Back Home At Firefly Lake by Jen Gilroy, Author Interview & Tour Giveaway

BackHomeAtFireflyLake3_RGB300 Genre: Contemporary Romance / Women’s Fiction
Release Date: December 5, 2017
Publisher: Forever – Grand Central Publishing
Series: Firefly Lake
Print ISBN: 9781455569618
Digital ISBN: 9781455566938




About Back Home at Firefly Lake (Firefly Lake #3):

She has a million reasons to leave. Can he give her the one she needs to stay?

Cat McGuire’s return to Firefly Lake is turning into much more than she bargained for. Sure, she missed the crisp pine-scented air and the comfort of having her family around her. But being home makes her feel less like the successful single mom she is–and more like the awkward teen who never fit in. It doesn’t help that hockey-pro Luc Simard is back in town, too. Luc was her childhood crush, the hometown hero who never noticed her, and yet somehow he still makes her heart skip a beat.

Luc’s homecoming has been bittersweet. He’s lost his wife and his career, but there’s no better place to start over than Firefly Lake. Coaching the local kids’ hockey team makes him feel alive again, and he thinks his life is complete–until Cat arrives. The shy girl he always wanted to protect is now the gorgeous woman who’s stealing his heart and making him believe in second chances. But how can he convince Cat that Firefly Lake is where she truly belongs?

Interview With Jen Gilroy:

Thank you for interviewing me, Suzy. I’m pleased to chat with you and your readers and appreciate your interest in my writing.

How did you make the career change to a writer? Did you take classes?

I joined professional writing organizations (Romance Writers of America and the Romantic Novelists’ Association in the UK, where I then lived) and took numerous online courses. I attended in-person workshops taught by published authors, writing conferences, entered contests, and applied each bit of learning or feedback to my work in progress.

I also read widely in my genre and beyond as reading is a great way to learn how other writers do things.

The habit of daily writing and a commitment to ongoing learning helped me develop a writing career alongside my full-time day job. Just before my first book sold, I had the opportunity to take voluntary redundancy from my day job and then transitioned into a writing career.

How was the process for you to get  the book published? Was it done for the three books at once?

After a significant birthday and some big life losses, I realized that if I wanted to reach my dream of writing and publishing a book, I had to get on with it! I began working in a focused way toward publication in 2009, and five years later, in 2014, I signed with my agent (Dawn Dowdle, Blue Ridge Literary Agency). The following year (2015), Dawn sold my first book, The Cottage at Firefly Lake, to Grand Central Forever in a three-book deal.

Like every other author I know, I had rejections, setbacks, and self-doubt along the way. However, I persevered, and when my agent called to tell me that my book had sold, it was one of the happiest days of my life.

What made you choose to write in the romance genre?

I’ve been a romance reader since my teens, and although I tried to write in different genres as part of learning how to structure a book, all my stories had romance running through them.

In writing from my heart, I write the stories that resonate with me most as a reader and that’s romance—as well as women’s fiction with a strong romantic element.

How long does it take you to write a book? This book being your third novel, was it quicker to write than the others?

I’m not a particularly fast writer, and even as I’ve written more books the process hasn’t become much quicker. It usually takes me between six and eight months to write and polish a circa 90,000 word novel.

Back Home at Firefly Lake was somewhat quicker to write than the other two books in the series because I was already familiar with the small-town setting and some of the characters. As such, I didn’t have to “world build” as I would for a first book in a new series.

Of the books in this series, do you have a favorite?

I’ve come to realize that my books are like children, and so they’re all special to me in different ways. While I can’t choose a favorite, my new release, Back Home at Firefly Lake, is close to my heart for several reasons.

The heroine, Cat, shares my interest in history and reading. She’s a closet historical romance reader and named her cats Darcy and Bingley because of her love for Pride and Prejudice—one of my favorite books.  

She also struggles with some of the mothering challenges I do. In particular, she wants to keep her daughter safe, while also letting her spread her wings and follow her dreams. I suspect that’s a dilemma most parents can relate to.

Who are some of your favorite authors, and what are you currently reading?

My favorite contemporary romance and women’s fiction authors include Kristin Hannah, Debbie Mason, Jill Shalvis, RaeAnne Thayne, Karen White, and Susan Wiggs.

Because it’s the holiday season, the books on my nightstand are mostly festive titles and include Debbie Mason’s Sugarplum Way, and Sugar Pine Trail by RaeAnne Thayne. Map of the Heart by Susan Wiggs is on my Christmas list, and I also have a request in at my local library for Pioneer Girl, the annotated autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Other favorite authors—who have influenced me in life, as well as writing—are L.M. Montgomery and Louisa May Alcott, and their books are among those I turn to when I need comfort, escape, inspiration, and hope.

Where do you do your best writing? For the books in this series, where they all outlined first?

When I became serious about pursuing a writing career, I had a full-time day job with frequent international travel, a young daughter, and a husband who also travelled for work. As such, I had to fit writing in when I could and shut out distractions to get the words in. The first book in this series, The Cottage at Firefly Lake, was written that way, mostly during lunch breaks at my then day job.  

Now that I’m writing full-time, it’s a luxury to work in the quiet of my home office, but as long as I have my laptop, I can still write almost anywhere.

The writing process that works best for me is a mix of plotting (outlining) and writing by the seat of my pants (without a structured outline). Each book in the Firefly Lake series started with a general outline, but although I knew the beginning and end of the stories, as well as the main turning points, as I wrote each book, the characters also surprised me. For me, such surprises are one of the best parts of being a writer.

What is the best way for readers to contact you?

I’m always happy to hear from readers. They can reach me via email or connect with me on Facebook or chat on Twitter

I usually post to my social media platforms daily and enjoy talking with readers about books, writing, and life. I also blog every two weeks, occasionally about books but more often about life, and send out a quarterly newsletter with release news and other writing updates.

 Readers can follow me on Goodreads too.

What is your next project?

I’ve just finished the first book in a new contemporary romance/romantic women’s fiction series set in a family bakery in a small town in the Adirondack area of upstate New York.

Although I love the world of Firefly Lake, it’s been fun getting to know a new place and cast of characters. And the bakery setting has given me a perfect “excuse” for “research” (sampling sweet treats!) at bakeries in the small town where I live.  


Rafflecopter for Back Home at Firefly Lake Blog Tour Giveaway:

Jen is offering one (1) lucky Grand Prize winner a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a paperback copy of Back Home at Firefly Lake. Five (5) runner-up winners will receive a paperback copy of their choice from the Firefly Lake series! This giveaway is open internationally. To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:

Direct Link:

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7 thoughts on “Back Home At Firefly Lake by Jen Gilroy, Author Interview & Tour Giveaway

  1. I’m looking forward to reading Back Home at Firefly Lake. I loved the first two in the series. Thanks for giving us an insight into your world and your writing. It’s amazing to think that your first novel was written in your lunch breaks. It just shows what can be done when you set your mind to something.


    1. Thank you so much, Susanna. I appreciate you reading and commenting on my post. Looking back, I sometimes wonder how I managed to write a novel in such small snatches of time, but I had a dream and wanted to realize it. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the Firefly Lake books so far and wish you a happy visit to Firefly Lake in winter in book 3.


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