I’m thrilled to welcome Jennifer St George author of The Convenient Bride to the LoveCats today.
She writes contemporary romance for Penguin’s new digital-first imprint, Destiny Romance. Her debut novel The Convenient Bride is out now!
The Convenient Bride has just been launched by Destiny Romance - can you tell us a little about the story?
Sienna De Luca will do anything to save her family's hotel, and the ruthless Italian businessman Antonio Moretti knows it. With problems of his own, he proposes a marriage of convenience and plans to use Sienna to secure his next business deal. But things don't go quite according to plan.
In keeping with her part of the bargain, Sienna travels to Venice to be with Antonio, who introduces her to a life of great luxury and opulence. But after thinking he can manipulate her at his will, Antonio begins to realise he has seriously underestimated Sienna…her intelligence, her skills, her courage – and her beauty. Unexpectedly, Sienna gets too close and when she discovers his dark secret and Antonio's perfectly planned life begins to unravel.
What was the inspiration for The Convenient Bride?
I visited Venice for the first time not long ago and found it one of the most magical and captivating cities I’ve ever seen. Venice is the perfect backdrop for a romance and who can’t love a wounded Italian hero? Unbearable grief also features in the story and unfortunately this is an emotion I know something about having lost my sister in tragic circumstances.
Your story revolves around luxury hotels. Have you ever stayed in one?
In my life before romance writing, I worked in marketing for large corporations including Guinness and Ford. My jobs required extensive travel. For example, I launched Guinness in Russia, marketed forklift trucks across Europe and travelled to Germany, Japan and Korea to select new cars for the Australian market. So, having spent many day sand nights in five-star hotels, I was able to draw on this experience when writing The Convenient Bride.
The romance writing award season has just wrapped up and you have had some wins. Can you tell us about them?
It’s funny how everything seems to come together at the same time after several years of hard work. I came 2nd and 3rd in the Romance Writers of Australia (RWA) Emerald contest and have just arrived home from New Zealand a few days ago where The Convenient Bride won the 2012 Clendon Award. I have to admit I was a little overwhelmed but obviously delighted.
What keeps you entertained when you’re not writing?
I love keeping fit so I walk up to the Byron Bay Lighthouse about four times a week. Just today I saw four whales very close to shore, which is always thrilling. I also love walking on the beach with the family and our new puppy, Toffee. My indulgence is watching my favourite movies over and over. I’ve enjoyed Sense and Sensibility, Gone with the Wind, Pride and Prejudice, Downton Abbey and Bridget Jones’ Diary more times than I care to count.
Having just been published, what would you say to aspiring authors?
Never give up.
I decided very early on that to gain publication I had to take my writing very seriously and that it would probably take a long time. I established a very strict writing routine (including getting up at six am on New Year’s Day when I was rushing to finish a manuscript for RWA’s 5DI program) and worked hard at learning the craft. I attended every romance writing workshop I could, studied relevant textbooks on writing and devoured stories similar to the line I was targetting. I applied to the RWA critique partner scheme and found a wonderful writer in Melbourne.
Probably the best thing I did was volunteer for RWA. I’ve met so many multi-published, award-winning authors who have given me advice, guidance and encouragement (obviously Rachel, you were one of those wonderfully generous authors along with a couple of other LoveCats!). I believe I would not have been published without their help.
Aw, you're too sweet, Jen. :) What’s Next?
Following the last two whirlwind weeks with the Romance Writers of Australia’s annual conference and then the New Zealand conference, it’s back to reality. I have to plot my next book and return to the discipline of writing every day.
My next book, Seducing the Secret Heiress will be coming out with Destiny Romance in a few months.
If you’d like more information about Jennifer, visit:
website: www.jenniferstgeorge.com or www.destinyromance.com
Look at you, being all published-author-y, you! Congratulations on your year, Jen, you're an inspiration. I haven't read the Convenient Bride yet, but it's on the TBR!ReplyDelete
Jen just have to say again how bloody thrilled I am over all your success.ReplyDelete
And you are definitely a girl after my own heart with your love of Venice and Bridget Jones :-) We'll forget your shocking habit of rising early and walking (shudder!)
