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Today we have HarperImpulse author Jane Lark with us to tell you about her and some of her books. Let’s get the ball rolling: Here’s the blurb for Jane Lark’s latest book, JUST YOU:
Don’t judge a person until you really know them…
The morning after the New Year’s Eve before… Waking up to a new year with a killer hangover and hazy memories of a seriously hot hook-up the night before leaves Portia in an awkward situation… Did I, or didn’t I? The only way she’s going to find out is by standing up to the guy in question.
With no regrets, Justin is willing to play the gentleman and save Portia her embarrassment.
Only then he gets a text saying, come over… and he’s not gonna lie – this is friends with a lot of benefits! But no matter how good the sex is, there’s one thing Justin’s not down with: being this shallow rich girl’s secret…
LADY SMUT: Jane, if you were a drink, what kind of drink would you be? And why?
JANE LARK: Mmmm, that’s a really hard one… Ok let me work backwards and and think of the essential bits making up my personality and then I’ll see what drink fits…
Determination! That is one of the absolute essences that makes me up, and I have needed a lot of it to get my books published and ignore all those years of rejection letters. I also need a lot of it to cope with my disability Ankylosing Spondylitis.
Ummm… Silliness… As my 20 year old daughter will tell you, I can do really inappropriate things for a grown a woman, but then I am still only sixteen at heart, I’ve never grown up on the inside- and the reason why I looooove writing my New Adults I can be that young person on paper…
A thirst for getting beneath things and understanding them, whether that’s history or just people, but it is that that sources the inspiration for my books. I did a psychology test once, in which I was considered really odd because I wasn’t driven by money or stuff, or most of the things people normally are, the thing I want to achieved in life is to make other people’s lives better – is that weird… The psychologists implied there were not man people like that. I think it maybe why I like writing nice sexy hero’s in my New Adults,and gritty historical romances that are going to make you think a bit more….
So what sort of drink would all those be….? Off to check out some cocktail recipes… What does Determination, Silliness, Inquisitiveness and a desire to make things better equal in a drink? I’ll be this 😀 A Ginger Fizz It sounds like the taste is gonna have a bit of a punch so that’s the determination… Silliness, well that’s the spicy, hot ginger, and inquisitiveness because it is gonna tingle on your tongue… Desire to make a difference – it’s still healthy it has Cranberries!
LADY SMUT: Who do you read who makes you laugh or cry? Or both?
JANE LARK: I’m not into books that make me laugh, I don’t know why, I like a book I can really get my teeth into, where the characters have a real depth. I know that very good comedy writers can achieve that any way, but I lean more to the books that make me cry… Really emotional powerful stuff.
I read ONE DAY and cried for three days, and went and told every one, you have to read this!! Also Louise Douglas’s THE LOVE OF MY LIFE is the sort of intense tragic story I like. Warning – my next historical out in July and my next New Adult out in August are both going to be tearjerkers because it is what I like writing too.
LADY SMUT: This is stolen from the HarperImpulse author bio form—but please tell us about your worse date ever. Don’t spare us the gruesome details.
JANE LARK: Oh my gosh…. Ok… Being incredibly honest, do you know I don’t think I ever dated… One of the things a lot of people say abut I Found You, my first New Adult, is that Jason and Rachel meet on a bridge and he takes her home, “That’s so unrealistic, he wouldn’t have done that.” “She wouldn’t have gone…” Umm.
I think I grew up in a different type of world, I would have done that, and so would the people I went around with. I didn’t formally ‘date’ I just used to meet people and start talking and then it would develop…. That kind of comes from my inquisitiveness, when I was 20-23 I used to hang out in pubs on my own a lot, and just used to talk to anyone… I think I’m weird, maybe. So I don’t have a worst date, because if I started talking to someone and thought your boring, or odd, I’d have just walked off – as in, said I was off to the restroom. LOL.
I did have one odd guy approach me in that period of my life though (actually more than one odd guy, but this is just one story). He worked in the area and stayed in the pub I used to go in every night of the week. I hated being at home on my own so on week days I would go down there, buy one drink and sit at the bar doing the crossword in the paper (rock ‘n roll as I was) and talking to the barman and anyone who came in. This guy was in his forties, he never sat at the bar, and rarely joined in the conversation. At weekends though the pub would be full, and instead of sitting at the bar, I’d developed a network of friends, through just starting conversations. Whoever came out that I liked, we’d then go off on a bar crawl, and all sleep round someones house (JUST sleep LOL).
