I’m thrilled to be hosting debut historical romance author Jennifer McQuiston on the blog today. I had the good fortune to read Jennifer’s work before she was published, and I immediately knew she was a talented writer who would be going places. Shortly thereafter, she sold to Avon Publishing. Let’s chat with Jennifer and find out about her and her new book, shall we?
You have what some might think is an unusual background for a romance novelist – you’re a vet and an infectious disease researcher. Did any of your scientific training help you in your new life as a romance novelist?
Well…it may have prepared me for things like research, deadlines, and peer review, but it certainly didn’t help me write a romance novel. My early attempts to write romance were called “stilted” by more than one well-meaning contest judge. I had to re-train myself to write creatively, as all those scientific journal articles had numbed my mind. I do think writing romance has influenced my scientific writing for the better… I recently wrote a book chapter in the new Rickettsiales text on rickettsial diseases that actually uses the phrase “strapping young lumbermen” in the Introduction.
Maybe if more people knew that, it wouldn’t be ranked #2,644,000 on Amazon.
During my first fumbling attempts to pen a novel, I at least attempted to incorporate some public health and infectious disease research into my writing, but that gradually became less of a focus as I improved as a writer. My first published book, What Happens in Scotland, is actually the fifth book I wrote, and it contains nothing of scientific reality in it. In fact, I am pretty sure some suspension of disbelief is necessary to enjoy it!
People love “the call” stories. Can you tell us about yours?
We had gone out on submission with three other books, so I was prepared for about 6 months of radio silence after we went out with What Happens in Scotland in March, 2012. No one was more shocked than me when an offer came in three days later… and then the amazing serendipity of getting more offers and moving to auction. Those days seem like one big blur for me. The coolest part about my call story was that it came the same day that my critique partner, Romily Bernard, got her call. We’d been struggling side by side with countless rejections, so to finally strike gold on the same day was surreal.
Tell us about your new book.
What Happens in Scotland is a rompish “she woke up married” story set in Victorian Scotland. Some reviewers have compared it to The Hangover, and I admit the movie *might* have inspired more than one plot element.
When recent widow Georgette Thorold wakes up in a Scottish inn with a wedding ring on her finger and lacking all memory of how she came to be there, she does what any well-bred lady with a modicum of sense and a distrust of marriage would do: she panics, clocks the wickedly handsome stranger in her bed over the head with a chamber pot, and runs.
James McKenzie, Esquire has either spent the evening protecting a very naïve, and—dare he say it—very drunk young lady from the advances of every disreputable character in the town of Moraig, or he has gone and married a pretty, scheming thief. Not that his own head is entirely clear on the matter, but when the woman in question repays his kindness with a knock on the head, the bill for her room, and the theft of his purse, an embarrassed James is determined to track her down and show her she picked the wrong solicitor to swindle.
As Georgette sets out to discover exactly what happened during her forgotten night, she uncovers a man that seems far more a hero than a rake. But when they finally meet, instead of sweeping her into his arms and kissing her senseless, he serves her with a summons, claiming she is a thief. Now the fight is on, and the only question is was it a night worth remembering? Or a mistake they would both rather forget?
What’s up next in your writing life?
I was fortunate enough to be given a 3 book deal, and so next out of the gate is book #2 in my series, Summer is for Lovers, which will be published September 24, 2013 (but is available for pre-order now). An unrequited love story set in the seaside resort of Brighton, Summer is for Lovers features a hero some might consider a villain, and an awkward young woman who is the last person he should want.
Thanks so much for being with us today, Jennifer! Folks, Jennifer is graciously giving away a copy of her debut book, What Happens in Scotland. To be eligible to win, just tell us what’s your favorite book made into a movie? One person who comments will win the book! And be sure to check out Jennifer’s website and also look her up on Twitter.
33 thoughts on “Guest Author: Jennifer McQuiston & Giveaway!”
