Message From The Author
FOR READERS SHE'S ONE OF A KIND
Approaching her 40th novel, Jude Deveraux stirs as much
excitement for fans today as she did with her first New York
Times bestseller 25 years ago. And it's not hard to figure out
Throughout her career Deveraux has earned a reputation as a
risk-taker. She's written medieval, WW II-era and contemporary
novels, paranormals, mysteries and straight romances; in short,
she never writes the same book twice. And yet, readers do find
familiar threads in her novels thanks to her consistent
storytelling voice, full-bodied characters and a familiar
fictional family that's filled many of her novels. The
Montgomery/ Taggert clan first appeared in The Black Lyon, set in
the 13th century, and have continued into her contemporary-set novels, including Deveraux's latest Forever series.
As book two, Forever And Always, is released this month, we
collected readers' questions and caught up with Deveraux. Anauthor who prefers to write her stories rather than talk about
them, Deveraux graciously gave us an exclusive, and candid,
Where do you get your ideas for your books? This is the most popular question readers ask.
I wrote how I came up with the idea for A Knight in Shining Armor in the back of the new version.
As for Summerhouse, I heard something somewhere, don't remember
where now, about changing your life, and I thought, If I could change my life, what would I do differently? In the end, I
decided that I didn't want to change anything because whichever alternate path I looked at I wouldn't end up where I am now, with my beautiful son, Sam. From there I began to think about other
women who weren't as fortunate as I am and would like to change
My Forever books (and there are to be four of them) are something
I've thought about for a long time. I wanted to write an adventure saga with a powerful heroine. I didn't want a woman who was really butch and could beat up people, so the alternative was
for her to use her mind. Also, I've always been curious about how the stories of magic objects originated. Nursery rhymes are based
on political events, but what is the grain of truth behind the
tales of magic objects? One idea led to another and I started my
How much research do you do for your historicals? For your
I did masses of research for my historicals. I have a room that
you could park a pickup in that's floor-to-ceiling research
books, totaling 6,000 at last count. The contemporaries take less book research, but they take more plotting and I need to [travel to their locations].
Readers say that they believe your heroes and heroines are truly
soul mates. How do you know when you've made the right match?
In Remembrance, I explained what I believe about the term "soul
mates." I think it is an overused term today. It doesn't mean
someone you get along with or like a lot. [Remembrance centers on
a couple who comes together again and again throughout the ages,
working out karmic growth.]
As for my heroes and heroines, the names mean a great deal to me. Sometimes I have to change the names when I'm well into the book. I had a heroine named Anne, but she was so strong that I had to
change her name and rewrite what I'd written. In Forever, I wrote
nearly a 100 pages with a hero named Jasper, called Jay. But my heroine was so strong that she overrode him completely. I
thought, who could be strong enough to handle a woman who can manipulate people's minds? The answer was, a Montgomery! I changed the hero to Adam Montgomery, who had so many problems of
his own and was so sure of who he was that Darci couldn't intimidate him.
Do you believe there's a soul mate for each person?
I think there is a soul mate, but I think of the term in the way I described it in Remembrance. However, I do think there are a
number of people out there who we could each live with happily. I
don't want anyone thinking there is just one person for her. On
the other hand, I've been divorced for 13 years and I'm still holding out for my Montgomery.
What would you like readers to know about yourself, your writing
and Forever And Always?
I'm sure I'm supposed to reply to this question with warm fuzzies, but something that has deeply affected me in the last
year are the many vicious criticisms of my books on Amazon.com. Forever was hit hard.
One big complaint was that my books are different from each other. They ask why I can't stick to what I wrote back in the '70s and '80s. Why can't I write the same books over and over and over, then write more of the same book?
I don't know about you, but my life changes all the time. What I'm thinking about and wondering about today isn't the same as what I was questioning 25 years ago. Like everyone else, I was
deeply affected by 9/11. I thought, "What if there were someone who had the power to prevent something like that?" Eventually, I plan to have my heroine in Forever gain enough power that she could do that. In The Mulberry Tree, I was thinking about how
some women marry young and never have a chance to grow up.
And then there's the sex. Some vocal romance readers have torn my
books apart on Amazon.com because there's so little sex in them.
In 20-plus years of writing I have prided myself on giving readers a story--not a sex saga. If people want sex scenes with no
story, they can go to those stores with the newspaper taped over the windows.
Anyway, these criticisms gave me a lot of the story for Forever And Always. So many readers scanned Forever looking for sex scenes, found none, that they said my heroine was after the
hero's money. It was so twisted and wrong that in the second book I put the heroine on the receiving end of hatred due to people who made up stories about her without knowing the facts.
What I'm writing now is an old-fashioned romance--at least that's what I plan it to be. I've written only one chapter, and my
people tend to go their own way, so I'll see how it turns out.
Do you plan to write any more historicals?
I don't know. I may do a little time-travel in my Forever series,
but I'm not sure.
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