We are so pleased to once more welcome Jillian Kent to Regency Reflections. Her latest release, Mystery of the Heart, is the last of the Ravensmoore Chronicles books. The love story of these two strong-willed individuals is wrapped in adventure involving a foreign religion, an expensive artifact, and Jillian’s vast knowledge and love of the historic practice of medicine.
Be sure to leave a comment after reading the interview for a chance of winning a copy of Mystery of the Heart. And now give a warm Regency Reflections welcome to Jillian Kent!
Last time you were here, you told us about Chameleon. When is this book set and how is it linked to your previous one?
I’m thrilled to be back here with the lovely ladies from Regency Reflections. Thanks for inviting me back. Mystery of the Heart begins in Northumberland, England in 1819 and primarily takes place in London. It’s the third book in my Ravensmoore Chronicle series and also the last book. This is Devlin’s youngest sister’s story and it will take you on an adventure similar to what you might experience in an Indiana Jones movie but more romantic.
Was there any fun fact about the Regency period that you stumbled upon while researching this book? Any tidbit that sparked your imagination and inspired a plot point of cool character moment?
Yes. I discovered that the Royal College of Physicians had burnt down prior to the one that was rebuilt and present in my story. Via Wikipedia, “The College was based at Amen Corner near St Paul’s Cathedral, until it was burnt down in the Great Fire of London of 1666. The first Harveian Librarian was Christopher Merret.
Both Mystery of the Heart and your previous book Chameleon contain a great deal about period medicine. What sort of struggles did you face writing about two hundred year medical practices in such a way that modern day readers would be able to accept them?
The most difficult thing is making sure the research is accurate and then tell it in an interesting way that makes readers wonder how people in that day and age survived, if in fact they did. I also have thirty-three years of social work experience in psychiatric hospitals, medical hospitals and out-patient facilities. I’ve worked as a counselor for nursing students for the past 17 years in a hospital based college so I’m around medical stuff all the time. I hope I have a knack for pulling readers into the medical practices of the day that keeps them coming back for more. I think it’s fascinating. Maybe that’s why readers accept the telling of those medical practices.
What is your favorite thing about your hero, Lord Eden?
I love his adventurous spirit. He’s not a man to stay in any one place long. He wants to be on the go, but after his journey to Austria he’s tired. And when he returns to England it’s one adventure after another and that includes falling in love with Mercy and dealing with her over protective family.
What drew you to your heroine, Lady Mercy Grayson?
Mercy is the most independent of the women in my three stories. She’s seen and experienced a lot including caring for her sister, Victoria as she was growing up. Then when her brother refused to give up his desire to be a physician when he inherited his estate she desperately wanted to find a way to contribute to society that made use of her talents.
Without giving away some of the key plot points of the book, can you share a little about the vodun that play such a large part in the book?
Interesting that you asked. I never had any desire to write about vodun until I was going through the typical brainstorming phase of getting ready to write the novel. And of course it wasn’t until I sat down and wrote that the men on the ship with Eden took on an entirely different role than what I’d planned and it just kind of bloomed from there. I really think I must have been influenced by all the zombie books and stories I’d been hearing that others were writing. Most probably because my mentor, James Scott Bell, was writing zombie legal thrillers. What a hoot! Zombies and voodoo always seemed to go together. Just goes to show how we writers can come up with strange ideas and make them work to our stories advantage.
What can we look forward to next from you?
I have an idea for a new book and possibly another series that I am running past my agent. I can tell you that it is set during the regency. I’d also like to write some short stories as an addition to The Ravensmoore Chronicles and sell them as e-shorts. I’m thinking of a Christmas story set at Ravensmoore and a short about how Lazarus was found.
Where else on the web can our readers find you?
Thank you for being here, Jillian! I would also like to thank Charisma for an advance copy of the book.
Want to win your own copy of Mystery of the Heart? Leave a comment below letting us know what you find fascinating about the medical practice 200 years ago or how much you’re looking forward to reading Jillian’s book. You must live within the United States to win. Entries will be accepted through Saturday, February 2, 2013.
The contest is now closed, but you can still purchase Jillian’s book and enjoy her story!