Friday Five: Jacquie Underdown

1501Author: Jacquie Underdown
First published with Escape: December 2013 – The Paler Shade of Autumn
Favourite romance trope: The love triangle
Ideal hero (in three words): Handsome, intelligent, and dedicated
Ideal heroine (in three words): Funny, ambitious, and loving
Latest book: Bittersweet

What began your romance writing career? Why do you write romance?

I’ve always loved reading romance books or books with romantic themes, so it was a natural trajectory when the urge to write hit that I would write in this genre. When I wrote my first romance book ten years ago, it was with the strong purpose of wanting to show others how amazing love could be.

What kind of characters do you like reading about the most? What about the ones you enjoy writing?

I love reading about characters who are somewhat otherworldly—they possess magical/mythical qualities—yet have to navigate real life and romance with those inherent qualities.

I enjoy writing all types of characters from cowboys to multi-millionaires, florists to time-travellers, but my real passion is writing characters similar to those I like to read. I adored writing Autumn Leone, a girl who can see into people’s minds, in the Paler Shade of Autumn. Even with my most recent novel, Bittersweet (Brothers of the Vine #1), I couldn’t help but weave a subtle magical matchmaking thread through the story.


Which writers inspire you? Favourite books and authors? What makes them your favourite?

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This changes all the time, but, at the moment, my favourite authors are:

  • Alice Clayton—her books are funny and sexy (particularly the Hudson Valley series) and she writes super-hot heroes.
  • Maggie Stiefvater—I adored the Raven Cycle series so much it makes my heart race thinking about those books.
  • Liane Moriarty—her ability to observe everyday human behaviour is outstanding.
  • Sarah J. Maas and Karen Marie Moning—I adore books about Fae that are also a little sexy and where the female protagonist gets to kick arse.
  • Hannah Kent—her prose is meticulous and I couldn’t read The Good People fast enough.

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/familiar? Do you have one already?

I’m not sure I would call my Siamese cat, Bear, my familiar or even a mascot, but he is certainly a big supporter of my writing for no other reason than because he gets to sit on my lap while I write. In summer, especially since moving back to Queensland, that’s not the ideal scene.

Bear thinking he looks cute in yellow

But, in saying that, his spirit certainly makes its way into my stories. I named my male protagonist in Pieces of Me after him. And a female version of him appeared in Catch Me a Cowboy.

Bear 2 mins after wanting to be let out

Where is your favourite place to write?

I know authors generally have an office to write in, and I’ve tried that many times, but after a career as an accountant, stuck in an office day in day out, that’s the last place I want to be. So, I generally write while sitting on the lounge with my laptop on my lap.

And I have a standing desk, also in my lounge room, that I alternative between.


 

32702A vineyard, a family in pain, and the healing magic of cupcakes…

Amy Jenkins, a talented and ambitious chef, is left humiliated and debt-ridden, after her city restaurant fails. When her best friend calls asking for help in her small town cupcake shop, Amy jumps at the chance to hide out in the small town of Alpine Ridge while her shattered ego mends.

The youngest Mathews brother, Tom feels over-looked and under-appreciated. His brothers remember every mistake, but never give him the responsibility or opportunity to take his place in the family business. So, he spends three weeks out of every month working at a mine in the back-end of nowhere. But then Amy moves to town to help run his pregnant sister-in-law’s bakery, and suddenly home seems to be where his heart is.

Amy’s move was only ever meant to be temporary, but when tragedy strikes the Mathews family, Amy finds herself unable to move on. As she and Tom get closer, Amy finds every excuse to stay: first, she claims it’s for the family, then she claims it’s for the shop. But maybe, it’s for her own heart…

” I loved the way the story was woven and all its twists and turns. A box of tissues is a must!”  – Jeanne, NetGalley

“a lovely story of love, healing, and new beginnings.” – NetGalley Reviewer

“just gives you a huge happy sigh” – Becky, NetGalley

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