Chatting with the lovely Regina Jennings today about Harry Connick, Jr., Grandma Austin, and a story twist when you stay up too late writing! Be sure to enter the giveaway of her latest historical romance, For the Record, via the Rafflecopter form below!
Please describe yourself in three words (ask your best friend or family if you are struggling!)
Funny, Laid-back, Ornery
What’s your favourite season, and why?
I love Springtime. It’s when warmth returns and in Oklahoma it’s a very dramatic season. Three of the most powerful tornados in history have passed within twenty miles of our house, so there’s a real sense of survival that comes when the sirens go off. Springtime is a bumpy ride, but on the other side is the monotonous, punishing heat of summer, so we enjoy the mild temperatures even if they occasionally bring destruction.
What is the best part of your day?
I’m hardwired to be a morning person, so I’m at my best before the sun comes up. By ten o’clock I either feel like I’ve had a productive day, or I’m frustrated that I’m behind schedule, but my mornings set the tone. Usually that tone is positive.
What do you miss most about your childhood?
I can remember taking long car rides home from my grandparents’ house. It’d be late at night when we got home and usually me and my sisters would be asleep for most of the trip. When we got to the house my mom or dad would carry us in, take off our shoes, and tuck us into bed. Now of course, coming home late at night means a list of things to haul inside, unpack and lock-up before you can go to sleep. I miss having nothing to worry about and going straight to bed.
Which TV talk show host would you like to be interviewed by? Why?
Harry Connick, Jr. I’ve been a fan of his for years, and really, I wouldn’t want him to interview me at all. I just want him to sing, play the piano and talk in that syrupy accent. That’s all.
You are at a fruit market – what do you reach for first?
The Bar-B-Q sandwich in my purse. Well, maybe a watermelon if I must eat fruit.
What was the first Christian Fiction novel you read?
I was staying with my Grandma Austin for a week in the summer and I had already devoured all the books I’d brought along. That’s when she pulled out Once Upon a Summer by Janette Oke and I fell in love with Christian Fiction. She already had the next two books, so I read those straight through. I still remember talking about the stories with her as I was reading them. Neither of my grandmas lived to see my books in print, but I would’ve loved talking about them together.
What is one author and/or book you always recommend?
Chronicles of the Kings series by Lynn Austin. This biblical fiction series is excellent! It’s the most checked-out series in our church library, possibly because I recommend it to everyone.
What book character has stuck in your mind from a book you have read this year?
Ross Poldark. I read the whole stinking series. He’s a lovable rogue, but he doesn’t mature much over the series. I guess that’s how you keep the tension and conflict going through twelve novels and several decades.
Betsy Huckabee might be a small-town girl, but she has big-city dreams. Writing for her uncle’s newspaper will never lead to independence, and the bigger newspapers don’t seem interested in the Hart County news. Trying a new approach, Betsy pens a romanticized serial for the ladies’ pages, and the new deputy provides the perfect inspiration for her submissions. She’d be horrified if he read her breathless descriptions of him, but these articles are for a newspaper far away. No one in Pine Gap will ever know.
Deputy Joel Puckett didn’t want to leave Texas, but this job in tiny Pine Gap is his only shot at keeping his badge. With masked marauders riding every night, his skills and patience are tested, but even more challenging is the sassy journalist lady chasing him.
What was the working title?
A Good Report. It really was quite clever. She’s a reporter, there’s a question about his reputation and his past, plus a report can refer to a gunshot. But alas, For the Record won.
Describe your book in 5 adjectives:
Adjectives? Nouns are so much easier, but I’ll try: Feisty, romantic, paradoxical, ingenious and community (not an adjective, but important),
What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?
Do you want to know the truth? Usually I write 1000 words a day. One day I decided that I was just going to finish the book. I was nearing the end and wanted to wrap it up. I wrote 8000 words that day just pushing through until I finished the story. I was probably after eleven o’clock. (I’m a morning person, remember.) The only problem was that I was so tired and discouraged, that I decided that the couple shouldn’t be together after all. The last chapter had Joel and Betsy going their separate ways. Ha! I will never stay up that late writing again.
Which character’s name was the hardest to choose? Why?
Well, I did have a problem with my character names. Joel Puckett was a secondary character in Caught in the Middle, a book from the Ladies of Caldwell County Series. In the Ozark Mountain Series, I had a hero named Jeremiah and a little boy named Josiah. That shouldn’t be too confusing, should it? By the time this book came around, Josiah had grown up and we had Joel coming to town. Jeremiah, Joel, and Josiah? I really didn’t mean to have so many “J’s” as heroes in this series. No more J names!
What’s something that didn’t make it into the final copy?
The whodunit was changed. This time the victim survived. In my first manuscript, he was a goner. Me and my infamous body count. I keep forgetting to keep it light.
Award-wining author Regina Jennings graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor, and has been reading historicals ever since. Regina has worked at the Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She makes her home outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with her husband and four children.
Relz Reviewz Extras
Inside Scoop on Regina
Character spotlight on Abigail & Jeremiah, Anne & Nick, Molly & Bailey, and Rosa & Weston
Review of Sixty Acres and a Bride
Visit Regina’s website and blog
Buy at Amazon: For the Record or Koorong