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Jessica Hart

Jessica Hart

"Writing romance around the world"

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Jessica's top writing themes

The body
Lust and desire
Emotional expression - wit

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About Jessica

I never wanted to be a writer. My earliest fantasies were about being a nurse (courtesy Lucilla Andrews) or living on a vast outback cattle station with a man who wore a hat and dusty boots (fantasy copyright Lucy Walker). The nurse fantasy was crushed early on – everyone told me I'd be a terrible nurse because I'd argue with the doctors – but I held on to the dream of Australia, and eventually I did go and work as a cook on a cattle station in north-west Queensland, an experience that provided the inspiration for a number of outback romances from 'Woman at Willagong Creek' to 'Outback Boss, City Bride'.

It's funny how a book can change your life. One day I read Sharon Penman's The Sunne in Splendour, and I thought: 'I know, I'll do a Ph.D. in medieval history.'  Mad. I'd already completed a degree in French (which I followed up with a string of travels and short term jobs) but once I'd decided I wanted to go back to Uni, that was it. I just had to find a way to fund myself...

Like everyone else, I'd heard about Mills & Boon. Like everyone else, I assumed they were easy to write. After all, I'd always been good at writing. Hadn't I knocked out poems on the school bus? Hadn't my essay about our cat Sooty been read out on BBC radio for schools? I was practically a writer already. Ergo, I would knock out a book, M&B would hand me a fat cheque, and I would be able to pay my university fees. Easy.

Er, not so easy, as it turned out. I had three rejections before my first novel A Sweeter Prejudice was accepted in 1989.

Although I started writing for money, the more I write, the more interested I am in how romance works and why. One of the things I like most about being a romance writer is making connections with readers around the world. Over the years I have developed a profound respect for the romance genre, and am proud to be part of the romance writing and reading community. It's true, I still yearn sometimes for those wide horizons, and I head for them whenever I can, but it's my books that do the real travelling now, and they have gone further than I ever could.

Now I spend most of my time in York, where I live with a cat called Douglas and the uncertainties of a long-distance relationship that is so on-and-off-and-on-again that I never know whether to mention it or not…  I'm often asked how I can write romance when I've never been married (a bizarre question, I know), but trust me, I know a lot about relationship problems and can sympathise fully with my heroines in their search for a happy ending!

Favourite films

The Year of Living Dangerously

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New Year, New Man

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Just One Kiss

Written by Jessica Hart

There he was. The man she was going to marry. She wished. Caro hesitated by the entrance to the playground, hardly able to believe that Anthony — could that really be his name? — was exactly where he had been the day before. Yesterday he had been over by the swings, today he was helpi...

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