Jean C. Gordon
For sweet and inspirational romance author Jean C. Gordon, writing is a natural extension of her love of reading. From that day in first grade when she realized t-h-e was the word “the,” she’s been reading everything she can put her hands on. She and her college-sweetheart husband tried the city life in Los Angeles, but quickly returned home to their native small-town Upstate New York, where she sets many of her books.
They share a 180-year-old farmhouse just south of Albany, NY, with their daughter and son-in-law, two grandchildren, and a menagerie of pets. Their son lives nearby. While Jean creates stories, her family grows organic fruits and vegetables and tends the livestock de jour.
An Interview with Jean C. Gordon
I was born in Niagara Falls and grew up in Attica in Western New York. I now live in Coeymans, south of Albany in Eastern New York. Since I’m a history buff, I have a little known historical fact about Attica: It once was the home of Pineapple Cheese, which was sold to Kraft in the early 1900s. The cheese was pineapple shaped, not pineapple flavored. As for Coeymans, this fact is better known, but still interesting. The Ariaanje Coeymans House, built c. 1700, is still standing and occupied.
What is your favorite part of writing Sweet Romance?
Getting lost in a story when writing, which can be dangerous as the picture of my blackened hardboiled egg lunch illustrates. Also, hearing from and talking to readers.
Who or what inspired you to become an author?
It think it was my love of reading. First, I was a reader, then a romance book reviewer for the now defunct Paperback Trader, then I decided to try my hand at writing a romance novel. For a long time, I also had a career as a tax and financial writer/planner.
If you weren’t an author, what would you be doing?
I’d be a lady of leisure exploring historical sites world-wide, assuming I had the means to do so.
Do you have any pets? Please tell us about them!
We actually own just one dog, Xena, who’s supposed to be a black-lab/boxer mix, but we think she may have some shepherd, too. However, our son’s cat Jester lives with us because his current apartment doesn’t allow pets. And our daughter’s two 15-year-old sister cats—Cat One and Cat Two—live with us, as well. We share a big old farmhouse with my daughter and her family. About five years ago when they added a third dog to their pets, the cats revolted and moved to our side of the house. Their dogs are Mr. Buttons, Appa, and Zori. Appa and Zori are from Guam, where my daughter was a midwife at a clinic for a year. And while they aren’t actually pets, I have two hens and a guinea fowl, left from a flock of each that we once had. Also, my son-in-law raises pastured pigs, so we always have at least a few around. Chester (picture) is the latest addition.
Have you found your own real life happily ever after?
Yes, I have. My college sweetheart, Mark. The picture is from an airport when we were on our way to a Romance Writers of America Conference. He doesn’t write; he just likes to come along.
What is one book that impacted or changed your life that you think everybody should read? Tell us about it.
A book that sticks in my mind from childhood is The Secret Garden, which was the first YA book the Attica librarian let me take out of the library, even though I was not quite the age you were supposed to be to take out YA books. And then there’s Julie Garwood’s The Bride, which was the first romance I read and started my love of romance books. I guess, that changed my life, but I’m not sure about recommending them as a must-read for everyone.