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  • Writer's pictureAuthor Sara Louisa

Breathtaking Romance! Author Interview!

Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to this week’s featured author! This week I’ve put author Jude McLean in the spotlight to talk about her suspenseful romance novels!

I love romance! I love, love! LOL

Some of my closest friends might be shaking their heads at me right now, but I feel I can openly admit my secret love for sappy romance novels. 😉

To start my interview with author Jude Mclean I - of course - asked how she had gotten into writing in the first place! I love hearing this answer from each author, and Jude McLean’s was perfect! As a fellow author I know it’s not as easy as some might think. Here is what Jude McLean had to say!

“One year ago, I became a published author. I could say it was an accident, but that would contradict my tagline about fate. So, I'll say that fate tackled and wrestled me to the ground until I cried uncle. I'd been writing, but it was solely for myself. None of it was ever going to see the light of day. Yeah, that big plan came off without a hitch. NOT! I won't lie and say it's been all rainbows and unicorns. There are days I want to, and have a few times, curled up into myself and bawled. But at the end of the day or sometimes two, I'm profoundly grateful. The story goes like this: As you may know, I was a COVID-19 Contact Tracer. All work was done from home, so while I had coworkers, it wasn't like we were gathering around the water cooler to share a laugh. But, my team had a chat room. One particularly lousy day I told a funny story to lift everyone's mood. It worked, so I made a habit of it. I do loads of stupid things, so why not share a laugh and brighten someone's day?

One day at work I told a funny story about exploding a roast chicken. (Yep, I actually did that. What a mess!) I didn't know that one of my coworkers was the editor of our newspaper. Truth be told, I didn't know we had a newspaper. She brushed off my ignorance and asked if I would submit a recipe with a bit of commentary.

After I had swallowed my tongue, I didn't see any harm in it, so long as she didn't want a recipe for roast chicken. I submitted a fruit tart recipe with a paragraph of amusing nonsense and sent it off. She swiftly replied that she wanted more. She said, "Write anything." So I did. But what I wrote wasn't funny. Not by a long shot. It was a few days before Christmas, and like many others, I was feeling low. I sent it off thinking she would never publish the article. Before the day was done, she had sent it to a thousand coworkers. I was dumbfounded that someone thought my piddly article was worth anything. I was hired to write a column and given the freedom to write anything I pleased. That changed my life. I would go so far as to say that the editor changed my life.

The editor was a freelance creative designer and wanted to promote me. She called it "branding." I didn't know what that meant. (I still don't know but don't tell her that!) I chuckled at her unbridled, misguided enthusiasm. I was nothing special. She kept on me for months. One day I confessed that I was writing a book. She screamed - literally. That was the end of life as I knew it. She had never read a single sentence of the book, only my articles. She didn't even know what the book was about. But she said she knew talent when she saw it. I'll be honest and say that her faith in my writing still gobsmacks me. In May, we published an audiobook Have You Got a Kitchen Table? The Musings and Melancholy of a COVID-19 Contact Tracer and June Escape was published. The rest is history.”

I’m having way too much fun with this interview! LOL

I have asked this question a few times before in my interviews because I love the different answers and tactics fellow authors use to find the names of their stars! Author Jude McLean’s answer have me laughing out loud! It’s okay, I think my characters are real as well! We’ve even had arguments! LOL...Here is Jude’s answer!

“Most of the characters told me their names. Yes, I'm one of those authors who talk to their characters and, in turn, appears to have multiple personality disorder, LOL. But when one doesn't feel like telling their name, I ask my friend Beth. She gave Darcie, the main character in Escape, her last name and has named a few other characters as well. She isn't a writer, but she's great at coming up with names on the fly.”

I’ve also asked my next question before as well, because again, I love the responses I get. However, I wasn’t expecting the answer I got from author Jude McLean! Most, but not all authors enjoy writing the romantic bits, or even a great fight scene. And again, I loved Jude’s reply! I too enjoy some sarcastic wit; go figure. 😉 Here is what Jude McLean had to say!

“I enjoy bickering. It's an art to write good bickering. Sarcastic wit is fun to write, bringing color to my characters. Not to mention it's a very Irish thing- bickering. And since I'm Irish and “Escape” is set in Ireland, well, it's only natural to include it in my writing.”

For my next question, I asked author Jude McLean where her inspiration came from, the spark that started her debut novel “Escape.”

I can absolutely see a romance novel in the making just by looking at beautiful Ireland!

“My aunt came up with the idea for me to write Have You Got a Kitchen Table? As for Escape, I hate to admit it, but I literally woke up early one morning after being in Ireland for a few weeks, and the story had embedded itself in my brain. It wouldn't be ignored. I wrote the first draft in one day.”

What better way to capture the feel for a romantic story then visiting the place your book is set in! Which brings me to my next question for author Jude McLean! Are there any parts of your books that are based on true events or people? Here’s Jude’s reply!

Kitchen Table is all true. Escape has several references to real places in Ireland. And I added a slight personal touch to a couple of scenes. For example, when I visited the Kerry Cliffs there was a magnificent double rainbow. I couldn't possibly leave that out of the book. And Darcie hits her head at the Cliffs of Moher. I didn't hit my head, but I was blown over like a tree by the storm that decided to kick up the moment I reached the top of the cliff, and my head missed a rock by an inch. Poor Darcie wasn't so lucky.”

To conclude my interview with author Jude McLean, I asked her to tell us a bit about her home life, and if she has anything new releasing soon!

“I've always been creative and outgoing but never cool. It's never made any difference to me what is or isn't "trending." Learning to cook, creating gorgeous cakes, learning foreign languages, and horseback riding are a few hobbies I've had to feed my inner creative monster. But writing has been the only thing that seems to soothe the beast - much to the dismay of my husband. He loves my cooking and baking, which he doesn't get as much of these days.”

Escape is the first book in the O'Brian Trilogy. The second book, Break Free, will be released this spring. I don't have a date yet. Stay tuned!”

A huge thank you to author Jude McLean! This was a fantastic interview, and I wish you all the best!

Author Jude McLean also has an awesome newsletter on her website, with all kinds of fun! Please be sure to check it out, and subscribe! Also, author Jude McLean has an amazing podcast! Have a listen!

Escape can be purchased in eBook and softcover at

The eBook is also available here:

Escape and Kitchen Table are both available as audiobooks and can be purchased everywhere audiobooks are sold. Here are the Audible links:

I also have begun a podcast Whiskey and Chocolate. The audiobooks are both available on the podcast and there are a couple of episodes available as well. The podcast can be streamed from almost every podcast app. Here is the Spotify link:

I will be posting my interview on Sunday afternoon as normal, but I also have a special feature booked in for Tuesday February 1st to celebrate my birthday!!

Author of multiple romance novels, Dana Pratola!! I’m so excited, and what better way to spend my birthday then with a fantastic ROMANCE novel!!

Thank you to the readers out there! Stay awesome, and read on! Come back next Sunday for an up close and personal interview with author Faith M. Troyer!

Also, a quick reminder that author Iannah Roberts’ new release will be out on January 31st!! Grab your copy as soon as you can; this is going to be a good one!!

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