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Let's start with some writing related questions...
Tell us about your book...
Lady Vivian Defies a Duke is a total overhaul of the first book I ever wrote. After multiple revisions of my first story, I was nearly babbling in a corner and ready to name the dust bunnies taking over the house. The madness had to stop! I liked the overall concept of the story—an arranged marriage between two people who have never met—but it just didn’t work as it was. I decided to toss the whole manuscript and start over with a blank screen. Now I love it!
THE NAKED TRUTH
Lady Vivian Worth knows perfectly well how to behave like a lady. But observing proper manners when no one is around to impress is just silly. Why shouldn’t she strip down to her chemise for a swim? When her betrothed arrives to finally meet her, Vivi will act every inch the lady—demure, polite, compliant. Everything her brother has promised the man. But until then, she’s going to enjoy her freedom…
A REVEALING DISCOVERY
Luke Forest, the newly named Duke of Foxhaven, wants nothing to do with his inheritance—or the bride who comes with it. He wants adventure and excitement, like the enchanting water nymph he’s just stumbled across. When he discovers the skinny-dipping minx is his intended, he reconsiders his plan to find Lady Vivian another husband. Because the idea of this vivacious woman in the arms of another man might be enough to drive him insane—or to the altar.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
I picture Henry Cavill as Luke and a young Goldie Hawn as Vivian. I can pick and choose from any time period, right? If not, then I’ll go with Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers) for Vivian. I would definitely need someone who can pull off comedy.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
I’m a list maker, so here’s my list of things I try when I’m struggling with a story:
Brainstorm with my hubby.
Make outlines of where I think the story is going.
Think about what I need to accomplish in the scene I’m writing.
Make myself write while giving myself permission to write crap.
Take a shower. For some reason this helps when I’m stuck.
Take a break. Sometimes this works best because it takes the pressure off and the ideas begin to flow freely again.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
No author I know likes bad reviews, me included. But I’d rather have lots of reviews—good and bad—than only a few good ones. That means people are reading my books! Plus, bad reviews can give good information to other readers just like good ones can. What one person might not like about a story, I might love. For example, some readers hate a secondary love story and I love those kinds of books. I’d be more likely to buy the book if I know there’s a secondary love story. As an author, reviews help get me closer to finding the readers who are going to love my stories.
Now for some personal questions...
How do you relax?
Sometimes just stepping outside and breathing in fresh air calms me. I love to sit by the water and listen to the waves lap the shore. If I lived near the ocean, I’d sit on the beach every day.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
“This too shall pass.” I know it’s not a typical motivational phrase, but it helps me to remember I’ve made it through tough times in the past and survived. And it reassures me that I’ll make it through whatever is stressing me out in the present.
What is your favorite book?
It’s hard to pick just one favorite, but “I Know This Much is True” by Wally Lamb is definitely at the top of my list. It’s an intricate tale filled with emotion. I couldn’t put it down. But the best part is it’s a love story with a HEA.
Who is your favorite author?
Wow. Another hard question. I’ve read many talented authors, but I think I’ll go with the author who had the most impact on me when I was a teen: S.E. Hinton. She ripped out my heart and served it to me on a platter, but I still came back for more. I’d have a fan girl moment for sure if I ever met her.
What is your favorite movie?
May I add an “s” to movie? I loved “Gone with the Wind”, “Shawshank Redemption”, “Where the Heart is”, and “Silver-linings Playbook”. I could watch them again and again.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
I’d love to meet Jane Addams, the first real social worker. She experienced quite a few hardships in her early life, and she could have looked at the poverty around her and felt helpless to make a difference, but she didn’t. She opened a settlement house for children in Chicago in the late 1800s, educated the poor, gave speeches around the nation, tried to stop World War I, and wrote tons of books. She is a great example of how one person can make a difference.
Her dream was to make every child happy, which was perhaps a bit far-reaching, but can you imagine what a better place this world would be if every child grew up in a safe, loving environment? The impact would be phenomenal. It’s certainly a worthy dream to have.
White wine or red? Red
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Cook dinner or order take-out/delivery? Take-out
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Vanilla
Pancakes or eggs? Eggs
Sleep in or get up early? Sleep in, but I rarely do
Laptop or desktop for writing? Laptop
Thanks so much to the ladies at Timeless Quills for inviting me to be a guest. I love all of your work, so it’s an honor to hang out with you.
Aw, thank YOU, Samantha!
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Lady Vivian Defies a Duke...!