Debut Avon Author Jaime Rush recently took the time out of her busy schedule to have a chat with the lovely and talented Julianne MacLean. Here’s what was said:

JR: You have said that you enjoy the process of making video trailers, and the video for The Mistress Diaries is indeed spectacular. What is it that appeals about both making them and putting them out there for the public?

JM: We’ve had great fun filming those videos, and mostly it’s just for the pure joy of it. My husband is a doctor by day, but filmaking is his creative outlet. He loves making movies, and works on a lot of projects in our local area (Nova Scotia is a popular place for movies. Part of Titanic was filmed here, and The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, among many others). My husband also has a wacky sense of humor, and we wanted to something outside the box, which would purely entertain.

JR. Your recent books seem to play with that tantalizing theme of forbidden love. In The Mistress Diaries, for example, she is a noblewoman and he, a mere groomsman. In When a Stranger Loves Me, she is an heiress, and he, a stranger with no memory of his previous life. She must seduce him to have the child she needs to secure her family’s estate. Have you purposely been drawn to this themeā€¦or is it something in your own life that inspires?

JM: (Tracy – the hero in The Mistress Diaries is the son of a duke (not sure where the groomsman comes from, LOL!) – but it was still forbidden because he was engaged to another woman.)
Yes, I’ve always been drawn to this theme of forbidden love, because it makes the obstacles intense and emotional. Wanting someone when you can’t have them can drive a person to the point of obsession. Also, a love scene where both characters are trying to resist “going all the way” is very exciting to write. It adds an element of danger and conflict and inner turmoil to the scene. In WHEN A STRANGER LOVES ME, there’s also the possibility that the hero might have a wife, but he can’t remember because he has amnesia. It made their decision to make love so much more complex. I also love it when passions threaten to override common sense. I’m sure we’ve all been in the position of knowing in our heads that something is not prudent, yet we still want to do it. The lure of the forbidden – it’s a universal theme as old as Adam and Eve.

JR: Amnesia has been used many times in novels. What makes this fascinating situation different in When a Stranger Loves Me?

JM: It’s funny, it is a classic theme, but I haven’t read that many historicals lately that have used it. For a while there were a ton of contemporaries with the world “amnesia” in the title, and I’d certainly heard many editors over the years say that “amnesia sells.” So people obviously like it.

I wanted to do one for a while, but I also wanted to make sure that it was not so much an external plot device, but more of a characterization issue. I wanted the lost memory to be a great sense of torment for my character, and cause him inner pain and confusion and sorrow. I think I accomplished that with Blake. He had to rediscover his identity, not just in an external sense (to learn that he was the son of a duke who needed a wife) – but also internally. He didn’t know if he was a scoundrel deep down, or a decent, responsible man, because he had no history in which to recall his previous actions in life. He felt torn between both traits sometimes.

JR: What is the best thing about being a romance writer?

JM: Reliving the experience of first love, over and over again.

JR: What is the most indulgent thing that you do for yourself?

JM: I insist on private time when I need it – whether it’s to read a book or watch a movie by myself. Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who is an amazing Dad and loves to do fun things with our daughter, so I never feel guilty about it.

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