Joanna Fulford (Jane Croft) was a full-time writer for a number of years. Always an enthusiastic scribbler, she found that the urge to write only became stronger as time progressed. In the end she decided to take a chance and quit her day job to discover if she could achieve success as an author. However, she couldn't have done it without her husband's interminable support. Fortunately the gamble paid off. It has been a long haul, with plenty of financially lean periods, but it was well worth the effort. There is nothing quite like the euphoria derived from that long awaited phone call to say a publisher wants to buy your book.
Along the way she was fortunate to have the support and encouragement of a strong and successful writers’ group. Not only did she appreciated the friendship of its members, she also found their critical insight and feedback invaluable. So too was the support of her editor at Harlequin. With endless patience she steered her through the revisions of the first book and saved her from herself on numerous occasions. Being able to see the resulting improvement made the work all the more enjoyable and rewarding.
As Joanna has always had a passion for Literature and History it has was no hardship to do the necessary research for her books. Initially her main interests were the Enlightenment and the Regency, but in recent years she developed a fascination for the early Medieval period as well. Researching these different eras was exciting because there was always something new to be discovered. Invariably though she ended up with far more material than she can use so it's a matter of deciding what must be left out. Historical detail must never hold up the story. Joanna always had a rough plan in her head, a general idea of where the story was going, although the characters invariably took on a life of their own. They had no qualms about departing from the script and taking her down another path. It's fun to follow them to see where it led. Frequently their way turned out to be better than her own so she’s learned to listen to them now.
When contemplating historical background for a new story, Joanna always chooses events in which she had involved serious conflict of some kind. The central love story is juxtaposed with this and gave the characters further obstacles to overcome. The Great Viking Invasion was fertile ground, likewise the Luddite Rebellion and the Harrying of the North which provided the settings for her second and third books respectively. The Peninsular War is the background for His Counterfeit Condesa, and for its companion novel, The Caged Countess. This conflict was also the background to Redemption of a Fallen Woman which is Joanna’s contribution to the Castonbury Park series.
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