Author Jennifer St George on her Debut Novel - And a Giveaway!
ANNOUNCEMENT: The winner of Jennifer's giveaway of a Kindle copy of THE CONVENIENT BRIDE is Libby Mercer. Congratulations, Libby!!!
I'm delighted to welcome author Jennifer St. George to my blog today. Jennifer is talking about her debut novel THE CONVENIENT BRIDE. I find the premise of the novel fascinating and availed of the opportunity to ask Jennifer some questions about it and she was forthcoming with the replies. Here's the interview:
1. Jennifer, the premise for THE CONVENIENT BRIDE is the marriage of convenience. People seem absolutely fascinated by the concept and quite a few authors besides yourself, such as Nicola Marsh and Jennifer Probst have written novels based on it. What's the reason for the fascination, do you think?
I love the ‘Marriage of Convenience’ plot - it’s such a classic. You can have so much fun writing within this construct. The plot structure enables you to have lots of juicy conflict but the marriage ‘contract’ ensures that hero and heroine stay together. I think part of the appeal is that you can put wildly different characters together who, at the beginning of the story you absolutely can’t imagine together, to have them stay together until they realize the true value of each other.
2. In India, where I live, arranged marriages are actually the norm, although things are slowly changing. Most people with a western frame of mind tend to think of this is a fate worse than death, yet as I see it, many such marriages actually work out. Why do you think this is?
Not knowing much about how marriages are actually arranged, this is hard to answer. However, I do believe that couples must have enough in common to last the distance. Possibly in the process of arranging a marriage, many aspects of each individual’s personality, family and economic background, their hopes, dreams and ambitions are assessed ensuring thecouple have enough in common. I do think it’s easy to gloss over someone’s faults (or just inherent differences) when you are in that divine phase of first falling in love. There needs to be sufficient respect as friends and lovers twenty, thirty or more years down the track.
3. Even if a lot of writers use this premise, what will set a novel apart every time is not so much the premise as great writing and characters which come alive on the page. I've heard great things about your writing. What gave you the inspiration to write this novel?
I’m thrilled you’ve heard great things about my writing!!
I visited Venice for the first time a few years ago. I had dreams of winning the lottery and saving one of those historic abandoned houses from disintegrating into the canals. I felt overwhelmed that something of such significance and beauty could be allowed to slowly decaywhile the world watches on. It was whilst gazing at one of these grey, crumbling Venetian buildings that the idea for The Convenient Bride was born. The presence of such disintegration amidst the surrounding baroque splendour led me to reflect on the loneliness people can experience after the death of someone close. Both Sienna and Antonio live with the shadow of such sadness. For Antonio, this means he never notices the beauty that surrounds him every day. Sienna, on the other hand, has locked herself away from the life of love and passion she so desperately craves. That trip to Venice inspired Sienna’s and Antonio’s story.
4. Could you ever see yourself, in a hypothetical situation, getting into a marriage like this?
My initial reaction was of course not, but then I thought about it. If I had to save a family member or protect my children, I’d think very seriously about it.
5. Do you think that the marriage of convenience could make a comeback?
That’s a good question, but I don’t think so. There is so much to be said for finding someone,
discovering what makes them special and falling in love.
6. What did you enjoy most about writing THE CONVENIENT BRIDE?
I really enjoyed recreating the Venetian setting. Trying to capture the true essence of Venice was a stimulating challenge.
I do love scenes with intense conflict - when the dialogue is ping-ponging and emotions are high. One of my favourite parts of the book is early on when Antonio first proposes the marriage of convenience.
I also have two favourite scenes that made me cry whilst I was writing them – the two wedding dress scenes. You’ll know what I mean when you read the book.
7. Now that the book is published, do you miss your characters, now that they're gone from your life, or have you moved on?
There will always be a special place in my heart for Sienna and Antonio. Sienna, who’s so feisty even though she’s coming from a position of virtually no power and Antonio, who’s so damaged, he doesn’t know how to live. Oh, I’m becoming teary just thinking about them. I love them as they were the characters which caught the attention of Destiny Romance editor and realized my dream of being published.
Jennifer has very kindly agreed to give a Kindle copy of THE CONVENIENT BRIDE away to one lucky commenter.
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THE CONVENIENT BRIDE
Sienna De Luca will do anything to save her family's hotel, and ruthless Italian businessman Antonio Moretti knows it. With problems of his own, he proposes a marriage of convenience and plans to use Sienna to secure his next business deal. But things don't go quite according to plan.
In keeping with her part of the bargain, Sienna travels to Venice to be with Antonio, who introduces her to a life of great luxury and opulence. As befits the fiancée of the famous Antonio Moretti, Sienna is given a new wardrobe of designer gowns and outfits and instructed exactly how to behave when out in public. But after thinking he can manipulate her at will, Antonio begins to realize he has seriously underestimated Sienna, her intelligence, her skills, her courage – and her beauty. Unexpectedly, Sienna gets too close and when she discovers his dark secret, Antonio's perfectly planned life begins to unravel.
Buy links for THE CONVENIENT BRIDE