SR: How did you get started writing, and how long was it before you were
Jeanie: Technically, I began writing when I was around eleven years old, right
after I'd finished J.R.R. Tolkien's LORD OF THE RINGS. I'd fallen in love
with Aragorn, and Boromir, and Faramir, and decided my calling was to write
sweeping fantasy sagas that would capture readers' hearts and imaginations
just like my heart and imagination had been captured. I didn't start writing
to sell until I was pregnant with my second child and planning to give up my
day job to stay home and rear my girls. I joined RWA and my local chapter,
spent about a year writing and rewriting the first chapter of a
still-unfinished fantasy historical and then decided I'd never make it in
this business unless I got linear. Start small and work my way up. I
published my first romantic short story in Star Magazine about six months
later, my first SECRETS novella just a few months after that.
SR: Did you start out writing erotic/sensual romance? What attracted you to
the sexier side of romance?
Jeanie: Boy, did I just stumble into the sexier side of romance! When I began
writing romance, I decided to write those metaphoric two-paragraph love
scenes like Kathleen Woodiwiss had in all those classics I loved. Published
my first romantic short story without so much as a kiss. Then Red Sage
advertised launching the SECRETS line and it just so happened that plotting
at novella length was my next writing hurdle to tackle. Without giving much
thought to the sensuality level, I wrote a synopsis and ten pages. The
editor called me three days later and asked for the story. ("The Gift,"
SECRETS Volume 1) I wrote it and thus began my rather unexpected career with
writing sensual romance. Who knew I'd have a knack for it?!
SR: You have written for both Harlequin Blaze and Red Sage. How does writing
for these publishers differ, and which do you prefer?
Jeanie: Wow! Interesting question. Though both publish sensual romance, Harlequin
and Red Sage are very different from each other. These houses stretch me in
different ways as a writer. With Blaze, I have more room to grow my
characters, develop their romance and play with their storyline--lots of
challenges! With Red Sage, I don't have the boundaries I have with Blaze and
can push the limits of what's erotically acceptable--lots of thrills! Both
Blaze and SECRETS force me to write tight--Blaze because of the series'
parameters and SECRETS because of the word count. Both also share the sexy
premise and I cut my teeth on sexy premises with SECRETS, which has served
me VERY well with Blaze. I can't honestly say I prefer one more than the
other. Writing for Red Sage gets me published in hardcover with Doubleday,
while Blaze puts me on mass market shelves everywhere. Apples and oranges,
and I like both.
SR: Please tell us a bit about your current release, SECRET GAMES.
Jeanie: Maggie and Sam were a first for me. I'd written red-hot before, but never
red-hot romantic COMEDY. What a trip! I let Maggie and Sam have their way
and giggled at their antics while discovering a lighter side of my
imagination that I hadn't realized existed. With its romance superclub and
unlikely matchmakers, SECRET GAMES led me down a new path of my writing
journey and I've had a blast exploring the zanier,
skirting-the-borders-of-fantasy scenarios that Blaze is buying from me.
SR: How did you come up with the idea of the superclub setting, and how did
you research it?
Jeanie: I stand in front of a computer all day writing about fantasies, so my
imagination is constantly spinning with all sorts of possibilities. The idea
of a resort catering to romance sounded like exactly the place I'd enjoy
taking my own romance hero for a weekend away from reality. The research was
drawn straight from life--a temporary stint I did in hotel sales. After a
pre-child career spent on the road, working within the confines of a hotel
office was a whole new experience for me. There were so many different
personalities all pulling together toward a unified goal and so many
unpredictable twists and turns involved in running a large property. Every
day was an adventure and I was fascinated. I wanted to bring these qualities
to my superclub. Using sex and a quirky supporting cast seemed exactly the
way to do it.
SR: What are you working on at the moment?
Jeanie: My fourth Blaze, which is a continuing character story from my second
Blaze, ONE-NIGHT MAN. I've coined the phrase "red-hot pursuit" for this
book, which is VERY aggressive seduction. My heroine doesn't believe in
romance heroes and my hero is determined to make her believe in him. It's
set to a cozy mystery in an antebellum plantation and is proving to be hot,
SR: What should readers look for next from Jeanie London?
Jeanie: A very steamy June Blaze titled ONE-NIGHT MAN. This story is set in
equally steamy New Orleans and plays with the submission fantasy, a liking
for which takes my characters quite by surprise. My hero, Josh, is a grand
passion waiting to happen. Of course Lennon isn't looking for grand passion.
She's looking for marriage--nice, respectable marriage. But Josh is too bold
and too sexy to be ignored. She thinks if she shares just a hot night-or
two-with this one-night man, she'll get grand passion out of her system. Of
course, like my first Blaze, I've written a cast of quirky supporting
characters who alternately try to convince these two of the merits, and the
offenses, of grand passion;-)