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As the author of books on embroidery design, the progression in 1994 from fact to fiction was perhaps less daunting for Juliet than it might have been for a complete beginner. But in many ways, the requirements are similar: a strong imagination and sense of design; an eye for detail; a love of color, scenery, and research; and a willingness to share inner thoughts and feelings with readers. Dedication is also useful to Juliet, living in the country, as the temptation to spend time picnicking and sightseeing instead of writing is sometimes very strong.
In everyday life, Juliet is professional embroiderer and lecturer Jan Messent, whose two disciplines go perfectly hand in hand. When she’s not doing one, she’s doing the other, often both on the same day. There’s no such thing as spare time, as stories develop in her mind while stitches form on the fabric, and the one that wins depends on urgency and inclination. Deadlines, to you and me. But the research needed for both subjects also merges, as Juliet’s novels are almost all set in the medieval period, usually the 1350’s, and Jan’s embroidery is based on Anglo-Saxon textiles. As you might imagine, her library is large.
But how did it start? Like every story, with the research. Delving into early local history, Juliet discovered all kinds of events that she had not learned about at school, but which would have made history lessons far more appealing if she had. The characters and situations were all there: their lives just as complicated (and far more dangerous) as ours and just as colorful, their loves and hates just as great. And because most of the laws and codes of social behavior were different from ours, the possibilities for good, involved story lines were plentiful.
As a Yorkshirewoman, Juliet used her knowledge of early medieval embroidery and the city of York as the basis of her first historical romance, The Golden Lure, (1994) and she thought that this mixture worked well. Her second novel, A Knight in Waiting, (1995) was nominated by Harlequin Mills & Boon for the Romantic Fiction Writer's Award, which was a great honor. Now Juliet has at least another hundred ideas waiting to be released in the future.
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Bought Bride, The (08/05)
Dishonor and Desire (08/07)
Golden Lure, The (UK) (03/95)
Goldsmith's Jewel, The (06/00)
His Duty, Her Destiny (05/06)
His Duty, Her Destiny (UK Edition) (03/06)
Knight in Waiting, A (UK) (10/95)
Knight's Conquest, The (09/03)
Knight, the Knave and the Lady, The (04/99)
Maiden's Abduction, The (01/04)
Marrying the Mistress (UK) (02/09)
Mistress Masquerade (02/14)
Most Unseemly Summer, A (07/03)
One Night in Paradise (12/04)
Passionate Pilgrim, The (02/03)
Rake's Unconventional Mistress, The (02/09)
Scandalous Innocent (06/11)
Scandalous Innocent (US edition) (06/11)
Scandalous Mistress, A (02/07)
Scandalous Mistress, The (UK) (02/07)
Warlord's Mistress, The (10/07)
Widow's Bargain, The (08/04)