Emma, I’m so glad you’re here with us on Teatime Romance! Tell us about yourself and what you write.
Hi everyone! Thank you so much for having me at Teatime Romance. I’ve been looking in the window wistfully for awhile now, so it’s nice to be invited to sit at the table!
I’m Emma Locke, and I am a newbie author. I started writing Regency-set historical romance in 2004 and I haven’t been able to stop since. The fact is I’ve tried, since I do have a really fun day job and sometimes I wonder why I torture myself making time for both. But no matter how logical it sounds to settle down and focus on my regular job, I can’t quite quit this writing thing. I’m addicted to the incredible high that comes after crafting a sentence that perfectly captures the emotion and information that should be conveyed to the reader. I also adore my characters and can’t ignore their cries for attention. And I’m pretty sure I will never tire of staring at the beautiful cover of a shiny new romance!
Do your coworkers know when the writing doesn’t go well? Mine do. LOL. Tell us about your debut book or shall I say books?
I was able to release two books within two months, so I have something of a double-debut. (This is just one of the many things I love about self-publishing.) There will be six full-length novels in The Naughty Girls Series, and the plan is for four of them to be released this year. (We’ll see.) The series follows five incredibly delicious brothers and their staid, handsome neighbor. I love linked stories, so I made sure to tie these books very closely to each other. I highly recommend you read them in order, though it is not required. (Mostly because Amazon doesn’t let me put constraints on my sales ;))
The first in the series is THE TROUBLE WITH BEING WICKED. WICKED is the story of a jaded courtesan who meets a very deliberate, high-in-the instep viscount. At first, she is sure Lord Trestin is too proper to ever take a mistress. She keeps her distance, even when he begins to pursue her. But when his attraction to her finally overcomes his aversion to sexual dalliance, she begins to wish she’d never let herself come to know him at all. It is a turbulent, emotional story that I am pleased to say has been called dark.
THE PROBLEM WITH SEDUCTION is a considerably lighter story. The romance is between a courtesan in desperate need of a favor and a man who can’t say no. Mandi Schreiner at USA Today Happy Ever After and Smexy Books said “Con is such a different romance hero… This is a well-done romance.” I wrote SEDUCTION to be fun, and I wrote the hero, Lord Constantine Alexander, to be the polar opposite of Lord Trestin. Con will melt your heart! I know he stole mine.
How did this happen? Self publishing?
I was conversing with a few agents about THE TROUBLE WITH BEING WICKED right around the same time that I was finishing up the first draft of THE PROBLEM WITH SEDUCTION. As I said, WICKED is a bit on the dark side. The relationship between the hero and heroine becomes a bit twisted before it resolves into an HEA. I knew SEDUCTION was going to be a very different story (although it has dark moments, too). The “problem” with SEDUCTION is that it is a) the second in a series and b) about an unapologetic courtesan who plots to trick her ex-lover into giving her custody of their bastard child. Not exactly the usual romance, if I do say so myself.
I LOVE this story, and I am entirely convinced that someone in NY would have loved it, too. But there are so many obstacles to buying an out-of-the-box story and producing it that I was afraid it would end up in committee for months, if not years. I have friends who are published in NY, and this seems to be something that happens a lot. It’s a good thing for a writer, because it means you’re causing debates in the boardrooms, but it’s not good for the other characters in my head whose stories want to be told. And I really wanted WICKED to be available to readers. I was pretty sure by then that New York wasn’t going to buy my twisted, dark romance. So, I decided to self-publish. With Book 3 (THE ART OF RUINING A RAKE) set to come out very soon, I can’t say I’ve spent much time looking back!
Wow! This is great! What’s next in your writing? Series? Tell us about it.
THE ART OF RUINING A RAKE is the third book in The Naughty Girls Series and the last of The Courtesan books. (Books 4-6 will be about trouble-making hoydens, rather than lightskirts.) Bluestocking spinster Lucy Lancester has always pined for her brother’s best friend, a rakish rogue with the heart of a poet. She couldn’t have picked a worse man to fall in love with, though: Roman Alexander is conceited, melodramatic, and a womanizer. He insists upon being the center of attention. Yeah, he’s a lot of fun to write 🙂 When a one-time tryst between them ruins Lucy’s reputation and causes her to lose her livelihood, she vows to have her revenge. But Roman can’t get her out of his head, and soon they enter into a war of wills, with him determined to woo her and Lucy just as determined that he drop off a cliff.
I think this is going to be another book that doesn’t quite fit the mold!
We are readers as well as writers, so we have to ask: what five books would you save if your house was on fire.
I’d grab my iPad, where all of my books are stored. But instead of cheating, I’ll cram my signed editions of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton books into a bag and hightail it to a window.
I have all of those books too! Love her stories. Finally, as this is Teatime, what kind of tea do you like?
My kind of girl! Emma has graciously agreed to give away an e-copy of either The Trouble with Being Wicked or The Problem With Seduction to two lucky commenters!
Find more about Emma Locke