Author Spotlight: GH® Finalist, Jillian Lark

Welcome to Spotlight Thursday on Live Vi-Carrie-ous! I’m excited to introduce you to Jillian Lark, a Golden Heart ® finalist in the Historical Romance category.

jlWelcome, Jillian! Tell us about your GH Finalist manuscript. Is this your first time entering/finaling?

Hi, Carrie! Thanks for hosting me on your blog!

My first Golden Heart final, MUCH ADO ABOUT SCANDAL, previously placed second in the 2013 Maggie Award for Excellence and Rebecca contests. It is also the first book in the Mischief in Mayfair series, which is about scandalous schemers who circumvent the laws and rules of Victorian Society. Here’s the blurb:

Lady Selborne has found the man she wishes to marry. Unfortunately he’s not her husband. Lord Selborne has found the life he always wanted. Unfortunately he’s not free to live it.

The estranged couple agree to end their arranged marriage the only honorable way allowed by Victorian law. One of them has to die – a faux death.

To avoid suspicion Lord and Lady Selborne must convince Society they are a loving couple. That is, if they can agree who should be the “victim” and protect their hearts from a painful past and unexpected desire.

I love that premise. A fresh and original twist on the familiar arranged marriage plot. What are you currently working on?

I’m writing INVENTING LORD REMINGTON (Remington Steele for the Victorian age). It’s the second book in the Mischief in Mayfair series and is about a woman who creates an imaginary husband in order to save her late father’s company. When a con artist assumes her fake husband’s identity, she must risk her reputation, the family business, and her heart.

I’ve also plotted 2 other books in the series, a second series, and a historical fiction novel. Sometimes my writer’s brain works on all of these stories simultaneously. It’s crowded in there, especially when my characters start talking to each other.

How fun! I’m a big Remington Steele fan—hello? Pierce Brosnan??—so I look forward to reading that one. Now for the important question: Chocolate or peanut butter?

I love both, but I’m in self-imposed chocolate withdrawal. Prepping for the RITA/Golden Heart awards ceremony is all about fitting into the dress, right?

Ah, yes. The dress. Sigh.
Okay, tell me what jobs have you had?

I’ve been a grant writer, teacher, computer lab manager, water quality monitor, non-profit program coordinator and board member, volunteer archeologist, workshop presenter, newsletter editor, mail clerk, and babysitter. Come to think of it, I still use most of those job skills every day whether I’m helping my family or writing.

How about something personal about yourself?

My passion for the past, England, and writing began at age eight when my family moved from the U.S. to a late Victorian era home near London. I minored in English and studied British History. After living in England, Germany, and 11 U.S. states, I now reside in Texas where I’m a PRO member of RWA®, Austin RWA, and the Golden Network. When not writing Historical Romance and spending time with my family, I’m a fervent Anglophile, occasional traveler, and reluctant wrangler of dust bunnies. Oh, and sometimes I find missing people. Just don’t ask where my lost keys, eyeglasses, and forks are.

Oh, man, I answer those questions all day for Stud Muffin. So, if you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?

I would be a 2,000 year-old yew located in England with tree houses, secret hiding places, and the ability to see and remember everything that’s happened during that time.

Best vacation spots?

Primarily, England. (Are you sensing a theme yet?) I miss living there and love to visit my childhood home, friends, former neighbors, museums, and a few places I’ve never been before. Since I can’t afford the trip across the pond as often as I would like, a close second choice is the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington, and Victoria, BC). I visit family and friends, enjoy the beautiful scenery and wildlife, research 19th century places, and wallow in the cool break from the humid Texas heat.

Well, speaking of Texas and the heat, are you coming to San Antonio this summer and what are you looking forward to most? What are you wearing to the awards banquet?

Yes! It’s less than a 100 miles away, and I’ve never been to Nationals before. I’m eager to meet people in person from my fellow 2014 Golden Heart finalists/Dreamweaver sisters to agents, editors, and favorite authors.

There’s also another special group of writers who have supported me as CPs (critique partners) and cheerleaders even though we’ve never met. We intend to rectify that with a meet-up entitled “Secrets, Lies, Chocolate Mousse Pie, Cheez-Its, and Scones.” Everyone keeps adding their favorite snacks or desserts.

