Monday, August 27, 2007

Lorraine Heath, guest blogger

Interviewed by Suzanne Welsh

RITA Winner and NYT best-selling author, Lorraine Heath joins the Romance Bandits in the Banditas Lair today. Lorraine’s newest historical romance, Just Wicked Enough, recently received a 4-1/2 star review from Romantic Times Magazine and will be on the shelves at your local book stores tomorrow. Today, she’s here to give us a sneak peek at Just Wicked Enough and talk about writing both historicals and Young Adult (YA). Congratulations, Lorraine on the great review and welcome to our lair.

Your stories always bring your readers wonderful alpha males in need of the right heroine to love. Can you tell us about the hero and heroine in Just Wicked Enough?
Michael Tremayne, the Marquess of Falconridge, stole my heart the moment I met him. He’s extremely proud (what male isn’t, right?) and in dire financial straits. In A Duke of Her Own, he watched his best friend court a wealthy American heiress only to end up with the penniless chaperone. Michael hasn’t the time to waste courting a woman when the outcome is questionable, so he decides to hold a private auction with all the American fathers. He’ll marry the daughter of the man willing to arrange the best settlement.

Kate Rose has a secret in her past that makes her more than willing to agree to marry Falconridge if for no other reason it’ll get her out of her overbearing mother’s house. But Kate also believes strongly in love and courtship so before she’ll consummate the marriage, she insists that Falconridge earn her love. And since her father has given control over the money to her, my poor hero—who had hoped to avoid courtship—finds himself dancing to her tune.

Kate seems to be one of those headstrong Americans you love to incorporate in your books. How does she feel about her father essentially buying her a husband with a title?
When she finds out, she’s furious . . . but since it was a private auction and neither man wants to confess what he’s done, it’s a while before she learns that Falconridge didn’t approach her parents and ask for her hand in marriage.

You originally wrote Western historical romances, which garnered you your RITA award. Was it hard to change from Western settings to books set primarily in England?
It was difficult in that I had to do a lot of research because life was so very different in London than in Texas. Clothing, food, to a degree etiquette, all different. But I’d always wanted to write a story set in England, so part of the reason that I brought the second sons of English lords to Texas in my Rogues in Texas series was so that I could begin researching England and getting comfortable with the differences when a story wasn’t completely dependent upon a vast knowledge of English ways. So the Rogues in Texas became exactly what I’d hoped they would—a stepping stone to writing stories set in England.

If you had the chance is there another time or place you’d like to take your readers to with your historicals?
Actually, I wrote three medievals before I was ever published and I’ll admit that lately I’ve been considering dusting them off and seeing if they have any potential. Although I suspect in truth I’ll find that they’re simply awful.

You’ve ventured into contemporary romances with Hard Lovin’ Man and Smooth Talkin’ Stranger. Are there plans for more of those stories in your future?
I would like to write more contemporaries, have worked on a couple of stories actually, but I’m just not entirely comfortable with my contemporary voice and I’m not sure I’ve managed to figure out how to create that “big book” feel that you really need to be successful with contemporaries.

Our blog readers may not know this, but you also write YA stories under the name Rachel Hawthorne. Want to tell us about your latest YA release, The Boyfriend League?
The Boyfriend League was a lot of fun to write. DH and I had gone to watch the McKinney Marshals play. They’re a collegiate team—college players move to the city during the summer, stay with host families, and play baseball. It was family appreciation night and they recognized the families who had provided homes to the players—and I immediately envisioned a teenage girl desperate for a boyfriend who talks her parents into hosting a player so she can get up close and personal with the players. Came home from the game, sat down at my computer, wrote the synopsis, pitched—so to speak—the story to my editor, and she loved it. I had my fictitious Ragland Raiders play actual teams in the North Texas Collegiate League. Although I’ve heard that the league may disband after this year.

If you read the excerpt for this book posted at my website, you'll discover that Michael believes he has only to guess Kate's favorite color in order to prove that he knows her well enough to be invited into her bed. His misguided belief provides some of the lighter moments in the story. What one thing does a man need to know about you to prove that he truly knows the real you?

One lucky commenter will receive an autographed copy of JUST WICKED ENOUGH along with a JUST WICKED ENOUGH mug!


Keira Soleore said...

Lorraine, a hello to you here chez Banditas and also at Romance Novel TV. It's so much fun to have this opportunity to chat with you in different forums.

I really, really hope you'll dust off your medievals and send them in. There simply aren't enough medievals out there, and I'm always on the lookout for good ones. Besides, this is the first National in years when they've said historicals of all time periods are "in." :)

Anna Campbell said...