Hi Vanessa, and welcome Jennifer! I still find it amazing that you’re a vet and an infectious disease researcher. Never in my mind would I have guessed that is your job or for one of them to become a Romance writer at that! LOL
Anyways, I have too many favorite books turned movie. I love Emma and Pride and Prejudice. Jane Eyre, The Lovely Bones, The Secret Garden, ETC.
So what are your favorites? Btw I can’t wait for your next book~! 🙂
Thank you for dropping by to comment ki pha! Yup, it’s a wild life for me. And oh-so-glamorous, slogging myself to the computer at 4am, LOL! Thank you for all the kind things you have had to say about What Happens in Scotland, it means the world!
I think the book Ibest enjoyed as a movie was Gresham’s “Skipping Christmas”..
Was the Christmas with the Cranks, Cate?
I have a copy of WHIS already so no need to enter me into the drawing, but I think almost any of the Jane Austen adaptations are fab. Not very imaginative of me, I know.
I also know that SUMMER IS FOR LOVERS is fab too 🙂 Everyone should definitely pre-order it.
Hi, Romily! Thanks for stopping by – and congrats on your debut, too!
I’ve already read–and thoroughly enjoyed–What Happens in Scotland, so there’s no need to enter me in the drawing. Awesome book–so is Summer for Lovers…
Anyhoo, I’m thinking The Princess Bride probably wins. I adore the movie, but I have yet to make it through the book.
Great movie, Sally!
Congrats to Jessica on her Debut. This was a fun post and thanks for sharing! I’m gonna have to go w/ the most recent movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice w/ Keira Knightly. Love, love, love that movie. And of course the Hunger Games 🙂
(sorry if I posted multiple times… for some reason my computer won’t show my comment… grrrr)
You got caught in the spam filter, Erin, but I fished you out!
pride and prejudice
Love the book and the movie!
Will I be kicked out of the historical romance authors guild if I admit I prefer Bronte to Austen?
My favourite book made into a movie is “Gone With The Wind”. I’ve read the book several times, and the movie is just great. Rhett Butler. Well what more can I say?
Being from Atlanta, I approve this choice!
I’d say my favorite book(s) made into a movie is the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I loved seeing the books come to life on the big screen.
I read the Trilogy as a child, but admit I have not seen the movies. Know I must!
Congrats on your book and the cover is beautiful. I think my favorite book to movies will always be Gone With the Wind. Loved the book and the movie, although I have a few tears during both movie and book but everyone needs a good cry sometimes. Thanks for sharing your books with us today.
My favorite is Pride and Prejudice. Adored the book, adored the movie (s)!
My favorite book made into a movie is probably “One for the Money”. Thanks for the info.. interesting call story. lisagk(at)yahoo(dot)com
I have to go with LOTR – some things got left out but I thought they were spot on with what they did show.
Two enjoyable books by Scottish authors made into awful movies: Above Suspicion by Helen MacInnes and The Guns of Navarone by Alistair MacLean (the music was great).
Should add, not an entry as I’ve read and enjoyed What Happens in Scotland.
Hooray!!!! GLad you enjoyed it!
My fav book/series to movie is the Lord of the Rings trilogy. That was an awesome 3 movies. Recently watched The Hobbit too & just loved it.
Love all these great ideas!!!
What Happens in Scotland is a book I definitely want to read. My favorite book to movie is a tie between Pride & Prejudice and Jane Eyre.
Hi Jennifer and Vanessa!
Big congrats on your debut book Jennifer! Wonderful cover of WHIS, I really enjoyed your story of James and Georgette, WTG!
I’m looking forward to reading SUMMER IS FOR LOVERS, so hurry up September! LOL!
Wishing you the best!
Looking forward to reading WHIS. My favorite book to movie would be “The Firm”. Enjoyed the book more than the movie but can’t say I didn’t enjoy the movie as well because I tend to rewatch it every time I stumble across it on the t.v.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy!
Still loving all these comments!
I recently read and watched THE HELP. Both moved me a great deal.
I would have to pick Pride and Prejudice which I enjoy equally reading and watching.