Author Interview: Gretchen Jeannette / This Day is Ours


Welcome Readers to another addition of author interviews. Today we are talking to Gretchen Jeannette about one of my favorite historical periods, The American Revolution. Of course, we will also chat about writing and Gretchen's books. 


JMR-Welcome to the Books Delight, Gretchen. Tell our readers where you live, what you do for fun and what does the perfect day look like?

GJ-Many thanks to Books Delight for having me! I live in Chester County, Pennsylvania, about 30 miles west of Philadelphia, in an area rich in Colonial American and Revolutionary War history. I enjoy visiting the historic sites of 18th Century America, not just in Pennsylvania but in all the former 13 Colonies. A perfect day for me would be spent at Colonial Williamsburg during the Grand Illumination.

JMR-What’s your favorite historical time period? Why?

GJ-I’ve always been drawn to America’s revolutionary era. I live a stone’s throw from the Brandywine Battlefield, where a pivotal showdown occurred during the American War of Independence. Growing up, I devoured every book on early America I could findJohnny Tremain, A Light in the Forest, The Young Trailers, The Last of the Mohicans, Bridal Journey, and Drums Along the Mohawk to name a few. My parents were history lovers and often took the family on trips to famous places such as Washington’s Crossing. I guess you could say that a fascination with the American Revolution runs in my blood.

JMR- Great list of books, Gretchen, but I have to plug the very wonderful, or so I'm told, Blood in the Valley. 

JMR-Who is your favorite historical figure? Why? If you could ask them one question, what would it be?

GJ-I’ve pondered this question many times, and I keep coming back to George Washington. Of all the Founding Fathers, he alone was America’s indispensable man. No one else could have kept together the American army through eight years of hardship and uncertainty, including the mutinies of the Connecticut Line, the Pennsylvania Line, and the New Jersey Line. In the face of overwhelming odds, Washington not only endured as commander in chief but also inspired his long-suffering soldiers to keep going. I would ask him this: If you could go back to the beginning of the war, what would you do differently as America’s military leader?

JMR- I am a great fan of the American Revolution. How do you immerse your reader in that time period, make them feel like they are there?

GJ- I always weave factual history into my plots, not only important historical events but also the subtleties of everyday life of the times. Above all, I try to avoid information dumps that can pull a reader out of the story. My number one rule as a historical fiction author is “know your subject”; otherwise, your story might not ring true. Although research is time-consuming, it is also key to capturing the essence of a time period. The importance of authentic settings, dialogue, mood, and historical details can’t be overstated. They are the cornerstones for building a realistic world that captivates readers and enables them to suspend their disbelief.

JMR- Writers of historical romance have to balance the history with the love story, how do you keep readers interested without putting anyone off?

GJ-I think the “historical” aspect of a romance novel is as important as the romance itself. I have read historical romances that have no roots, meaning they could take place at any time in history simply by changing a few names and dates. I like my characters to participate in history-making events so that they aren’t merely living during a time period but helping to shape history as well. The more the hero and heroine engage in the times, the more real their characters become and, hopefully, the more compelling their romance will be for the reader.

JMR- You worked as an editor. When and why did you decide you wanted to be the writer?

GJ- I dreamed of becoming a writer when I was in grade school. Whenever a homework assignment involved writing, I couldn’t wait to go home and get started. I wrote my first full-length novel in high school, though it was more for practice than a serious endeavor. (And it was awful! These days, I read it for laughs.) In my late twenties, I landed a job as an editor, an experience that deepened my love of the written word. After working with other writers on their essays and short stories, the urge to become a full-fledged author grew too strong to ignore. The rest, as they say, is history!

JMR- Gretchen, tell us about your new book, This Day is Ours.

GJ-This Day is Ours has been a labor of love. What began as a “what if” idea blossomed into a story that owned my heart and soul for more than three years. Set in Philadelphia during the American War of Independence, the story explores an unlikely romance between a courageous rebel activist and a young Loyalist widow. The war and its effects on the characters in the book shares the spotlight with the romance. I set out to present the conflict from opposing perspectives—Rebel versus Loyalist—and I hope I succeeded.

JMR-What projects do you have in the pipeline?

GJ-I’m working on a standalone story involving the main characters from This Day is Ours. The focus this time is the fate of the Loyalists who remained in Philadelphia after the war. Stripped of their citizenship, property rights, and voter rights, they endured persecution from vengeful radicals bent on banishing them from America. The hero from This Day is Ours, who fought for seven years for American independence, returns home from one war only to get caught up in another.

JMR- Tell our readers how to find you on social media and the web.

GJ-You can find me on Twitter at @GAJeannette, and on Facebook at @GAJAuthor. You can also visit my website at, though that is a work in progress.

JMR- What question were you hoping I’d ask but didn’t?

GJ-Do I have a favorite author? Too many to name! However, I love Bernard Cornwell’s writing, and I’m a big fan of David Liss.

JMR- Thank you Gretchen for stopping by and for a fun interview. Good luck with your writing and stay safe. Readers if you would like to see more about Gretchen's book, This Day is Ours, I've included a link to Amazon, you can find it Historical Fiction/ United States

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