First off, let me sincerely thank the authors of Teatime Romance for inviting me to join the blog family! I am honored and excited to be a part of such a wonderful and amazing group of writers and lovers of romance and, of course, tea.
They’ve asked me to introduce myself, so let me see… what’s interesting about me?
During the day, I masquerade as a writing and literature teacher, instructing students how to vary sentence structure and put together arguments or read poems and other literature they’re not really interested in. But my not-so-secret love is telling stories.
I have previously self-published two novels. (I still can’t believe it!) The first one, My Dear Sophy, came out last July and is the story, a “prequel” to Jane Austen’s Persuasion. It’s the tale of how the Admiral and Mrs Croft first meet. And boy, do I love me some British sailors! I will soon be working on the next book in what I hope will be a series of their adventures. I want Sophy to be like a female Horatio Hornblower. After all, she does not want to be in calm waters all her days!
My second novel, which just came out last month, is a clean Regency romance (meaning no sex) called The Wrong Woman. The story centers on Isobel Masters, a plump heroine who thinks she’s on the shelf at the age of 29. Miles Shepherd, Baron of Revere and reluctant hero, is the one who has saddled her with a devastating and damaging nickname. The story is about forgiveness and finding true love in unexpected places. I also hope to work on the next story in this series very soon.
At the moment, I’m working on a short erotica story that I hope to have up on my own blog or here on Teatime Romance by the end of the month. It will be my first attempt at writing what I call “sexy sex”. You all will have to tell me how it goes…
In the meantime, as has become tradition here at TxR, I will take a gander at the six questions.
Why do you write romance?
I truly believe that all of life is romance. I fall in love with people and animals and sunrises and fictional characters at least 20 times a day! One of my favorite poster slogans from the ‘60s (I’m a hippie at heart) is “It’s world that makes the love go ‘round.” So I write romance to explore love of all kinds. Plus, I am a sucker for a happily ever after.
What was the first romance novel you ever read?
Does Anne of Green Gables count? L.M. Montgomery first made me fall in love with the romance of language, with nature, with Anne, and, of course, with a charming boy named Gilbert Blythe. (Fun fact: I actually had a stuffed animal puppy named “Gil.”) Anne and Gilbert are the first couple I can remember falling in love with myself. I voraciously read all of their stories. Anne still gets a read about once a year…
Your house is on fire. Which five romance novels do you grab on your way out?
My romance tastes tend toward the classics… so I will have to say Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Georgette Heyer’s Venetia, Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, and, since I’ll probably need to dive into a long and involved book, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander (can I cheat and bring the whole series?).
What is your secret passion?
Well, thanks to Twitter, I’m pretty sure I don’t have ANY secrets anymore… but if I had to choose, I would say James Bond movies. I love the cars and gadgets. I love to watch him kick ass, even though I am a non-violent person in my own life. For me, James Bond is perfect escapism.
And tattoos. They are another passion of mine. I have eight at the moment, including a couple Beatles’ lyrics and a line from The Great Gatsby. So yeah, nerdy, hippie tattoos are definitely a passion 🙂
Is there anything in your book that comes from personal experience?
Well, if I’m going to give the author answer: everything in my books comes from personal experience! I live through the emotions of each of my characters. I have to be careful of writing certain scenes in public places as I’m liable to be a blubbering mess by the end. The things they think and feel are things that I’ve thought and felt. And though I’ve never been in Isobel’s place falling down the stairs at her debut ball like in The Wrong Woman, I’ve had the same kind of feeling of embarrassment and feeling like everyone is watching you.
But I know that’s not what you’re looking for, so hmm… The experience of being an older sister to two rambunctious and rowdy younger brothers, like Sophia Wentworth is to Frederick and Edward in my first novel, My Dear Sophy. That all comes STRAIGHT from my big sister experience.
I also honor my best friends with names in my book. My best girlfriends Meg and Vanessa got bit parts in My Dear Sophy and I named Isobel’s sister Catherine after my own dearest mother.
What is your favorite kind of tea, and how do you drink it?
I am a sucker for chai. In any form. Starbucks Iced Chai Latte is about to be my drink of choice as the summer weather moves in!
So… did you make it this far? Well done!
Here’s the payoff: leave a comment below telling me WHY YOU LOVE ROMANCE AND/OR TEA and I will enter you in a giveaway for an ebook copy (any format) of my new book, The Wrong Woman! Next Saturday, April 27, I will choose 2 random winners!