today, I have the pleasure to have Jenna Jaxon here with me for a little chat.
HI Jenna, and thank you for being here today. Let’s start from something nice. If you were stranded on a deserted island and can have only 2 people with you, a person from your books and a person from any other book, which would they be?
From my books I would choose Tristan from Only A Mistress Will Do and from any other book it’s really a toss-up between Beowulf, Marquis of Rothgar from Jo Beverley’s Devilish or Jamie Frazier from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. Boy, that would be some hot deserted island!
How did you come up with the idea for your book?
Only A Mistress Will Do was born of a question I had while reading Mary Balogh’s romance novel A Precious Jewel: What would it be like for a well-bred young woman to have to sell herself into prostitution? What would it be like for her with her first customer?
What sort of research did you do to write this book?
I’ve been doing research on Georgian England ever since I started writing Only Scandal Will Do six or so years ago. And each book I write I find different things to research from the period. Most often I find myself researching the time it takes for people to travel during the period. So I research things like post roads: where they ran, how well they were maintained, how far certain towns were from major cities like London. What inns would have been along the way? Books that would have been popular to read during the period. Music that young ladies would likely have learned.
For Mistress, I had to research harps from the period and how to play one!
If your novel were being made into a movie, whom would you pick to play the lead roles?
Chris Pine and Jennifer Lawrence.
If your story had a soundtrack, which song would it be?
Either Wildest Dreams by Taylor Swift or Talking Body by Tove Lo.
Did you always have the reins of the story or the people in it tried to take over?
In this story, yes. I always had the reins. They generally went along with what I wanted them to do. I’ve only had one book where the characters kept doing what I didn’t want them to do and then I had to deal with the fall out. That book comes out next year in print. 🙂
That’s fantastic news! What are you working on now?
At the moment I’m working on two books: Only Seduction Will Do, Book 4 in the House of Pleasure series, which will release next June, and Book 2 of The Widow’s Club series which will be released at the end of next summer (title to be announced shortly).
How long does it take to write a story?
It depends. My very first book took me six months to write. Only Scandal Will Do took two months to complete. Last may I was on retreat and finished a ten chapter novella in a week. If given time and no interruptions I can write a 3k chapter in about 3 hours. So I’m hoping to complete the two I’m working on by the end of April to send to beta readers.
The toughest criticism that’s ever been given to you as an author
Was from a critique partner who absolutely HATED my hero so much at one point she said she wanted to kick the book across the room, but it was on the computer so she couldn’t. LOL We talked about him and I made some slight changes and then she fell in love with him (though not as much as I had).
What does your writing space look like?
I’m holed up in my bedroom, on a small computer table, facing a green wall. Fewer distractions means more writing. There is clutter on the small desk, but it’s neat clutter. LOL
Thank you, Jenna!
Jenna’s last story, Only a Mistress Would Do, is the story of Violet Carlton.
Destitute and without friends, Violet is forced to seek employment at the House of Pleasure in London. She steels herself for her first customer and is shocked when the man rescues her instead of ravishing her. A grateful Violet cannot help but admire the handsome Viscount Trevor. But she must curb her desire for the dashing nobleman she can never have because he is already betrothed to another . . .
Tristan had gone to the House of Pleasure for a last bit of fun before he became a faithful married man. But when he recognizes the woman in his bed, he becomes determined to save her instead. Now, his heart wars with his head as he falls for the vulnerable courtesan. Unable to break his betrothal without a scandal, Tris resolves to find Violet proper employment or a husband of her own. Still, his arms ache for Violet, urging him to abandon propriety and sacrifice everything to be with the woman he loves. . . .
The excerpt is enough to make you see how Violet is desperate.
“And you have now come to that desperate point where you seek employment with me?” The business-like tone, neither condoning nor condemning, stiffened Violet’s resolve.
“Yes, ma’am. As of today, I have nowhere else to go, no one to turn to.” A sickening churn of her stomach that had nothing to do with hunger sent tension through her. “Nothing else of value.”
“You are how old, Miss Carlton?”
“Nineteen, ma’am. Almost twenty.”
“Let me see you walk, please.” With a crisp snap, Vestry pulled the curtains open and nodded to the path between the sofa and fireplace.
Violet straightened her skirts as best she could. Suddenly stiff and self-conscious, she concentrated on putting one foot before the other until she came face to face with another obscene painting. She clenched her hands and averted her eyes.
Feeling more and more like a horse or a cow at Smithfield market, she did as she was told, hopefully with a bit more grace.
In reward, Vestry gave her a slight nod. “You speak and move as befit your station, Miss Carlton. With a little training, I suspect you will be quite popular with our patrons. I should be able to command a high price for your virginity.”
Violet’s feet tangled in the plush carpet.
The scant approval vanished as Vestry glared at her. “I assume you are intact?”
Oh, the shame. How could this woman suggest she had already lain with a man? Bitterness flooded her mouth and her chest ached with mortification. Finally, she managed a curt nod.
“Lie down on the sofa please.”
“I am not fool enough to take your word, Miss Carlton.” Vestry smiled mirthlessly. “A brief inspection will allow me to assure your buyer he is indeed purchasing a virgin”
Her cheeks heated at the humiliation this woman suggested. The cold inevitability of her situation rolled over her, engulfing her as though she was drowning beneath a relentless sea. Madame Vestry demanded almost nothing compared to the real horror awaiting her at the hands of her buyer. Still, she had chosen to live. She could no longer afford the luxury of respectability.
If you, like me, want to read the story, here’s where you can pre-order it.
If you want to keep in touch with Jenna, you can find her:
on her BLOG
I hope you enjoyed mine and Jenna’s talk, and thank you for stopping by!