Historical romance author Theresa Romain has joined us today to answer five questions about herself, and her stories, that you probably don’t know. Her newest novel, Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress, debuts on January 6th, and her holiday story, A Season for Desire, is out in stores now!
1) How do you pick the names of your Heroes/Heroines? I write Regency-set historical romance, so I need to make sure my characters have names that existed (or plausibly could have existed) in the early 1800s. One way I find names is through contemporary novels—that is, contemporary to the Regency! If a book was written during or before the 1810s, then the characters’ names are ok for the Regency. I also like to skim the names in the crew credits of British-made movies. I’ve come across some surnames I’d never have thought up on my own.
2) Do you celebrate when you finish a book and what you do? Of course I celebrate! I use finishing a book as an excuse not to make dinner, even though I’ve usually been playing the deadline card for the same reason. One of my favorite celebrations is for Mr. R to pick up my favorite takeout on his way home. Then he and I and our daughter watch a movie together, stress- and guilt-free, and I sleep like a drugged person that night. The next day, I start catching up on email, paperwork, and cleaning. That might not sound super-exciting, but I really love being organized. So it’s relaxing for me to get organized, no matter how temporarily.
3) Since romance authors always write about falling in love, when and how did you discover you were in love? Honestly, I didn’t think about it when I was dating my future husband, because I had decided I was NOT going to say the l-word first. But then came a date when Mr. R admitted that he “more than liked me.” He sort of side-eyed me to see if I’d flip out, and when I didn’t, he said he loved me. Out popped my own reply: “I love you, too.” Upon which he told me he didn’t want me to say it just because he had, and I realized that I hadn’t. That I had, in fact, meant every one of those four words.
So there you go. I didn’t discover a thing. Love sneaked up, then jumped out and surprised me.
4) Where do you go for inspiration when the creativity well is running a little dry? I tend to seek out books and movies that don’t seem to have anything to do with writing historical romance. I really enjoy documentaries about how random stuff is made, or Food Network competitions (Chopped! Cutthroat Kitchen!). And I that’s when I pick up nonfiction books that have nothing to do with Regency history. Anything in the Malcolm Gladwell or Bill Bryson vein—bring on the recommendations!
5) What is the most embarrassing song/app on your ipod? I’m pretty unembarrassable when it comes to music by other people; the music library on my computer includes everything from Leadbelly to Lady Gaga. But I would crumple with humiliation if anyone listened to the carols I recorded with the GarageBand software program about 10 years ago. For some reason I thought my grandparents needed a Christmas CD of me singing. In hindsight, I really doubt I was correct about that.
You can find Theresa on her website, or cruising the internet on Twitter and Facebook…
USA Today bestselling author Christi Caldwell is here today to tell us five things about herself we probably don’t know. Christi published her first Regency romance just a few years ago, and they have quickly gained in popularity. Her most recent release is For Love of the Duke, and just look at this cover!
1) Do you celebrate when you finish a book and what you do? I sleep! As a mom to a really, really energetic six-year old and twin 10-month-old babies, my days are spent between mommying and writing. I reward myself by curling up for a good nap while my hubby steps in to man the house!
2) Where is the strangest place a story idea came to you from? The birth of my latest book, “For Love of the Duke”, may not be the strangest but kinda funny in how it came to be. I live in an old raised ranch in Southern Connecticut; a house that’s freezing in the winter and sweltering in the summer. During one particularly awful heat wave, I was climbing into bed around midnight after a day of writing. I was so incredibly hot…I’d recently come across research on the Frost Fair. I just closed my eyes and then bam…my heroine crashed through the Frozen Thames. I climbed out of bed and barely stopped to breathe for the next 3 weeks while I told the story.
3) If you could have only 3 electrical appliances in your house, what would they be and why? Well, having been the unfortunate victim of appliances ganging up and plotting their demise all at once…I can say for certain:
- A dishwasher. Mine recently went giving me a whole new appreciation for the dishwasher. I don’t think I ever want to wash another baby bottle by hand. Make it double with twins and oi vei!
- My washing machine. Really, what did people before washing machines? No, really, what did they do? Mine broke and my house looked like a Shell Silverstein poem with all the clothes lying about.
- My dryer. Because let’s face it, when you try and air dry…ALL your clothes, it’s really not the same. At all.
4) If you were not writing, what job would you have? My other second full-time job would be my career of choice—Stay-at-home Mommy! My journey to motherhood was not an easy one and it gave me an amazing appreciation for the miracle of children…there’s no more beautiful job…but also, no more difficult one, either!
5) If you could choose any 3 people in history to meet, who would they be? Oh, as a former history teacher, this is a fun one! Let’s see, first Marie Antoinette. I’m so fascinated by her tragic, unexpected ascension to the throne…a title, by ranking of her birth she never should have wedded into. One of those twists of fate. Bad Boy Alexander Hamilton. I love the romanticism of the story surrounding his illegitimacy and his heroic role in the American Revolution. And I’m a sucker for golden-blonde hair! And last, I’d love a sit down with Henry VIII just so I could have the pleasure of telling him how the whole who-decides-a-babies-gender thing to him! Though, I’m sure ‘blaming’ a king for his lack of sons wouldn’t have earned me any favors!
You can find Christi on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. Thanks for stopping by today!
