Jillian Chantal

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Jillian Chantal is the writer of Romantic Adventures with an International Flair. She grew up reading the stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Victoria Holt, and Noel Streatfeild. She fell in love with the British Isles through these stories. Her imagination set sail on these adventures far from the Virginia and Florida homes where she lived during her childhood. The lure of Great Britain pulled at her soul. She read so many mysteries, she could solve an Agatha Christie book in 28 pages. She still loves to read mysteries and guess "who dun it."

Jillian’s stories usually have an element of glamour and foreign places. An avid traveler herself, she loves to insert her memories of favorite places in her writing.

Jillian is a lawyer working in the panhandle of Florida in a 1940s renovated house near the historical district of her city. She loves to write for relaxation from the stresses of the day job and loves to hear from readers that enjoy her stories. She lives with her husband, two sons and one very wicked cat in a suburb in the panhandle. When she isn’t writing, she loves to scrapbook, read, visit with friends, and of course, travel for fun as well as for research for the next romantic adventure.

Q: How long have you been writing?

A: I started writing as a kid and kept it up until I left home for college. Life got away from me what with college, law school, marriage and children. I started practicing law and didn’t write for fun for a long time after that. There was too much else on my plate. I started a novel in 1998 and my computer crashed. I lost the whole thing. It gutted me. I couldn’t face trying to recapture the story. I stopped writing until my kids got older and picked it back up in 2006. I kept my secret for a couple of years and then joined RWA and started submitting my work in August 2009.

Q: What’s your guilty pleasure?

A: Watching movies. Especially ones set in the British Isles. That early immersion in that culture is hard for me to shake.

Q: How do you get ideas for stories?

A: From everywhere. Sometimes I can read a small news article and get a germ of an idea. Sometimes I can hear a word or two of a conversation on a cell phone (drives me crazy when people talk loudly on their phones about inane things in the grocery store, but I can mine that for ideas). And sometimes, I just wake up with a scene in my head and start writing. It can take off quite easily. One story in particular that stands out was one I woke up to one day. The man introduced himself to me and said, "You’re gonna write my story." And I did. A full novel that almost wrote itself.

Q: So, do you plot out your books?

A: No. I’m what’s called a pantser in the industry. I fly by the seat of my pants. I never know what’s going to happen next. I’m on the adventure along with my reader. Someone once read a short story I wrote and said she thought a particular person did it, and I told her that I did, too until I got to the part where she didn’t and someone else did. I was as surprised at where my subconscious led me as my reader was. That’s what makes this writing adventure fun for me.

Q: Describe your writing day:

A. I have a notebook I carry with me at all times to jot ideas. I work from 8 to 5 every day so the only writing I do during the actual daylight hours is at lunch when I can. When I get home, I write for a couple of hours most days. My major writing time is on the weekends. It’s nice to have sons that are now old enough to amuse themselves and let mom do her thing. The spouse spends his time out in the yard which is his thing. So our weekends are spent in our own separate pursuits until the dinner hour. Then we have family time. One son is away at college so we just have the one left in the actual household on a day to day basis. He’s low maintenance. Give him a guitar and he’s happy. And the music is enjoyable when he plays for me as I write.

Q: Tell us about your writing style:

A: I like to inject some humor into my stories. I love to laugh myself, so it’s important to me to have that in my work. I also like a kick butt, sassy heroine. I love exotic locations and some element of adventure. A chase, an evil villain, a sexy cop, a strong male lead, all these things encompass the stuff I like to read and therefore, what I love to write.

Q: What’s something quirky aboutJillian?

A: My name. It’s a pen name. A combination of the middle names my sons would have had if they’d been girls.

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