Lorraine, you'll think I'm stalking you as I've been talking to you over at Romance Novel TV! Welcome to the Banditas. I hope you'll come back often. A wild Texan like you is always welcome with we wayward women here ;-)

Lorraine and I bonded as the driver of our bus wandered round and round Dallas a few weeks ago trying to find the way to Plano. Clearly, he was from Australia! Still, I can't say I minded as the company I was in was riveting!

The new book sounds great. I love marriage of convenience stories that blossom into passionate love stories. I'm sure it will be another bestseller!

Helen said...

Lorraine you are an auto buy author for me I have read many of your books and have loved them all I have even been shopping around second hand bookstores and have a couple of you older out of print books in my TBR pile Texas Glory and Always To Remember. I love the way you mix Americans and the English Peerage the sensual joining of two wonderful people from different nations love your work. What does a man really need to know about me to truly know me what makes me smile . Great interview thanks Guys.BTW I love medievals as well dust them off.
Have Fun

KimW said...

Good morning, Lorraine! Just Wicked Enough sounds really good. Congratulations on the great review. I love to read all types of historicals but medieval romance holds a special place for me since that's how I got hooked on romance many years ago. I still love it today. I say dust those off, too. Do you feel the pressure? lol Whatever your write I'm sure will be at the top of the list of reader's favorites.

Caren Crane said...

To prove he knows the real me, a man needs to know what is most important to me and that I absolutely require independence. Not sure my dh has resolved himself to all that. *g*

Your new book sounds wonderful. Can't wait to pick it up! And I'm with Keira and Helen and Kim W - I love medievals! Should you venture over that way, we would follow!

Buffie said...

Hi Lorraine!! Imagine my surprise when I found you here today. I'm sure I'll be chatting with you quite a bit over at Romance Novel TV too!!!

I am so happy to hear that you have written medievals and are considering brushing them off!!! Medievals are my first love, and there just are not enough of them around, IMO.

Sounds like Falconridge has his work cut out for him! And isn't it just a like a man to think everything can be all tied up in a neat little bow with money??!!!

Can't wait to buy your book!

AndreaW said...

Hi Lorraine!

I'm stalking you, too, from RNtv to here. LOL

As you know, I've read JWE and absolutely loved it! I laughed so hard when Michael would just blurt out a color to Kate out of the blue. I could just see the look on Kate's face. Hilarious! Thanks for writing another keeper!

And I agree, I hope you'll dust off those medievals. If it's written by you, I'll buy it! ;)


lorraine-heath said...

Sorry to be late, guys! I got caught up in a login loop. Couldn't remember my password so it kept asking me to reset it.

But I'm here now and thank you so much for the warm welcome! It's truly a pleasure to be here. What a lovely site and blog you have going. I've been lurking since Suz asked me to be a guest. You really have some interesting posts. And it's so wonderful to see the support you give each other.

Hi, Anna! The bus trip was an adventure wasn't it? Maybe it's just me, but I really expect the driver of a chartered bus to know his way around the city and how to get from point A to point B. But I did enjoy visiting with you.

I can't wait for your next book. It sounds so good!

And all you romance novel tvers! Great to see you over here as well.

After all your encouragement, ladies, I may have to dust off those medievals after all.


Joan said...

The new book sounds great. I love reading books about England. I read your Rogues of Texas series and loved each one. Looking forward to reading your new book. Please send your medievals in. Would love to read them.

ChristyJan said...

Hi Lorraine,

I just wanted to drop by and let you know how much I enjoy your books. Congrats on this latest release (I just love the cover) I hope you'll be writing many more books in this Rogues and Roses Series.

Trish Milburn aka Tricia Mills said...

Lorraine, I've enjoyed your western historicals, and your YA sounds wonderful. I'm a YA author too, so that's the frame of mind I'm in now. Thanks for hanging out with us Banditas today.

I have to agree with Caren -- a guy would have to know what's important to me (i.e. including my dreams) and that I'm independent. Luckily, my hubby does. :)

Kirsten said...

Lorraine, thanks so much for being here, and I hope you'll excuse us if we bump into a few doors while you're here (all those stars in our eyes, you know, from looking your direction). I don't think it's an exaggeration to say you're an all time favorite for many of us. You paint such detailed pictures of the people and places you write about. How have you managed to do this in such diverse genres?

Thanks again for being here and for writing such wonderful books!

Karen H in NC said...

Hi Lorraine,

I love the theme of JWE; leave it to an American woman to knock an arrogant English Lord off his self-made lofty pedestal! Can't wait to get my hands on this book...and would love to have a nice JWE coffee mug in my hands too!

seton said...

