An Interview with Jean Hart Stewart
Rancho Santa Fe Review
by Karen Billing
Rancho Santa Fe Resident Achieves Lifelong Dream of Becoming a Successful Author
When Rancho Santa Fe author Jean Hart Stewart finally found the time to pursue her lifelong love of writing she filled the pages of nearly 25 books. Hart Stewart, who has lived in Rancho Santa Fe for 60 year, has written all of those books in the last eight years.
Her novels are “a little fantasy and history and a lot of romance” and her latest is “Fiery Pursuit,” the third installment in a series of eight about a collection of passionate, erotic elves.
After raising a family and working 20 years in the real estate business, she finally started writing.
“One day I just walked in and quit. I wanted to write all those years,” Hart Stewart said. “I thought I’d write one or two, I never thought I’d be working on book 25. I feel pretty good about it.”
Hart Stewart writes books in a series, following a family through multiple generations; one of her series goes from 1899 to present day. Her first series was on druids and her second on mages, which are like wizards.
Eight years ago her first book was published, “Druid’s Daughter,” a paranormal historical romance.
“I think I’m very, very lucky,” said Hart Stewart, a mother of two. “I don’t think very many people of any age have as interesting a profession [as I do].”
All of her books are historical, which involves a lot of research to make sure every detail of the time period is accurate from hairstyles to the language used. She makes up character charts for each of her characters.
“I want to know what they look like, talk like and their faults,” Hart Stewart. “They all have to have faults or else they aren’t interesting.”
With her latest series, she is taking on a new genre.
“My editor told me I could make more money if I wrote erotica,” Hart Stewart said. “My first month’s check from my first erotica was six times what I received for any other book.”
Her erotica series is based on “tall handsome elves with pointed ears.” While she said erotica is a lot more difficult to write, she also really enjoys it.
On average, it takes her two months to complete her first draft, working in one of two work stations she has in her home — one in a cozy nook in front of a fully stocked bookshelf with views of her backyard. The stories flow pretty easily for Hart Stewart and she likes to keep herself busy, especially after her husband died a year and a half ago.
She describes the editing process as a “rat race” and it’s possible she’s working on different stages of several books at a time.
Hart Stewart also keeps up her website and is on Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch with her readers.
“I got one comment from a woman who just discovered me and she wrote, ‘I’m going to read everything you’ve ever written,’” Hart Stewart said, noting the positive feedback is always great to hear.
She hopes to finish this latest series, but hasn’t thought beyond that to what she’ll write next.