Our Husband is dearest to my heart because it was my first single title romance and the most challenging book to write of my career.
I’ve always wondered about this, but as an author, once your books are published, do you actually go back and read them yourself, and if so, are you able to enjoy them, or do you perhaps see things that make you want to chew your own arm off in frustration? (grin).
I read them when I have time and surprisingly, I do enjoy them because my memory is so short, I can truly read them as if they’re someone else’s book.
Has anything a reviewer or reader said or written about you changed the way you write?
No, that can paralyze a writer. For my current book, In Deep Voodoo, between the two most prominent review magazines, one reviewer said my heroine was ditzy and the secondary characters saved the day, the second reviewer said they loved my heroine, and could have done without the secondary characters. As a writer, what can you do with that? Nothing but get back to work.
Earlier this year, RWA attempted to try to define romance, and it caused a bit of a furore round the blogosphere, due to the limitations of the definitions. What were your thoughts on this at the time, and do you think it’s possible/necessary to define romance in a way that doesn’t exclude other sub-genres?
RWA has to be careful about what they define/include as romance because then the writers of those sub-genres (such as gay romances, for example, or erotica) will demand their own categories in the RITA contest, advertising space in the official RWA publications, etc. It’s a slippery slope because RWA has to balance inclusion with their budget/resources for fulfilling the needs of their entire membership.
When was the last time you went overseas and where did you go?
I was in Germany for three weeks in May/June—beautiful!
Who are your favourite romance hero and heroine of all time?
Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice.
What kind of characters would you say you typically wrote?
Mostly I write morally good, smart women who find themselves in extraordinary situations, pitted against reluctant heroes.
If only one person could read your book, who would that be? (as in the person who you would want most to read your book)
Since this is hypothetical, I’ll put the impossible out there: my aunt who turned me onto reading romance novels passed away six months before my first book came out; if I could have any one person read my books, it would be my aunt Fonda, God rest her soul.
If you had to pick, who would you say has been most influential within the romance genre?
Not a person, here, but a publisher: Avon Books. I’m not saying this because they are one of my publishers, but because it was Avon that really put romance novels on the map in the 1980s.
What was the last movie you saw?
Just Like Heaven, with Reece Withersoon and Mark Rufalo—great flick!
Name your top five favourite romantic films.
Pride & Prejudice (the A&E version with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle)
Sense & Sensibility
While You Were Sleeping
13 Going on 30 (unexpectedly cute)
Good Will Hunting
What was the last book you read, and did you enjoy it?
The last book I read was Hollis Gillespie’s Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch, and I loved every sentence.
Have you ever written a book that you didn’t particularly care for, and do you cringe if you see people picking it up to read it?
LOL!! None of them make me cringe, but there was one book that I wrote for Harlequin called Two Sexy! that the production date was moved up on me and I had to get it in way earlier than I’d planned. I always wished I’d had more time to develop the characters in that book.
That’s on my TBR pile actually, I got it absolutely ages ago, I think it’s a Blaze title?
What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
Working on my own schedule.
What do you least enjoy about being a writer?
No one respects my work schedule!
As you’ve been there, done it, and have the badge to prove it, what is the number one advice that would you give to aspiring writers out there?
Join a national writing organization for the genre/area in which you want to write, connect with local writers who are writing what you are, and get into a critique group of 2-3 writers to meet with once a week to exchange work.
Since all authors are readers, too, do you have any books you've especially enjoyed over the last year or so that you'd like to recommend to readers who've enjoyed your books?
Look for anything by Beth Ciotta.
Finally, when’s your next book due out, and what’s it about?
My next book is Body Movers, from Mira books, the first book in a new sexy mystery series! The heroine works at Neiman Marcus by day and helps her brother move bodies from crime scenes by night. Three delectable heroes—how will she ever choose? Look for it in trade paperback in August 2006.
Ooh, what an original plot device!! I may just have to check that out!
Thanks so much for taking the time out to answer these very nosy questions!
You’re so, so welcome!
Well that’s all folks, Lisa Valdez’s interview wont be up for another couple of weeks, but don’t worry, we’ll have some great authors in the hot seat in the meantime!
Ciao for now!