Tell us about your book(s)!
My books really reflect me (scary, lol). I’ve always been the black sheep (crazy girl) who is always looking in the opposite direction of where everyone else is looking and who, as a result, can’t stay out of trouble. Night of Pleasure, which is part of my School of Gallantry series, is about the charming Viscount Banfield who is smitten with his fiancée to the point of being stupid. The fact that it’s an arranged marriage lends a different angle. Instead of taking the route of an arranged marriage where the couple can’t stand each other, I took it to the other extreme. The hero adores his fiancée to the point of him not knowing what to do with himself. It made for a hilarious, quirky relationship. The heroine, Clementine Grey, is overwhelmed by all the attention and is usually the quiet girl who prefers to be independent. His extreme adoration helps her grow her own passions while teaching him something he never quite had: patience.
What holds together the series is a school led by a retired, elderly French courtesan who educates men in the topic of love and seduction. And yes, our hero gets schooled! I’m having a blast writing this series. I’m having so much fun, in fact, that I’ve decided to funnel this series into my upcoming Whipping Society Series that will further expand the world. While all of the books in the School of Gallantry Series can be read by themselves, what I love to do with my stories is create each book as a puzzle piece to better understand the world I’m creating. Each book you read expands your view of what you thought you knew. The books all overlap and some even happen at the same time (with flipped view points depending on the book your reading). The more you read, the more you’ll know about the world and each character.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
I would love to see me hero, Derek, Viscount Banfield, played by Jensen Ackles (from Supernatural) because he has that sexy, crazy, funny, playful, yet intense quality that is totally my hero. As for Clementine Henrietta Grey, I would love to see her played by Zooey Deschanel because she could totally pull off that overly serious yet innocent, awkward character that defines my heroine.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
I’ve never had writer’s block *knock on wood*. So I can’t really speak to this. BUT…I know what keeps me motivated and writing. Aside from my historical research that keeps sparks flying in my head, it all comes down to my husband, my kids and my friends. I get the most energy from the people I surround myself with. It means everything to me and keeps me motivated to do more and be more, which translates itself into my writing. Because you can’t write about life if you aren’t living it.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
I’m honored by all of them. Really. Because reviewers took the time to actually read my books. The good reviews enable me to believe more in myself as a writer and the bad ones challenge me to do even better. And that is what it’s all about. Growing and keeping the faith one book at a time.
How do you relax?
I have a small vacation home in Central Oregon that I always escape to whenever I need to relax. There is no internet and no cable. It’s amazing how quiet time away from the bustle of everyday life is the ultimate way to relax. I come back always feeling like I can take on the world.
Who was your Greatest role model in helping you develop your career?
Elizabeth Boyle. Even with her success, she always made time to talk to me and help me. That woman is not only amazingly funny and talented, but holds out her hand to those who need it.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
“When we are flat on our backs there is no way to look but up.” -Roger W. Babson
What is your favorite book?
House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
Who is your favorite author?
Edith Wharton. Her writing and the era she was writing in (turn of the century) inspired me to love history and the relationships and the drama it held.
What is your favorite movie?
Gosh, I can’t just pick one (tells you a lot about me). So I’m going to give you my top 5 movies in no particular order. They are: Amelie, Populaire, Secretary, Pillow Talk, and White (from the French Blue, White and Red trilogy). I own all of these movies and rewatch them ALL the time.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
I have a few people on that list but if I had to pick one, I’d say Edith Wharton. Her life and her way of thinking always fascinated me. By the time she was a teenager, she had read her father’s entire library (we’re talking hundreds of books) and divorced her no-good husband in an era when it was death to a woman’s entire social life if she even breathed the word. I see her as this bad-ass rebel of her time who did it in style (given she was wealthy, lol). I would have loved to have sat her down and just chatted with her about relationships and literature itself. Still waiting for someone to invent the time machine so I can actually do this *drumming fingers*
What is the most interesting trip you have ever taken?
Interesting is a matter of opinion, I guess. I’m quirky and a little crazy (ask my husband), so I would have to say the most interesting trip I’ve ever taken was actually to Paris. Not because of Paris itself (which was AMAZING) but because of all the research I was doing in Paris. I’m fascinated with sexual history in particular and am always dragging my husband to places he doesn’t really want to go (poor guy). The Sex Museum in Paris was amazing. They had calling cards from courtesans going back to the 1800s and other cool old mementos that I got to see up close and take pictures of and make notes on. Our trip went from interesting to fascinating when I started hunting down bordellos and the actual buildings they were in during my era (1830). It led us down awesome little pathways we normally wouldn’t have ventured into and some of the buildings were still in existence! I had so much fun getting to see standing history that is for the most part forgotten. So yes. Paris. (breathy sigh).
What was your most embarrassing moment?
Sadly, I’m one of those girls who has too many embarrassing moments to name. I get into trouble ALL the time. But I’ll pick one. It was at the Romantic Times Reader’s Convention. Apparently, there was a mortician convention going on in our same hotel that the reader’s conference was going on. I packed up a big box of promotional items to take up to my room. It was penis candy (I’m totally cheeky like that). So I carry this massive box that is labeled in big words PENIS CANDY (it’s the box it came in) onto the elevator. Five guys in suits (morticians) are all in the elevator waiting to go up. They look at the box labeled PENIS CANDY and stare. One guy even coughed and adjusted his suit. I’m usually one of those girls who doesn’t get red faced but this was SO out of the ordinary to have five professional morticians staring at a big box of my penis candy, I was not only embarrassed but I was inwardly DYING (pun intended). They all got off and one glanced back at me and smirked. The rebel in me wanted to yell, “Hey, don’t act like you’ve never seen a stiff one before!” but I was too “mortified” (oh the puns) to actually say it. So yes, that would be my most embarrassing moment…
White wine or red? Red (even though I rarely ever drink because I’m a total lightweight)
Coffee or tea? Tea (Green tea, please!)
Cook dinner or order take-out/delivery? Cook dinner! (With the husband and kids who makes it twice as fun and messy)
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? Pfff. Both!
Pancakes or eggs? Eggs (I’m a gluten free girl).
Sleep in or get up early? Get up early (I only sleep in when I’m sick).
Laptop or desktop for writing? Laptop (so I can take it anywhere with me).
Delilah will be giving away a $5 Amazon gift card. All you have to do to enter the contest is answer question: If you had to get stuck in a certain era for a year, which era would it be and why?