Anyway this one weekend – this 40 something guy – came and sat next to me, and started telling me he was desperately in love with me and wanted to marry me LOL. He followed us around all the pubs and wouldn’t go away. Telling me he was rich and promising me all sorts of stuff, including a diamond engagement ring. Remember although I had sat in the same pub as him night after night for a few months, this was the first time he had really even spoken to me. He stuck out like a sore thumb because he was so much older. “I have a really nice amazing dower house, where we’d live, its ancient and full of character!” I told him to get lost bluntly several times, really had nothing going for him… but then LOL a week later he invited his WIFE down for the weekend Ha! Ha!… He kept looking at me when she was there like he wanted me to be jealous… Really NOT mate… That was a long time ago…
But I did meet my husband who I’ve been with for over 25 years on a Thursday night, while I sat at that bar. He’d just called in for a one off drink and it was the first time I’d met him. We ended up talking until 3am 😉 I met him six more times after that and then he moved in with me. I was very rash when I was younger.. But hey, when you meet the right one, I think you know…
LADY SMUT: What brought you to Harper Impulse – what was happening when you “got the call” that they wanted your book?
JANE LARK: I had a long journey to publication, it took me fifteen years of rejections to finally get a yes. But it didn’t initially come from Harper Impulse, my first book was published by a small American independent publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing. ‘Illicit Love’ came out in May 2013.
A dream come finally true, and the next three books were planned on the back of this all due to be out in 2013. But two weeks after publication, my dream took another kick. Sapphire Star Publishing decided not to publish anymore books. As ‘Illicit Love’ was the first in the series, they offered me my rights back, and so I was out looking again. I booked to attend the Romance Novelists Association Summer conference solely to have a chance to pitch to publishers, and it was at this point that Harper Impulse had just begun. I didn’t even offer them my historical stories, just the New Adult, that the author AL Jackson had encouraged me to write through Sapphire Star, she thought my voice would suit New Adult. Thank you, AL!
The editor Charlotte Ledger really loved the first chapter and wanted more, but recommended I make some adjustments to the Full MS. Then I discovered that Harper Impulse were re-releasing some other writers books, so I also offered them the historical romances Charlotte emailed me back within hours, without reading a submission, saying “Yes, to everything!” I said, don’t you want to read one first. She then told me she’d already bought ‘Illicit Love’ and read it, when she’d heard the reviews for it 😀
The re-named ‘Illicit Love of a Courtesan’ was published in October 2013 and from there my publishing relationship with Harper Impulse began! ‘The Passionate Love of a Rake’ came out in November and the first New Adult, ‘I Found You’ in December… three more books have come out this year and there are another three to come too 😉 It all feels like fate now. Especially as they are doing so well.
LADY SMUT: After an unexpected hook up, Justin in your book JUST YOU is not willing to be Portia’s ‘dirty little secret’. It sounds like this is where race meets up with the ‘friends with benefits’ concept and there’s a lot of tension around it. Is the situation as much about class as it is about race?
JANE LARK: To be absolutely honest it’s about lack of class and race issues. In my day job, I’m a specialist in the personnel management area, and for the last six years I’ve worked in diversity. Everyone has differences. I am disabled so I know what it’s like to have people misjudge my body language, and treat me as incapable.
When I am ill, I am physically incapable at times, but not mentally incapable. The diversity agenda is going to run through a lot of my New Adult books, I like challenging myself in these, as well as throwing things at my readers to challenge them (don’t expect simple fun reads, I will take you on a journey).
Justin judges Portia because of the way she speaks and her families wealth, and makes a metal judgement from her tone of voice prior to them hooking up that she’s an uncaring, self-centered, stuck-up bitch. Both characters were in the previous book, and that is the way the reader probably saw Portia in that, because it was Jason’s view too.
But then Justin get’s to know her, and… realizes he got her wrong… The race issue, like the mental health issue I covered in I Found You, is more to say, it doesn’t make a difference, everyone is different in someway. Jason looked beyond Rachel’s mental health issue and Portia doesn’t even see Justin’s skin colour, he is just Justin… Although her family are less open minded… You will have to read ‘Just You’ to find out why he thinks she wants to keep him a secret 😉
In the first New Adult book I Found You, okay this is a
so don’t read on if you don’t want tom know but Rachel has bipolar. She was a challenge to write and there are negative reviews on it, largely from people who haven’t read to the end, because you as a reader will not connect with her… You don’t think like her, because she has bipolar disorder.
That makes her thought process confusing at times, and her judgements way off. But I’m writing from inside the character’s mind, so I’ve tried to write her as someone with bipolar would think. I want to give my readers an insight into mental health and challenge you to try to understand.
People who get to the end and learn she has bipolar usually really like it. 😀 But the best review I got was from someone with bipolar, who didn’t know what they were reading until they started it – they got her right from the start! and they gave it five stars! I was thrilled with that, because it meant I had the character right and all my research had paid off… Now you see my making a difference thing coming out in my writing… 😉
LADY SMUT: Thanks Jane!
JANE LARK: Thanks so much!
Readers — Look to buy Jane’s books HERE, or click on the pictures to go to Amazon.
You can also find Jane lurking at these places:
And she offered you some links just in case you wanted to check out more about her New Adult work: Blog http://tipsreviewsandlittletruths.wordpress.com/
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