Jan Selbourne has become one of my favorite authors. I first read her work in the anthology Desire Me Again, published by Black Velvet Seductions, in which her story A Convict’s Prayer appeared. She was also featured in Cowboy Desire, where her story The Long Paddock quickly won my award for ‘Best Ending’. She’s also the author of numerous full-length historical romances.

So without any further ado… JAN SELBOURNE!!!


Jan Selbourne was born in Melbourne, Australia and her love of literature and history began as soon as she learned to read. After graduating from business college her career began in the dusty world of ledgers and accounting, working in Victoria, Queensland and the United Kingdom. On the point of retiring, she changed course to work as secretary of a large NSW historical society. Now retired, Jan is writing historical fiction. She has two adult children, a lovable dog and lives near Maitland, New South Wales.

(All opinions and statements contained in this interview are solely those of the author providing them, and may not necessarily reflect my own. – Virginia)

When did you start writing? What made you first decide to try your hand at it?

I’ve always wanted to write but growing up, career, travel, marriage, children then back to career kept the urge on the back burner. When I retired it was time for me to get serious. I sat down ready to go and had no idea what to write about.  It was a small article in a magazine that gave me the inspiration for my first book.

What was your first published work? What do you think of it now?

Perilous Love, published in 2015, set in England and Belgium during the early days of World War One. Two people whose marriage is over are caught up in the invasion of Belgium, sparking WW1, however a lot of events in the story are based on fact.  It’s a special book for me.

How do you balance writing with your personal life?

I’m retired, my time is my own and I can write when ideas are jabbing at me and stop when I run out.

Do people you actually know make appearances in your stories?

Not people I actually know – but a few of my baddies are based on some well-known unpleasant people.

Do family members or friends help with your writing? Your marketing?

My daughter’s ideas and opinions help me a lot. My newsletter partner Dee S. Knight’s help was invaluable while finishing the last chapters of The Woman Behind the Mirror.

Do you have stories you want to write that you haven’t yet?

Definitely. My fifth book, set in England and colonial New South Wales, Australia, is almost finished and ideas are niggling at me for the next story.  

Have you ever written non-fiction? If so, what?

A Convict’s Prayer, in the Desire Me Again anthology, is the true story of my Irish ancestor who was set up by her brother for stealing and transported to the harsh Van Diemen’s Land Penal colony (now Tasmania) Australia for fourteen years.  Her life was very hard but she gained her ticket of leave in less than seven years, which allowed her to marry again and apply for her son in Ireland to join her. (Virginia’s note: HIGHLY recommended tale!!!)

Are you a ‘normal’ person who likes to write, or do you consider yourself more of the tormented/driven ‘artist’ type?

Laughing.  Of course I’m normal, well, I think I am.  (Don’t ask my kids)

Do you drink? Why or why not?

Alcohol?  Yes, white wine.  Why?  Because I like it.

If you could see one of your stories made into a movie, which one would you pick and why?

Perilous Love. The idea for this story came from an article on how a person’s real character emerges when faced with extreme danger or life changing events.


In Perilous Love, Adrian and Gabrielle can barely stand the sight of each other until they are trapped in Belgium as war looms over Europe. Plunged into a nightmare of lies and betrayal, they flee for their lives as the German forces cross the border. Narrowly evading capture, witnessing death and atrocities, they discover more about each other and themselves than in the eight years of marriage. But the tentacles of treachery have spread to England where Adrian faces charges of treason and a woman who’ll stop at nothing to see him dead.

How does your life experience influence your writing?

I’m sure life experiences influence all writer’s scenes and characters.

Do you try to keep your stories within their pre-determined genres, or do you just tell the story your way regardless of genre expectations?

I write historical fiction and try to provide an accurate as possible background for that period in history. We can create our characters any way we want, good and bad, gorgeous and ugly, but we owe it to our readers not to throw our heroes and heroines into an era or situation and hope for the best.

Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what kinds? Does music influence your stories?

I love music, lean to musical theater and classical but find it distracting when I write.

Do you let real-life events influence your work, or is there a ‘disconnect’ between your stories and world/national/local events?

The closest to real life events was Perilous Love.  My grandfather was in Belgium and France during WW1 and some of the dreadful events he witnessed are in the book.

Is your writing time planned out or structured? Do you go on writing ‘benders’?

Not structured at all.  I write when I can and stop writing when I’m running dry.

What to you is the most rewarding aspect of being a writer?

Writing has been incredibly rewarding from holding my first book in my hand, the lovely reviews and comments on my books and meeting fantastic, talented authors.

