What genre do you write?
I love the historical genre. I don’t care if it’s fiction or romance. The problem with my stories is that I write in both. And they are right. Straddling the fence is a tough. But romance seems to venture into all that I write but I hear that ‘love makes the world go round.” Oh well
How long have you been writing and how many published works?
I’ve been writing for what seems forever but not really. Fifteen years but my how times flies. What truly released me to write is learning the ‘writing process’. Once upon a time it was expected of you to write it perfectly the first time. I wrote wonderful stories in my head since I was born but yeah, pick up a pencil and write it, and the story evaporated like water on a hot skillet. Once the idea that perfection didn’t have to happen, stories flowed.
I have about fifteen drafts written and finally one book published. Vows of Revenge. Threatened Loyalties will be out this spring and my first book in my Agricola series Red Fury will be out this fall. Fingers crossed Revolt cometh.
Of the novels you've written, which is your favorite and why?
Oh my, like your children, I love them all.
Do you have a favorite character from your work?
Right now I love Martino Lucianus Drusus in Vows of Revenge He’s my Michael Corleone from the Godfather. He enchanted me. I hated to see his story end. But I’m not for certain it has. He’s still taunting me with ideas for book II. I also grin with Alexius from Threatened Loyalties. I do love making a young man grovel.
Where do you get your story ideas?
Like most writers…my stories generally come perch on my shoulder and taunt. I do have to say they must have patience. It takes a while. Vows of Revenge however is an exception. I was researching Roman Law and discovered that a husband could execute his wife for disobeying him but NOT sell her into slavery. Am I wrong but doesn’t this sound like an oxymoron. And imagine being that wife. Well, Aelia Sabina came to be in Vows of Revenge. Bless her but being raised as a patrician’s daughter to believe she should have nothing to do with Plebes and that you must please your husband in all things…even when he is abusive…was something I couldn’t resist. Well, Lucianus…a plebe…saves her from a fate worse than death, takes her to Amalfi where you live by your heart not by Rome’s laws, and heals her with his heart. Threatened Loyalties came from the eruption of Vesuvius that buried Herculaneum a rich resort town not far from Pompeii. However, Herculaneum was not buried by ash but by volcanic vomit. Revolt starts a series of Gnaeus Julius Agricola who was governor of Britannia, the armpit province of the Roman Empire for fifteen years. His entire career as a military officer took place here. Why? This starts the Red Fury series. Revolt begins with the Revolt of Boudica however, Julius has his own revolt, which is why he keeps returning to Britannia.
Is there anyone in particular who has influenced your writing career?
I have so many who have helped me along. Romance Writers of America and all the chapter members have patiently listened to my drafts and prodded me in the right corrections. However it was Historical Novel Society that helped me realize why I didn’t exactly fit in with RWA. I’m not a romancer even though I love romance. (I don’t follow the rules well) I love the history. And bringing it to life is my goal. Writers as Bernard Cornwall and Michael Gear has inspired me to bring history to life. If I can even begin to create as they do…I will be a happy writer.
What do you do when you're not writing?
What????? Not write? Just kidding. Seriously, my house is usually a mess so I have to clean it. I love gardening. All that will take a change this year. I will soon be a grandma so I’m crocheting like crazy. And I love being with my hubby and traveling about anywhere but especially Italy/Pompeii, Herculaneum, Rome, will do or Britain/London, Hadrian’s Wall, or about anywhere there are Roman ruins.
What's one thing about you that most people don't know?
Usually everyone knows everything about me. I’m a talker. But once upon a time I owned, trained, showed American Saddlebred horses and won the Reserve World Champion 1967 Five-gaited Pleasure class with Valjean. I still love horses but don’t have one. Why? My daddy said don’t have a horse unless you have time to care for it.
What's next on your writing journey?
A mature romance cometh. Like I said, my stories must be patient. This story has waited ten years. It’s a fun one I truly look forward to writing while I babysit my grandbaby. It’s time is now. Spike and Barb have released the seal of this story. Spike is a professional trucker and Barb has been raised as a daughter of a trucker. They have all the answers to my questions and breathed life into my ideas.
Where can we find your books?
I would like to invite you to join us on my blog where I hope to share the growth of my Trucker story. www.jfridgley.wordpress.com. Sign up for my newsletter on my website http://www.jfridgley.com (I don’t share your info) for more coming information about the ‘birth of a book.’ It think it will be a fun journey wrought with your input in the choices character names, the book title, book cover, contests, and more.
Then it’s back to Rome for book two of Red Fury Rebellion and Pompeii’s Plague.