Interview With Historical Romance Author @jillhughey

The most interesting fact about Jill Hughey is that she can sing really, really high, though she considers her most impressive creative accomplishment so far to be the six historical romance titles she has published. Her first book, Unbidden, was recently released as an audiobook, and she is here to tell us about it.

What was it like hearing your book narrated as an audiobook?
I’ll admit I felt a little uneasy at first, especially during the audition process when some of the narrators were better at interpreting the intent of my writing than others. Having gone through the process once, I realize how much I depend on visual cues, such as italics or separate lines of dialogue, that have to be accounted for somehow when being read aloud.


What was the most rewarding part of the production process? Was there anything surprising?
Collaborating with the narrator was really enjoyable. Kevin Scollin is a voice professional and having that kind of talent supporting my work really energized me. Quite frankly, my choice of a male narrator surprised me. Obviously, I hadn’t ruled that out since I invited both men and women to audition. When we got down to nuts and bolts, I specifically asked Kevin to read a sexier part of the book so I could be sure I’d be comfortable with a man giving voice to the passionate moments.

What would you tell someone who has never tried listening to an audiobook? Why are audiobooks a good alternative to print or e-books?

My brother-in-law commutes. He consumes audiobooks during those long hours. This is just one example of audiobooks as a great source of “reading” pleasure for anyone who has time when they can’t read with his or her eyes, for any reason, but can concentrate on someone’s lovely voice telling a story or sharing information.

There is a lot of writing involved before authors get to the point where their books are ready to be produced as audiobook. Here are a few questions about the writing process:

Do you outline your books or wing it? Describe your process.
I have converted from pantsing to planning. I outline my stories now, and find that it speeds my writing process and makes the books tighter in the first draft than they used to be. I use a program called “StoryMill” that allows me to create character descriptions, lay my scenes out in a timeline, set up research tasks and results, and plan just about anything else necessary. When I feel I’ve got enough of that foundation laid, I start to write! I finish the first draft straight through, then begin the arduous editing process.

What genre(s) do you write in? Why?
My current releases are all historical romance because that has always been my favorite genre to read. I read for pure entertainment, and while I don’t write only for entertainment, I try to create stories that feed my curiosity and that I can’t wait to keep spinning. Contemporary stories rarely take me on a journey far enough afield to get me out of my own head. Having said that, I’ll immediately contradict myself by saying my work in progress is a New Adult series that will allow me to mix my science background — I have a degree in Geology — with my love of writing.

How much research was involved in writing your books? How did you go about it?
Since most of my books are set in Charlemagne’s Empire, in Europe in the 830s and 840s, I had to become as familiar as possible with a relatively primitive way of life overlaid on an aristocratic society. I have several scholarly books I use, and love search engines. The internet is such a wonderful resource, especially to view images of historic items that used to be limited to museums and expensive text books.

How much of you is in the books you write? In what ways?
I’m not a very social person but I am fascinated by people. I think that is why my stories are very character-driven. I need to understand what is motivating my characters. Other than that, I think very little of me is in the books. While I write romance, my husband will tell you I am not a romantic person in regular life, and I would hate to be put in the situations my heroines encounter!

What is your latest audiobook about? Who is the narrator? Please share audio retail links also.

My new and only audiobook is Unbidden, which is also the first book in my series. In Unbidden, Emperor Louis chooses a husband for Rochelle, a landed aristocrat. She tries to drive her betrothed away, but by the time she realizes she might want to keep him, she has been too successful and other forces are dividing them as well. Unbidden, narrated by Kevin Scollin, can be found at Audible , Amazon and on iTunes.

Tell us about your hero or heroine in this book. Give us one of his/her strengths and one of his/her weaknesses.

The hero, David, has been called drool-worthy. He is a classic warrior hero, though he has two weaknesses: his blind loyalty to his family and debilitating headaches from a wound he suffered 18 months prior to the beginning of the book. David has his work cut out for him when the emperor asks him to bring the independent, naïve Rochelle to the altar.

What other audiobooks have you written?
Unbidden is currently my only audiobook. I’d like to thank Stacy Juba for the opportunity to tell you about it today!

For more about Jill, visit her blog, find her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.

Stop by Stacy’s audiobook page to browse her audiobook reads for adults, teens and children, and visit her Audiobook Corner for links to narrator and author interviews.

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  1. Thank you for having me here today, Stacy! I can’t wait to give away a copy of my audiobook, so I hope some people are feeling talkative.

  2. Interesting research

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Stacy Juba