Jayne Ann Krentz once lived every reader’s nightmare. “I grew up in a small town — so small that it didn’t have a public library. There wasn’t a library at school, either,” said the writer in a recent interview. “But we by golly had a twice-monthly bookmobile and I was probably its most faithful patron. To this day I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for bookmobiles. Whenever I see one I still get that same little rush of anticipation that I felt when I was a kid on Fridays when the van pulled into the school parking lot.”
That “rush” had a lasting effect on Jayne Ann Krentz, now the author of more than thirty New York Times bestsellers. Her latest is The River Knows, which PW calls “an alluring combination of foggy nights and steamy afternoons.” With over 30 million books in print, she has been gathering loyal readers for years with her unique blend of humor, sex and romantic suspense. Whether she is romancing the past as Amanda Quick, the present as Jayne Ann Krentz, or the future Jayne Castle, she writes compelling stories of love between strong, intelligent men and women.
In addition to her work in contemporary and historical romance fiction, Krentz is the editor and contributing author of an acclaimed critical volume, Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance, which won her the Susan Koppelman Award for feminist studies from the Women’s Caucus of the Popular Culture Association and the American Culture Association.
The latest in Jayne’s “supremely addictive tales” (Booklist) is White Lies, in the Arcane Society series. Jayne hopes her novels will appeal to people who love romantic-suspense with a touch of the psychic thing. “It’s certainly my favorite genre,” she adds, “both as a reader and as a writer.”
Jayne and her husband have lived in downtown Seattle for about twenty years. “I’m within walking distance of the Pike Place Market and Nordstrom’s. It doesn’t get any better for a mostly vegetarian person who loves to shop.” A typical day for the writer is fairly routine. “I’m a morning person. That means that whatever raw, creative work I’m going to do that day usually gets done by noon or it doesn’t get done at all. The afternoons are devoted to research, shopping and cooking (not necessarily in that order). But writing a book is an all-consuming job for me. Even when I’m away from the computer, I can’t get away from the book. It’s always there in my head, nagging at me. At night I frequently dream about plot problems — when I’m not lying awake staring at the ceiling and thinking about them, that is.”
Something about that early bookmobile experience must have left its mark, because Jayne maintains a lifelong personal connection to libraries. After getting a degree in history from the University of California at Santa Cruz, she went on to San Jose State University and earned a masters in library science. She worked mostly in academic and corporate libraries. “I also spent one memorable year as an elementary school librarian, an experience that I can only describe as an unmitigated career disaster,” she confesses.
However, her support of libraries has been unstinting. In 1997, she contributed a generous endowment to found the Castle Humanities Fund at UCSC. Interest from the fund, established in Krentz’s maiden name, enables the library to acquire books in the humanities that it would not be able to purchase otherwise.
“For me libraries are the quintessential attribute of civilization,” says Jayne. “They connect us to our past, present and future as no other human institution can.”
Samplings From Jayne’s Favorite Genre–ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Elizabeth Lowell: RUNNING SCARED. We’re talking eerie Druid gold and the dark glamour of Las Vegas.
Stella Cameron: COLD DAY IN JULY. Murder and steamy old secrets in a small Louisiana bayou town. Another Northwest author.
Jennifer Crusie: FAKING IT. A very clever, very funny, very modern take on the To-Catch-A-Thief style story.
Laura Joh Rowland: THE PILLOW BOOK OF LADY WISTERIA. The latest in her terrific series set in 17th century Japan featuring a Samurai detective and his lady wife.
Lynda S. Robinson: DRINKER OF BLOOD. The most recent in her intriguing Lord Meren series set in ancient Egypt.