Do you write when you take a vacation, or do you prefer to simply relax?

I write when I’m on vacation.

Do you prefer to read fiction that’s similar to what you write, or do you pick different types of stories?

I like variety, historical and contemporary.

What’s one quirky thing about you that your readers might not know?

I’m don’t think I have quirky habits—but don’t ask my kids.

Have you ever had to exhaustively research something (say, history) for any of your books?

Yes, writing historical stories requires research and I’ve found people and organizations very generous with their help. For instance, after visiting the Commonwealth War Graves in France, I asked London’s Imperial War Museum and the Australian War Memorial if it was possible for WW1 soldiers to swap identity tags with fallen comrades. Both replied yes it was possible but extremely unlikely because the chances of being caught very high and the penalties harsh (a hanging offense). Good enough for me to write The Proposition. (My character wasn’t caught).  I was a bit nervous contacting the prestigious Bank of England for information on banking in the 18th/19th centuries. The archivist was incredibly friendly and helpful, giving me confidence to include the bank in The Woman Behind the Mirror.   Research takes a lot of time but it’s worth it.

Perilous Love is available on (Sorry, no link. Amazon fights like hell to hijack my entire page, and then causes a computer freeze as it furiously battles my computer’s security settings.)

Jan Selbourne Author links:








Callie Carmen’s ‘Michael’: Review and Author Interview!

Olivia had spent enough time on memories of her ex-boyfriend’s abuse. She was going to put all of her efforts into her new business career. And try to convince her boss, Vice President Michael Evans, that the woman he’d been dating was nothing more than an opportunist and that she’d climb into bed with anyone that could get her to the top. 

Michael, who lost his younger sister to an abusive relationship, was falling in love with Olivia. He kept his distance from her and waited patiently for a sign that she was ready for his love.

Michael is the sixth and last novel in the Risking Love series. The stories chart a group of friends through life and love. These steamy stories will have you laughing, crying, and your heart racing.

Blurb from Callie Carmen’s Michael

It’s FINALLY the release day for Michael, the grand finale of Callie Carmen’s Risking Love series!

It may shock you, my dear readers, to learn that I don’t often read contemporary romances. Oh, I do love me some heart-wrenching stories, now, being a romance writer and all. But I tend to lean toward fantasy, sci-fi, and darker stories. So it’s high praise when I tell you that I have always found Callie Carmen’s writing to be captivating. It’s powerful enough to pull me out of my blackened little fantasy bubble, and that’s saying something.

Callie writes in the first-person tense, and alternates between the hero and the heroine’s respective points of view. It’s a very clever way of telling a story, because while first person creates more intimacy than third, it can also limit the scope of the story. Using dual narratives fleshes out different aspects of the tale, making it more complete than it would otherwise be.

Another earmark of Callie’s writing is her leading men. They are amazingly complex, and very life-like. Her heroines are also complex and engaging, but hey, let’s face it: Risking Love was custom-tailored for the ladies. (I mean, seriously, check out the covers!) From the assertive Patrick to the reticent Anthony to the smart-yet-somewhat-clueless Joshua, Callie’s cast of male leads makes for great storytelling.

And now there’s Michael…

Michael’s a corporate exec. He’s smooth, suave, handsome, and possesses an uncanny ability to read the people around him. He’s also the perfect gentleman, with a courteously deferential way of treating women that’s very endearing. It’s obvious from the opening chapters that lovely Olivia is head-over-heels for him. There’s just one problem. Well, two, actually…

The first is Veronica, the conniving ‘dragon lady’. She’s cold, ambitious, and a rather daunting romantic rival.

The second is Braylon, Olivia’s stalker.

Those twin threads of suspense—the personal angst, combined with the element of danger—make Michael an absolute page-turner. It’s a worthy ending to the series that began with the explosive Patrick, and I suspect that many readers will be sad that the ride has finally come to an end. I know I am.

But that means we get to look forward to whatever comes next!

Michael, by the amazing Callie Carmen. Check it OUT!


Callie Carmen is a tormented artist who drinks way, way too much! Fueled by a steady diet of booze, caffeine, heavy metal music, and horror films, Callie is often so addled that she doesn’t even know what day it is. She’s also prone to mixing up her days and nights, and is more than a little obsessive/compul…

Uh… Hold on… Waitaminit…

Dammit, that’s MY bio! Sorry, y’all. My bad. Lemme just open the correct file, here… just a sec… Okay, here we go!

