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10 Questions for Janna MacGregor

10-Questions-for-Janna-MacGregor

Born and raised in Missouri, Janna MacGregor graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, clerked for a district judge, and worked as a lawyer in private practice. MacGregor was inspired to try writing her own romance novel after rediscovering the romance genre as a reader and attending a romance book convention in 2013. Her first book, The Bad Luck Bride, was published in 2017 and launched the author’s popular and critically acclaimed Regency-set historical series known as the Cavensham Heiresses.

Who is Janna MacGregor?

I’m a romance writer who loves to tell stories of strong, independent women who find their equally matched better halves as they struggle in their everyday worlds. Through love, they discover all the wonderful things life has to offer. I believe in hope, love, and the idea that good will conquer evil. I love pugs, single malt whiskeys, and pasta. In the course of the day you’ll find me writing, then exploring the great cities I live in.

Tell us about your latest book, Wild, Wild Rake.

This is the last book in my Cavensham Heiresses series, and I’ve picked two strong but deeply committed people to tell a story of hope and forgiveness. Forced into marriage with a cruel marquess, Lady Avalon Warwyk finds herself widowed and raising her son all by herself. She’s content in her work, helping fallen women become businesswomen, and has been living the past ten years with no desire to remarry . . . until Mr. Devan Farris comes to town.

But Devan Farris—charming vicar, reputed rake, and the brother of Avalon’s son’s guardian—turns Avalon’s world upside down. Devan has been reluctantly sent to town to keep tabs on Avalon and her son. He wishes he didn’t have to meddle in her affairs; he’s not one to trod on a woman’s independent nature and keen sense of convictions. But Avalon will have nothing to do with him and his wild reputation—even though he’s never given his heart and body to another. If only he could find a way to show Avalon who he really is on the inside—a good, true soul looking for its other half. But how can he prove that he wants to love and care for her . . . until death do they part?

Wild, Wild Rake Is part of the Cavensham Heiresses series. Tell us about the series and why you think romance readers love “series.”

Set in the Regency period, the Cavensham Heiresses series revolves around the family and friends of the Duke and Duchess of Langham. They have three adult children and adopted their niece as one of their own when she was a young child. The series of six books features the niece and the three children of the duke and duchess. The remaining two books of the series feature a distant Cavensham cousin and friends of the duke and duchess’s children. It’s a world where no matter what happens to the characters, they know they have a strong family they can rely on. The cornerstone of the family’s relationship with one another is laughter, a bit of bickering, and, most of all, love. I think readers devour these stories because when they open a book in a well-loved series, it’s like coming home for a holiday celebration.

What three words best describe your writing?

How about in three animals? Plow horse, quarter horse, and racehorse.

I start a new book slow and steady. The first part of my writing a story is deliberate, with an intense focus on plotting. As I go deeper into the story, I become a little quicker, with a daily word count that I try to reach. When I’m in the last quarter of the novel, the words typically fly off the page as I know where I’m headed with the ending. I say “typically” because I’ve had a couple of stories that have been bears until the very end.

What is/are the book(s) that got you hooked as a reader on the romance genre?

My darling mother introduced the wonderful world of historical romance to me through Dame Barbara Cartland. In high school, I devoured her stories. From there, I found the exquisite stories of Julie Garwood, Stephanie Laurens, and Jo Beverley. As I broadened my horizons, I discovered the beautiful tales crafted by Eloisa James, Sabrina Jeffries, and Lisa Kleypas. By then, I was hooked for life. Historical romance will always be my catnip.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received in life?

Never, ever give up. If you want it and work hard, you’ll reap the rewards. I truly believe that piece of advice and embrace it as a creed.

Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte?

Jane Austen, totally.

If you could be any character in fiction for a day, whom would you choose and why that character?

Emma Woodhouse. She’s flawed with good intentions, just like the rest of us. To live for a day in Highbury would be a life lesson that could be incorporated into our modern world. Why? Because every person is vital to the success of a community. Emma, by Jane Austen is a perfect example of that.

If you can’t tell, it’s my favorite book by Jane Austen.

What is next for you as an author?

I’m delighted to share that I have a new three-book series for St. Martin’s Press. It features three women who meet in the opening scene of the first book and realize their lives are forever changed. Their journeys to find their happily-ever-afters make up the three books in the series. I’ve had the opening scene in my head for years, and I’m so delighted I’ll be able to write these stories.

How can readers best connect with you and learn more about your books?

Thank you so much for asking. Readers can find my books here:

Here’s where readers can find me on social media:

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About the Author:

The Romance Writers of America 2002 Librarian of the Year, Charles has been reviewing romances for Booklist since 1999 and is the author of Romance Today: An A to Z Guide to Contemporary American Romance. After working for the Scottsdale Public Library System for 30 years, Charles retired and went to work for Scottsdale's independent bookstore the Poisoned Pen, where he still gets to push books but has to deal with far fewer computer questions.

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