The Examiner welcomes Juliet / Jillian Burns. These names represent two sides of the same writer. As Juliet Burns, she writes historical erotic romance, and as Jillian Burns, she writes hot contemporary romances. Today, we’re talking to her Jillian persona.
Welcome Jillian and please tell us if you consider yourself a romantic or just a darned imaginative writer.
I’m a romantic. I don’t have as much imagination as I’d like. I use Google images a LOT to help me visualize my settings.
I’m sure imagination helps with your storylines. How many books did you write before selling your first one, and how did you deal with rejection?
Well, I sold the first book I wrote, which is unusual.
Very unusual—you’re to be congratulated for that achievement. And it indicates that you must be talented.
But after that, it took me 3 more years to sell my second book. That was when I learned how to deal with rejection. To some degree, it always feels personal, but you have to tell yourself it’s not; it’s business. The worst rejection for me was after my editor really liked and encouraged a story and I revised it for her, then the senior editor ultimately rejected it. I had gotten my hopes up on that one, and I cried for a bit after that. The rest were a bummer, but I was able to move on and try a new story after those.
Did you have an agent for that first sale?
Do you have one now?
Nope. I have been able to sell to Harlequin just fine. I’m not sure that would be true with other publishers. Some won’t even look at a submission if it didn’t come from a literary agent. But I am too greedy to give anyone else 15% of my paycheck. I know that for some authors,
agents are indispensible.
Please tell us about your latest book.
It’s another Blaze-my second—called SEDUCE AND RESCUE and is a sequel to last year’s Blaze, LET IT RIDE. This is the story of Lt Col. Ethan Grady paying off his part of the bet made in the first book by getting a massage from a free-spirited aroma-therapist.
Interesting premise. Where did you get the idea for that story?
It’s partially very loosely based on a movie called Sweet November with Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron, only with a happy ending for the couple.
Happy endings are required for romance novels! How did you decide on the personality for your heroine in SEDUCE AND RESCUE?
She was very much inspired by the character played by Charlize Theron in Sweet November, but she has her own quirks and back story and is also partially based on one of my favorite actresses, Amy Adams, in a movie called Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day.
Most of us don’t run into villainous people in our real lives. What are some characteristics that make a believable villain in fiction?
It’s all in the motivation. WHY is the villain doing what he does? In HIS/HER mind, he/she is the hero. The villain believes they have every right to kill, chase, kidnap, scare, bully, or whatever.
What is your latest writing news?
I have another Blaze coming out in March 2011 called PRIMAL CALLING about an Alaskan bush pilot who crashes in the wilderness with a travel channel celebrity, and I just contracted to write a novella in a Blaze anthology for next July 2011 called HOT SUMMER NIGHTS. I’m very excited to be in an anthology with such wonderful authors Lori Wild and Wendy Etherington.
Where can readers keep up with you on the internet these days?