In anticipation of her new release, Bewitched by the Bluestocking, we had Jillian Eaton answer our questions about inspiration, writing, heroes, coffee… the usual.
It debuts tomorrow! Be sure to get your copy here: https://bit.ly/BewitchedbytheBluestocking
Give us a little bit about your background and when you first started publishing.
I grew up in rural Maine and don’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing! Short stories, long stories, fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary…I wrote a little bit of everything before I settled into historical romance. I’ve always been a voracious reader, and one night while I was reading a book on my Kindle that I loved, I looked up the author on my phone to see what other titles they’d written…and discovered they were self-published! I hadn’t even known that was something you could do before then, let alone be successful at it. In 2012 I wrote and self-published my first romance, A Brooding Beauty, and just kept going from there! The Perks of Being an Heiress will be my first series with a boutique publisher and I am SO excited.
Historical Setting Related:
Have you visited the places you’ve written about or just read about them?
When I was a sophomore in high school I went to London on a school trip. I was captivated by how OLD everything was compared to the United States. The buildings, the architecture, the parks…everything was equally beautiful and fascinating to me. I can’t wait to go back!
What interesting settings have you used (homes, battlefields, events in history, etc)?
My characters have definitely spent some time in Hyde Park! I also had a lot of fun researching the West End and St Giles Rookery. For Bewitched by the Bluestocking, I loved diving into Boston circa 1870 – five years after the Civil War ended.
Why did you choose the particular period you write in? What is it about that era that speaks to you?
I’ve always loved to read historical romance, so it only seemed natural that I write about it. Some authors that inspired me the most are Judith McNaught, Johanna Lindsay (Hearts Aflame is my favorite book of all time), Eloisa James, and Julia Quinn. I love the dresses, and the rules of decorum, and the aristocracy — It’s like catnip to me!
What inspires you to create a certain character? Have you ever changed the character arc because it didn’t work with the storyline?
This is a good question – I don’t know if I have a good answer! I was definitely inspired to write Joanna after I watched the revamped version of “Little Women” in theaters. But it doesn’t always happen that way. Usually I’ll be in the shower, or eating dinner, or just about to fall asleep when a spark of dialogue randomly enters my head. Sometimes it’s an entire paragraph, sometimes just a few words. I jot it down, and from there a character starts to develop. My books are strongly character driven…so if I change anything, I generally change the plot to fit my characters instead of the characters to fit my plot!
Do you have a certain quirk in your writing process? Do the stars have to be aligned or do you have to have your favorite tea? Where do you do your best writing?
Coffee, coffee, coffee. I drink coffee by the GALLONS when I’m under a deadline! During the winter I hole up in my office. When it gets warmer, I love to write outside on the porch or under the shade of our maple tree where I set up a little table and chair.
From all your books, who is your favorite hero and why?
I love, love, love Grant Hargrave from A Dangerous Affair. He’s a gentleman turned Bow Street Runner who falls in love with a thief…which goes against every moral fiber of his being. Kincaid definitely has a few shades of Grant in him!
Outside of your own genre, what’s your favorite genre?
Not too long ago I went on a Stephen King fueled horror binge! I also enjoy YA fantasy and recently finished the last book in Kendare Blake’s Three Dark Crowns series. Highly recommended!