Interview with Sherry Jones

01_The Sharp Hook of Love
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Gallery Books
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Pages: 352

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

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The first retelling of the passionate, twelfth-century love story since the discovery of 113 lost love letters between Heloise d’Argenteuil and Pierre Abelard—the original Romeo and Juliet.

"While I sleep you never leave me, and after I wake I see you, as soon as I open my eyes, even before the light of day itself." —Abelard to Heloise

Among the young women of twelfth-century Paris, Heloise d’Argenteuil stands apart. Extraordinarily educated and quick-witted, she is being groomed by her uncle to become an abbess in the service of God.

But with one encounter, her destiny changes forever. Pierre Abelard, headmaster at the Notre-Dame Cloister School, is acclaimed as one of the greatest philosophers in France. His controversial reputation only adds to his allure, yet despite the legions of women swooning over his poetry and dashing looks, he is captivated by the brilliant Heloise alone. As their relationship blossoms from a meeting of the minds to a forbidden love affair, both Heloise and Abelard must choose between love, duty, and ambition.

Sherry Jones weaves the lovers’ own words into an evocative account of desire and sacrifice. As intimate as it is erotic, as devastating as it is beautiful, The Sharp Hook of Love is a poignant, tender tribute to one of history’s greatest romances, and to love’s power to transform and endure.


1. You write novels about women of power. What have you learned about yourself throughout your writing?

That I, with all my advantages over women of the past, have no excuse to feel sorry for myself — ever.

If A’isha, a child bride in a culture that had treated women as chattel, could become the most famous and influential woman in the history of Islam, what might I accomplish in a culture where women have so many opportunities? If Blanche de Castille, the White Queen of France, could stare down all those men to hold the throne for her son — and to become one of the most effective rulers in all of French history — how might I stand my own ground against patriarchy? If Heloise could take a patch of wild ground and turn it into one of the most successful abbeys in France, and write the first ever religious rule for women, why should I do anything but succeed at whatever I choose to do? And so on.

My strong, powerful women characters inspire me, too, not only to reach for the stars, but also to believe in myself and my own strengths. When times get tough, as they inevitably do, and I feel discouraged and even afraid, I remember the courage these women from the past exhibited, and I summon that strength in myself to endure and to prevail. Because, truly, each of the women I write is me. They are in us all, and are all women.

2. THE SHARP HOOK OF LOVE is about the sacrifices one makes for love. What is the one thing you would never do for love?

I would never give up my child. No, no, no, no, no. But times were different in the 12th century, weren’t they? And really, what other choice did Heloise have?

3. Why do you think your books are so controversial? 

Because I dare to tell the truth about patriarchy — including all religions in which “god” is male — and its damaging effects not just on women and girls, but on us all.

4. Who has inspired you the most professionally?

Hilary Mantel and her novel “Wolf Hall.” Joyce Carol Oates, with “Blonde.” Alice Hoffman, with “The Dovekeepers.” Every author who has ever written a work like these, of stunning beauty and literary depth. They inspire me to aspire.

Among people I know: My amazing literary agent, Natasha Kern, who believes in me utterly, and never lets me forget that.

5. What do you hope readers will take away from your novels? 

Inspiration, and confidence, to dream big, for ourselves and our daughters.

Praise for The Sharp Hook of Love

"Heloise is the sort of heroine you cannot help rooting for: brilliant and naïve, vulnerable and tough. The Sharp Hook of Love will have you up all night holding your breath as you turn each page." (Rebecca Kanner author of Sinners and the Sea)

"Jones weaves history and passion in a tale full of emotional heft that questions what it means to truly love someone..." (Kirkus Reviews)

"A sensual journey into twelfth century Paris. With a sharp eye for historical detail, Jones weaves an unforgettable, compelling tale about enduring love." (Lynn Cullen nationally bestselling author of Mrs. Poe)

"Passion and treachery mingle in Sherry Jones's explosive novel The Sharp Hook of Love. Wrenching and erotic, this is a grand romance in every sense of the word." (Mary Sharratt author of Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen)

Buy the Book

02_Sherry Jones AuthorAbout the Author

Sherry Jones is the author of five biographical fiction books: The Sharp Hook of Love, about the famed 12th-century lovers Abelard and Heloise; The Jewel of Medina and The Sword of Medina, international — and controversial — best sellers about the life of A’isha, who married the Muslim prophet Muhammad at age nine and went on to become the most famous and influential woman in Islam; Four Sisters, All Queens, a tale of four sisters in 13th century Provence who became queens of France, England, Germany, and Italy, and White Heart, an e-novella about the famous French “White Queen” Blanche de Castille.

For more information please visit Sherry Jones's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Goodreads.

The Sharp Hook of Love Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 24

Review at Bibliophilia, Please

Tuesday, November 25

Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Wednesday, November 26

Review at Book Babe

Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection

Friday, November 28

Guest Post at Historical Tapestry

Sunday, November 29

Spotlight & Excerpt at The Lusty Literate

Monday, December 1

Review at Book Lovers Paradise

Interview at Mina's Bookshelf

Wednesday, December 3

Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Thursday, December 4

Review at The Lit Bitch

Friday, December 5

Review at Historical Fiction Obsession

Feature at Romantic Historical Lovers

Interview at To Read or Not to Read

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  1. Thank you for this interview. I so enjoyed these questions


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