Maybe we should postpone that party until after the awards ceremony, because I might not fit into either of the two dresses I selected. They’re both blue, but I’m not sure which one I’ll wear to the awards ceremony. Knowing my inability to keep my clothes clean for longer than it takes to type a hashtag sign, I’ll probably only have one choice of what to wear that evening. At least I hope that’s the case. If not, I might have to borrow a few tablecloths from the hotel. I promise I won’t abscond with their forks.

In the meantime, how can people find you?

Other than writing in my pjs? My website or on Twitter @JillianLark

Thanks for stopping by Jillian, and best of luck to you next month!

42 thoughts on “Author Spotlight: GH® Finalist, Jillian Lark

  1. Great to learn more about you, Jillian! So awesome you got to live in England. And, let me tell you, Remington Steele was one of my very favorite shows back in the day! Love your historical twist on it. Can’t wait to read it in print someday soon!

      1. Carrie, I’m sorry I missed your comment earlier. I feel the same way about Remington Steele, so I’ m developing INVENTING LORD REMINGTON’S potential as a possible separate series.~Jillian

    1. Hi, Laura! The other Laura, Laura Holt, wasn’t the only one Remington made “itchy.” That’s why I wanted to give the show a Victorian twist. I’m eager to meet you in July and read your books someday, too.~Jillian

      P.S. My apologies to those of you who still have comments waiting in the queue. I’ll be back to reply to them as soon as I can.

  2. Love the post! Can’t wait to meet in SA and eat lots of chocolate as I too have been on a self-imposed ban. 🙂

    1. Thanks, McCall! I’m looking forward to meeting you, too. Just don’t carry chocolate with you when you’re outside in SA, not even for a minute. It really does melt in your hands, purse, everywhere in the July Texas heat.~Jillian

  3. No chocolate? Yikes. I’d make up the difference in wine and cheese. Then again, I don’t have to worry about fitting into the dress. Your books sound delightful and I can’t wait to BUY one!

    1. Thanks, Julie! After the first month, going without chocolate isn’t that difficult. At least that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. I wish you could come to SA. I’m eager to buy your books, too.~Jillian

  4. Yay Jillian, who hosted EVERYONE, finally gets to be spotlighted too!
    So I lived in Wimbledon & Frankfurt, among other places, and am now in Houston…I’m on a self-imposed chocolate-addiction recover program (intervention WAS needed) for the DRESS…I guess what I’m saying is: we totally need to get together and gab! You’ll love Ntls. It’s completely overwhelming, so schedule some downtime knowing you’ll be missing some great workshops or free books/booksignings. You can’t do everything, I learned the hard way.
    See you soon!

    1. Sarah, we must be traveling in the same orbit–England, Germany (Nurenberg), and Texas. It’s about time we met, so I’m looking forward to gabbing at Nationals. Thanks for the advice about down time!~Jillian

  5. I love the sound of your book and I love Remington Steele! I agree with the others, it’s a good idea and it’s time to bring it back, so I’m glad you’ve put a new twist on it. Congrats and thank you so much for all of your support Jillian!

    1. You’re welcome, Piper. Sorry you had to wait so long for a reply. I got the idea quite some time ago, and I’m glad several people like the premise. Just found out NBC is planning a sequel about Laura and Remington’s daughter who reopens their detective agency.~Jillian

      P.S. Again my apologies to anyone else waiting for a reply. I’ll be back again later this afternoon to respond to your comments.

  6. I love seeing you being interviewed instead of the other way around, Jillian. 🙂
    I love your premise and I can’t wait to hear more about the dress. That is one of the best parts of finaling–getting to buy a new dress!
    Can’t wait to see you in San Antonio.

    1. Thanks, Sharon! In my case, it’s more about dresses than “the dress.” My wardrobe is mainly pjs and casual separates. The two possible awards night dresses aren’t nearly as glamorous as the ones other people have posted on the private loop, but they are my favorite color. It will be fun to meet you and our Dreamweaver sisters in July!~Jillian

    1. Hi, Nan! I’m thrilled you like the Mischief in Mayfair premises. It’s been fun learning about you, too, and I’m eager to meet you in person. Thanks for keeping the 2014 Golden Heart finalist group (aka Dreamweavers) organized!~Jillian

  7. Have a wonderful time at Nationals, Jillian! It’s a whirlwind, but worth every penny! (And don’t drink before the ceremony, just in case you win. Drunk + speech = disaster!)

