Jennifer Lane knows all about Bad Behavior. While I’m sure she’s a little naughty herself, I’m speaking here about her books. Her *Con*duct series takes us into a world of ex-cons, the mafia, couples counseling, a parole officer, and true love. Last year, I read the first book in this series – With Good Behavior. I was instantly drawn to Grant and Sophie, the two main characters. I recently read Bad Behavior, and now I might be a bit of a Grant and Sophie groupie! Jennifer is here to talk us about this series, but first let’s meet the woman behind the words:
People fascinate the psychologist/author (psycho author) known as Jennifer Lane. Her therapy clients talk to her all day long about their dreams and secrets, and her characters tell her their stories at night. Jen delights in peeling away the layers to scrutinize their psyches and emotions. But please rest assured, dear reader, she isn’t psychoanalyzing you right now. She’s already got too many voices in her head!
Stories of redemption interest Jen the most, especially the healing power of love and empathy. She is the author of The *Con*duct Series—romantic suspense for adult readers—and is currently at work on the third and final installment: *On Best Behavior*. *Streamline* is her first foray into writing for young adults, but she’s found this sort of writing even more fun. A former college swimmer, Jen was able to put a lot of her own experiences into this book.
Connect with Jennifer in the following places:
Here’s a look at the book we’ll be discussing:
Grant Madsen’s got issues. He’s still battling his Mafia family and doing everything possible to keep his loved ones safe. With the cruising season coming to an end, he has to find another job soon or he’ll rejoin his father in prison. And he’s trying to convince his rebellious teenage nephew to stay away from their criminal relatives (you can imagine how that’s going). But worst of all, Grant’s parole officer has mandated that he attend therapy.
The only saving grace is that they’re couples sessions with his girlfriend, Sophie Taylor, a fellow parolee who’s struggling with a few issues of her own. Sophie desperately hopes her past with Grant’s brother won’t destroy her future with him. There’s a sleazy professor at work who revels in sexually harassing women in the psychology department. And her father still hates Grant.
Their psychologist has his work cut out for him.
When Grant’s ruthless father hints at a plot to get out of prison, Grant must use everything he’s learned in therapy and beyond to try to stop him. It’s a race against time — and a race to rescue Sophie from the Mafia’s clutches once again. But this time McSailor and Bonnie refuse to play victims. This time the cuffs are coming off.
Now on to our chat:
There are 3 books in your Conduct series. Did you know you wanted to write a series when you began?
When I began writing With Good Behavior, I had no idea this would become a series. But I soon realized rehabilitation from prison takes a long time J so I jumped into Bad Behavior to continue the characters’ healing. When I didn’t want to say goodbye to these characters after book two, I started writing On Best Behavior.
Sophie and Grant are in couples counseling, and I found the sessions fascinating. I know you’re a psychologist. Do you handle couples counseling in your own practice? How much, if any, of the fictional sessions are taken from your own experiences with patients?
I do a bit of couples and family counseling, but I mostly focus on individuals. Couples counseling is more complex, facilitating communication and negotiation. Pieces of my work as therapist made their way into this story, though I don’t use my clients’ disclosures in my novels. Psychologist Hunter Hayes uses similar communication exercises and faces similar ethical dilemmas that I have in my own work.
The first 2 books in this series – With Good Behavior and Bad Behavior – are written in third person omniscient POV. For those unfamiliar with the terminology, this means we are essentially in all the characters heads throughout the book. We know what each of them is thinking and feeling at all times. I hear you’ve chosen to write book 3 in the more traditional third person limited, where we are in a specific characters head in each scene and we, as readers, don’t know what the other characters are thinking and feeling. What made you decide on this switch in POV?
Well, Miss Helle, you had something to do with that change, so thank you! You and author Jessica Subject gently questioned my use of third person omniscient, pointing out the risk of head hopping, and I discussed the pros and cons of POV with my editor. While I love writing multiple perspectives, we decided the narrative might be smoother/less confusing with third person limited.
Uh-oh! That’ll teach me to open my big mouth!
What are you finding most difficult about writing in limited POV?
Having to rewrite an entire novel! I’d written my YA novel Streamline in third person omniscient, and changing to third person limited was a lot of work. Initially it took more discipline to stay in one POV for a section or chapter but now it’s coming more easily.
What, if anything, are you finding easier?
I like how a scene is shorter from only one perspective. I tend to write long novels, and third person limited tightens the story—always a good thing.
Can you give us any hints about book 3? When can we expect the release?
I’ve written 70,000 words for On Best Behavior, and my hope is to finish in 2012, aiming for a release date mid 2013. A hint? Some things never change for Grant, like the Mafia hunting him down or women throwing themselves at him. But this time he has a determined male pursuer. *snickers*
Oh, my! I can’t wait to see how he handles this dilemma!
Will there be more in this series, beyond book 3?
On Best Behavior will be the conclusion of the series, when Grant and Sophie will sail off into the sunset (or perhaps chug off into Lake Michigan on Roger’s architectural cruise ship).
What do you find hardest to write, beginning, middle or end? Why?
Each part is fun to write, but perhaps the middle is toughest simply because I’m so impatient. I want to write the climax!
Is there a time of day or night when you are most creative?
Don’t even TALK to me before I’ve had my morning coffee. The afternoon seems to be best. Sometimes good ideas come to be right before bed or on a brisk walk.
I can so relate! But, for me, it’s my morning chai latte.
What inspires you?
A fantastic romance novel or movie. When I saw Titanic 3-D recently, I craved writing a story that made readers feel what I felt for that love story. I know Titanic initiates the gag reflex in some people, but I adored the strength, humor, and passion in Rose and Jack. I also feel inspired after reading Pamela Clare’s romantic suspense novels.
I’ve never seen Titanic. I know… I need to get out more.
Thank you, Jennifer, for hanging out with us here today!
You can find Jennifer’s books in print and Kindle format on Amazon:
You can also find her books for your Nook on Barnes and Noble.
If you’re interested in reading my interview with Jennifer about the first book - Bad Behavior - you can find it here: http://quietfurybooks.com/blog/2011/08/with-good-behavior
I hope you’ll take the time to connect with Jennifer and explore her fictional world.
Thanks for reading.
Tags: author interviews, Bad Behavior, Conduct Series, Jennifer Lane, On Best Behavior, Redemption, Romantic Suspense Novel on Kindle, romantic suspense novels, Romantic Suspense series, Stories of Redemption, With Good Behavior