Author Q & A for
HOW THE EARL ENTICES
From an interview with the USA TODAY HEA blog:
• Please tell us a bit about your new release.
HOW THE EARL ENTICES is the fourth book in my Capturing the Carlisles series, and it moves the series from focusing on the brothers to the cousins. Ross Carlisle, Earl of Spalding, is a diplomat on the run for treason who stumbles across Grace Alden while seeking shelter from a terrible storm. But he doesn’t realize that she was once part of his society world or know the lengths she’s gone to in order to be dead to the world. What follows is part Regency road trip, part political drama, with lots of sexual tension and dry humor thrown into the mix. I *loved* writing this book! I actually wrote it twice—the first version just didn’t work, so I tossed it all and started again, finishing in less than two months.
• What’s coming next?
The next book of the series, which will probably be out in March, 2019, is WHAT A LORD WANTS. It’s about a case of mistaken identity that leads to the heroine’s greatest adventure of her life—posing as a nude model for a scandalous Italian painter—but unfortunately also to her ruination. And I’m very excited to be working on an anthology called DUKES BY THE DOZEN, which is a collection of novellas by 13 historical romance authors, which will be out in April, 2019.
• What inspires your book ideas?
The ideas come from lots of places…books, old houses, dress patterns, etc. I’ll see a picture of a place or an object and think, “What kind of person would live there or own that?” The characters develop from there. And then, of course, there’s Broadway musicals and Disney animated films. In every one of them, right at the start, the main character sings what’s known as their “I Want” song—a song that establishes the characters hopes and dreams. Once I have that “I Want” song for my main characters, then I can figure out what’s stopping them from getting it and somehow make it the fault of the other love interest. Perfect conflict!
• Is there an idea out there that you wish you'd thought of?
Yes! Elizabeth Hoyt’s book, Thief of Shadows, in which she inverts the traditional elements of historical romance. Instead of the older, rakish peer who chases after the virginal schoolmistress beneath his station, Hoyt presents an older peeress who is unapologetically sexually active chases a hero who is a virginal schoolmaster. Brilliant!
• What distracts you the most when you're trying to write?
Online shopping! It’s just too easy to click the Browser and head over to my favorite online stores. The next thing I know, I’ve wasted an hour looking up the perfect little black dress.
• Do you write by the seat of your pants, or do you carefully plot your stories?
I am definitely a plotter. I’ll sketch out forty pages of plot outline before I ever start writing. I wish I could be a pantser, but the idea of starting into a 95K word novel without knowing where its headed makes me too nervous. I’d hate to spend several months only to end up with a plot that can’t be resolved without divine intervention or, worse, write myself out of conflict by page fifty. But of course, even when I have the idea all plotted out, sometimes the characters steal the book and take it in a completely different direction than what I intended.
• What TV show or other activity interferes with your writing schedule?
Dancing! I recently took up ballroom dancing, and I love it! The city where I live is big on dancing, and there’s some kind of social dance event every night of the week. Because of my day teaching job, I can usually only write on nights and weekends, and so dancing cuts into that time. But I soooooo love it!!
• What would be your dream vacation?
A small boat cruise around the Aegean Sea, so I could see Greece and Turkey. I’d start in Athens, see all the ruins on land, then hop on the boat to visit coastal Turkey and end it in Istanbul. I’ve always wanted to do this for a honeymoon, but since it looks like I’ll never get married now, I’m giving it to myself for my 50th birthday in 3 years. (Or as I prefer to think of it…the 25th anniversary of my 25th birthday.)
• What do you do in your spare time?
I love to dance and garden. I have a big yard that I’ve filled with roses and other flowering bushes, including a little cottage border garden, and I love to work in the beds. (I talk to my roses; the neighbors surely think I’m insane.) I also take ballroom dance lessons and love to go out for salsa and swing dancing 2 – 3 times per week.
• Do you have anything to add?
Just to say THANK YOU for having me here! Happy reading, everyone!