    1. Thanks, Joanna! I’m sorry you won’t be there, but I hope we meet in person soon. I appreciate the great conference advice. Unfortunately I’ll probably reenact Jennifer Lawrence’s tumbles. I’m known for my ability to commit multiple acts of clumsiness without requiring alcohol. Everyone going to RWA14, you have been forewarned.~Jillian

  8. Hi Jillian,

    Stopping by to say hi! And oh – something else we have in common – I’ve done the PR and marketing thing for years, working with nonprofit organizations, etc. Here in DC – its always fun and games:)! Great post.

    1. Hi, Denny! Yes, being on a board is usually more political games than fun. I envy your PR / marketing background though. Wish I could do a Vulcan mind meld on you. I’ll settle for a chat in SA. Can’t wait until then.~Jillian

  9. Wow! Both of those books sound absolutely great, and I love the first two lines of your blurb- – so clever! So much fun to read about your writing and your travels. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

    1. Thanks for the compliments, Amy! The blurb for your YA entry FOUR BULLETS and news reporter career are fascinating. I can’t wait to meet you in July and am looking forward to hosting you and the other YA finalists on my blog June 9th. ~Jillian

  10. Jillian, your books sound awesome. I can’t wait to read them.

    I also can’t wait to meet you. We will get along famously. My favorite color is blue, I’m married to a Brit, and we live in the Pacific Northwest! 🙂

    1. Asa, thanks! I think so, too. I just realized there’s blue in every outfit I’m wearing at RWA14. I’d be easy to spot if no one else wore that color, I wasn’t 5’2″ in height, and you and I were the only ones there. Looking forward to meeting you, too. Wave to the Brit and the Pacific Northwest for me.~Jillian

      1. All of my outfits will probably have blue in them as well. And I’m 5’2″ also. If I didn’t look so silly in them, I’d suggest we wear blue hats. 🙂

      2. Asa, I hope my reply posts under your comment about outfits and our mutual 5 ft. 2in. height. I’d wear hats, but my hair always looks awful when I take them off. Besides we’d need 6ft. tall hats with flashing lights and sirens to be seen and heard in the hotel lobby during RWA14.~Jillian

    1. Carrie, thanks for interviewing me! It was fun. I ‘ll respond to Connie and check back later in case someone else leaves a comment. Have a safe and wonderful trip!~Jillian

    1. Connie, no worries. Sorry I’m even later responding to your comment. My day had a mind of its own. I enjoyed the interview. Thanks for the compliments! I’m eager to read your Romantic Suspense FATAL FRAGRANCES soon, too.~Jillian

  11. Jillian, Sorry I’m so late! So to preserve the dresses maybe you need club soda, one of those laundry pens, or only stick to blue food. 😉 Your book sounds like a ton of fun, and I can’t wait to read it.

    I likewise wish my budget allowed for visiting England, and for e especially, Scotland. I’ve been three times, never got to live there, but oh I wish I’d been on top of things, and the places I’d have stalked and photographed in London!

    Can’t wait to meet you in SA. And yes, you do seem to have a knack for PI work. 😉

  12. Thanks, Shelly! I didn’t see your comment until this morning, so please don’t worry about being late. The blue food suggestion made me laugh. Let’s face it. We both love the British Isles. Now we need to be PI’s and find a way to make it happen. Looking forward to meeting you, too. Please remind me to order the club soda. Great idea!~Jillian

  13. Terrific interview, Jillian and Carrie! I love the premise of your Mayfair series, Jillian. Sounds juicy!

    I visited London for the first time last year. Loved it! I really wanted to go back this year for their Open Garden Squares Weekend, where they unlock the gates on all those secret gardens in the city — it’s on next weekend. Sigh!

    Apologies for being so, so late again! I’ve been sick, but peanut butter and chocolate are great medicines.

    1. Thanks, Vanessa! Ooh, secret gardens and London. I’ll put Open Garden Squares Weekend on my wishful thinking calendar for next year. Don’t worry about being late. I’m glad you’re feeling better. Medicinal peanut butter and chocolate. Why didn’t my mother use them instead of Vicks vapor rub and a plaid handkerchief around my neck?

  14. I’m even later to the party, but loved reading your interview! You write a mean blurb!!! (And I mean that in the best possible way). Can’t wait to read this series!!

    And I second your choice of vacation spots. Maybe us Texans just long for lush, cool places with beautiful scenery!

    Carrie, thanks for doing these interviews. It’s been fun to get to know everyone.

    1. Brynley, no worries about being late. I’m thrilled you found Carrie’s blog and my interview. Thanks for the compliments and seconding cool, beautiful places! Still wish I lived in one year round. ~Jillian

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