Message From The Author
Julie Garwood Gives Fans Just What They Want
A STORY FOR NOAH CLAYBORNE AND AN UPCOMING HISTORICAL
By Faygie Levy
Julie Garwood returns this month with a new book, Shadow Dance (Ballantine), that features an old reader favorite -- bad boy FBI agent Noah Clayborne, who has finally met his romantic match in another character familiar to Garwood followers, Jordan Buchanan. The suspense maven gives us the dish on her new release (which was unavailable for review
at press time) and her return to historicals.
Noah Clayborne is finally getting his own story. Why now, and what can readers expect from Shadow Dance? I've always known who would steal Noah's heart, but I had to wait until I had the story just right before I wrote it. He was introduced in Heartbreaker, then he came back in Mercy and Killjoy. There was a brief mention of him in Murder List as well. He's been such fun because he's a playboy who has never let a pretty girl or a
good time pass him by, so who better to match him with than
a woman who leads a rather sedate and deliberate life. He
challenges Jordan to get out of her comfort zone and find some adventure, but when he does that, he doesn't realize she'll be
taking him along for the ride.
As much as readers love your romantic suspense novels, they're always asking when you are going to write another historical. Any news on that front? I'm writing one now. And I'm loving every minute of it because it takes me back to medieval Scotland. The story revolves around the origin of a feud between two mighty clans. If everything goes as planned, it will be out by the end of 2007.
Our message boards were recently abuzz with readers talking about your historical novels The Bride and The Wedding. How do you feel when, several years after publication, readers are still talking and enjoying your books? What do you think it says about your writing? I'm thrilled that people are still enjoying my stories. I love the characters in those two books, and I guess the fact that readers continue to relate to them is a sign that love stories can be timeless. When people call my books escapism, I'm flattered. That's exactly what I want them to be -- a way to escape the real world for a little while and live romance and adventure vicariously. I've recently received several e-mails from Americans serving in Iraq. They tell me how much they appreciate books that take them away from their troubles and let them forget where they are or how much they miss home, and that puts it all in perspective for me.
Is your writing process different for historicals versus romantic
suspense novels? Is there a difference in the way you build the romance in these titles? I've always written some suspense and mystery into my books along with the love story, so the basic elements are the same. However, I think the romance builds a little more quickly in the historicals. The hero and heroine are usually thrown together at the beginning, and then the love develops from there. In the contemporary suspense novels, the couple takes longer to realize their feelings, so the plot evolves as they come together.
Some readers have commented that suspense stories can get too dark, and I couldn't agree more. That's why I'm making a conscious effort to include more humor in my books. With all the chaos in the world, I think finding time to laugh is more important than ever.
What's next on your writing schedule? Any genres you haven't tackled that you'd like to try? Finishing the next historical is my primary goal. I don't know what I'll do after that. I'm usually driven by the story, and that typically comes from one scene
that plays out in my imagination. That single scene will determine the setting, the kind of story it will be, etc. Until I visualize vampires
at someone's neck or futuristic robots as villains, I probably won't be writing stories about them. Do
I enjoy these kinds of stories? Absolutely. It's just that I haven't conjured up a scene yet that goes in that direction.
JULIE GARWOOD's TOP FIVE MOVIES
1. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
2. THE IN-LAWS (the original one)
3. IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD
4. A CHRISTMAS STORY
5. IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE
"As you can see, three of them are comedies. I love any movie that can make me laugh. The other two touch the heart."
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