My upcoming book, IT TAKES A SCANDAL (May 2014), is the second in a loosely knit series involving an erotic serial story called 50 Ways to Sin. Some of the marketing has called it the Regency 50 Shades of Grey, but really it's more like Fanny Hill, a popular erotic novel that was banned for obscenity as late as 1960. IT TAKES A SCANDAL is about an heiress, Abigail Weston, and the mysterious brooding man who lives next door. Sebastian Vane thinks he's lost just about everything: while he was away at war (where he was badly wounded) his father went mad and bankrupted his estate, then disappeared--leading to rumors that Sebastian killed him and turned to robbery to support himself. Abigail is the first person in years who looks past his ruined reputation and really sees him. And even though Sebastian knows he doesn't stand a chance of winning her, he's unable to resist the temptation of her company...especially not after he discovers her interest in 50 Ways to Sin...
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
I have no idea. I must not watch enough TV and movies.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
Oh dear. Well, I think a lot of it comes down to the characters. What would they do now, if they were as real as they are in my head? I play some mental games: what would this character do for fun? Why are they friends with this other character? What were they like as a child? Often thinking about them beyond the confines of the plot gives me ideas. The best time to do this is by taking a walk, or doing something physical (cleaning, baking, exercising, etc.) Talking out loud helps, especially since I can record it on my phone for later reference. Sometimes the block comes from what's going on in real life, though. Writing is my job and I take it very seriously, but I haven't figured out how to shut my personal life out of my head to write, and sometimes the personal stuff (good or bad) just needs my attention more. I think writers need to forgive themselves for taking time off to deal with real life when necessary. In those cases, I just admit that the book is going on hold if I'm not in the right state of mind to create anything worthwhile. It still percolates in the back of my mind, and usually is ready to burst out by the time I can write again.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
Good reviews, and the reviewers who write them, are awesome! :-) But all reviews are part of being an author. That doesn't mean I have to read them, or take them to heart even if I do. Occasionally a review will point out something I didn't realize or know, and I do make a note of any mistakes I made. But mostly reviews are opinion, a reflection of the reviewers more than anything, and you can't generalize from them.I just try to remember this: if people are reviewing my book, that means they are reading it and feeling strongly enough about it to go post a review. Just bear in mind that no one can please every reader or reviewer, so don't bother trying. Write the sort of book you love, so when someone posts a horrible slashing review of it somewhere, at least you can say, "It's the book I wanted to write, and I'm proud of it no matter what."
Ideally, in the hammock with a glass of something cold and a good book.
Who was your Greatest role model in helping you develop your career?
Hmm; not sure I have one. Julia Quinn went to the same college I did, and we even lived in the same dorm for a year, which really impressed me when I was starting to think about writing my own book: she did it, I could, too. I didn't try to model myself on her, but she was an inspiration for sure.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Tomorrow is another day (when I can revise the crap I wrote today and make it good)
What is your favorite book?
I don't have just one! My favorite romance novel is THEN CAME YOU by Lisa Kleypas, can I just say that?
Who is your favorite author?
I have to admit, this changes. And it varies depending on what kind of book I'm in the mood for. My favorite recent read was The Ruin of a Rogue by Miranda Neville.
What is your favorite movie?
Shakespeare in Love, for the way it shows an author throwing all sorts of everyday happenings into his work, and also for not always knowing exactly where a story is going to go. And also for Joseph Fiennes.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
It would be quite a kick to meet the Queen. Or Joseph Feinnes.
What is the most interesting trip you have ever taken?
When I was in high school I went on a study trip to Germany, including a week in Berlin. It was about 3 months before the Berlin Wall came down, so Berlin was still East and West, and we got to go to East Berlin for one day. It was so shockingly unlike my American life--bare shelves in stores, armed soldiers everywhere, and Germans who almost ran from our friendly greetings. We had to exchange a small amount of money when crossing the checkpoint, but there was nothing to spend it on except some snacks in a cafe (where the owners clearly wanted us to leave ASAP). We ended up leaving a stack of East German Marks on a park bench because we couldn't exchange it back and it was a crime to take it out of the country. And NO ONE was late getting back to the bus that day!
What was your most embarrassing moment?
If you were to ask my teenaged children, they would assure you these are too numerous to list in one blog.
White wine or red? Red! Unless it sparkles, then white.
Coffee or tea? Tea. I never learned to like coffee...
Cook dinner or order take-out/delivery? Mostly I cook, but I rarely say no to take-out.
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Can't we have both? With sprinkles on top? ;-)
Pancakes or eggs? Anything with bacon.
Sleep in or get up early? Sleep in--but thank to school schedules, my idea of sleeping in now is anything past 8 AM.
Laptop or desktop for writing? Depends on mood. But the couch is way more comfortable than my desk chair.