I write historical romance and my current series is called The Wild Quartet. Set in the just-pre-Regency (1800ish), the background is four wild boys who got kicked out of Oxford and generally behaved like irresponsible, over-privileged frat boys. My books look at what happens ten years later when three of the guys, and the widow of the fourth, have to face the consequences of their crazy youth.
LADY WINDERMERE’S LOVER (out tomorrow) is the third in the series. Damian, Earl of Windermere, was the first of the group to "reform." He gambled away his estate at the age of twenty-one and, disgusted with himself, he became a stick-in-the-mud diplomat and dumped his friends. Unlike them, he needs to loosen up again.
To win back his estate, he marries heiress Cynthia whom he resents and treats badly. After a year abroad he means to make something of his marriage. But shy and dowdy Cynthia has bloomed in his absence. She is also apparently having an affair with Damian’s former best friend, the Duke of Denford. Just to complicate matters, Damian’s government job requires him to reconcile with Denford at the same time he is trying to win back his wife.
The uptight hero who looses his stuffing is one of my favorite tropes, though I have to say Damian brought a couple of things back from Persia that prove unconventional aids to spousal seduction. Cynthia is a sweet and well-intentioned heroine with a backbone of steel.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Being hopeless at celebrities, I had to ask my daughter the answer to this question. She tells me that the movie will star Teresa Palmer and Henry Cavill.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
I’ve decided I suffer from two kinds of writer’s block. One is general paralysis and quite likely laziness on my part. I have to write myself out of it. I start by setting a timer for an hour or even half an hour, telling myself I can stop then. Usually it kicks start my motivation and at the very least I have a couple of hundred words down. The other kind is when I am in mid-book and, for no apparent reason, I don’t want to write a particular section. I have learned to respect my own resistance because usually it means there’s something wrong with the way I’ve planned it. Taking a good look at the scene often makes me see the change I need to make and I can go forward again.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
I like good reviews better than bad reviews, LOL. Seriously, I am thrilled when any reader takes the time and trouble to review my books and they have the right to say anything they want. I also try not to read the bad ones!
How do you relax?
Being the world’s idlest person, relaxing is not a problem for me. I am always ready to eat, drink, read, and watch cooking shows instead of whatever productive tasks beckons. I can ignore a beckon like nobody’s business. The only time I get really keyed up is when I’m on deadline. Then I find long walks and Xanax help.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
Nora Roberts -- "I can fix a bad page. I can't fix a blank page."
What is your favorite book?
Gah! Such a hard question. OK, Pride and Prejudice.
Who is your favorite author?
Judging the space occupied on my bookshelves, Dorothy Dunnett, Georgette Heyer and Loretta Chase are in a dead heat.
What is your favorite movie?
Star Wars or You’ve Got Mail.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Oscar Wilde because he was devastatingly witty and also, by all accounts, a genuinely kind and vulnerable man. Also Shakespeare because I have so many questions.
What is the most interesting trip you have ever taken?
A tour of English stately homes that has given me a ton of inspiration for my books.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
I’m in denial about it.
White wine or red? White
Coffee or tea? Coffee!!!!
Cook dinner or order take-out/delivery? Cook
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Vanilla
Pancakes or eggs? Eggs
Sleep in or get up early? Sleep in
Laptop or desktop for writing? Laptop
Thanks for inviting me on The Timeless Quills, ladies. Those "best" questions were rough. I’d like readers to tell me their favorite book, writer, or movie. I’ll send one commenter a copy of THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED, the first in my Wild Quartet series.
By the way, I love hearing from readers. Please join me on Facebook, Twitter, or contact me through my website.