Name Jillian Chantal
Where are you from Pensacola, Florida
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I am a lawyer in my day job and am married with two children. I also have a cat who brings us joy with his antics.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
On January 4, I have a short story coming out in a set with 7 other authors. My story is called Milady and Her Spy. The set will be available for a few months and then I will be publishing two more adventures with this character- the other two are Milady Takes a Groom and Milady Goes to France. They are fun adventures set during the Napoleonic Wars and involve spies and mysterious assignments.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been jotting tales since I was in elementary school but didn’t really make any move to do anything serious until 2009.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Always. Not as a career but as just something I do.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I decided to immerse myself in another world when I decided to leave where I was working and the law partner I had for many years was nasty to me every day at the office. I needed an escape to de-stress after those long days as I worked out my notice period.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I like to write about places I’ve visited- setting stories in those locations. I always have humor in the tales and most of the time, the heroine is a strong willed woman. Kind of like me there, I think. LOL
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Milady and the Spy came from the fact that the hero is a spy. There was a character in The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas named Milady. She was a villain but also a spy so I borrowed her name for the title. The character in my story is Augusta Covington, though and is not a villain at all. J She’s the daughter of an earl so she is Lady Augusta.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Not really. This was a fun story merely for amusement. Sometimes we need that, right?
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
I tried to be historically correct but I’m not sure how realistic it would have been for its time period since most ladies were more constricted than Augusta, the heroine.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Not at all. I wish I knew a spy. How fun that would be. 😀
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I loved Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie growing up so I adore a good mystery and try to put some of that in my work.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Pirate’s Alley by Suzanne Johnson
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Suzanne Johnson isn’t a new writer but she’s new to me and I love her style. She’s witty and has a great series called the Sentinels of New Orleans.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I have a Regency called The Orphan and the Duke I am polishing for my editor now and it will be out in the summer of 2016. Augusta features in it as well. She’s such a great character and won’t let go of my imagination. She keeps showing up.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My friends who are in my writing group. They are my cheerleaders and also let me know when I go off track.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. It’s a second one for me as I still practice law. I try to fit the writing in around the law.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Maybe make it longer. I was given a word count limit but I think I’m the only one in the set that stuck to it. LOL
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I wrote a little tale in the 5th grade about Mr. Pepper falling in love with Miss Salt and going to medical school and becoming Dr. Pepper. My teacher loved it so much, she made copies and gave it to the other teachers in other grades to read to their classes. I was hooked!
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Here are the opening paragraphs of my story, Milady and Her Spy: It can be preordered here: http://www.amazon.com/Once-Upon-True-Loves-Kiss-ebook/dp/B0167BI4XU
There comes a time in the life of every young lady, no matter her auditory capabilities, when she will be in need of an ear trumpet. Today was that day for Augusta Covington. She searched the library for the one she knew her uncle, one of the house party guests, had to have left in the room somewhere. He had a habit of setting it down wherever he was and she’d last seen him reading in the chair near the fire. It wasn’t quite time for dinner yet so he was probably not missing it. Once the meal was served, he’d be yelling, “Eh?” until someone fetched the thing for him.
Shuffling the papers on the desk and patting the palm of her hand over the wood surface, her anxiety rose. She needed it and now.
Finally, blessedly, her fingers grasped the tube. She jerked it out of its hiding place and darted over to the far wall as quickly as her skirts would allow. Putting the small end inside her ear and the bell end to the paneled wall, Augusta leaned in and, as though it would help her hear better, and squinted her eyes. She focused on the voices in the other room.
“I’m telling you, sir. I have a house full of guests and cannot manage to get away now to come see to Lancelot. He will have to wait,” William, Augusta’s oldest brother, the heir to their father’s dukedom, said.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The thing I find the most challenging is the edits. I love, love the first draft stage – it’s so much fun but then I have to buckle down and get serious about making sure it all makes sense and flows well.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My favorite writer is Christopher Fowler. He’s witty and has this vast knowledge of one of my favorite cities, London. He writes a very funny yet intelligent detective series. They are superb books and I learn something every time I read one.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I travel a lot because I love it and then I set stories in the places I go. I can’t say I’ve ever traveled specifically somewhere with the idea of a story but I’d be up for that. 😀
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Different artists, depending on the publishing house that put out the book. All my self-published books were done by Dawne Dominique.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
In writing the Regency set story we talked about earlier, it was making sure I didn’t use modern phrases so I had a etymology dictionary open at all time as well as an idiom history guide.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned some of the words I wanted to use weren’t in the language back then and had to pick others. LOL
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Stick with it. The early stories will teach you how to write and don’t be in a hurry to publish those because chances are, they aren’t ready. I learned that and sometimes cringe at some of my older work. 😀
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I love you all and hope my stories make you smile. I love to laugh and try really hard to have humor even in the darker stories.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Comic books in the car as my mom drove my older sister to school.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I laugh at all kinds of stuff- mostly at my klutzy self. LOL
As to crying- well, I can’t deal with those commercials about animals in distress, I cry at movies and when I hear about children being mistreated.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I would have liked to meet Princess Diana. She was my age and married about a year before me and had two sons like me. I would’ve loved to have had a nice chat over a cup of tea with her.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Ooh, good one. I think I’d like it to say, “She laughed every day, even if sometimes it was just at herself.”
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Photography, scrapbooking and reading, of course. 😀
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m a fan of Castle, Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, anything Jane Austen
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I love Italian food, the color orange and every single kind of music except country.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Actress. Just another way to be in a different world.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Amazon Authors Page http://www.amazon.com/Jillian-Chantal/e/B008DWCRVW/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_4