I hope you had some more vino in NZ! :-)
Rach and Jen, thanks for such an excellent interview. And it was FABULOUS to catch up with you both at the Gold Coast conference.ReplyDelete
Jen, I'm just thrilled by all your recent success! The Convenient Bride sounds like an absolute winner. And can I just mention that I am green with envy at all your experience of 5 star hotels. :-)
Huge congrats on your new release and your Clendon win Jennifer! I can't want to read it! :)ReplyDelete
Hard work pays off! So happy for you, Jen. Congratulations again on the publication of The Convenient Bride.ReplyDelete
Hi Jen - mega congratulations on the release of your debut book! Great cover. And also congrat's on your Clendon win - what a stellar time this is for you :)Enjoy your much deserved success.ReplyDelete
Well done Jen and huge congrats on the Clendon. You are awesome;-))ReplyDelete
Thanks everyone for all the lovely comments.ReplyDelete
Look who's talking Ms Imelda Evans who will be shortly published too with Destiny - very exciting!!
Amy, certainly had a few vinos in NZ. But am going to ban myself again from next week and won't indulge again until the next book is done. It worked the first time - so I'm going to stick with a good thing (for those who don't know, I vowed I wouldn't have a drink until I was published - not a drop of alcohol passed these lips for two and a half years!!)
Michelle, so lovely to catch-up at GC.ReplyDelete
Re hotels - actually sometimes it was a little sad. I would arrive in a city, catch a taxi to the hotel, have meetings at the hotel, stay the night and fly out again. So, at times the hotel was the only experience of a city I had. This happened in Hiroshima (the hotel had the funniest loos in the world!!), Toronto, Madrid, Geneva, Stamford (CT) and Cologne (although I went back to Madrid, Geneva and Cologne as a tourist).
Thanks for the congrats Natalie, Helen, Kam and Claire. The Clendon win was a huge surprise. Everyone in NZ was so lovely!!!ReplyDelete
Jen, how fabulous to have you visit the LoveCats! Congratulations on your awesome successes this year in the contests and with your contract with Destiny Romance! You're an inspiration!ReplyDelete
I must add The Convenient Bride to my TBR!
Thanks so much Sharon. I was sorry not to catch-up with you properly at the conference. We were like ships passing in the night! Hope you enjoy The Convenient Bride!!ReplyDelete
Hi Jen and everyone! Jen, as you know, I *love* that cover. The dress is stunning, and your name being there is pretty cool. :)ReplyDelete
Jen, it's lovely having you here with the LoveCats. Congratulations on your sale! Fantastic news! I love a marriage of convenience story and Venice sounds like the perfect place to set it. I hope it sells its socks off. Good luck getting back into routine too after these exciting times.ReplyDelete
What a great cover, Jen! It was lovely to meet you at the RWNZ conference and your Clendon acceptance speech had us all tearing up.ReplyDelete
Congrats on the book! Nice cover.ReplyDelete
Hi Jen - what a fantastic interview and congrats on your wins and the release of The Convenient Bride.ReplyDelete
I was lucky enough to read your work before being published and I have to say TCB is a fab read!!!!! and I love the cover :)
Lovely to meet you in Auckland, Jennifer. All the best on the writing career!!ReplyDelete
Thanks Annie, it is proving very tough to get back into the routine of writing. But I'm going a little easy this week and then it is back the grind stone!!ReplyDelete
Hi Jo. I loved being at the NZ conference. Everyone was so great! I hope I can come again next year.ReplyDelete
Yes, as you could tell, I was a little overwhelmed winning the Clendon!!
Joanne - you are the best CP!!! All your comments were so helpful! xxReplyDelete
Hi Joanne - I loved being in Auckland. Beside the wonderful conference, I went over to Devonport for the morning. So pretty. Hope to see you in Wellington!!ReplyDelete
Jenn, I'm *so* happy for you!! Congrats again on your sales and those contest wins. Just loved the excerpt you read out at the conference launch.ReplyDelete
Onward and upward!!
Thanks Robbie!! You are such an inspiration and thanks for all your advice, support and encouragement.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for having on LoveCats Downunder Rachel!! It was really lovely being interviewed by you and you have been such a great support with all your knowledge, advice and general fabulousness! I can't tell you how much that has meant to me!ReplyDelete