by Jillian Chantal
Crystal: Today as part of the Goddess Fish Virtual Book tour, I have the opportunity to interview Jillian Chantal. Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?
Jillian: I’m a lawyer in my day job and I write romance as an escape and as a way to have a happily ever after. A lot of times in the legal field, there is a clear winner and a clear loser in a case but most of the time it’s not that way and everyone goes away feeling a little unhappy with the result. Writing romance makes me smile because I can make the characters have that ending that sometimes doesn’t happen for my clients. I also look at it as cheaper and more fun than therapy. LOL
Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for Moon Dance?
Jillian: I get a lot of inspiration from my thoughts right as I wake up in the mornings and one day I woke up with these sentences in my head: “It’s not rocket science, you know.” And “Well, if it was, I could do it.”
From there, I knew I had to have a story with a NASA scientist. I mulled over what would not be rocket science and came up with dancing. From that, Gabe, the hero of the story, came to me as a man who wanted to be a professional dancer but became a fireman instead. I wanted to kind of turn the stereotypes around and make the heroine the scientist and the hero the artist/dancer. I have written most of my stories around one or two sentences.
Crystal: What are you currently working on?
Jillian: I’m writing a story set in 1937 on the Orient Express train. It’s a pre- World War II spy novel/murder mystery with some romance, of course.
Crystal: Do you have any special routine that you follow when you are writing?
Jillian: Not really. If there’s particular research to do, I try to do that ahead of time so when I’m ready to write, I don’t have to stop and do more intensive research. I may Google a small item or two as I write but I like the bulk to be done first. I’m lucky to have a brain that holds information (Sometimes too much- LOL) so it’s fun for me to write books that need true facts in them.
Crystal: Did you have to do a lot of research for this book or any other? If so do you have a fascinating fact that you have learned you would like to share with us?
Jillian: For this story, for the blindness parts, I spoke to a very dear friend who is an emergency room doctor. He gave me insight (no pun intended) on burned retinas and how the scarring would look and what a person may be able to discern with that injury. Gabe, the hero, can see shapes and some dark and light.
Some of the things my friend told me about eye injuries were fascinating but very gross so I’ll leave that to the imagination. I tried to gloss over that in the story so the reader wouldn’t be sickened.
Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read?
Jillian: I’m a big fan of Heather Graham- I love her ghost stories and her settings. Dianna Love is a great author as well- I admire the way she writes sexual tension.
Lauren Willing writes some awesome Regency books. I adore her work.
Crystal: Is there any genre you haven't written that you would like to try?
Jillian: I actually tried an inspirational story once but only made it to about page 15. I found that even though I’m a spiritual person, my voice isn’t made for that type of story. I’ve decided to leave it to others to write those… for now.
Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?
Jillian: In Moon Dance, the hero, Gabe, was blinded in a fire and is now a deejay in a club. This scene is the second meeting between the heroine and hero. The heroine, Olga, is making a song request:
Author's Favorite Scene Excerpt:
Mary huffed and Gabe could discern her spin on her heel and stalk away. "So, did you come over her to tell me what kind of person I am, finally?"
"Huh? What are you talking about?"
He pointed at her. "You. Last night. Spilled drink. Remember? You said I was acting a like a typical person like me. You never told me exactly what that was."
"How the hell did you know that I was the same person from last night?"
"Hey, I'm blind, not stupid." Gabe barked a laugh.
"Still, you have to admit, it's a little weird. You don't know what I look like, you've only heard my voice once and you pegged me for the woman you talked to for a few minutes one time. It's very impressive and I want to know how you do it."
"In one sentence you call me weird and in the next, you call me impressive. Which is it?"
"Weirdly impressive. So, how'd you do it? Really?"
Gabe could hear the smile in her voice. She actually seemed nicer tonight than she had the evening before. "It's a combination of voice and scent. I've learned to master putting the two together. I usually associate people with the way they smell and speak. With you, it's easier."
"Let's start with that Texas drawl."
"And go where from there? Since American and twang is a dead giveaway."
Gabe leaned out the window and rested his elbows on the ledge. "From there, we go to the combination of jasmine, sandalwood and grapefruit, which I believe is a mixture of your shampoo and the top-note of your perfume."
"Well, I've made a decision."
"And what's that?" Gabe grinned because he could tell from the tone of her voice that she was delighted with his answer.
"Between weird and impressive, my decision is impressive. Hands down."
Olga Quinn hopes her relocation to London to work on their space shuttle program is the life changing move she needs after the loss of her co-worker in a workplace explosion. She meets Gabriel Swicord, a fireman turned celebrity radio personality and deejay. He lost his sight while rescuing a family in the line of duty and has immersed himself in music and work since then. For a few days, Olga and Gabe burn hot for each other and then things turn cold.
Someone is murdering women who patronize the club where Gabe spins records. It appears that he's the connection to the dead women and his name and face are plastered all over the news. Things are not looking good for Olga's peaceful new life and when the killers turn kidnappers, things really begin to heat up.
"Ouch." Olga Quinn dropped the soldering iron on the marble countertop. It landed with a clatter and rolled off onto the tile floor of the lab. She sucked on her index finger with tears streaming down her face. "After all these years, you'd think I wouldn't do that anymore, wouldn't you? I mean, really, I've been making prototypes forever."
"It has been a while since you worked really hands on, though, hasn't it?" Olga's co-worker, Gina Boudreau said. She bent down and picked up the soldering iron.
"Yeah, in Houston, I was assigned to the design team. I created ideas and other people made the models to test them. Over here, it seems we do all the jobs. I'm glad they have someone to clean the bathrooms or we might get sucked into that as well."
"We're much smaller here at British Aerospace than NASA, but I don't think they'll put us scientists to work in the loo." Gina giggled. "I do wonder why you decided to move here, though. You had a pretty cushy job. I'm a little jealous and why you'd give that up, I'll never understand."
Olga made herself smile as she swallowed the lump in her throat that thoughts of Texas always brought. "I wanted a change of pace for a while. I'm here on loan only. I'm sure I'll head back across the Atlantic someday."
"Maybe you'll decide you love the motherland so much that you'll want to stay forever."
"Not likely since England isn't my motherland." Olga moved over to the stainless steel sink and ran some cold water over her hand that still stung from the burn from the solder.
"I thought all you Yanks were descended in some way from the Anglo Saxons."
Olga shook her head. "Nope. I'm part Russian and part Inuit." She dried her hand off, opened a drawer in the closest cabinet and reached for some burn ointment for her finger.
"So that explains the darkness of your soul." Gina laughed.
"You sound like you're stereotyping my people."
"I'd never do that. Unless I was kidding around." Gina grinned. She pulled off her lab coat. "Quitting time soon. Come out tonight to the club with me and the gals. We'll have fun. They have a brilliant celebrity deejay there and I want you to hear him. He's quite good."
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Jillian Chantal lives on the gulf coast of Florida. She’s an avid traveler and enjoys using her experiences in other places as the background and inspiration for her stories. Writing Romantic Adventures with an International Flair is her favorite type of story to focus on. She loves to hear from readers and can be contacted at:
email: JillianChantal at gmail.com