation arrives; Abbey Coote, Professor of American Studies, has won an extended stay in an historic B&B, Pine Tree House. The timing is perfect. Abbey is recovering from an accident which left her abusive boyfriend dead and her with little memory of the event.
But her idyllic respite soon takes a terrifying turn. While exploring the house, Abbey comes face to face with Mary Foss, a woman dead for 350 years. Through a time/mind interface, Abbey experiences the horrors of Mary’s life, living at the edge of the civilized world in the 1690’s New England.
As Abbey faces her worst fears, she struggles to free them both from the past.
Did you always dream of being a writer?
No! I never imagined I’d write a book, let alone be scribbling out my fourth novel. I worked as a nurse for many years. On quiet nights, I’d read cheap romance novels and often tell myself I could write a better book than this!
When did you start pursuing publication of your work?
My first foray into writing was my blog. I am really interested in genealogy and family history and I used my blog to write about my research. I came across a pair of ancestors who were accused of witchcraft in 1651 and found their story so compelling I just knew I wanted to write about them. I wrote in fits and starts for a few months before deciding I was really going to pursue it.
How long did it take from that first thought to release day?
Weave a Web of Witchcraft took over a year to write. I was really concerned with historical accuracy and even though I had a pretty good idea of what life was like in Colonial America in 1650s, I spent a considerable time doing research. All told, it took a year from inception to the finished product.
What's been the hardest part of publishing a book so far?
If I had known what I was getting into I’d probably have run away in terror. Writing a book is the easy part. I had this silly idea that I would produce a fantastic novel and everyone would just buy it. Marketing is time consuming and difficult, especially for people who do not enjoy promoting themselves.
And the easiest, or most enjoyable?
As a history lover, the best part of writing historical fiction is doing the research. It’s a great excuse to buy new books! The very best thing I did in connection with my second book, Blood in the Valley, a novel about the American Revolution, was to travel to the Mohawk Valley in New York and visit many of the places included in my book. It really made the book come alive for me and I hope I was able to pass that on to my readers.
What’s next for you?
I am really excited about the release of my third book, The Heron, which is being published by Black Rose Writing on April 15th, 2021. It’s a bit of a blend of historical fiction/time slip and paranormal suspense. I am also editing my fourth book, The Frowning Madonna and am hoping to have it ready for queries later this year.
What's one piece of advice you'd give to writers just started their pursuit of publication?
Have a plan. I had no idea what I was doing when I published my first book. I had no social media presence, no idea how to market, no idea how to query agents or publishers. I would recommend researching the whole process from self-publication to the more traditional process. Then write your book.
Last book you just read?
The Bridled Tongue by Catherine Meyrick
What book are you reading now?
Beware the Lurking Lizard by Vivienne Brereton
Best book you've ever read?
Pride and Prejudice
Best moment of your writing life?
Holding my printed book in my hand for the first time.
Name of your newest WIP?
The Frowning Madonna.
If not an author, what would be your dream job?
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