About the Author
Jen Turano is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in Clothing and Textiles. She pursued a career in management for nine years before switching to full-time motherhood after the birth of her son. When she's not writing, Jen can be found watching her teenage son participate in various activities, taking long walks with her husband and dog, socializing with friends, or delving into a good book. She lives in suburban Denver, Colorado. Learn more at www.jenturano.com.
1. Whom or what inspired you to become an author?
Becoming an author was one of those weird things. I never aspired to become a writer, in fact, it never entered my mind. To me, authors were odd creatures, very glamorous of course, and coming from a household of less than artistic types, writing wasn’t even on my horizon when I went off to college. With that said, though, I also wrote – whether it was skits for my sorority or turning in ten pages in my English classes when three would have sufficed. Then, when my son was in third grade, we read this awful series about birds. After book number six, he decided we could write a better story together, so that’s what we did. That book never went anywhere, but it was just so much fun to write that I started dabbling with other genres. Seven books later, I finally landed an agent, and I’ve been writing ever since.
2. What did you want to be when you grew up?
I’m pretty sure I was convinced I was going to be a movie star. The only problem with that was I can’t act and get horrible stage fright whenever I’m in front of people.
3. What authors do you enjoy? Do these authors inspire your own writing?
I enjoy too many authors to count, from Lisa Wingate to Susan Elizabeth Phillips, John Grisham to Julia Quinn, and the list goes on and on. I tend to stay away from historical when I’m writing a first draft because I find myself mimicking those stories and lose my voice.
4. If you could travel anywhere in the world for book research (expense covered for you by an anonymous donor), where would you go and why?
I’d go to Scotland because it’s gorgeous there and I do have some Scottish ancestry. Not sure I’d get my research done, but I imagine something in the landscape would bring about all sorts of new story ideas.
5. If you could go to tea with one of the characters from Caught by Surprise, who would it be and why?
I’d like to go to tea with Mercy Miner because she’s just such an unusual sort – has lived a life of service and is only now finding her way.
6. What inspired the idea for Caught by Surprise?
I’ve been wanting to do a full-length friends to something more story and decided “Caught by Surprise” would be the perfect time to try that out. And then, after I read about A.T. Stewart getting his body stolen and held for ransom, well, the plot just took off from there.
7. What inspired the idea for the Apart from the Crowd Series? How did this become a 3 book series?
The Vanderbilt family left quite the mark in the Gilded Age, and I’ve read numerous books on that family and the privileged life all of them led. However, I was always bothered by the idea that Alva Vanderbilt forced her daughter, Consuelo, to marry the Duke of Montrose, even thought Consuelo didn’t want to marry that man because she was in love with someone else. That got me to thinking this – What would have happened if Consuelo refused to marry the duke? That’s when the idea for the series was formed. Since I always write series, I developed three grand American heiresses, and…”Apart from the Crowd” began to take shape.
8. When you are not writing, what other "hats" do you wear?
I used to spend most of my time being Dom’s mom, but since he did the unthinkable and grew up, and is in his last year of college, I don’t really have much to do as a mom these days – which is very weird. One minute you’re spending all your time at the playground, school events, pools, and the zoo, and the next, well, you’ve been abandoned. These days my husband and I spend a lot of our time meeting our friends out for dinner and concerts, and then I like to work out in the yard. I love cutting grass, although I could do without operating a weed-whacker. Those things always give me trouble.
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