Coffee With Historical Romance Author Janna MacGregor
Rae: Welcome to the blog. With the cold days of spring still upon us, I have an Almond Coconut Milk Latte with a drizzle of chocolate and caramel in my mug. What is in your cuppa?
Janna: Puerto Rican blend double espresso.
Rae: I find that reading is best when I have a beverage and a snack; what do you need to have for yourself when you are settling in to read?
Janna: I try not to eat when I read, but it never fails that I get the munchies. My go-to? Popcorn.
Rae: In a few words, can you describe the type of books you write?
Janna: I write historical romances set in the Regency period. I describe my characters as compelling and powerful heroines who meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes.
Rae: When was the moment you knew you wanted to write Regency Romance?
Janna: I was in an email chat with Eloisa James, and she said I should write a romance. That totally convinced me to try and write a book.
Rae: What are your writing rituals? Do you prefer pen and paper or type away?
Janna: I try to write on my Mac between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. I can’t write past that. But many times, I will use pen and paper to sketch the next day’s scene or chapter. It makes my writing go way faster if I do that.
Rae: The attention to details in your books provides a reader with a story filled with adventure, drama, and yes, a bit of spicy heat. If you could go back and chat with your 2017 self when you released your debut book, what words of wisdom or advice would you offer?
Janna: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Everything works out for a reason.
Rae: When you start writing the first book in a new series do you plot out how many books there will be?
Janna: Yes, I do. My publisher wants to see what my plans are for the new series. I need to decide early on what the character and story arcs are for each book. For instance, in the Widow Rules series, I had decided that it would be a three-book series featuring three women who were married to the same deceased man. I’d been working on the series concept for a couple of years before presenting it to my publisher.
Rae: How extensive is your research before beginning a new story in a series?
Janna: It depends upon the series. For my first series, the Cavensham Heiresses, I researched everything, then double-checked it after I’d written it. In the Widow Rules series, I did some pretty thorough research on the Regency-era bigamy laws and the punishment if a person was found guilty. Plus, I had to reread my research on the marriage laws to ensure that the two “illegitimate wives” marriage ceremonies were not legal. But the rest of it? I researched as I wrote. Sometimes, I find all sorts of tidbits that I can incorporate into the series. Plus, it always helps to have author friends who are experts on the subjects!
Rae: I devoured How to Best a Marquess in one sitting. Without giving too much away, you know I hate spoilers 😉, this series was exciting and suspenseful in the way you took the reader through the ups and downs of all that happened. Three strangers are thrown together due to the unthinkable actions of one person, and now they must help each other to avoid scandal and public humiliation. How do you develop such unique characters to make them so different from each other to move the story along as plotted?
Janna: This is a great question! I had to start with the concept of a man who married three women practically at the same time. Why would he do that, and what was he looking for? From there, that gave me the idea of three strong women from different social and economic ranks in society. It would be easier to hide whom the trigamist married if they weren’t from his same social circle.
Rae: While each book is deliciously written as a standalone, I love the way you weave these three characters in and out of the other books. It is so refreshing as a reader to revisit familiar characters, especially when the story ends, and we want to know more. Were there any unplanned events or characters that you did not intend on while crafting this story?
Janna: There was, actually. A reader asked me early on if I planned on writing the age-gap romance between A Duke in Time’s Katherine Vareck’s maid and Christian, the Duke of Ranford’s valet. (The valet is younger than the maid.) I hadn’t planned on putting them in the other books. But the couple had their own ideas. Hence, their romance is mentioned throughout all three books. I’ll let your readers discover what their HEA is.
Rae: What was your biggest obstacle while writing this book and the series?
Janna: The biggest obstacle was with book 2, Rules for Engaging the Earl. I had to write it twice. The first draft was a very dark story. I was in a bad place because of the pandemic. So, I asked my editor for more time. She graciously said yes, so I rewrote it. Frankly, I’m in love with how Jonathan, the Earl of Sykeston, and Constance Lysander’s story turned out. It’s heartfelt, and there is a lot of humor in it as well.
