Fan2Author Interview, Giveaway, Promo

Fan2Author Interview with Jane Lark!

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b2bMelanie: I’m so happy to welcome this author! Just love her books! Without further adieu, here she is! Jane Lark! Jane, before I start with the questions, how about you tell us a bit about yourself and your writing career?

Jane Lark: Well so far my writing ‘career’ has been very brief… my first book was published in May 2013, and then republished by Harper Collins in October 2015 as The Illicit Love of a Courtesan, but I have been writing since 2006 so since October 2015 Harper Collins have been pouring out my backlog, and I now have seven books released and three more are due out in the autumn. But I have always loved writing and wanted to write novels for as long as I can remember.

b2b: Can you tell us more about ‘The Lost Love of a Soldier’ and why you chose to write this prequel to ‘The Illicit Love of a Courtesan’?

The Illicit Love of a CourtesanJL: To be honest the only reason I wrote this was because readers asked for it. When I published the first edition of The Illicit Love of a Courtesan I immediately afterwards self-published a short story ‘Capturing the Earl’s Love’ (which was then taken off the market as Harper Collins contracted that too but it was not re-released until May this year). The short story shares the stories of two of the sub characters from the first book but at the time people kept thinking this would be the prequel and were looking for a prequel. 

b2b: How have your characters and their stories come to you and which one/s whispered the loudest for their story to be told?

JL: My characters generally come to me from elements of real people who lived out true stories at some point in history. From these true stories my imagination picks out elements and builds a patchwork of fictional Regency life. Initially I was not sure about writing the prequel, because obviously The Illicit Love of a Courtesan is about Ellen and Edward, and Edward would have no part in the prequel, and yet at the time people began talking about a prequel I was working on The Scandalous Love of a Duke, the story of Ellen’s son, John. The more I worked on that I felt Paul, who appears as a past character in two books, developing a personality of his own, and then because John was having such a difficult time accepting the fact he had never known his father, I felt as though I needed to write him, because then John could have access to him. I know crazy writers…

b2b: Which book you wrote might we be surprised to learn that you had the hardest TPLOAR JLtime writing?

JL: The Lost Love of a Soldier is definitely the hardest, initially it was only intended to be 15,000 to 30,000 words and just a fleeting visit to Ellen eloping, then following Paul into battle, like Capturing the Earl’s Love, which has gathered interest like a snowball on Amazon, but is really a very fleeting storyline, just to give people a bit of light historical entertainment. BUT then––I had to make The Lost Love of a Soldier far more true to fact than the other books because a) it had to follow what really happened in the build up to battle of Waterloo b) I had chosen an actual regiment for Paul to serve under in The Illicit Love of a Courtesan, and so I had to find out where they were when, to ensure the story was realistic. AND then––while I was working on those things, and discovering what the real soldiers and those that travelled with them experienced I knew the story had to be more than a shallow visit with a young Ellen.

2015 is the 200th anniversary of the battle of Waterloo, in the summer of 2014 the real 52nd Oxfordshire Regiment of Foot were in England, taking a break from war, before they were due to sail to America. I have worked with the military for about ten years of my life. I know what soldiers endure. I could not then write this book without respect for the real people who made the journey back to the battlefields of Europe which they had only left the summer before and where they had endured many incidents that would have left them with nightmares, and I could not make it a hurried tale, because by hurrying it, it would have become unrealistic and a bit bizarre to just dive into them in Brussels, the battle… and then..

jl ctelPlus it was also hard, because Paul is not the love of Ellen’s life. So the book could not center on the intense Romantic relationships I prefer to write. I have been married twice myself, and my second marriage is very different to my first. Ellen loves Paul, she is a seventeen year old girl in the 18th century who has never left her father’s estate, and never even been to a ball. She is entirely innocent, as many young women were in her day… And I wanted to honor all of that…

b2b: Is there a book you’re never tired of reading over and over?

JL: Katherine by Anya Seton. I just love that story. It also really moves me whenever I go anywhere the real John and Katherine lived…  Even though I know that Katherine is 95% fiction.

b2b: Do you like reading classics and is there one that you’re embarrassed to say you’ve never read?

JL: I like having classics on my bookshelf 😉 I read them very rarely and general in short doses, the language in them is generally not all that flowing, let’s remember they were written for a very different generation of people. So while the stories are still great, the writing styles––not necessarily. But I did reread Vanity Fair while writing The Lost Love of a Soldier. There isn’t anything I would be embarrassed to say I have not read but youjl tsload may think it is a sin to say I prefer Vanity Fair, Tess of the d’Urbervilles and Mill on the Floss to Pride and Prejudice.

b2b: Is there a book that you recently read that you wish you had written?

JL: Probably the wrong answer, but no. I enjoy the things I write, I always want to write for pleasure. Especially as I still have to work and writing is an escape for me. Even The Lost Love of a Soldier was awesome being able to connect with people who took part in Waterloo through imagination.

b2b: What’s a movie adaptation of a book that you loved or that you wish it is made?

