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Author Insights into Chasing the Other Tisdale
by Jessica Jefferson
Writing as therapy could have been the other name for this novel.
I am a big fan of the “wallflower” concept in historical romance. What woman hasn’t had at least one moment in her life where she felt trapped behind the sidelines, feeling out of her element and easily glossed over?
I was a fairly chunky kid and during the first part of elementary school, my family moved around a lot. We eventually settled in a small town, but many of the kids I attended school with had been together since before kindergarten. It’s hard to break into that kind of environment.
As I grew older, I became more confident with my personality, but less and less confident with my looks. I modeled my heroine Lilly much after myself. Lilly is everyone’s favorite, but still a disaster when it comes to boys. I always compensated with my other short-comings by trying to be the funniest kid in class, just like Lilly.
I can’t say that I modeled my hero, Will, after one guy or another. But his encounters with Lilly are similar to those I have experienced in my past—with some artistic embellishment of course. There was a fairly popular guy at my high school, a few grade levels ahead of me, a real jock type. He made a mooing sound at me once in the hallway. Granted, it could have been in reference to any number of fat kids, but I felt as if it was only meant for me. Years later I met him again while we were both working one of those college-aged mall jobs. I was older and had slimmed out a bit, but he was the same good looking guy he always was. We ended up dating. Nothing serious, just a couple of people who liked to watch movies and occasionally make out. It was the ultimate “chunky girl made good fantasy”, and I made sure to include a similar circumstance in Chasing the Other Tisdale.
A few years later I met my husband. We started out as just friends, having a few mutual acquaintances and attending the same college. At one point we were dating other people, and I remember his girlfriend being one of those petite, buxom types that I don’t typically stand too close to for fear of comparison. He broke up with her and a few months later, I found myself single and more than a little interested in my friend. But, that’s all we were. Now, I’m fairly tall and even at my thinnest, the term “big-boned” comes to mind. Having known who he’d dated before me, I’d be lying if I didn’t feel the slightest bit self-conscious and reluctant to make the first move. One night while we were watching a movie, he looked at me with dreamy eyes and told me, “I love your personality.”
He meant it as a compliment. We had a ton in common and I knew he really enjoyed having someone he could talk to. But at that moment in time, I would have given anything for him to tell me that he wanted me as a wanton sex object and not just as a cool chic to hang out with!
And that is the moment in my life that inspired a fairly large section of dialogue in which our heroine throws a tantrum after hearing how much the hero values their friendship. I feel like offering myself and bits and pieces of my own life into my books helps give them an air of authenticity that I don’t believe would be there otherwise.
About Chasing the Other Tisdale
She’s the other sister…
Overshadowed by the beauty of her older sister, Lillian is better known as the other Tisdale; unremarkable and unsure how she will ever deliver on the promise of her family’s name.
He’s a rake in need of reforming…
Will Colton leads a frivolous existence, embracing notoriety instead of managing his family’s fortune. Determined to forget his financial burden and his father’s growing resentment, he maintains a lifestyle dedicated to pleasure and self-indulgence. When Will is invited to the Tisdale estate for an extended holiday, he never expects to become friends with the forgettable Lillian. But when a family secret comes to light, he must choose between leaving London and protecting the honor of one woman or staying and risking the reputation of another.
Upon his return, Will finds the girl he left behind has come out of the shadows and into her own. Lillian’s finally the center of attention, and not all of it good. With his own reputation in tatters, can a reformed rake lure her out of the hands of London’s bachelors and back into his own arms? Can he escape his past and reclaim her heart, or has he lost her forever?
Chasing the Other Tisdale, Compromising Miss Tisdale and Taming Miss Tisdale from Soul Mate Publishing are all available now on Amazon.
When Lillian Tisdale dreamt of that magical moment when she would fall in love, she never imagined that it would be so sudden, so complete, or so…
Lilly, as she was more commonly known, sat cradled in between a large branch and the massive trunk of the hundred year old willow tree near the pond at Brightly, her family’s ancestral estate. She set her sketch book and charcoal pencil down on the branch and took a moment to appreciate the scenery before her. Brightly was noted for its lush gardens and rolling green hills, and she found it impossible to imagine any other property in England being as lovely.
This was her favorite tree, had been for years, and one of the only places she could disappear to when she felt the need for a respite from her three sisters and older brother. She relished the quiet of her hiding place, the silence disturbed only by the soft wind skimming the pond, the rustling of the leaves in the oak groves, and the occasional coo of a nesting bird.
“You naughty minx!”
Lilly startled, the unexpected sound of a man’s voice coming from out of nowhere. She steadied herself against the branch in front of her, knocking her sketchbook onto the ground in the process. She sighed, doubting the book would survive the fall intact. She’d spent the last of her pin money on that sketchbook and wouldn’t be able to afford a new one for at least a month. Her parents, for all their wealth, were sticklers when it came to their children’s allowances.
“You’re a wicked, wicked man, Mr. Colton!”
This time, the voice was distinctly female and the name she mentioned sounded familiar…
About the Author
Jessica Jefferson makes her home in northern Indiana, or as she likes to think of it—almost Chicago. She is heavily inspired by classic sweeping, historical romance novels, but aims to take those key emotional elements and inject a fresh blend of quick dialogue and comedy. She invites you to visit her at jessicajefferson.com and read more of her random romance musings.