NY Times Bestselling Author Jill Barnett

December 12, 2015


Bio: Jill Barnett is an international bestselling author with over 8 million books in print. Published in 23 languages, audio, national and international book clubs, hardcover and large print editions, her work has earned her a place on the New York Times, USA Today, the Washington Post, and Publishers Weekly.

You can find Jill on social media:   

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Q:  At what point did you decide to make writing a profession? What got you started in the industry?


A.  I had gone back to school in my 30s to get an accounting degree and instead headed straight for the humanities. I was an art major the first time I went after high school. A move from Southern to Northern California and my daughter's adoption had me transferring schools and juggling motherhood, school, and life. I took my daughter to the pumpkin patch in October, and as I watched her, I decided I couldn’t do it all. I had to make a choice. I chose her over getting my Masters Degree. I knew by then I wanted to write a book and had plenty of ideas. So I quit school and began writing while she was napping and in preschool. I sold my book almost 2 years to the day I quit school.


I found romance quite by accident. In the late 70s I went to a garage sale with a friend of mine and saw a book. It was about a duke and I thought I would love this. I was reading so many heavy textbooks about history and needed something to just lose myself in. So, I bought the book for 50 cents. It was Moonstruck Madness by Laurie McBain, and I fell in love with historical romance novels. (I made Alec a duke in BEWITCHING as a tribute to Lucien in McBain book.)


Q:  How long have you been writing?


A:  29 years


Q:  What is your genre?


A:  Historical romance and Women's Fiction. I also wrote a mainstream WWII novel Sentimental Journey.


Q:  If you could write in any other genre, what would it be?


A:  Southern Fiction. I adore Pat Conroy.


Q:  Where do you get your plot ideas?


A:  They come to me from the strangest places; brushing my teeth, driving in the car, folding laundry....


Q:  Who or what inspires you?


A:  My car payment LOL


Q:  Do you have a favorite “brain food,” a.k.a. snack food, when writing?


A:  Not really, especially now because I'm eating a very healthy lifestyle. I cut out corn, soy, sugar, gluten, alcohol and caffeine 90% of the time from my diet last May. One would think I would be skinny now....I'm not! But I will tell you a story. I remember when I finished my book Wonderful, I looked around my office floor and there were a slew of Three Musketeers Junior wrappers. At the very end of a book I pretty much "live" the book, sleeping only maybe an hour or two at a time and writing fiendishly. I think it was October and that was what I had handy I could grab. I remember they were frozen. I ate all my Halloween candy! 


Q:  How do you approach a difficult scene? Do you tackle it head on or take time to mull it over?


A:  I pace and walk, and fret, and get myself all tied into knots, then when I'm really desperate, I sit down and make a list of how the scene could go. Sometimes the list is pages long, but eventually I find the right door.


Q:  In general, how many drafts and edits do you go through per novel?


A:  I don’t know. I pretty much write and edit as I go. I'm not a draft writer. I can’t move forward if it's not right. I don’t work that way.


Q:  Because the writing process is all-consuming, how do you re-energize yourself and gear up for the next novel? Do you take time off?


A:  When I finish a book I always run a hot bath and just stay in it for at least an hour, refilling the tub with more hot water and just not thinking about anything. The next idea usually makes its appearance when I'm about ¾ of the way through the other book and I have to tamp it down to keep going.


Q:  What book(s) do you currently have for sale? Please provide a synopsis. (List links for sale if applicable.)


A:  Too long! Please go look for your favorite site under: Jill Barnett


Historicals   -   Contemporary  -  Short Stories