Jennifer (aka Jenny) Crusie has been writing books since the early 90’s and has co-authored several books over the last 6 years. This newest book, Maybe This Time! is her version of The Turn of the Screw a short novel written in 1898 by Henry James.
I was lucky enough to be ask Jennifer a few questions about the book and her writing:
SBR: Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
They just show up. Ideas are never a problem. Writing them is the problem.
SBR: When and why did you begin writing?
I was researching my dissertation on the differences in the way men and women tell stories, and I read 100 romance novels to study women’s narrative. I fell in love with the genre, dropped my dissertation, and began to write romance.
SBR: Are there any new authors that you predict will be successful?
Lucy March has a paranormal romance coming out next year called A Little Night Magic. Otherwise, I’m really out of the loop on new authors, although I’m sure there are many. I must start reading up on that.
SBR: Who are some of your favorite authors and what book are you reading now?
Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Lani Diane Rich (soon to be Lucy March), Anne Stuart, Patricia Gaffney, Barbara Samuel, Terry Pratchett, Georgette Heyer, Michael Gilbert, Margery Allingham, Rex Stout, Dorothy Parker, P.G.Wodehouse . . . lots and lots of faves.
The book I’m reading now is mine because it’s three months past its due date so I am peddle to the metal 24/7.
SBR: Maybe This Time touches on the paranormal, did you go this direction because of the fascination with this genre?
Maybe This Time is my version of The Turn of the Screw, so the paranormal came packaged with that, but yes, I love paranormal stories. Ghost stories not as much as magic, but if you’re paying homage to one of the greatest ghost stories of all time, you better have ghosts.
SBR: Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?
I feel strong that if you want to send a message, you should use e-mail. Fiction has themes, but I don’t think it should have morals. This book is about second chances, about letting go of what’s past and moving on, but it doesn’t say you should move on, it just says that these characters are faced with the choice of moving on, and how they make that choice determines their fates. Your mileage may differ.
I will say that I really enjoyed this book. It grabbed me from the first chapter all the way to the end….and even with a twist at the end that I know I wasn’t expecting! It starts with Andie visiting her ex-husband North at his law office to try and put him out of her life once and for all by returning the alimony checks that she has not cashed over the last 10 years. Once there she notices that she still feels drawn to her ex and him to her…there is something to be said for chemistry! North decides that he has nothing to lose and asks her for a favor, to watch over his wards until he could get them moved to his home. Surprisingly (or maybe not surprisingly) Andie agrees to do it for a month.
When Andie arrives it isn’t quite what she expected and she is appalled at the condition of the home and the state of the children and this makes her more determined than ever to make things right at whatever cost for the children.
This book has many funny sections that had me laughing out loud because I could picture the events as they were described. And then of course you have the ghosts, who are never predictable, and the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers who thinks she runs the property because she has been there since she was a teenager. Of course there is the jealous boyfriend, her kooky mother and a crazy news reporter that wants to expose more than just the story of the ghosts in the home.
Definitely pick up this book when it comes out 8/31, you won’t regret it!
Leave a comment on my blog to win a chance for your own copy of Maybe This Time!
I will give away 2 copies, one from the publisher and the ARC that they sent me to review.
Contest ends August 28th and is open to US and Canadian residents