–a romance writer and indie publisher.
Readers! Let’s give a good hearty welcome to Jolie Vines.
Jolie Vines is from the UK, and writes big-love contemporary romance. Her stories are ‘safe’ – no cheating and always with a HEA, and her heroes are proud, honourable men who fall hard for their heroines, even if they don’t realise it at first. Jolie’s debut, Storm the Castle (Marry the Scot, #1) features Laird Callum McRae, a huge, braw Highlander who has looked after his family of brothers for years and knows what he wants when he sees it.
Jolie, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most interviews start off with bios and such, and while I’ll get to that as always, let’s start with the important stuff!
If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?
I’m mum to a two-year-old so we’re considering a dog as we speak! But I’m allergic so any suggestions of breeds that won’t kill me with dander are welcome.
Oooh! The internet suggests a few types of terriers.
What do you write and how did you get started?
My new Marry the Scot series is set in the Scottish Highlands and centres around the McRae brothers. I write contemporary romance with castles/big houses, weddings, and usually a rich/poor combination. I like honesty and I enjoy putting my characters through their paces and testing their mettle.
For example, Mathilda Storm in book one has a choice handed to her right at the start – a marriage of convenience which would solve a major issue. But in the same breath, she meets Callum McRae, laird and owner of a big heart. He’s a very hard man to not fall for and, when she shares her situation with him, it only makes him more determined to fight for her.
I’ve been writing for a few years now but have just taken the step to becoming an independent publisher, too. It’s exciting and complex and I’m so enjoying myself.
The first romance I ever read was an arranged marriage to a Scottish laird, that I picked up at my grandmother’s house. So, I’m feeling a lot of nostalgia and excitement for your novel.
What do you like to read?
I read romance in all its glorious forms. I love PNR and fantasy, angsty NA-college tales, but I will claw my way to any new contemporary releases with titled characters.
I’ve got a soft spot for supernatural romances, but contemporary usually isn’t my thing.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.
“Every word should count.”
I’ve always applied the rule that every word should count. However, tight writing doesn’t automatically make a great story. Most readers won’t notice or care that an author has used one too many adverbs so long as they are transported away on a journey. Learn tight writing, then learn how to build worlds (including in contemporary romance).
I love world building, and sparse writing can miss that magic. But I definitely know the benefit of tightening my word-count. Great advice.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can pry out of your cold, dead hands.
Like in any other career, authors need to learn the ropes. The best way is to self-educate with the wealth of craft books / free resources out there (check out Jami Gold’s website and her beat sheets), then get feedback. Throw your work into the path of agents, publishers, anyone who is a step ahead of you, and listen to what they say. Then write something better.
I have linked to Gold’s beat sheets several times. I love them for plotting or pacing out my first revision.
Shameless Self-Promotion time!
My hot Scots will be coming at you this Spring.
If you like big love, big families, and big heroes, and if you’ve got a thing for a Scottish accent, you’re going to adore this series. Storm the Castle (Marry the Scot, #1) comes out March 14th, with the second and third books not far behind.