Jen Turano ~ Author Interview

Jul 17, 2015 by

Welcome back to Rachel’s Back Talk! Another Friday interview!

Today’s interview is with Jen Turano. This past Monday, I had the opportunity to review her book In Good Company. 

So without further ado, on to Rachel’s Back Talk – Special Edition! 


RR: Hi Jen! Thank you so much for joining me here today! When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?

JT: Quite honestly, it just sort of snuck up on me. I’d left my career in fashion when I had my son, and was busy doing the whole mom thing – you know, play dates and then PTO when he got into elementary school. When he was in third grade, to keep him interested in reading, I’d read a chapter of a middle grade book, then he’d read a chapter, and so it went, but…we got mired down in this horrible series that revolved around a bird. The first two books weren’t bad, but after that – dreadful. Well, after we closed the book on number six, (and, forgive me, but I have never owned up to the fact that book six was not the end of that series even though I implied it was) my son told me that he’d actually enjoyed the stories I made up for him when he was little (to keep him entertained in his jogger stroller) more than the series we’d just read. With that, the two of us decided we’d create our own book and that’s what we did. It was a wacky tale – one filled with smelly creatures, and it obviously never got published, but…I discovered I missed using my brain and that I enjoyed using my imagination, so…there you have it. Many different genres, and years later I might add, I became a published author.

RR: Wow that is so great! So how would you describe your writing process? Are you more of a planner or freewriter?

JT: I do more planning now than I used to, but I never plot out more than five chapters at a time because I know they’ll change once the characters really start to develop.

RR: That seems like it would work really well – especially when, like you said, you never know what’s going to happen. When is your best time in the day to write?

JT: Morning to afternoon – if it gets past five, unless I’m doing an edit, I don’t really write anything of worth and end up deleting a lot the next day.

RR: That’s probably pretty nice because then you don’t have to worry about staying up really late!! How do you know when you have a great story idea?

JT: When the storyline won’t get out of my head – and the characters start talking to each other even before I start typing out their tales.

RR: Ah…I love that feeling and the characters just feel so REAL! Out of all your books, which has been your favorite to write?

JT: Hmmm….A Change of Fortune, followed by After a Fashion, and then A Talent for Trouble.

RR: I have not read those yet, but now, I really want to! So moving on to your newest release, how did you come up with the story idea for In Good Company?

JT: The whole series was inspired by some of my favorite movies – After a Fashion was My Fair Lady, In Good Company was The Sound of Music, and Playing the Part was Phantom of the Opera – although, that story turned out to be nothing like Phantom.

RR: That is such a good idea, and like I said in my review, this book definitely reminded me of the Sound of Music. Are the characters Millie, Everett, and Caroline based off of anyone you know?

JT: Caroline – definitely – but Millie and Everett are a combination of people I know – all of whom will remain nameless in order to keep me out of trouble.

RR: And we wouldn’t want that to happen! 🙂 Why do you like writing historical fiction?

JT: I’ve always been a fan of historical fiction and historical romance ever since I read The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss clear back in the day. I love the fashions, New York high society back then, and enjoy finding research books that teach me something new – I especially love the research books that provide old photographs in them. Those are completely fascinating to me.

RR: Yes, I love to see old photographs because it gives just a glimpse of what happened back then. So how much time was spent researching verses writing in this book in particular?

JT: Since this book is set in Newport, and I’ve never set a book in Newport before, I had to do a bit more in the way of research. Besides the books I’ve already read pertaining to the Gilded Age, I added about five more – my favorite being Gilded- How Newport became America’s Richest Resort, and also “King Lehr” and the Gilded Age. I added a few tourist books from the History Press to give me a better picture of where everything was, but the book I didn’t care for was written about all the old “cottages” in Newport that have been torn down, and that one I just found to be depressing. As for research versus writing, it always takes me longer to write the book – but research is an ongoing thing – I’m constantly opening up a book while I write in order to set the scene better or re-check something from the past. At Everett’s ball, for example, the guests are given little pails filled with sand and buried treasure – that was taken from a real-life party, one hosted by Maimie Fish at the turn of the century – What was so interesting was the obscene amount of money these society ladies began spending on favors for their guests during the summer social season in Newport.

RR: The ball scene was awesome! I can’t imagine spending that much on favors. As we close today, is there one tip that you could share that has really benefited you in your writing?

JT: Working with editors has given me an entirely different perspective on the whole writing process. Now when I write a book, I question whether or not my target readers will enjoy a particular scene, whether or not what I’m writing moves the story forward, and how easy a read I’m creating for everyone. The last thing I want to do is write a book that frustrates readers because it becomes confusing.

RR: That is definitely good advice to keep in mind. Thank you, Jen!

Jen is also offering a GIVEAWAY of either In Good Company OR After A Fashion. Leave a comment below (as well as your email address)  to be entered. Giveaway is open till next Friday at midnight EST and the winner will be announced here.