Callie started in the book business as a bookstore manager which was the perfect place for her since she was an avid reader. After two years, she moved to the corporate office as a buyer and eventually became a senior book buyer. This was a rewarding career that she loved.

Along the way, Callie became a stay home Mom but couldn’t give up working around books altogether. She volunteered to run the book fairs in her small farm town. At the same time, Callie started and ran, A Child Oasis Company, with the sole purpose of placing a small book library in the homes of all the needy children in the nearby city.

As her children became teens, Callie found she needed more in her personal life than the volunteer Mom for the schools. She sat down at the computer and began to write. To see what she’s been up to go to Amazon link:


(All opinions and statements contained in this interview are solely those of the author providing them, and may not necessarily reflect my own. – Virginia)

What was your first published work? What do you think of it now?

Enemy That I Know, a mobster romance as part of the Craving Loyalty Anthology. It is a wonderful book. My story takes place in the nightclub my grandfather had owned. It was my first attempt at a short story and at the time I found it difficult to tell an entire love story in 10,000 words. If I had a larger word count, I would have included the rescue battle scene. With that said, I think it’s a passionate second chance at love tale and I’m proud of being able to accomplish it. Since then I’m been working with a different publisher, Black Velvet Seductions and have learned a great deal working with their staff.  

Do people you actually know make appearances in your stories?

Yes. I’m a firm believer that you need to watch what you say or do in front of an author or you may end up as a character in their next novel. Each of my stories includes the personality of at least one person who I know well, or even a casual acquaintance. Like my five college friends, that appear in my Risking Love series.

Do family members or friends help with your writing? Your marketing?

They don’t help with my marketing, but they come up with some great villain ideas like the serial killer in my novel Patrick. My husband reminded me of a rather disturbing date I had gone on with a man when I was in my twenties. The man had given me a serial killer vibe. He was a perfect role model for the serial killer that was after Jaq in Patrick. Or my friend’s creepy ex-boyfriend was the perfect person to be my muse for Olivia’s betraying ex-boyfriend from my latest novel Michael.

Do you have stories you want to write that you haven’t yet?

Yes, I keep toying with writing a Greek Family Series. It would feature the sexy brothers and cousin of Nicolas, from book two in my Risking Love series. Especially Damon. So many women that read that novel wanted to date him. My own daughter put dibs on being Damon’s love interest. Lol. I’m also working on an alien love story for the upcoming Dark Desire Anthology from BVS coming in 2022.

Is there a story you’re afraid to write? Why?

I could never write a BDSM story. I know nothing about that type of relationship, and I think one should do their research on the subject before attempting to write about it. To me those that write BDSM have a responsibility to the reader to get it right. There are a few BVS authors that write that genre well.

Are you a ‘normal’ person who likes to write, or do you consider yourself more of the tormented/driven ‘artist’ type?

I would not do well as a person who is a tormented artist. I attempt to be a cheerful person who lets pain roll off my back after a few minutes.

Do you drink? Why or why not?

I have a jumbo frozen margarita with I go out to the Mexican Restaurant. And at Christmas when I’m with my entire family in upstate New York I have a fancy drink with them all.

What’s your favorite movie? Why?

There are too many to name them all, but I’ll mention a few. As far as a children’s movie goes it was always the Disney original version of Cinderella. That movie and my mother’s teachings about being kind to others, even the bully stayed with me. My mother would say, “You never know what’s going on in their life to make them act that way.” It has always worked for me in my life. Later it was the movie Ever After, which is an adult version of Cinderella. I love how she continued to show her kindness, but also her wisdom, strength, and passion for the man she loved. Other than that I have a long list of fantasy or science fiction movie that I love so I’ll only name a few: The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Trek, etc.  

Have you ever had to exhaustively research something (say, history) for any of your books?

I’ve had to do research for each of my stories, from the history of dream catchers to the world of rodeo life on the road. However, you did say exhaustively so hold on to your hat.
When I first started writing love making scenes, I wanted to be accurate how men felt when they made love. So I grilled my husband, and that got me nowhere as he didn’t want to discuss it.
So I hit the internet. I read first-hand accounts from many men describing the physical aspects of sex. What it does to their body, how it feels before, during, and after the big moment. Many of them also got into the emotions of making love, too. I took all of that information in.I found that even though no two people are the same, there were several common things that went on for men while making love. I had what I needed to make my passionate scenes realistic.

Thanks for gracing our pages today, Callie! It was an honor to host you, and here’s wishing you all the best in the future! – V

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