Monday, April 23, 2012


Jillian Hunter
 It's our pleasure to welcome Jillian Hunter a New York Times bestselling author of nineteen critically acclaimed novels, among them the bestselling Boscastle series.  She has received several awards for her writing, including the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award.  She lives in Southern California with her family.

Welcome to Texas, Jillian! Thank you so much for agreeing to an interview.

Thank you, Ruby, and Texas for inviting me!

So here we go…

You’re an award winning author who has written 21 published novels. What galvanizes you to keep writing?
Words fascinate me. I love their nuance and power. Every book I write presents a challenge and another world to conquer. Writing might be hard but it’s never boring.

What inspired you to write regency romances?
The Regency is a brief but delightful interlude in English history that gave birth to an elegance not seen before or since.

Could you share a bit about your book and characters in The Bridal Pleasures Series, The Duchess Diaries?
The hero of the first book in the trilogy, A Duke’s Temptation, is a complex character who keeps his true self a secret until he meets Lily Boscastle. It was during the swordplay scenes between Samuel and Liy that I decided to make Kit, the hero of the next book, A Bride Unveiled, a swordsman and master-at-arms to the Boscastle family. In the last book of the series, Charlotte Boscastle loses her heart (and her diary) to the Duke of Wynfield, who is Kit’s best friend.

Your novels about the Boscastle family feature such accurate historical detail and your characters seem like real people. Do you have a secret for developing characters?
The only thing I know for certain is that I have to be patient and let the characters reveal themselves. Usually it takes writing the entire book before I can pin them down. When I go back to rewrite, I have a deeper understanding of who they are.

What challenge or struggle do you face when you try to build emotional bonds between the characters. How do you, then, go about addressing the part you struggle with.
The challenge in building emotional bonds between characters comes when I haven’t established a strong enough conflict for them to overcome. When this happens I have to stop writing and again, wait for insight. This has to evolve organically. I am not a fan of artificial conflicts.

Which is more important in your stories, character or plot?
Character, always.

Do you outline before you write?

Yes. An outline gives me the structure to start the story and a timeline to follow.

You’ve written many novels featuring the Boscastle family with many storylines. Do you maintain a story bible or file to keep them straight?

I do have files on the family which are helpful for reference purposes, and I have several storyboards to keep track of main events and general descriptions.

If you could give writers one small piece of advice, what would it be?
Read. Practice your craft. Surround yourself with positive people and persist. I don’t think there has been a better time to be a writer.

What’s next for you?
Next up is Colin Boscastle’s book in which our hero returns to England for revenge only to find romance in his enemy’s house.

Finally, where can we find you on the web?
I’m on Facebook and my website is

Question to readers.  If you've read regencies and like them, what attracts you to the period?


Caroline Clemmons said...

I love Regency novels. The rules are so strict and narrow, yet most novles deal with a heroine and hero who step outside the rules. I wouldn't have wanted to live in such a narrow time, but I can't read enough about it. My rwo critique partners and I attended a Jane Austen Society Tea Sunday afternoon in Dallas.

Jillian Hunter said...

Hi Caroline,

I agree -- part of what makes Regencies so entertaining is reading about characters who break the rules and have to pay the consequences.
It's damp and rainy here today in California. A Jane Austen tea sounds wonderful.

George said...

Thank you for coming to the blog, and thank you for the reminder--a story can never have enough conflict.

Ruby Johnson said...

Jillian: Thanks so much for sharing your writing process. I imagine it's a great undertaking writing an historical novel, and also just keeping the history and time lines straight.

Thorne said...

What I hated about the regency period is the restrictions placed on women and how the good marriage was the all important thing to them even if the marriage was to a man twice her age. Society placed many burdens on women and men because of expectations of the society they lived in. It's great that you can bring an "inside look at the people of that period."

Clover Autrey said...

I flit around within historical reading, but regencies definitely are a draw to see that period of England and how the characters stay within the restrictions or step out.

Ah heck, that's just a bunch of babble on my part. Give me fun characters and I'm there...

Jillian Hunter said...

Thank you all for your comments! One of the challenges in writing an historical is trying to stay as true to social mores while appealing to a modern reader. I would rather read about characters who break conventions; you can make a strong conflict between characters when they are forced to follow rules that are making them miserable. But these stories have been done before and you have to put your own spin on it.
There are more aspects to the Regency than Jane Austen's lovely world. I enjoy exploring these.
Like you, Clover, I just want to be entertained.

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