Jean Hart Stewart

Posted on May 26, 2010


I’m very excited to welcome Jean Hart Stewart to my blog. She’s a very busy lady promoting her new book, The Third Rose but she was sweet enough to take a few minutes of time out to chat with me.

For those who don’t know, Jean writes historical romance.

Well good morning Jean–thanks so much and shall we get started?

Please tell us a little about yourself:
Where are you from?
A. I hail from Ohio, but left years ago for a ten-year sprint in New York and after that moved to southern California. I’ve been here too long to reveal, since it might start you counting! Love southern California. Never minded giving up the snow and bitter weather. Anybody else hate the icy cold as much as I do?
~~I’m not overly fond of the cold either. We spent several years living just outside of Milwaukee WI and I was never so glad to leave anywhere as I was to leave there!

This is something everyone asks. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A. A writer. Can’t remember when I didn’t want to be one. My father was a writer, but it took me many years to get down to being serious about what I’d always wanted to do. Kids to educate, etc. Now I’m so pleased to be finishing my seventeenth book.

WOW! 17 books?!?!? you must be crazy busy. What do you do to unwind and relax?
A. Love computer games and have to control myself so I don’t obsess with them. Also, reading, of course. As much as I can squeeze in.

Well now, onto the business of writing.
In your opinion, what is the hardest part of writing?
A. To me it’s the editing. I want it PERFECT! I reach a point where I finally know it’s time to quit twitching the text. Then send it off with crossed fingers. Although I still go back and re-read an older book and wish I’d used a better word or phrase.
~~I completely relate to that! I’ve found myself cringing at my older works!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
A. I’ve always written something or other. Nothing big, but a monthly newsletter for the company I worked for, or if anything was needed I’d volunteer.

What got you interested/started in writing?
A. When I was twelve I discovered Jane Austin and King Arthur. Dreams started forming in my head of living in other times and I knew I’d write them down some day.

How long have you been writing?
A. Since I was that definitive twelve. I wrote my first novel then and the heroine’s name was Aurora. I thought nobody else could be so original, but I’m glad it’s long lost so I’m not too embarrassed. As a professional novelist, about eight years ago.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
A, No question there. Mary Balogh, for her expert characterizations and use of exactly the right word.

What are you reading now?
A. A book called Napoleon’s Hemorrhoids by Phil Mason. It’s a collection of how history was changed by circumstances that we can’t control. There’s a great deal of speculation Napoleon suffered so from hemorrhoids he couldn’t sit his horse at certain crucial times. The retreat from Russia might have been one. Certainly he fled the battle of Waterloo in his carriage. He also reviewed his troops that morning, on foot, for an unreasonable length of time that Wellington used to his advantage. Wellington was able to join forces with an ally and that probably tipped the battle. Even Wellington called the battle ‘a near-run thing’.
~~WOW! I’d never heard that before. I’ll have to check it out!

What new author has grasped your interest?
A. Julia Quinn, although she’s not new. Just new to me. Wish I could write with her sense of humor.

What period in history would you like to go back and visit?
A. The late nineteenth century. Any year in that time period fascinates me, and in my various books I’ve researched most of them. Druid’s Daughter starts in 1898. Damien’s Destiny in 1890. Both of these start a series of families born to the protagonists.

What about history appeals to you the most?
A. I’m completely fascinated by how much can be influenced by a few, even if some of those few are completely crazy. Hitler was rejected by the Academy of Art in Vienna twice when he was just sixteen. What would have happened if he’d been accepted?

What appeals the least?
A. When the author takes a perfectly intriguing period of time and manages to dull it down to nearly un-readable.

Who is your favorite historical personality?
A. Elizabeth the first, of England. Talk about a woman’s lib-ber. Her strengths of character were unbelievable.

Is there anything additional you would like to share with your readers?
A. Just that I can’t imagine how my life would have turned out if I hadn’t started reading at a young age. Can any of you even think of what life would be like without books? That my writing has added pleasure to even a few lives makes me humbly proud. My grown children seemed to have a hard time accepting their mother (!!!!!!) puts so much sex in her books, but they’ve ended up bragging about them.
~~HEEHEHEHE~~I can see that. On my end it’s my parents that have the issues…ROFLMAO My kids aren’t impressed in the least that mom’s a writer. Now if I wrote something cool like ooo Star Wars or had been the one to come up with the FAMOUS Vampire series then it would be different. LOL

Thanks so much for spending time with me and I look forward to seeing you around the ‘net!