I am fourthing and fifthing everyone's request for you to dust off your medievals. I would be curious to see how you approach such a different time period.

I like the premise of Just Wicked Enough. It sounds like the Consuela Vanderbuilt story but with a happier ending.

seton said...

Oh, and there is not just one simple answer that would get me in bed with a guy ;-)

TracyG said...

Hi Lorraine! Just like all the ladies here, I would love to read your medievals. Good luck with JLE - I'll be at my local bookstore in the morning looking for it.

My man would have to know when I want to cuddle and when I want to be left alone - and my dh is getting pretty good at reading my mind. lol

lorraine-heath said...

Joan: Thanks so much for enjoying the Rogues of Texas. When I started writing that series, I was hoping to show that I could write an English hero because I did want to write some English-set stories.

Christy: The cover is awesome, isn't it? I was thrilled when I saw it.

Kirsten wrote: Thank you for the compliment. I do focus on one book at a time. When I'm writing historical, my research books for that setting/time period are surrounding me so I can pick one up and look for pictures/phrases to take me into that period and when I'm writing YA, I have teen mags spread over my desk.

KarenH: If you don't win the mug--and you really want one--they are available at cafepress. You can go to my website for the link. But winning them is more fun.

Seton: Yes, I read the Consuelo Vanderbilt autobiography, The Glitter and the Gold. An excellent book for understanding the American obession with the nobility at the time plus it paints such a vivid portrait of the era.

Trish: I saw that you'd sold the YA. Congratulations! The YA market is thriving right now. It's a great time to be writing YA. When will your book be released?

And speaking of releases, TracyG, can't wait for the release of A Touch of Texas-even though I've read it, can't wait to hold the actual book in my hands.

tetewa said...

Lorraine, nice to see you here today! Looking forward to your new release and what a man really needs to know about me is how to bring me up when I'm feeling down.

BethRe said...

Hi Lorraine followed your here from your yahoo group

Suzanne Welsh said...

Wow, Y'all have been busy!

Again, welcome to the Bandit Lair, Lorraine. I have to tell you how much I love the cover of JWE. It's subtley sexy. Or is that an oxymoron? But I think it really makes a person want to grab it off the shelf.

And Joan would love Medievals, that's closer to her favorite time period to write about...ancient ROME!!

A wave to Ms. Garrett...soon to have new book out!

Cassondra said...

Hi Lorraine,

Thanks for joining us in the Bandit lair!

I'm intrigued by your premise and the cover of JWE is lovely! I love the way you "eased" into the England setting in the way you've described. What a brilliant way to approach it.

Your comment about not being certain you've hit your voice in contemporary is interesting to me. Along with your angst about your medievals. (I do hope you'll do us all a favor and let those see the light again. And yes, I'm a contemporary writer with historicals simmering and a boat load of research anxiety ;0) )

You've certainly hit your stride voice-wise with the genre you're writing in presently. How did you know when that happened? Did it feel somehow different from what you were writing before? And is it that same sense of confidence you're after with the contemporaries?

It's so interesting to see writers cross sub-genres and how they handle the vagaries of that crossing.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Oops, forgot...

A man would have to understand how indepedent and intelligent I am, yet have a good idea when I need to be held. He'd also have to know I have a passion for music.

And I imagine Michael will be in and out of Kate's good graces a few times before he learns her special desires! Wish I could get a copy today...hate waiting until Wed!!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Lorraine! Great to have you in the Bandit Lair. Congrats on the YA. I too love the concept of JWE. And love the idea of the mug too! :> Wow, the medivals sound great as well. I really enjoyed the interview - Thanks! As to what a man would have to know? When to back off and let me do something on my own and when to back me up all the way. As several others have said, luckily, I'm married to such a man! :>

TracyG said...

Lorraine wrote: And speaking of releases, TracyG, can't wait for the release of A Touch of Texas-

Thank you so much, Lorraine! Only five more weeks - I can hardly wait, myself.

As to your contemporary voice, I LOVED Hard Lovin' Man. More, please. :D

peggy said...

lorraine heath.
thank you for writing historal
romance books.i love your writting
when i see your name on a book
i buy it.i no im going to get my moneys worth.i just cant wait to read your new book.

Nancy said...

Lorraine, I'm with Helen. I'll buy any and everything you write -- always!

What would a man need to know about me? A lot of things, but a biggie is being able to order my "regular" at Starbucks!

Wonderful blog, and thanks to the Romance Bandits for inviting you!


Donna MacMeans said...

