“You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold
You gotta be wiser, you gotta be hard
You gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm
You gotta stay together
All I know, all I know, love will save the day”
~”You Gotta Be” by Des’ree
Hi Everyone! Thank you for joining us all here at Teatime Romance and for the welcome and support you’ve given us thus far. When Erica approached me to join a new blog she was forming about two months ago, I jumped at the chance to get involved. The romance community is very supportive and inclusive, and a group of six authors in various stages on the path to publication coming together to connect with members of the romance community and support each other seemed very much in that spirit.
I am currently working on my very first contemporary romance manuscript. The premise is four best friends who meet in college who live in New York City and go through the ups and downs of life and falling in love together. My first book stars Liz Shepherd who is just starting out in her legal career, and Matt Trudeau, who works at the same firm she does. The characters and ideas had been running around in my brain for years, and I realized it was finally time to bite the bullet, put it down on paper, and see where it takes me.
And as I’m only 4’8” I think it’s safe to say I’m the shortest one of the six of us! 😉
Now on to the Six Questions!
So why do you write romance?
I write romance because the cardinal rule of writing is write what you enjoy reading for pleasure. I love reading romance and have ever since I started reading them in high school (see Question 2 for more details). The journey of the hero and heroine on their journey to happy ever after was something that appealed to me, and that hasn’t changed. It reaffirms my faith that love is important, and a relationship based on mutual love, passion, trust, understanding, and respect is possible and worth waiting and fighting for. In my opinion, real life can be hard and stressful enough, and there’s nothing better than escaping in a romance where you know, no matter the obstacles, come hell or high water, love conquers all. And at the end of the day, I am a sap who loves romantic comedies and believes in the true love and happily ever after of it all.
What was the first romance novel you ever read?
I first started reading romance my freshman year of high school. I was browsing the shelves of a local indie bookstore and walked by the romance section. Normally I would just keep going but something made me stop and check out the titles. I happened across Nora’s MacGregor Brides and MacGreogr Grooms. It caught my eye, and I looked at back cover and checked out the blurb. Something about the idea of a larger than life Scottish patriarch playing matchmaker for his resistant grandkids was irresistible. I started reading, got hooked, and haven’t looked back since! Not a surprise, since it was a Nora I picked up after all. I say if you’re going to start, you might as well start with one of the best, right?
Your house is on fire. Which five romance novels do you grab on your way out?
Such a hard question!! My first instinct is to say all of them, or at least the ones I’m lucky enough to have autographed copies of but if I’m forced to choose (in no particular order):
- Tessa Dare’s A Week To Be Wicked (such an amazing book, hands down one of the best I’ve read in 2012. I loved how she expertly balanced the humor with the emotional depth of Colin and Minerva’s journey to true love and HEA.) But really I’d include her entire Spindle Cove series, if not backlist!
- Nora Roberts’s The MacGregor Grooms (obvious sentimental reasons. Also because Naomi and Ian are one of my favorite romance couples ever!)
- Maya Rodale’s The Rogue and the Rival (how many romances actually take place at a convent? And Maya did a great job redeeming the hero Phillip who was a total villain in the previous book The Heir and the Spare)
- Katharine Ashe’s In the Arms of a Marquess (absolutely loved the hero Ben and heroine Tavy’s sense of adventure and taste for the exotic) Her current Falcon Club series is great.
- Julie James’ US Attorneys/FBI series (Something About You, A Lot Like Love, and About That Night) I know I know technically cheating but the books are so interconnected that they feel like one big book with lots of sexy heroes (including one nicknamed the Twitter Terrorist) and heroines who are strong smart and sassy-exactly the ones you’d have as girlfriends in real life and have drinks with. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it!
Honorable mentions to Julia Quinn’s The Viscount Who Loved Me (the Pall Mall scene is classic, as well as the Mallet of Death. And extra special shout-out to Newton the corgi!), Laura Lee Guhrke’s Secret Desires of a Gentleman and With Seduction in Mind and Judith McNaught’s Paradise and Something Wonderful.
What is your secret passion?
If I told you what it was it wouldn’t be secret anymore would it? Honestly, most of the time I think my writing and passion for romance is a secret passion. Despite how empowering romance is, and how financially successful the genre is, it’s still subject to snark and dismissive attitudes by the media and those who’ve never picked up a romance novel. But I’ve gradually come out of the closet bit by bit and feel so lucky to be embraced with such kindness and support. And I no longer try to hide my romance novel covers when I’m reading on the train, and I speak up when someone mocks my reading material!
Other than that, though I don’t know how secret it is, I am a huge fan of Austen, Austen adaptations, and period dramas in general. My current obsession is the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. If you haven’t heard of it, go watch it now! My weeks now revolve around how many days until the next episode posts. 😉
Is there anything in your book that comes from personal experience?
I’m still working on the first draft so we’ll see how much of me ends up in the book. But I think we all put aspects of ourselves in each of our books. I will say that there is a moment in Liz’s job interview that actually happened to me. I’ll let y’all guess which one that is!
What is your favorite kind of tea, and how do you drink it?
Most often the tea I drink is peach flavored and has a Snapple label on the cover. Sorry, I rarely if ever brew and drink hot tea. Just not a habit I picked up and I try to avoid caffeine as much as possible. Please don’t kick me out and ask me to leave, lol
Since it was so hard for me to pick 5 picks to rescue from a fire, let me throw the question to you, dear readers. What five books would you grab on your way out the door to escape the fire?