And don’t forget to read my review on In Good Company!


JenTuranoJen is a critically-acclaimed author who writes historical romances for Bethany House Publishers. Her first novel in the Ladies of Distinction series released in November, 2012. Her second novel, A Most Peculiar Circumstance will release in June, 2013, with A Talent for Trouble releasing in October, 2013. The fourth book in the series, currently untitled, will come out in 2014. She lives outside of Denver, Colorado with her husband of over twenty years, teenage son, and neurotic Cattle Dog.

You can also visit her at her website or on Facebook .



  1. Morgan Parson

    Thanks for the interview! It was great! I loved the story about how Jen got into writing. It would be great to win a copy of After a Fashion because I love My Fair Lady so much!! (One of my goals is to get my musical-hating boyfriend to watch it with me one day hehe) Thanks again! Mdp94 (at) bellsouth (dot) net

  2. Steph J

    I just finished reading After a Fashion. Such a great book! Would love the chance to win In Good Company! Jen Turano is such a great writer!

  3. I love this cover! Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

    wfnren at aol dot com

  4. Rebecca Dewey

    Hi Jen! I find it interesting that you got the ideas for some of your books off of classic movies. I love those movies and can’t wait to read your books and see their influence on your writing!

  5. Johnette Ferguson

    I haven’t read Jen’s books before, but I would like too!

  6. Thank you so much for having me, Rachel! Loved your review, and so glad you enjoyed Millie’s story!

    Have a great weekend~

    All the best,


  7. Jackie McNutt

    Hi Jen, I love the fun characters in your books, they all have been such a joy to read!I recently finished After A Fashion,and I can’t wait to read In Good Company.
    Thank you for the giveaway !

  8. Lindsay

    I’ve read and enjoyed a few of Jen Turano’s books in the past, and this one sure sounds like another fun and entertaining read! 🙂

  9. Rebecca F.

    I haven’t read any of Jen’s books yet. Yet being the key word here. I have added her books to my “to read” list and I look forward to reading them soon!

  10. jane squires

    Would love to win one if her books.

  11. kim amundsen

    Love the cover. Thanks for a chance to win.

  12. Maxie Anderson

    Hello Rachel. Thanks for the interview with Jen. Sounds like she has some good books. Jen, I would love to win one of you. Thanks for a chance. Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

  13. Grace Olson

    I’ve read almost all of Jen’s books and they are some of my favorites. I love the humor, the romance, everything. 🙂

  14. Maryann

    I dont have a favorite musical unless Beauty and the Beast counts. Jen is a new author to me and this book sounds like a fun summer read. I would really enjoy reading it.
    marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

  15. Charity Faith Billing

    Hi! Names Charity Faith I have never read any of your books but have had you/your books on my to read and watch for book bargains book lists for some time! All of your books sound amazing! Really hoping to finally get the chance to read one of your books! Thanks!! =D CFB

  16. I’ve read In good company and Millie is a keeper. I haven’t read After a fashion but look forward to it.

  17. Samantha T

    Beautiful cover. Thanks for sharing about Jen and her books and for the giveaway!

  18. Nicole Wetherington

    Thanks for sharing!!!

  19. Charlotte

    I just read After a Fashion and thought that you made Millie an extremely interesting character. She definitely deserves a place to star.

  20. Abby Breuklander

    Oh this sounds like such a good book, I can’t wait to read it!!

    alander87 at allcom dot net

  21. Brenda Arrington

    Thanks for the interview. Thanks for a chance to win,

  22. Karen

    I just discovered Jen Turano, and I can’t wait to start reading her books! I love history, and historical fiction is such a fun escape!

  23. Tammy Sotela

    Can’t wait to read this book. I love all of Jen’s books.

  24. Laurie Bergh

    Another good interview , thanks for the chance to win also.

  25. Thanks so much for the giveaway! I absolutely loved After a Fashion! 🙂

  26. Layla Anson

    Just found your books at the library and really liked it!

  27. Caryl Kane

    Great interview with Jen! I can’t wait to read this fun story! Thanks for the giveaway.

  28. Beth Schwarzlose

    Can’t wait to get my hands on another Jen Turano book! So entertaining!

  29. Kelly

    Reading her _After A Fashion_ right now and it is soooooo good!!

  30. W. Thomas

    Great interview. It’s so fun to read about your writing process. Your covers look so inviting, and I love reading historical fiction. I would love to win one of these books. Thanks for the opportunity. whthomas13(at)yahoo(dot)com

  31. Rachel

    Congratulations, Caryl Kane! You are the winner of the giveaway. Jen will be in contact with you shortly about which book you would like.

    Thank you all for entering. Glad you enjoyed the interview 🙂 I know I did!

    • Caryl Kane

      Hello Rachel! I am so happy to have won! Thank you so much. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *