Right now I'm working on my new Playful Brides series! Every book in the series is based on a famous romp play. The Unexpected Duchess, the first book in the series, came out in May and is based on Cyrano de Bergerac. The second book, The Accidental Countess, will be out in October and is based on The Importance of Being Earnest, and the third book, The Unlikely Lady, will be out next spring and is based on Much Ado About Nothing. It's been so fun to write and I'm happy to report that The Unexpected Duchess is a 2014 Kirkus Prize nominee for fiction!
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
For the Unexpected Duchess, I picture Lucy and Derek as Kate Beckinsale and Henry Cavill. Both stunningly good-looking people, no? I think those two should be cast opposite each other sometime. Hollywood needs to get on that.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
This can be a controversial topic when a group of writers talk about it, but I have to say I don't believe in writer's block. I think your muse tends to show up when you sit in your chair to write. I do believe that anyone doing any job can go through rough periods in their lives that make it difficult to work and that's unfortunate. But just like you couldn't miss an office job for most personal reasons, when you're a working writer with contracts to fulfill, you don't necessarily have the luxury of taking time off. When I'm going through a hard time, I give myself a bit of room to think about things, and I try to be kind to myself, but ultimately I just get back to work.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
If I had a dime for every time I've been told (by other writers, family, and friends) not to read my reviews, I'd be rich! But I admit, I do read them. It's part of the fun and I have a pretty thick skin. While my reviews are overwhelmingly positive, I have gotten a few nuggets of good advice from some of the bad ones. The thing about reviews is, they're just one reader's personal opinion and everyone is entitled to her opinion. It's that simple. I'm enormously grateful to the people who take time out of their busy lives to review my books, either positively or negatively.
I don't do it often but I love to go to the spa and get a massage and a pedicure. Toss a strawberry cupcake and a nap on the end of that day, and I'm in heaven!
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
"Fall down seven times, stand up eight." This is a Japanese proverb I came across several years ago when I first started writing. It's perfect for writers who have to handle a lot of rejection but it's also solid advice for all of life's setbacks. I absolutely adore this phrase. It's posted in my office.
What is your favorite book?
It might be cliche for a Regency romance author to name one of Jane Austen's books but it's Emma. Emma is one of my favorite characters of all time.
If you weren't a writer, what would be your next choice of career?
I'm actually a technical editor at a software company by day and it's a career I've always greatly enjoyed. But if I had to pick a completely different one, I'd love to be a professional organizer. There's nothing I like better than throwing or giving away the old and cleaning up and organizing the new.
Who is your favorite author?
Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and Lisa Kleypas (You didn't think I could name just one, did you?)
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Any gentlewoman living during the Regency. I have so many questions to ask her! I often wonder if I had only five minutes which such a person, what would I ask first.
White wine or red? Beer
Coffee or tea? Coffee! I am obsessed with my new Keurig.
Cook dinner or order take-out/delivery? Take-out. I can barely spell the word 'cook'.
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Strawberry
Pancakes or eggs? Pancakes
Sleep in or get up early? Sleep in. I don't get morning people. Though I'm often up early, it's just that I never went to sleep. ; )
Laptop or desktop for writing? Laptop all the way.
I'd love to know from everyone, what's your favorite romance novel of all time and why? One commenter will win a copy of The Unexpected Duchess (print, U.S.-only, e-wherever available.)