Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Interview with Jean Hart Stewart

Q. How did you start your writing career?

A. Actually I wrote my first novel when I was sixteen. The only thing I remember about it is the heroine was named Aurora and I thought I was terribly original. Thankfully it’s long lost. After I married I was in real estate, and that helped put the kids through college. When they were educated I quit to do what I’d always wanted, and that is write. Best decision I ever made… Love, love, love writing and being published.

Q.Tell us about your favorite character from your books.

A. Not easy to answer, since they’re all my babies and it hard to point to a favorite. If I have to pick I’d pick Lord Lance, the chief inspector in my first book, Druid’s Daughter. Lance is the quintessential aristocrat, unable to believe he must work with a Druid to solve a kidnapping case. And falling in love with her, which is really too much

Q. Tell us about your current release.

A. Thought you’d never ask! It’s Quest for Magic, co-authored with Lee Pearce who wrote the steamier bits. It’s coming out August 9th from PIP press, in both hardback and e-book, so that’s pretty great. It’s a sequel to Quest for Love. I wrote the prequel, Quest for Love, pubbed last year, but then when my husband died nine months ago I turned to Lee to get me kick-started again. I’m very happy with the book. It tells the story of Jonathan and Hayley. Jono is a confirmed Lothario, and Hayley, knowing his reputation, refuses even speak to him even though they’re neighbors. When Hayley is in danger due to a pedophile obsessed with her younger sister, Jono must find his Mage powers to save them both. And somehow convince her he’s changed his life for her. And I’ve written two more Mage books for PIP and am working on the fourth and last one.

Q. Tell us about your next release.

A. The next in the Mage series, Victoria’s Visions, and has a great cover which I just approved. Vicky is not happy with possessing mage powers, especially when she had two different visions of how her romance with Cabot is going to end. Reconciling them leads her into diabolical danger and Cabot must help her find the truth.

Q. Has someone been instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?

A. I’d have to say Mary Balogh. I don’t write like her, but I love everything she’s written.

Q. Who is your favorite author?

A. Lots of favorite authors. Mary Balogh, Julia Quinn, Johanna Lindsey, Stephanie Laurens to name a few.

Q. When was your first sale?

A. About five years ago. Now I’m starting book 22.

Q. I do e-mail, promo and research in the morning.
A. By three I’ve settled to writing and write until bedtime, unless I’m lucky enough to be going out to dinner.

Q. What is the hardest part of writing your books?

A. Another easy one to answer. I purely hate the editing, takes me forever before I’m satisfied enough to send it to an author friend, Carlene Dater, who’s my beta editor now that my husband’s gone. She’s a toughie and very good for me. Then I get it back and edit again.

Q. Where do you research for your books?

A. All over the web and library. I also buy a book if I think it’s one I’ll use again, such as my books on Druids and Mages. Each one of my books is in a different year, so they all demanded intensive research. I spend four to six weeks on research and plotting before I start to write.

Q. Tell us about your family.

A. I have two children and two grandchildren. My daughter lives nearby and takes solicitous care of me. We travel together when she can get off and go to the desert a lot, which we both love. I simply can’t imagine a better daughter. My son is also wonderful, but since he lives in New York and I’m in California we don’t see each other as often as we’d both like.

Q. What books have most influenced your life?

A. My father died early, from a golf ball of all things, and my mother started teaching when I was six. I was confined to the house until she got home, so I read and read. Books on Merlin, King Arthur and his knights were my favorites, but I also devoured Jane Austen. I still read both.

Q. How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

A. When writing, I don’t use any set formula but I usually know the beginning and ending of a book and jot them down first. The beginning is easy and the first chapter generally rolls out almost by itself. The sticky middle it the part I hate. I can get so bogged down in that it’s disgraceful The best advice I heard on that is from Mary Balogh. She told me the answer is simple, “make it worse.” So I do and generally can slog through that way.

Q. What book are you reading now?

A. I have several going. One by Susan Johnson, and one by Julie Quinn. I’m also researching a new book about Merlin called the 21 Messages of Merlin. Fascinating. As for what I wanted to be when I grew up, it was always to be happily married and be a writer. Since I’ve been lucky enough to experience both I realize how fortunate I am.

Q. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

A. To encapsulate the last questions, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Let’s see, I’m a morning person and the brain gets dimmer as the day goes along. What you’ll find under my bed are Xmas presents since I shop all year long and when I see the right thing for the right person I buy it. My favorite restaurant is the Club House here in our small town, when everybody knows everybody and the waiters have come to be friends. I love answering mail, so do write me at jswriter@earthlink.net if you have any questions I’ve missed. Amber, love, thank you for having me.

Thanks for dropping by Jean...I loved having you today! :o)


Vicky has two conflicting visions that haunt her. Mages’ visions are true, but she can’t reconcile hers. In one she and Cabot are blissfully happy, in the other he weeps on his knees at her side. How can they both be true?
Vicky save several small animals with her mage abilities, and earns the enmity of three vicious louts. When they capture her and her best friend with rape in mind, she wonders how to save herself without endangering Linnet.
Will her mage abilities be enough? Can Cabot find her in time to help her and Linnet? Or is the dire second vision destined to come true as she loses all she longs for?


That night Jono lay in bed a long time. He’d hoped to make some progress sexually with her, and hadn’t. But he’d loved every minute. Her huge dark eyes flashing as she argued her points with conviction and intelligence, her graceful movements. He’d dropped a light kiss on her forehead after he opened her door for her, and then ran down her steps and up his own.
He’d been afraid to linger. Afraid he might grab her and try to use the sexual magnetism that sparked between them. She wasn’t ready for what he wanted, and he’d settle for nothing less. When he took her he wanted no regrets. She possessed a magic that drew him, a magic more powerful than his own.
It was time to plan a serious campaign. By Merlin’s mercy he seemed to have stumbled on the key to Hayley’s heart. He’d missed intriguing conversation. Although he’d never expected arguing on an intellectual topic could help win a girl.
With Hayley he should have. But then he’d never in his amorous life thought about campaigning for a woman’s interest. He was scared to death. She was creeping into his heart in a way he’d never expected.


  1. Congrats on the new release, Jean. And Lance was DEFINITELY a winner!

  2. Lovely interview, thanks for sharing your thoughts and info on your upcoming release!

  3. Great interview! You are amazingly productive! You and Amber!

  4. Hi,
    I'm finding I'm really liking the Mage books along with anything Druid or Celtic. These two culture's had some pretty fascinating beliefs. Congratulations on the new release and thank you for sharing.
    Teresa K.

  5. I'm going to try to post this again. Amber was so kind in posting my original post. Blogger was acting up as usual.

    Again I want to thank Jean for sharing an inside to you life with us today. It was nice getting to know you and your works.

    Teresa K.

  6. Wow, 22 books in 5 years is amazing! I haven't read much druid/mage stuff, but I do love movies about Merlin, King Arthur and his knights so maybe I should start, huh?! Congrats on such great sucess. And condolences on your husband.