Friday, September 19, 2014

Blog Hop

Heather Moore tagged me in a blog hop--Here's the link to her post:

Heather's probably one of the most savvy and talented and humble people I know. I love her historical books, but I love her contemporary romance even more. 
And maybe my very favorite thing she does is the Timeless Romance Anthologies. 
They are TO DIE FOR! You can get them on kindle for just pennies, and they're short, romantic stories, all clean and all yummy and heart melty and just about the greatest thing ever. My favorite thing is to read them in the bath. Each one is about bath length. Or if you have a little time before dinner, or at soccer practice, or whenever you just want to fall in love and sigh, and have your heartbeat flutter, but don't have time for an entire novel.

That being said, it brings me to the first question:

1. What are you working on?
It seems that during the last few weeks, I've gotten in a little over my head. I'm about 2/3 done with the Jamaican book that's in the Regency line for Covenant. I like it a lot. It's a little grittier than anything I've done before, but it is touching and there are funny parts, and I love the relationships with some of the secondary characters, which I think makes it richer. Plus, it's a cool setting at an interesting time--Pirates, Slavery, Warships, Sugar Plantation. All fascinating. 

My other publisher, The Wild Rose Press and I are working on edits for the very first book I wrote The Sheik's Ruby. It's a contemporary romance, and even though it's been years since I finished it, I still adore the story. Editing takes forever with some editors, and we'll see--I think it will probably come out next Spring. 

And...Heather asked me to write a story for the Anthology that comes out April 2015--California Dreaming. It will be a contemporary, which I love, and I could not be more thrilled about it.

2. How does your work differ from others in the same genre?
This question is tricky. I think with my Regencies, I try to incorporate as much history as possible, maybe too much, because I'm sort of nerdy. I know it's a turn off to some people who just want to read about balls and peerage and London Seasons, but I like the historical part. I'm not sure if that makes my books unique. I'm certainly not the only person to write Historical Fiction. I like to make sure there's humor--also not unique--and, set each book in a different location in the British Empire. Which is a double-edged sword, because there's a TON of research that goes into each one, but I like readers to feel like they took a trip to a new place, and they learned something new. 

3. Why do you write what you do?
I write Romance, because I like to read it. And of course I love the history. I think that everyone wonders what it would be like to live in a different time and place, and wonder what they'd be like. I guess there are a lot of other, less awesome reasons. I'd love to just say I write what's in my heart, but that's not entirely true. I also write what my publisher thinks will sell which sucks out some of the magic, doesn't it? And I sometimes write because I don't want to show up at Critique Group with nothing to read. And there are times when I do it because I promised to get it done. But once in awhile, a new idea is pushing inside me and I have to let it out before my brain explodes. That's my favorite reason to write what I do, because sometimes I have to.

4. How does your writing process work?
I usually start with a trickle of an idea--a setting, usually--then read a lot. I probably read nearly 50 books as research for each one I write. Some about the history, the setting, novels set in the place, during the time, some involving characters similar to the ones I'm trying to create, some with similar tropes or story lines. And I keep reading them the entire time I'm working on the book, and kind of immerse myself in it. I started working on this Jamaica book in February, and a sprained wrist, son leaving for a mission, and all sorts of other things have slowed me down, and so I keep finding more and more books that relate to the story and read as I go. I have an outline, which is just a jumping off point. The story always takes a different route, and I get feedback every step of the way, revise, adjust, and keep trudging through. I try to do 5000 words a week, but some weeks I do a lot more and some, a lot less. Once I know where the story is going and understand my characters, I can go faster.

Up next on the Blog Hop is Cindy Anderson who writes fun Christian Romance--Rom/Com. I love her and I love her stories. So, click on over and see what Cindy is doing.