The wonderful descriptions of Nantucket in True Love certainly make us want to go and live there! Why did you decide to set your story there?
I recently purchased a summer house on Nantucket so when I moved publishers in the US to Random House, it seemed natural to set my books there. I created a street, made a map, added a family to my Montgomerys and Taggerts, and told about the island which I came to love. I wanted to show a different side of the island than just what the tourists see. Nantucket is a wonderful place to live, not just to go to the beach and party.
You’ve written so many wonderful romance novels, including A Knight In Shining Armor, which is one of our absolute favourites! Is there a novel of yours that is closest to your heart?
Yes, A Knight In Shining Armor is my favourite. That was a gift from God. Everything fell into place when I was writing it. I loved the characters, the time period, all of it.
Did you always want to be a writer? What do you enjoy most about your job?
I never thought about being a writer. I just had stories running around in my mind and one day decided to write one of them down so it would go away. I love everything about my job except copyeditors. I especially love creating the characters, planning the plot, then writing the book to see what happens.
Do you have the most fun creating your heroes or heroines?
That’s a hard question to answer. I think it depends on the book. Sometimes she takes over, sometimes he does. I once had a heroine who was so strong I had to create another man to go with her. I had another heroine who was so unpleasant I threw her out and started over. I’ve had a couple of men who I didn’t like and I changed them. It’s the most fun when the hero and heroine are attracted to each other but there’s some obstacle in their way. I love the fireworks between them!
Which authors do you enjoy reading for pleasure?
I mostly read non-fiction. I’m working on a cookbook now so my office floor is littered with many cookbooks, a lot of them I bought on my last trip to England. London bookstores are divine!
What’s your biggest indulgence?
TV show and movies. I watch them while I type my day’s work, while I cook, while I do most anything. Someone once said to me, ‘If they wear old costumes and speak with an English accent, Jude’s seen it.’ I have a Region 2 player and order obscure shows and movies from Amazon.co.uk. I was the envy of everyone when I had Downton Abbey months before it played in the US. Another indulgence I have is tea. Proper tea made with hot water and so dark you can’t see the bottom of the cup. It’s not possible to find in the US, so I visit the UK and indulge myself lavishly.
Who would be on your dream dinner party guest list?
I’d like Oscar Wilde and the whole Marlborough Set. Or the Algonquin group. I like people who make me laugh and can think fast. Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton can sit at my table any time he wants.
What’s your most prized possession?
I’m not much into possessions. I move around a lot, sell things, and start over. My ability to create is what I value most. And since I write by hand I’m a fanatic about taking care of them.
Do you have a motto for life?
I’m more into surviving than living by a motto.
We’re already looking forward to Prince Charming! Can you tell us a little about what’s coming next for your Nantucket Brides?
Prince Charming is about the son of the people in The Princess. My hero, Graydon Montgomery, is the crown prince of Lanconia and he’s supposed to marry an appropriately aristocratic young woman but falls for a commoner. The next one will be called, I think, Ever After. It’s about a young woman who inherits a house on Nantucket, and some tenants come with it. One is a gorgeous young man and the other three haven’t been alive for a few hundred years.