First, let me say how strange this is to be interviewed here today, when I’m a part of this fabulous blog! Thank you, Erica, for inviting me to take part in Teatime Romance. And thank you, Amy, for asking to interview me today. Y’all are the BEST!!!
I’ve blogged before about growing up an Army brat. An upbringing like mine can be a life-changer or a life-arranger. You might ask, how does this sort of childhood work? Well, kids that grow up in the military either have a hard time making friends whenever they move around every 3 years or they learn to blend in. I’m the latter. What I dealt with growing up, making friends, only to have to move and make new friends, and then repeat the process, on and on and on, helped me learn to a lot about relationships, what works and what doesn’t. Example: By 2 ½ months old, I flew to Germany to see my dad for the very first time. By 4 years old, I was living in Japan. By 12, I was back in Germany again. All in all, I moved 9 times within the US and overseas before I was 16 years old. And guess what? I loved it! I loved the nomadic lifestyle so much I married into the Army and did it all over again; adding another 8 moves by the time my oldest child was 14 years old. The lesson learned from my experiences has been, “life is an adventure and you are what you make of it.” This philosophy plays out in all my books. Hope is present no matter where you are or what your situation. Hope and empowerment is a big theme I use in my stories.
Congrats on your debut! Tell us about Duke by Day, Rogue by Night. How did you come up with the idea?
I’d be happy to! Thank you, Amy! As a historical romance author, I’m intrigued by snippets of history. One day I happened across an interesting snippet about Admiral Nelson, who, I was surprised to learn, never went without his tea— even during battle. Here, in the tearoom, can you imagine that? (Do you think he had scones at his disposal too? Could you stand the noise?) But I digress… Imagine ships in Trafalgar turning for a broadside, while Admiral Nelson sips his tea amid the cannon recoil and reload and the quick jerk of the deck. The shouted orders, sulphuric smoke drifting in the air, screams of the wounded, masts cracking, and plummeting into the sea. I did. Finally, when the muse opened my eyes, I wondered… what if Nelson used the word tea as code for mercenaries he could not do without and, what if they were first sons from every tier of life, unsuspected by the ton. That’s when The Nelson’s Tea Series was born.
The first book in the series, Duke by Day, Rogue by Night can be best described as Master & Commander meets The Scarlet Pimpernel. Constance Danbury is fleeing an arranged marriage to lecherous Lord Burton, a man who has blackmailed her father and is nearly twice her age. Her escape takes her aboard a merchantman bound for Spain, where she hopes an aunt will help her procure funds to save her father’s dwindling reputation. But fate intervenes. Constance is captured by a pirate with a wit and stubbornness to match her own, and a secret he’ll do anything to keep.
Nobleman Percival Avery is a member of Nelson’s Tea, an elite group whose members are first sons from every tier in society. Undercover, he disguises himself as a pirate to infiltrate the gang of cutthroats responsible for his sister’s death. But when his vessel attacks a merchantman with valuable cargo, Percy is forced to choose between vengeance and saving the life of his commander’s niece, Constance Danbury. Mutiny is sure to obliterate his well-laid plans. It also aligns him with the one woman sure to see through his disguise. Forced to play the fop by day to outwit his enemies, he masquerades as a rogue by night in order to avenge his sister’s death – and to win his true love’s heart.
I can’t wait to read it! It’s on my to-be-read list. Many of us who aren’t yet published wonder what it’s like to get “the call.” How did you get the call?
At Crimson Romance, you don’t get The Call per se, but The Email! It’s funny actually. I had just decided to sit in the living room and watch a bit of TV, on a break from writing, when I checked my iPhone and saw I had a response from Jennifer Lawler, my fabulous editor at Crimson Romance. Of course, my first reaction was— “Oh man, I got another rejection.” Determined to be strong, I opened the email and read the contents. Then I read again, and again. By now, my mouth was hanging open. I turned to my mother and told her, quite deadpan, I’ve just sold my book. Oddly enough, I got ants in my pants and began to pace, unsure what I should do next, who I should call. When my mother walked closer, we suddenly SQUEE-d out loud and hugged each other. It was a moment I will never forget!!!
Since you are a fellow blog-sister, I know you’ve shared with us your five favorite books, so why not tell us how you discovered writing.
Words have inspired me since I was young, trying to win a spelling bee, writing poems or short stories in English class. It wasn’t until I became a teenager and started reading those books my mother would never put down to answer a question (Pirate!), that I realized the wonderful stories and hopes and dreams romance novels instill in us. As I grew older and became a mother, with a husband called away on tours of duty, I leaned on romance novels to keep me company way into the wee hours of the night. Even if it meant waking up sleepy-eyed for my kids. Those tales of swashbuckling adventure and happily ever afters manifested within me, sustaining me through many lonely hours, months and years. After the birth of my 4th child, something clicked. As a reader, I knew an author had the ability to heal hearts. All of a sudden the muse hit with full force and I knew that I had to give back, to help ease the burden of other lonely readers by creating tales of my own. As a writer, I never want to forget what writing is about— touching readers.
One of the other topics we talk about is tea. Since you’ve shared with us your favorite teas, why not share with some of your wisdom for those of us waiting on the call.
I’m very vocal about paying it forward. No matter what you’re going through in life, someone else has already been through it, and survived. The same can be said for writing and still waiting on that call. It will come as long as you don’t QUIT! Rejections, harsh critiques, bad contest scores, unsupportive family members, and more will and do often stand in your way, but don’t let anything faze you. I’m not saying there won’t be stings. But flick away that scallywag, I say. The key to winning the prize is never stop gazing at that horizon. Believe to receive, not receive to believe. Everything you’re doing now, everything you’re striving for and putting into place paves the way for Your Call. Without the moments you are experiencing now (the same as when I was growing up, moving all over the world), you will not be the writer you are meant to be. We all get impatient, believe me. The muse nuzzled my ear 20 years ago. It wasn’t until 7 years ago, when I joined my local writing chapter that I finally got serious about seeking publication. But all of the self-help books, the rejections and despair fueled my determination. And the funny thing is, I was close to quitting a month before I got the contract for my book.
Winston Churchill says it best. “Never, never, never, never, never give up.”
Believe to receive, my friends. Believe to receive. (I think that happens to be Captain Jack Sparrows motto too. After all, he does have a compass that points to what he wants most—pirate booty.)
Here’s a boon. You’re on a ship, headed for that horizon, mate. You’ve got your affects and a compass that points to what you want most. What, me hearties, do you want most? And if you got it, what would you do with it?
Just wait there’s more. Tell us about your prize for one lucky commenter.
In keeping with Jack’s penchant for booty, I leave you with an offering— one of my pirate treasure chests. I’ll award one lucky commenter with a chest full of bubblegum and chocolate doubloons, one of my stress bones, a postcard and bookmark, a pen, pocket watch, pirate eye-patch, pirate hat and more. Leave your contact addy and I’ll be sure your booty sails straight for your door. (US & Canada only please)
“Duke by Day, Rogue by Night is a rollicking romp of a pirate romance in the classic style. From ship deck to London ballroom, Katherine Bone’s story is packed with intrigue, and the disguise of her rough and dangerous hero as a town popinjay positively delights.” – Katharine Ashe, author of Captured by a Rogue Lord
“Ms. Bone has weaved a captivating tale of cat and mouse that will keep the reader turning pages long into the night.” – Michelle Beattie, author of Romancing the Pirate
“Katherine Bone is an author after my own heart! Duke by Day, Rogue by Night is a sexy, adventurous romp guaranteed to keep you reading into the wee hours of the night.” – Shana Galen, author of The Rogue’s Pirate Bride