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Q&A with Janice Maynard

Tell us a bit more about the country of Alma and the Montoro family featured in MINDING HER BOSS’S BUSINESS.

In the first book, MINDING THE BOSS’S BUSINESS, my hero and heroine travel from Alma to Miami on a very important mission. Things in Alma have changed for the better, and the country wants its royal family to return. Alex Ramon, Deputy Prime Minister of Commerce, is charged with convincing the Miami Montoros that they have an obligation to their people. Alex’s colleague, Maria Ferro, is an expert in government relations and public affairs. She answers to Alex in this situation. Her main focus is to do damage control, because one of the presumed heirs to the throne has a serious bad boy image. When Maria cozies up to the prince, Alex realizes that his feelings for Maria are more pleasure than business.

Is it possible to mix business with pleasure?

As an author, I have to say yes. I love my job, so even when I go to a conference (such as the one coming up in NYC this July), much of what I do for business is a pleasure. Of course, if we’re speaking romantically, I think it can probably become very messy when co-workers get involved. And in that vein, I hope you’ll enjoy watching Alex and Maria discover just how complicated mixing business with pleasure can be!

You’ve said you knew you loved writing by the time you were 8 years old. Tell us about the moment you realized writing was something you wanted to do.

My husband went to grad school in Atlanta. I was fresh out of college, with no experience, so I wasn’t able to get a teaching job right away. For almost a year, I worked as a secretary in the math department at Emory University. And yes… that is as boring as it sounds.  There was a silver lining, though…when the students went home on breaks, the offices were dead. I ended up filling a few days here and there by writing the early chapters of my very first book. That experience fueled my desire to become a “real” writer, even though it would be many years later before that dream came true.

It took multiple rejections and years of trying before you sold your first novel and eventually became a USA Today bestselling author. What is your advice for writers struggling to catch their big breaks?

I wish I had the magic formula for success. I could have saved myself a lot of time! The truth is, I feel like I stumbled in the dark much of the way. But if I had to nail down a few essentials, the foremost one would be Write a lot of books. The first manuscript I ever sold was my third. The editor who bought that story eventually went back and bought books one and two. So if you have work stacking up on your hard drive, it can be a very good thing.

Secondly, Go to conferences. Meet people. I can’t stress this enough. So much of what I learned early on, came from workshops, friendships, and introductions at seminars and the like. It doesn’t have to be the national RWA event to start with. Lots of regional conferences are fabulous and far less expensive.

Third, Always be pleasant and professional. The publishing world is relatively small. Talk travels. If an editor gets a submission from an author who has a reputation as a diva, it might be easier to send a rejection letter than to buy the work in question.

Number four is easy but exceptionally hard: Never give up.

What do you have planned for your future books or projects?

I often say, “beware of what you wish for”… My publishing schedule at the moment is a wonderfully exciting burden.  I have four books remaining in my current Harlequin contract, even after my next four releases (5/15, 8/15, 11/15, and 2/16). That means I get to work again and again with my spectacular editor, Stacy Boyd. She knows I think the world of her, so this doesn’t count as brown-nosing.

I’m also very excited about a trilogy I recently sold to Kensington Publishing. These books are contemporary, Scottish-set romances where three thirty-something women travel to Scotland in search of kilted, larger-than-life heroes of their own. Lots of humor and sexy Scottish adventures headed your way in March, May, and November 2016.

About Janice Maynard

JANICE MAYNARD knew she loved books and writing by the time she was eight years old. But it took multiple rejections and many years of trying before she sold her first three novels in 1996 and 1997. After teaching kindergarten and second grade for sixteen years, Janice turned to writing full-time in the fall of 2002. Since then she has written and sold over twenty-five books and novellas. Her publishers include Kensington, Penguin/NAL, Berkley, and Harlequin. Janice lives in east Tennessee with her husband, Charles. They love hiking, traveling, and spending time with their daughters, Caroline and Anna, sons-in-law, Jamie and Chris, three granddaughters, Anastasia, Ainsley, and Allie, and the newest addition to the family, Levi.

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