My guest today on Espresso Tales is Jillian Jones, an Australian writer whose first novel, The Three Date Rule, is set to launch this month.
Jillian Jones is a writer and certified life coach who enjoys exploring the concept of hope and transformation through love in the contemporary romance genre.
She is featured in Sleigh Ride: A Seasonal Romance Anthology, a collection of five contemporary and historical sweet romance novellas published by Literary Crush Publishing in October 2018. Her short stories feature in the Romance Writers of Australia Little Gems anthology, 2016, 2017 and 2018 editions. Her manuscript, #FutureWife, was highly commended in the esteemed Romance Writers of Australia Valerie Parv Award, 2018. And her first indie published novel, The Three Date Rule, is set for release in November 2018.
She is a member of Romance Writers Australia and holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Queensland majoring in English and Art History.
Jillian lives on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia with her incredibly supportive husband, two creative children and a demanding Devon Rex cat.
Megan: Jillian, thank you for joining me today. First up, may I offer you a coffee?
Jillian: Oh, a caramelatte please.
Megan: Yum! Now, you've had a busy year with a novella included in Sleigh Ride: A Seasonal Romance Anthology, and now your first novel, The Three Date Rule. Tell me a little about that.
Jillian: The Three Date Rule is Ryan Jensen and Kate Morgan’s story. He’s a wealthy property entrepreneur, an intriguing billionaire and Kate is an emotionally scarred single mum. She’s learned the hard way that men like Ryan can’t be trusted. They meet by chance, when he collides with her at The Melbourne Cup and is shaken by a premonition of her as his bride. Experience tells Kate he’s bad news, but she figures one night of passion will get their sizzling attraction out of her system. Ryan, however, has good reason for his “three date” rule —no sex until the third date—and he’s not about to break it for anyone. Their journey takes them from the thrill of the Melbourne Cup, to glittering Christmas Markets in Austria, and the ski slopes of Switzerland, as Ryan attempts to overcome his own scars and win Kate’s love. It’s a sexy game of rules … and breaking them, and a Christmas time they’ll never forget.
Megan: It sounds fantastic. What are some of the things that inspire your writing, and this book?
Jillian: Lots of things, personal experiences, can inspire a scene. Eavesdropping on conversations in a café, lyrics of a song, an artwork, an experience — like finding flowers lying on the beach and wondering how and why they got there, or strolling through the streets of old towns in Europe. My visit to the Melbourne Cup with my husband in 2013 inspired the meeting of my hero and heroine in The Three Date Rule. But mostly, story ideas, scenes, and characters arrive in my mind’s eye like a dream or a movie playing in my head, just as I’m waking from sleep. Or they pop into my thoughts as I’m coming out of a meditative state.
Megan: It's interesting how things like that can strike at strange moments. In terms of getting these down on the page, do you have any writing rituals?
Jillian: I like a clear space both physically and mentally. So I try to make sure my desk is reasonably tidy, and I like to centre myself with a quick meditation or a conscious breathing technique. I prefer to work in silence, definitely no music with vocals. If I play music it’s likely to be an instrumental track by visionary teacher and remote energy healer, Jarrad Hewett. I particularly love playing his ‘clearing doubt’ track if I’m feeling stuck. I also like to burn my favourite incense or defuse some essential oil.
Megan: What sort of books do you like to read? What was the last book you read?
Jillian: I tend to have a fiction and a non-fiction book on the go at the same time, and alternative between the two. Fiction wise, I like contemporary romances, including rural and small town romance, chick lit, and lighter style women’s fiction. I’m a scaredy cat when it comes to crime, or suspense. I have nightmares after reading anything that gives me too much of an adrenaline rush in fright. In non-fiction I love to read personal development books.
My current non-fiction is Becoming Supernatural by Dr Joe Dispenza and having just finished your novel, The Things We Leave Unsaid, which was fabulous by the way, my current fiction read is The Right Place by Carla Caruso.
Megan: Thank you! I'm excited to read yours. Is writing something you have always enjoyed?
Jillian: I’ve enjoyed writing since primary school, story ideas would tumble around in my head, and stay there until I wrote them down, but I didn’t commit to finishing a piece, other than for school requirements, until I joined the Romance Writers of Australia in November 2014. Why do I write? I can’t not, I feel compelled to write every day, even if it’s just a few descriptive pages in my journal. Life doesn’t feel quite right when I don’t write. Kind of like to write is to live.
Megan: I agree. Thank you so much for joining me and best of luck with The Three Date Rule!
Jillian: Thank you.
To learn more about Jillian's work, visit her website: www.JillianJones.com