I’m delighted today to introduce my next guest on the Book Talk feature, author Jenni Fletcher. Jenni’s bubbly personality lights up our local Romantic Novelists’ Association chapter meetings, so I was really pleased when she agreed to take part. Welcome, Jenni. Can you start by introducing yourself to our readers please?
Hi, I’m Jenni and I write Historical Romances for Mills and Boon and Penguin YA. I live in Hull with my family, I’ve been nominated for 5 Romantic Novel Awards (I won for Short Romantic Fiction in 2020) and I (sporadically) teach Creative Writing at Bishop Grosseteste University in Lincoln. My hobbies mostly involve drinking caffeine, baking/eating cakes, watching period dramas and reading, but I force myself to go mountain biking and hiking occasionally.
It’s great to have you here, Jenni. What’s the first book you remember reading or owning?
The Munch Bunch series. I was a big fan of Scruff Gooseberry and Rozzy Raspberry.
Okay, I’ll admit I’ve never read any of those books. Aren’t the Munch Bunch yoghurts? Or am I thinking of something else? Oh, I feel so old… What’s your favourite childhood book and why?
Anne of Green Gables because it’s beautiful written, the characters are memorable and it’s just so heartwarming. We almost moved to Prince Edward Island when I was little, but my parents decided on Edinburgh instead. I’m still slightly bitter about that.
Haha, nothing wrong with Edinburgh though! Do you have a favourite among the books you’ve written yourself?
Probably How to Lose an Earl in Ten Weeks because it’s more of a historical rom-com than a historical romance and I really enjoyed writing in a lighter tone. I also have a soft spot for Miss Amelia’s Mistletoe Marquess because I love the cover and trapped-in-the-snow is my favourite trope!
I can see you as a rom-com writer, with your sparkling wit and entertaining stories! Do you read any genres apart from the one/s you write in?
Yes! All of them except horror because I’m too squeamish (I also stick to the cosier side of crime) but mainly women’s fiction and YA romance at the moment.
I can’t cope with horror, ever since James Herbert’s book The Rats got passed around school back in the mists of time. I get scared watching the old black and white Frankenstein films so you can imagine. Which author/s had the biggest influence on you? (I’m guessing not Stephen King!)
Jane Austen, E.M. Forster, Marian Keyes, Katharine McMahon and Mary Balogh, but I think you absorb something from every book you read.
I think that’s probably true. Do you read books more than once?
Not often. My TBR pile is too high. It actually toppled over a couple of nights ago.
I know the feeling! Which book (if any) is your go-to comfort read?
Anything by Marian Keyes. I think she’s a genius (but if I had to choose one book, The Mystery of Mercy Close).
I think I mentioned to you once that I still haven’t read any of Marian’s books, although I own loads of them. I love her newsletters though. She’s so funny. I’m putting her on my June reading list forthwith! Do you prefer hardback, paperback, e-book, audio, or no preference?
Paperback, although I’ve listened to a lot more audiobooks since getting a dog. I recommend Liane Moriarty audiobooks – her narrator is perfect!
What’s your current read?
Mrs March by Virginia Feito, Anatomy: A Love Story by Dana Schwartz and Nothing More to Tell by Karen McManus. I like to have several on the go at once so I’m never book-less.
Ah, I remember those days when I could read several books alongside each other… Have you ever preferred a film or tv version to the original book?
I found the beginning of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society a bit confusing, but after watching the film, I tried again and absolutely loved it. So I prefer the book, but I would probably never have finished it without the film – that makes it a tie, I think?
I loved the film, but I haven’t read the book. Is there any particular book that inspired you to write?
I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write so it might be The Munch Bunch again. Or – to sound more intellectual – Jane Eyre because that was the first ‘grown-up book’ I remember reading (at my grandparents house near Morecambe circa 1992).
Oh I love Jane Eyre, though I was in my twenties before I first read it. What’s your latest book about, Jenni?
Cinderella’s Deal with the Colonel is a Regency Romance about a heroine who’s lost everything going to confront the man she thinks is responsible, only to find his much nicer, ex-colonel, younger brother instead, who then offers her a job as his secretary. It’s a Mills & Boon so you can guess where this leads, although there’s also a less exciting sub-plot about Georgian building projects. Then Two Dukes and A Debutante is a YA Regency RomCom about a debutante reevaluating her life choices after a scandalous failed elopement and getting distracted when a Duke and his rebellious half-brother move in next door.
They both sound great, and such lovely titles! What’s next for you?
A YA Regency Christmas story and then a Tudor romance-mystery for Mills & Boon. After that, I think I’d like to write something darker and Victorian.
Ooh, that sounds intriguing! Darker and Victorian? I’ll look out for that. Thanks, Jenni. It’s been lovely to talk to you.
Cinderella’s Deal with the Colonel
A penniless Cinderella
And a tempting offer from the Colonel…
When a marquess’s scheme leads to the debt and demise of Abigail’s father she wants retribution! Only her plans of confronting the scoundrel go awry when his handsome younger brother Colonel Theodore Marshall offers her a job as his secretary. Theo’s deal helps Abigail rescue her family from financial ruin, but working so closely with him isn’t as easy as she expected.
Especially when each encounter sparks with tension!
Two Dukes and a Debutante
One duke spells trouble. Two spells disaster.
Caroline Foyle is sick of being a debutante.
After her failed elopement, she doesn’t know who she is or what she wants anymore. She just needs to keep her head down and stay out of trouble. But trouble has a way of finding her, especially when it’s in the form of the arrogant duke, not to mention his extremely charming half-brother, who have just moved into the house next door.
But Caro has to do what’s right for her family. Even if it means losing the one man she adores.