Today I welcome Megan Mulry to the blog! Megan is a USA Today bestselling author of both contemporary and historical romance, her newest book Roulette just out a few weeks ago. She’s come to share with us five things you probably don’t know about her…
1) What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done? The easy answer is probably skydiving, but I think publishing a book feels far more daring and heartstopping. If the chute hadn’t opened, it would have been kind of a one-off; you know what I mean? *splat* But publishing a book—nowadays with e-books especially—it is like being in free-fall, well, FOREVER. That’s why I write fairly quickly and fairly prolifically: if I stop too long to think about all the dangers, I will never jump out of that airplane…or publish the next book. (In related news: Dare to suck.)
2) What’s your strongest/most productive writing habit? I don’t know if it’s a habit or mindset, but something clicked when I first saw this video by Maureen Johnson, aptly titled: DARE TO SUCK. I had always held myself up to these imaginary standards of greatness—which were really nothing more than self-defeating hurdles that stopped me from writing. So every day I write and write and let the words flow and try to silence the inner critic. There is a time and a place for polishing one’s work, don’t get me wrong! As Miranda Neville once told me, “That’s what editors are for.”
3) If you could be a superhero, who would you choose and why? Wonder Woman, duh. The jet. The belt. The rope. The rack. The polyamorous real life creators.She’s a win-win-win-win. Win.
4) Where is the strangest place a story idea came to you from? Most recently, from Mira Lyn Kelly, author of steamy/snarky contemporaries like Truth or Dare, and a good friend.Not that she is strange lol, but she occasionally makes up strange writing prompts for me. Between big projects, especially when I am awaiting developmental edits and don’t want to get too deep into another story, I like to do little sprints—all I need is a name and an occupation and off I go. One of Mira’s writing prompts was “Jerome the Furrier.” Initially, I pictured a 19th-century American story with a French trapper or something. Then I thought, NO! He is the head of some super high-end haute couture House of Fur in Paris…and he is naughty! (Working title was Venus in Fur, of course).And then I started writing Michaela, his Russian corporate nemesis…and then she became Miki, my half-French/half-Russian heroine. The little seed was planted and I couldn’t stop writing about these two. Slight hiccup when I started researching the fur industry and got grossed out by all the rodent carcasses at the pelt factories—so I switched them to a different industry that would still involve France and Russia and ended up making him a playboy publishing magnate, and her the owner of Russian paper mills and timber holdings… and that became Roulette! Thank you Mira Lin!
5) Did you have a nickname growing up? Meegie-moo. My older sister and my mother still call me that sometimes. (Don’t even think about it.)
Thanks for having me visit your blog, Elizabeth! I’d love to give away a signed copy of Roulette to a commenter who is willing to share an embarrassing nickname or an occasion in which they have dared to suck!
You can find Megan on her website, Facebook, and Twitter.
People always say this is one of their favorites–with Felicity Langley being one of my most beloved heroines. Yet her story would not have been told without some help. So on this Throwback Thursday, let me introduce you to some of the books that helped me write Love Letters from a Duke:
The London Encyclopedia, ed. by Ben Weinreb and Christopher Hibbert. This is one of my favorite books to have within reach while I am writing a book set in London.
Names through the Ages, by Teresa Norman. I love the way this book divides names into centuries so you can pick names by generations.
City of Sin, London in Pursuit of Pleasure by Giles Emerson. A detailed book on the various amusements and pursuits of Londoners, including a small section on Frost Fairs.
The A to Z of Regency London. A reprint of Richard Horwood’s maps, it gives you a street by street, property by property look at London. When Felicity goes shopping for thread, I used this map to guide her steps, as well as my own when I toured London while researching this book.
If you haven’t read Love Letters from a Duke, you can take a sneak peek inside here, or order a copy today. Felicity Langley, beloved busybody that she is, would approve.
USA Today bestselling author of smart, sassy Regency romances, Erin Knightley, is joining us on the blog today. She’s here to reveal five things we probably don’t know about her…
1) Did you have a nickname growing up? Believe it or not, my brother used to always call me Bushy-haired Cavewoman. Charming, no? LOL – it wasn’t until high school that I discovered hair product. Hilariously enough, when my sister was tracing our ancestry, we discovered that we are descendants of Captain John Stuart, whose Cherokee name was Bushyhead. Seriously!
2) How do you pick the names of your Heroes/Heroines? Last time, it was by committee! Sometimes I go to Facebook and ask my readers for help, other times a name just immediately comes to me, and still other times I rake through the old census data from the 1800s to find the perfect fit.
3) Since romance authors always write about falling in love, when and how did you discover you were in love? My husband and I met when we were sixteen! As high school sweethearts, all my romantic memories are with him, which I love. Although he wasn’t my first kiss, I was his! I’ll never forget sitting in the car in my parent’s driveway during a summer storm, the air warm and humid as Sweet Home Alabama played on the radio in the background. That was the day we both said “I love you!” for the first time.
4) What are your top three favorite movies? Love Actually (swoon!), Like Water For Chocolate (even with the subtitles), and Apollo 13.
5) What is the most embarrassing song/app on your ipod? I’m the only person I know who doesn’t listen to music! I have a whopping 10 songs on my iPhone – all of which were composed by my brother, Andy McLeroy. Oh! And The Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feelin'” which I used to create the world’s most embarrassing video for the day my first novel debuted.
You can find Erin on her website, Facebook page, or on Twitter!