JL: There are two movie adaptations of books that I’ve read that I think are good ‘Troy’ is one. I bet that is not what you were expecting. LOL. But I love the film Troy! The other one was the recent adaptation of Jane Eyre, it is the only time I have seen Rochester portrayed in a way that makes you actually believe he could have caught Jane’s interest.

b2b: If you were given only one genre to read for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Just YouJL: Historical… Sigh… I love writing love stories, but I love being in historical settings and discovering things about the people who lived in the past.

b2b: What was the last book that made you laugh out loud, and what was the last one that made you cry?

JL: I don’t tend to buy books that make me laugh, I can’t remember one that ever has, and cry… I think One Day was the last book that made me cry.

b2b: What was your favorite book as a child?

JL: LOL Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree series…. But by eleven I was reading Mill on the Floss and the Iliad. I was a strange child. I think I first read Katherine at the age of twelve.

b2b: What’s your favorite TV show or movie?

JL: My favorite TV show… ever… Time Team – covered so much. My favorite TV series, would be a toss of a coin between the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice and the 1998 version of Vanity Fair, neither stories make good films because too much has to be left out. My favorite film currently Tangled, by Disney 😉 Random!

b2b: During a thunderstorm – stay inside or sit on porch watching the show?

JL: Sit on a porch 100% I swam in an outside swimming pool in a thunderstorm once,jl ify my mum didn’t know at the time, and I was only 8. I loved it! (P.S. don’t do it, bad idea for health and safety you’d fry if it hit).

b2b: Flannels or Silk?

JL: Oh my goodness SILK!

b2b: Sports car or SUV?

JL: Sports car all the way.

b2b: Cats or Dogs?


b2b: Champagne or Beer?

JL: Beer, I am not a champagne girl. A good hearty locally brewed beer for me. Or even better a pale ale…

b2b: Movies or TV?

JL: Movies!!!!!!!!! ❤ But like I say to my daughter reading a book is even better it’s like watching a movie for hours…. 😀 and while writing I get to be in the movie for weeks!

jl tdloal

‘The Desperate Love of a Lord’


Jane! I am so happy you had the time to visit with us! It was a blast to get to know you a bit better!

Bookworms, have any questions for our guest author? One of you will end up with a signed print copy of the gorgeous soldier on this cover!


AUTHOR BIO: Jane is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional Historical and New Adult Romance, and a Kindle top 25 bestselling author.

She began her first historical novel at sixteen, but a life full of adversity derailed her as she lives with the restrictions of Ankylosing Spondylitis. When she finally completed a novel it was because she was determined not to reach forty still saying, I want to write.

Now Jane is writing a Regency series and contemporary, new adult, stories and she is thrilled to be giving her characters life in others’ imaginations at last.

Jane is also a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development in the United Kingdom, and uses this specialist understanding of people to bring her characters to life.

Social Media:  Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

26 thoughts on “Fan2Author Interview with Jane Lark!”

    1. HOLY COW!
      If you like that one, check out the one at the bottom of the post [I just added it and the book is FREE!!!]
      I’m loving these covers!

      1. Hi, there shouldn’t be a need for a promo code, I’ve let Harper Collins know Amazon is asking for one so they can fix it.- and p.s. the cover of the free novella is a little more special to me (although I love them all) not only because it’s hot, but because my daughter created it for Harper Collins 😀 (proud mummy face)

    1. I’m just gonna come in here and add that you need to check out my updated post for Jane’s new cover [and the book is FREE!] …you like?

    1. Hi Betty, my current favourite authors who I look forward to releases from are Elizabeth Chadwick, J Redmerski, Gaelen Foley, Louse Douglas, Jay Crownover, Elizabeth Hoyt and Mary Balogh, a bit of a mix, I am also now into Cara Cormack, which only happened because I wanted to talk to Jay Crownover at the RT Booklovers conference, and sat next to Cora in the audience who then saved a seat and beckoned Jay over so I could talk to her. Cora is lovely, and writes really lovely books too 🙂

  1. Hi Jane! I’m reading Capturing the Earl’s Love right now and loving it!

    My husband served during the war in Vietnam and many of my relatives had served in previous wars and I wondered if any one in your family or an acquaintance inspired how you wrote any of the characters in any of your books?

    1. 🙂 Hi,

      Lots of credit to your husband! Yes, many of my characters, good and bad elements in personalities are inspired both from my life, from people I know, I won’t share who is who though, but I know my family and friends can read my characters and spot little snippets of things that may have come from them. But also I use the personalities of real people who lived in the Regency period.Ellen in The Illicit Love of a Courtesan, in personality, I guess would be most like Harriett Wilson’s (the Courtesan who wrote her memoirs – who was nothing like Ellen) sister, who was a much quieter character for a courtesan. The sort of personalities which come out in Capturing the Earl’s love are more people I have drawn from various letters I have read in historical houses. Rupert is very pompous, and I guess more real and typical a Regency man, but most of my male characters personalities come from the courtesan’s view of the emotional, extravagant and playful men who walked in their circles.

