Message From The Author

Author's Message

When you think of a "romance writer," you're thinking of Jane Porter. This divorced Seattle mother of two has had close to 20 series titles published by Harlequin Presents in the past five years, and she's become expert at crafting the exotic super-alpha heroes that Presents readers crave, channeling all her abundant energy into tight, taut, sensual books.

But somehow she can still underestimate her own talent. "I'm not one of those people whom the words just come out of," she confesses ruefully. "On my writing retreats, one of my author friends is always saying, 'I love this, I'm so happy,' while I'm bleeding and sweating." Not the attitude one would expect from a woman who writes about men so arrogantly self-confident they can seduce a woman on sight.

Porter has a lot more in common with Holly Bishop, the heroine of her chick lit debut, The Frog Prince (May, Warner). Holly, a 25-year-old divorcée who learned on her honeymoon that her French husband wasn't attracted to her, may be years younger than her creator, unencumbered by kids and struggling to establish herself as an event planner in San Francisco, but she shares Porter's modesty and honesty, her love of fantasy and fairy tale and her small hometown in central California's farm country. "Holly is a version of me in my 20s," Porter admits. "Except she learns about her own self-worth a lot quicker than I did."

Holly's struggles to succeed at her job and find a man in the city are the dilemmas that launched a thousand chick lits. What sets The Frog Prince apart is Holly's inner sweetness and her decided lack of fashion moxie. She's no cosmo-swilling cynic in Jimmy Choos.

"Some people said, 'Where's her edge?' But that was my point," says Porter. "I wanted a character like the women I know. Great people, nice people. I wanted a book to say that we don't have to be stylish and smart and savvy that way. It's OK not to
be the best."

Porter is currently working on her next novel for Warner's new 5 Spot imprint (about a fortysomething woman who rediscovers herself in Hawaii after a divorce), but she hopes to continue writing series and single-title romances for Harlequin. Whether exploring fantasies through romance or daily life through chick lit, however, her message remains the same: "If you have a good heart, that's enough to get you on an interesting journey in life."—Colleen Cusick

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