Jean Hart Stewart is a writer of historical romance that also includes an element or two of suspense, which makes her books popular in both of those sub-genres.
Welcome to the Examiner, Jean. What prompted you to mix those two sub-genres together?
What prompted me to mix historical and romantic suspense? I’ve long been an ardent history buff, and one day when reading about the battle of Waterloo wondered how things might have gone if Wellington hadn’t been the Allied leader. He so inspired his men, who felt they couldn’t lose under such a magical leader. Being outnumbered never bothered the troops. As it was, Wellington himself called the battle a ‘near-run thing.’ And what if he’d been killed at the battle? The framework for the book and a spy who tries to kill Wellington came into my head. I think I’m already answering the second question and telling you about the book, The Third Rose. Lord Wolverton is chasing a spy and Sara is bent on revenge of the villain who raped her friend. Neither one wants the love that ultimately claims them, and Sara has her share of adventure and saving Wolf’s life. She meets Wellington at the famous ball the night before the British leave to engage Napoleon. She learns how horrible battle can be when Wolf goes to war. You can find the trailer at www.myspace/jswriter7.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
I think Catherine Coulter is the first historical romance I read. That was a looooong time ago. Love Diana Gabaldon and many others though.
How do you keep track of all the details that go into a suspense/historical story? That must be difficult.
I keep track of details with a simple time chart I set up on my computer. Nothing fancy, I’ve never mastered spread sheets. I have pretty extended fact lists on my Druid and Mage series. Since I follow the families from book to book, I’d get hopelessly confused without it. I keep track of physical characteristics such a color of hair and eyes, and birthdates since I write a book about each member of the family and of course the others figure in and I’ve got to be sure how old they all are.
When you first start writing a book, do you already know how it will turn out?
I never have to worry about how the book will end. I know the beginning and end immediately. It’s the damned soggy middle of the book that gives me fits. I sometimes have a dreadful time figuring out how they get from A to Z. I remember years ago listening to a speech by Mary Balogh and someone asked what to do if you were stuck. Her answer was a simple ‘Make it worse’. Best advice I ever had.
That is good advice—and quite frightening, I might add. So what are you working on now?
I just signed a contract with Passion in Print for another historical, ‘For Love and I are New’. Don’t know if they’ll want to keep that name or not, but naturally I’m delighted. And I have several more Mage books in the works. Someday I’ll catch up with myself but I don’t know when. Not sure I even want to, I love writing and all it entails.
It’s always nice to hear that writers love their work, and that our favorite authors are still full of new ideas. Where can your finds find you these days?
I’m on the internet under my website www.jeanhartstewart.com, where I have lots of excerpts and reviews. If you Google my name you’ll find about eighteen pages which is kinda fun. Some of my books are at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and a lot at Cerridwen Press or Jasmine Jade Enterprises. I’m on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace and love new friends. Third Rose is at Red Rose Publishing.
Thanks for the interview, Teri. I love your writing style and your books.
Thank you, Jean, and we look forward to reading many more of your wonderful stories.