Who is she?
Jillian is a writer of historical romance, with a particular fondness for the Regency period. Like many others, she discovered Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer as a teenager. Slightly later she began to delve further into the world of historical romance. One day she decided to try her hand at writing her own version of a romance. Undaunted by the fact that this endeavor was not as easy as it seemed in her head before she started, she not only finished the book but wrote some more.
She enjoys creating characters—they are infinitely wittier than she is, and they get into such interesting predicaments along the way, from which they can extricate themselves only with her assistance.
Why the Regency?
The Regency period proper began in 1811 when George (later King George IV) became Prince Regent because of the perceived madness of his father, George III. But generally we think of the Regency as encompassing the opening years of the 19th century. This was such a rich and fascinating era, full of characters such as Lord Byron, ‘Beau’ Brummel and ‘Prinny’ himself. The Napoleonic Wars and the Romantic movement in the arts and literature created the backdrop for political and intellectual change, yet there were still elements of the Age of Reason in vogue at the time. Thus we find a fascinating amalgam of elegance, wit, idealism, excess and restraint in the culture of the time.
Jane Austen wrote about facets of contemporary life. Georgette Heyer created the sub-genre of Regency romance in the 1930s. Other writers followed, building upon the foundation that Heyer laid. Over the years, regencies have changed in style and tone; the one constant is that anyone who writes them has to love both the period and the elements that make for a satisfying romance.
The short version of her response: because she thinks the Regency period is very cool.
Does she have a life outside of writing romance?
Of course not, she’s a writer. However, she is also a wife and mother of one teenage son and two cats. While she manages to exert a modicum of influence over the humans in the family, the cats keep her well and truly under their thumbs, despite the fact that, technically, they do not possess any.
Outside of the domestic realm, she has been a teacher, a librarian and a network administrator. She likes to think that it is her almost perfect left/right brained balance that enables her to be creative and analytical. Or she might be deluded.
Her taste in TV has gone downhill in recent years; reality shows in which models or designers vie for domination feature prominently. On the other hand, she does enjoy costume dramas when she can find one to watch (Let’s hope Downton Abbey and Upstairs, Downstairs spawn a resurgence of the genre). Old musicals and romantic comedies are her favorite movies, particularly the classic screwball comedies of the ‘30s and ‘40s. However, she is not averse to the occasional action or sci-fi flick, particularly if it has Hugh Jackman in it.
She used to enjoy various other hobbies such as gardening, sewing and keeping tropical fish. That was before writing.