We always love meeting our fabulous authors here at True Love Towers, and today we had the chance to catch up with Janice Preston – an adventurous Regency author who’s fast becoming infamous over here for her vivid characters and heart-stoppingly romantic scenarios.
Janice came to Mills & Boon via the RNA in 2013, bumped into one of our lovely editors and shortly after, began her journey as a much-loved Mills & Boon author with a two-book contract. Dreams can come true, scribblers.
This ex-country girl had already written her fair share of romance when she joined the RNA but made a lot of really useful connections. In fact, Janice attributes some of her prolific work ethic to her like-minded circle of author friends and acquaintances – it helps to know people with not only the same job, but the same aspirations and dreams.
If you’re thinking it must take a certain kind of mind to write Mills and Boon, you’d be right, especially in the Regency genre. Janice read a lot of similar works before starting to write again in 2009, after a long hiatus, during which she raised her children and got her hands dirty on a Devonshire farm.
Unsurprisingly, life in the great outdoors made its mark on Janice and definitely impacted that wild imagination.
Her writing career didn’t start as successful, however. When Janice was 13 she had aspirations of becoming an author, and in an effort to impress a teacher she admired and respected, she wrote a story. Imagine her shock and disappointment when it came back, marked in red along with some heart-breakingly negative comments.
Most people would have been deterred by the words of someone in authority, but not Janice. She’s made her writing her forte and is perhaps a shining example of how refusing to give up on your dreams is the only way you’re going to make them come true.
Janice makes sure to be at her writing desk at home by 8.30 each morning. She’s written a 75,000 word novel in about 10 weeks, which is impressive in itself, but this author also has a part-time job! She also manages to fit in plenty of that all-essential research.
‘I went for a falconry experience, to research an upcoming book, and pretty soon I’m learning archery and also going clay pigeon shooting, just to know what it feels like…’
This is a lady who doesn’t shy away from adventure. Not only did she have the pleasure of having her hands up cow’s and sheep’s unmentionables during her farming days (ahem), but she was also on a horse once, when it bolted off the motorway. It’s a long story…. Although perhaps not as long as the first manuscript she finished, which was a staggering 275,000 words.
When asked what advice she would offer aspiring writers, Janice says: ‘Keep going! If you want to write Mills & Boon, read Mills & Boon and learn why those stories have been published. Internal conflict is important, you have to know how to write what’s happening inside someone’s head, as well as what’s going on externally.’
Great advice, Janice, thank you so much for talking to us! Order Janice’s books here