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!