Rae: What hero or heroine do you connect with most?
Janna: I love all the women in this series. They’re strong and independent, and through no fault of their own, they were duped. But they all came together to help each other out. Their friendship is better defined as a sisterhood, in my opinion. They created their own family, and I love that about them.
Rae: What is next on the horizon?
Janna: I’m currently writing two books at the same time. One is for my new publisher, and the other is a series I’m creating based on a character in How to Best a Marquess. His name is the Duke of Pelham, and I’m having a blast writing his story and his sisters’ stories.
Rae: Thank you so much for hanging out with me today, and I can’t wait for everyone to read How to Best a Marquess.
Janna: Thank you so much for having me here. Thank you for all your kind words!! xoxo
1. What is your must read book? The Takeover by TL Swan. I laugh and cry every time I read or listen to this story by TL Swan. Why? I’m a sucker for bad-boy billionaire romances, and this one hits my sweet spot sooo much. This is another age-gap romance where the woman is older, and she is a widow with three boys. The trials and tribulations that the male protagonist has to go through to win her heart are perfection!
2. If I visit your hometown, where are you taking me, and what’s the best place to grab a bite? Minneapolis-I’m taking you on a walk around the Mississippi River trails that wind through the heart of the city. Our restaurant is Bar La Grassa. It’s the best Italian restaurant around.
Kansas City-We’re heading to the Liberty Memorial Museum, the only WW One museum in the nation, then we’re heading straight to the Negro Leagues Museum. Here’s a quote from the organization: The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) is the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African-American baseball and its impact on the social advancement of America.
The late, great Buck O’Neil was a huge part of that history.4/
You can’t visit Kansas City without tasting great barbeque. Around the corner from the Negro Leagues Museum, we’re going to Arthur Bryant, the home of burnt ends.
3. What is one thing readers would be surprised to know about you? I’m turning into a football fan. Always before, it was baseball all the way for me!
4. What is your guilty pleasure? Fletcher’s ice cream in Minneapolis.
5. What are you afraid of? Wasps
6. Tats or No Tats? If tats, how many and what did you choose for your first one? No tats, but I wish I did.
7. Binge watcher or weekly viewer? Which show(s)? Can’t claim to be either. I don’t watch a lot of tv except news shows.
8. Is there a book you have read that you would love to see made into a movie (besides yours😊)? Kerrigan Byrne’s The Highwayman
9. What is the one thing you cannot live without? Coffee
10. What is the one career that gives you the shudders? Epidemiologists – They always seem to be delivering bad news.
11. If I opened your handbag/bag/briefcase, what item would I be shocked to see? 3-4 tubes of lipstick. Love the stuff and I always want variety in my colors.
12. What app on your phone/ipad gets the most use? Kindle
Rae: Thank you for hanging out today. Readers for more info on Janna MacGregor you can find her at the links below in her bio.
Janna: Thank you, Rae! Thank you to your readers as well!!! Xoxo
** Closed **
Congratulations Brenda D. Your name was randomly selected. Please e-mail your snail mail address.
I hope everyone has now had a chance to read all of the books in this series!
ONE lucky reader in the U.S. will win a fabulous giveaway from Janna MacGregor.
The prize is one finished mass market paperback edition of the first book in the series, A Duke in Time.
To be entered, comment on the blog and tell me…
What is your favorite destination for a road trip?
Good luck to all!
** GIVEAWAY CLOSES APRIL 28, 2023 AT 11:59 PM. WINNER WILL BE POSTED ON THE BLOG.
BE SURE TO FOLLOW THE BLOG SO YOU DON’T MISS THAT POST! **
**WINNER MUST CLAIM PRIZE WITHIN 24 HOURS OR ANOTHER WINNER WILL BE RANDOMLY SELECTED. **
Prize provided by the Author.
Janna MacGregor was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. She credits her darling mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes. She is the mother of triplets and splits her time between Kansas City and Minneapolis with her very own dashing rogue, and one smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pug. She loves to hear from readers.
Ladies of Langham Hall Facebook Group
Or sign up for Janna’s Newsletter