      Paul in the Lost Love of a Soldier again though is not a man who would have walked in the courtesan’s world, he is much more staid, quiet and unassuming, and yet authoritative, and yes I have taken elements of his personality from many of the soldiers I have known in my real life. But also then again had to twist it, because the 18th century experience of war would have been very different. The proofreader said to me at one point when I mention him reflecting on sometimes having to fight his own men… “Why would he have had to fight his own men?” and of course that is one of the things very different in the 18th century many soldiers were not really there by choice, and their view of what was acceptable and unacceptable were different in those days. The British soldiers rioted after one particular battle during the Peninsular war and raped civilian women in the town, the British officers had to drag men out of the town and start shooting them to get control of the situation.

  2. I don’t have any questions. I just wanted to say I’m glad I “met” you, Jane on a blog this past week… because I hadn’t read anything by you before. I’ve read the reviews of your works and I like what they say about your in-depth characterizations, descriptions and historical accuracy. Good writing is what I always hope to find when I try a new author of historical romance. So, hello, Jane! 🙂 Thanks so much for this post.

    1. Ok, woman, I just added another book cover at the bottom of the post and the book is FREE so no more excuses for not trying JL 😉

  3. Enjoyed getting to know Jane Lark even further, Carol. Thank you for hosting her. Jane, I was happy to note that you mentioned Tess of d’Ubervilles because when I read The Lost Love of a Soldier (and you fans out there — it was over the top superb), I thought of that classic by Thomas Hardy. It hasn’t been many years since I read the book, perhaps five, but when I read your book, I felt much the same heartache I felt for Tess when I experienced what the innocent Ellen faced. Now I must read Vanity Fair and Mill on the Floss because you mention them in the same breath as Hardy’s novel.

    My question to you is, where will your historical romance writing take you? Are you adding more to this series or will you be starting another?

    Last comment, when you plan a series, how methodical are you in outlining where the series takes you? Popularly put, are you a planner or panster?

    1. I answer the second question first – a very definite pantser 😀 But only because I have an imagination like a waterfall, it just keeps running without any prompting or encouragement, in fact if I am ever struggling with where a plot should go I just stop thinking about it and my brain will then just suddenly throw the answer at me when I am thinking about something else.

      There are another four books in this series, which are all stories of the Marlow Brothers children as young people, so you will now see a slight shift in the stories, and I think they will step even further outside of the norm for Historical Romances, I like pushing boundaries. They also start leaning even more heavily towards story lines captured from true stories in the Regency period, although not followed as true stories, my stories will remain fiction. (Note the next set of books really sit in the Vctorian era, but for the benefit of readers who are not normally historical readers – because I want to keep expanding the audience and keep historical romance alive – I am not making the historical background obviously Victorian so die hard historical fans who want text book inclusions may be frustrated a little – but I am all about reader experience over proving how much I know about history)

      As for the future… Well, before I was even published I had the whole second series of books planned in my head, BUT, those stories were very typical of Regency Romance, and had probably been written a dozen times before by others and the Marlow Intrigues are very different, so I had been struggling with the dilemma of not really wanting to write them anymore but to do something else different. And then when I was walking around Bowood House’s amazing 18th Century Grotto the whole second series just suddenly flew into place in my head… It is an awesome idea, which I don’t think anyone else has used. SO keeping it very firmly to myself.

      I am also now just about to start seeking an Agent, hopefully I can obtain the right agent in the New Year, and then fingers crossed, step into the realms of being paid an advance to write so I can give up the day job, if I achieve that then I think after the second series of Historical Romances, I may move more into Historical Fiction. I have some fabulous ideas for that too, but again, keeping them all to myself at the moment. 😀

      Sorry another very long answer :/

      1. Long, but very thorough. I like to hear you have a couple other directions to go. My reading inclination is also shifting somewhat. I want to delve into more historical fiction where there is romance, but not the focus and more of the story line deals with real historical events.

        I’m also looking forward to that promised second series. I cannot imagine you NOT finding an Agent soon. Your historical reads are absolutely my favorites and I certainly can’t be any different than all those other readers with the same reading inclination. Bravo, Jane. I’ll be cheering you from the stands.

      1. Oh and thank you, for saying thank you for the free books. I don’t think people realize how little authors receive for their work, when it takes months to produce books, so it is really nice when people recognize that the free books are a very genuine gift from me personally, not just something like a buy one get one free pack of biscuits in a store XO

  4. THANK YOU to everyone, I cannot tell you how important it is to me, and how much I value the feedback from my readers! I know you have thousands of authors to choose from 😉 ❤

  5. Hi Jane, no question, just commenting, I’ve followed you since I discovered your love of Katherine. My reasoning being that anyone who shared my love of this book must have great taste. I’ve loved all of your Marlow series so far, looking forward to more. Great interview.

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