Celebrating Seasoned Romance: Jan Scarbrough
I had such a great time celebrating Indiana Romance Authors last month that I decided to ask some of my fellow writers of seasoned romance to stop by. So all during the month of February, I’m featuring authors who primarily write novels about characters in the prime of life.
First up is Jan Scarbrough, who is the author of two popular Bluegrass series, and writes heartwarming contemporary romances about home and family, single moms and children, and if the plot allows, about another passion—horses. Living in the horse country of Kentucky makes it easy for Jan to add small town, Southern charm to her books and the excitement of a Bluegrass horse race or a competitive horse show.
With author Maddie James, Jan has written the Montana McKenna series, the story of the family of James McKenna, a Montana rancher whose death changes the lives of his wife and children.
Leaving her contemporary voice behind, Jan has written paranormal gothic romances, Timeless and Tangled Memories, a Romance Writers of America (RWA) Golden Heart finalist. Her newest book, My Lord Raven, is a medieval story of honor and betrayal.
A member of Novelist, Inc., she has published with Kensington, Five Star, ImaJinn Books, Resplendence Publishing, and Turquoise Morning Press. Today she self-publishes her books with the help of her husband. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with two rescued dogs, one rescued cat, and a husband she rescued seventeen years ago. She needs a weekly horse fix and takes horseback riding lessons at Premier Stables.
You’ll find Jan on social media and on her website:
Take it away, Jan!
A heroine doesn’t have to be twenty-something any longer
Sometimes books take many paths to publication. And sometimes you just have to write what you want to write.
I wrote the novel Secrets a few years ago, choosing to explore a romance about a woman caught between the past and her desire to create a new life for herself. She would deal with her grown, twenty-something daughter, and her sixty-something mother—a sandwich story.
My intent was to submit the manuscript to a traditional publisher, but I was advised by another published author that this publisher did not like forty-year-old heroines. Huh? So, I wrote the book anyway, and I titled it A Father at Last. A small press published it. Well, I do read my reviews, and when one reader said the title gave too much away, I changed the book to Secrets.
Flash forward. The small press went out of business. I got my rights back. By that time, I’d learned books do better in a series. I decided to make Secrets part of a new series called Bluegrass Homecoming where I explore my favorite theme of second chances.
I figured I needed a lead-in story, sort of a prequel to the reunion story in Secrets. So, I wrote the love story of baby boomers Howie and Grace. Ta-da! The Prequel was born. Their granddaughter Colleen takes center stage in the third book, Nom de Plume.
And you know what is so ironic? Since the time several years ago when I wanted to write about a forty-something heroine, “seasoned” romance has come into wider acceptance.
What about you? Will you read a romance about an “older” heroine?
Read the Prequel for free all the time, and Secrets for 99 cents for a short time promotion.
Nom de Plume: http://amzn.to/2tP8zlm
Secrets Paperback: http://amzn.to/2iVToRV
I need to read this series! I do enjoy mature or seasoned romances as so many romances deal with young adults or new adults still in their 20s. I am so glad that you persevered and stuck to writing the stories you wanted to. My Romance In Her Prime group on Facebook is for romance heroines age 30 and up, and your books fit right in (though I am not sure of the age of her granddaughter). Thanks for spreading the word that romance doesn’t belong to the young.
Jan, I’m happy to see I’m not the only one writing about a mature heroine.
Thanks Liz and Jennifer for stopping by.
Great post and so nice reading/getting to know Jan.
I’m ‘Team Seasoned’ all the way!
Hi, Jan and Jan (I went to school with twins named Jan and Nan!) A good post, Jan. I do think the time of “seasoned heroines” is coming. I know the ones I’ve written have been so much fun.