Saturday, January 10, 2015

Sit-Down Saturday with Muriel Jenson


Today we’re celebrating the release of In My Dreams,
first book in the Manning Family Reunion series.

Let me tell you how I got the idea for this novel!

It came from the son of our neighbors across the street.  Sean would hang out with us when he was in grade school and forgot his house key, and was the chamer at all our neighborhood get-togethers.  He grew up to serve two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, and met his wife when he was home on leave to serve as Best Man at his older brother's wedding. Allison was the bride's cousin and her Maid of Honor.  How Harlequin is that?  I'm not really sure how the substance of the story came to me, except that - as we all know - you can chase plot forever and be blank, then one day a brick falls on your head and tells you everything.

In looking at the cover, if you could add a caption or captions, what would they say? 

Will you bring me flowers for the rest of my life? 

How long did it take you to write?  In total, with revisions, about three and half months.

What is your favorite scene?  The opening scene - Jack's dream about the day the Humvee he was driving hit an IED.  Sean sat with me on my living room sofa and told me the story.  He has a gift  for knowing what the writer needs and remembered everything in vivid detail - all senses involved.
Who was your favorite character and why?  Jack Palmer, my hero, because he grew up to be a good man despite a horrible childhood and separation from his two younger sisters, whom he is determined to find again.

If you could pick fictional characters to play the hero and heroine, who would they be?  Fans of the Halmark Channel will know Antonio Cupo, and Andrea Roth, also from romance movies.
Tell us one thing you learned during research.  The unspeakable things our soldiers deal with.  I said to Sean that it was so sad that our lives went on as usual at home.  He replied, "That's all right. That's what we're fighting for."  Do you believe that generosity?

What music would match the mood of this novel?  I never play music because it stops me from hearing the voices.  But something just appropriate to the book and my hero would be that Toby Keith song, "American Soldier."

This is your 92nd  book.  Exactly what does that mean to you?   That I'm still in the game, and that's thrilling.

What do you plan to work on next?  The second book in the series, 'To Love and Protect' comes out in July and I'm about to begin the third book.  I gave myself the month of December off and have loved it.

What are you reading for pleasure right now?  "The Garden Intrigue" by Luaren Willig.  It's a Regency Period intrigue that's funny and clever The New York Times calls her "Jane Austen for the modern girl." (We're still 'girls,' aren't we?)

18 comments:

  1. Congratulations on the release of your 92nd book, Muriel. I enjoy reading about how authors come up with their story ideas--thank you for sharing.

    You are fortunate to know such an admirable young man to provide input for your story; I expect your readers will easily fall in love with Jack.

    Happy reading!

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    1. Thank you, Kate. My life is populated with the most interesting people. They all know that nothing they tell me is safe from exploitation. Happy Weekend!

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  2. 92 books and still sane---Muriel, you're my hero!

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    1. Sane? I didn't know that was required. Come on, Roz. You know we relate because you're not sane either!

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  3. That is amazing. Here's to 92 more! I love how Sean told the story--the opening scene was heartrending. Tell him thank you from your readers.

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    1. Liz - if you didn't write such great books yourself, I'd hire you to be my PR person! Thank you. It's great to be able to get a sense of character and place from someone who seems to understand what you need.

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  4. Okay, Muriel, when you get to100, we're going to have a party!

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    1. Okay. I'll hold you to that! But we have to do it in person. There must be some central place - like Kansas, or something, where we can all meet. Kansas maybe wouldn't mind the noise, either. Happy weekend, Pam.

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  5. Yes, Muriel, you are my hero, too! I laughed when you said that about the brick. That just happened to me this morning. The book sounds wonderful!

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    1. Thanks, Patricia. I'm usually just so grateful to have a coherent idea, I don't care where it comes from - or how much it hurts when it calls on my head.

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  6. Muriel, you are amazing! 92 books - I can only dream. Congratulations and I want to be there with Pam when you celebrate 100. In My Dreams sounds so good. I'm already in love with your real-life inspiration, I'm sure it will be easy to fall for his Harlequin counterpart ;)

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    1. Oh, I hope so, Amy. I did. And I'm thrilled to have written so many books, but our own Marie Ferrarella is about to celebrate 250! Now that's something to shout about. (But, yes, let's meet to celebrate my 100.)

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    1. Thank you, Loree. I hope you love it. You have a lot more than 100 books, don't you?

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  8. Muriel, Congratulation on 92--and you can't keep me away from the 100 party! This book sounds absolutely heart-wrenching (in a good way of course) with the addition of those real-life experiences. Soldiers are my heroes. Can't wait to read it.

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  9. Soldiers are my heroes, too - as well as their wives and sweethearts. Won't a party be fun? They'll probably have to close down the Heartland for noise pollution! Happy Sunday.

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  10. Congrats, Muriel! That's so cool that you got to draw on your neighbor's experiences for this book. Here's to our soldier heroes.

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  11. Congratulations on your 92nd book!! That is no small feat. Love your writing!!!!!!

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