Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?
I’ve always loved Regency romances. Who wouldn’t want to ride in a stylish carriage with a matching team of black horses? Seriously, I love creating characters, particularly women, who must live under severe social and legal restrictions while trying to carve out an independent and worthwhile lives. Finding the perfect person to help him or her achieve those dreams is exciting.
Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?
My darling mom was an elementary reading teacher. She passed her love of books, especially romances, to me. Some of my fondest memories are the weekends we spent together. She would come home from teaching school all week with a bag full of paperback romances. She and her fellow teachers would swap books constantly. Needless to say, we had a ton of books around our house. My mother loved Regencies. One day, I found a Barbara Cartland novel and never looked back.
How long have you been writing?
I attended my first romance reader’s convention, the Romantic Times event in Kansas City, in May of 2013. I enrolled into a Cherry Adair plotting class just to see if I could learn anything about the genre I so loved. The class lasted a day. By the end of my time with Ms. Adair, I had a sketch in my mind of the Cavensham family. I plotted The Bad Luck Bride in a month, and wrote it in two months. Of course, then I had to learn how to edit.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
Let me answer that in two ways. Studying the craft of writing is hard. But, it’s fundamental to the story. For me, learning how to edit was painful at first, but now, it’s one of my favorite parts of the writing process. That’s where the story really starts to become polished and the characters shine. I don’t think you can ever short-change the editing process.
With this book specifically, the hardest was showing Lady Claire Cavensham and her survivor guilt in a sympathetic and realistic manner. Throughout her life, she tries to rationalize why bad things happen to her, but always comes back to the easiest explanation-she is cursed. I talked to a psychologist about Claire’s character, so hopefully, I’ve captured her essence in a way that will resonate with readers.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Creating scenes and developing the characters. The garden scene where we first see the Alex and Claire together was one of my favorites. I think you really get to see the characters’ personalities and vulnerabilities in that scene. Of course, the carriage scene on the way to the opera is another favorite.
Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing?
Without a doubt, I have to say Eloisa James, Lily Blackwood/Lily Dalton, and Maggie Robinson. In 2015, I attended a two-week workshop in Tuscany with Eloisa James. I learned not only how to become a better writer, but also the business aspects of writing. That time was invaluable, and Eloisa is such a supportive and giving person. One year, I won an auction from the RWA Beau Monde chapter for a critique from Lily Dalton. She taught me so much about the emotional aspects of writing. I’m eternally grateful to her. I’m a huge fan of Maggie Robinson, too. When I first wrote the book, Maggie graciously read it. She taught me the craft of writing. I am so, so lucky that these talented writers took an interest in my stories and me!
What did you find most useful in learning to write?
Reading stories you love every day is fundamental to honing your craft. Plus, I entered a ton of contests and received wonderful feedback from the judges.
Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?
Let me answer that in a different way. I’m somewhere in the middle of full-time and part-time. I still have a day job, but I’ve cut my hours there so I can devote more time to my writing. You have to write regularly if you want to get a book finished!
What are some day jobs that you have held? If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.
Great question! I clerked for a federal district court judge where my job was researching and writing every day. After my clerkship, I taught legal writing and research at my alma mater. Though legal writing and writing romance are vastly different, in many ways they’re similar. A legal memo or brief must follow a certain structure. The same is true with a romance novel. Readers expect to have a fulfilling experience where the characters will go through some type of personal growth that will allow them to have a happy ever after.
What do you like to read in your free time?
I read romance! Contemporary, historicals, paranormals, if there’s a powerful love story in it, I’m game. There is nothing more uplifting than a couple who have to work through unbelievable odds to have their happily ever after!
What projects are you working on at the present?
Earlier this year, I finished the second book in the Cavensham Heiresses. This story The Bride Who Got Lucky features Claire’s cousin, Lady Emma Cavensham and Nicholas St. Mauer, the Earl of Somerton. It’s scheduled for an October 31st release. I had a tremendous amount of fun writing Emma and Nick’s story. I just finished the third book in the Cavensham Heiresses series. It features Lady Claire’s cousin, Lord Michael Cavensham, the Marquess of McCalpin, and Miss March Lawson, an embezzling sheep farmer. McCalpin meets his match with March, who’s introduced in The Bride Who Got Lucky.
Praise for Janna MacGregor:
“A delightful debut! Janna MacGregor bewitched me with her captivating characters and a romance that sizzles off the page. I’m already a huge fan!” — New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James
“The Bad Luck Bride is a stroke of good luck for readers—the intricate plot, arresting characters, and rich emotional resonance will leave you swooning.” —New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries
“Readers, rejoice! We have a new writer to celebrate. Janna MacGregor writes with intelligence and heart. The Bad Luck Bride is a full-bodied Romance about what it truly means to love, to forgive, and to heal. Plus, it introduces us to characters we will enjoy as they grow and develop. Smart, smart Romance.” —New York Times bestselling author Cathy Maxwell
Janna MacGregor was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. She credits her darling mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes.
She is the mother of triplets and lives in Kansas City with her very own dashing rogue, and two smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pugs. She loves to hear from readers. The Bad Luck Bride is her first novel.
Mix together a Marquess hell-bent on revenge, a seemingly cursed bride, and a forced marriage that might just end in love after all and you’ll get Janna MacGregor’s sparkling debut, THE BAD LUCK BRIDE (St. Martin’s Paperbacks; May 2, 2017; $7.99; 978-1-250-11612-3). This new Regency era romance finds its heroine, Claire Cavensham, unable to keep a suitor…again. Claire is convinced her bad luck will never end, that is until Alexander Hallworth, Marquess of Pembrooke, steps in and changes everything. His need for vengeance has him plotting to marry his enemy’s fiancée, but soon he finds himself falling for her. Once secrets are revealed about the real reasons behind their engagement, will the scandal that ensues prove that Claire truly is cursed, or is their love strong enough to endure it… Readers of Regency romances and love stories alike will find themselves swept up in the tantalizing first installment of the Cavensham Heiresses series!
No one is left breathless at the imperious pronouncement of her engagement to Lord Pembrooke more than Claire. She hardly knows the dangerously outrageous man! But after three engagements gone awry and a fourth going up in glorious flames, she isn’t in a position to refuse…especially once she realizes that Lord Pembrooke makes her want to believe she’s not a bad luck bride anymore…
Alexander requires the hand of his enemy’s fiancée in marriage in order to complete his plans for revenge. It’s his good fortune that the “cursed” woman is desperate. However, what begins as a sham turns into something scandalously deeper. The beguiling lady has no business laying claim to his heart. But as a mission of revenge turns into fiery passion, Alexander wants nothing more than to break Claire’s curse…and lead them both to their hearts’ desire.