Lorraine -

Oh no! The book I'm currently writing is a marriage of convenience story with the rich American heiress and a British Duke. Yup - read Glitter and Gold as well. Guess I'll need to dig deep and find a fun twist for my characters.

Love your title and premise of both books. I'm anxious to pick them up off the shelves.

Oh - and the man of my dreams had to understand that if done correctly, humor is foreplay.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, great to see so many new faces in the Bandita lair. Come back and see us, y'all (hmm, Aussie doing Southern? Doesn't quite work, does it, mates?).

Lorraine, thanks for saying that about my next book!

Strange you mention The Glitter and the Gold. I picked that up many years ago not expecting much - I was sharing a house with a friend of mine who had inherited her grandmother's collection of books and said grandmother only read biographies. But I'd run out of things to read, so I picked up this dusty book and then was hooked. Part of my courtesan fascination stems from this book - do you remember when she went to Monte Carlo before she got married and saw the last of the grandes horizontales dazzling that glamorous crowd? It was an utterly alien world to my suburban world in Brisbane. So I'm always grateful to the grandmother who only read stuff that was 'true'!

lorraine-heath said...

Bethre: Thanks for dropping by!

Suz: Yes, I think it is subtle but sexy, which is why I really like it. Just a hint there is going to be some mischief going on. I don't know that it necessarily looks historical, though. We'll see how it sells.

Cassondra: Thanks for the welcome. Actually, years ago, when I was newly published, I'd pitched an English-set story and the editor wanted Texas-set stories from me, and indicated that I didn't know the English culture well enough to write it . . . so bringing the second sons of English lords to Texas allowed me to have a safety net while I tested the waters with my English knowledge.

I think I knew I'd hit my stride with historical voice when the historical sold. I'd written the medievals, toyed with a couple of contemporaries so when I began to write the Texas-set book, it just seemed to flow better. Could have been a result of all the "practice" before that moment. But I just seemed to really fall into the time period, the moment when I was writing it.

Tracy: I keep hoping to find time to write another contemporary. I think I'd prefer to write the entire story rather than trying to sell it on proposal, so I know where I'm going with it. I have one that I've been trying to make work for a few years now and it's calling to me again, so maybe this time will be the time.

Peggy and Nancy: Thank you so much for the kind words about stories. Readers are so special, giving our characters a home in their hearts.

The writer/reader partnership is so important. I really appreciate you.

Donna: Keep working on your story! They say that you can give two writers the same idea and they'll write two entirely different stories--the characters, the little twists, the author's voice--it gives us a different read.

Anna: Don't you love to find treasures on someone else's bookshelf? Another book you might enjoy is The Disastrous Mrs. Weldon. She had an absolutely fascinating life as a very independent and scandalous woman during her era.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Lorraine, thanks for telling me about Mrs Weldon. I'll see if I can find it. I hadn't heard of that one. Another one of the grandmother's books that I really enjoyed was The Rainbow and The Rose, which was Lady Diana Cooper's autobiography. I was a great fan of Upstairs, Downstairs at the time and I realized they'd plundered this book for Georgiana's story during World War I. As you say, plundering someone else's bookcase and finding gold is wonderful!

jenneB said...

I've loved your heroes with their flaws as well as their strengths. I look forward to getting to know Michael Tremayne as well.

I've been married forever, and there are still things we don't really know about each other. But I guess we'll just keep learning year after year.

Can't wait to read JWE.

goddess2574 said...

Lorraine, I so enjoy your books and enjoyed the interview. I am one of the mass here when I say, dust off the medievals!! I have something in common with helen as I too have a few of your Out of Print books and am searching as we speak for the finish of the series the Leigh Brothers. Help!!! My sissy is wanting your new release, and asked if I had ever read any of your book? DUH!?!?! So I am going to make a Lorraine Heath reader out of her by letting her BORROW some of your books that I have , with my name in them of course, LOL Thank you for giving this reader some wonderful stories, and am really looking forward to this next release Just Wicked Enough!!!

Beth said...

Welcome to the Bandit lair, Lorraine! So glad you're here with us *g*

JWE sounds wonderful and the cover is gorgeous! Love the excerpt on your website as well :-)

My husband knows how stubborn I am and he knows when to fight that stubbornness and when to just let me do what I've set my mind to. Guess that proves he truly knows me *g*

Thanks for the great interview!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Snorting over your comment, "Tracy: I keep hoping to find time to write another contemporary," since I know your schedule, or lack there of...I swear you write, morning, noon and night!

How easy is it for you to flip from the adult historical voice to the teen YA voice? I raised two daughters and to this day am not sure I ever spoke teen to them.

lorraine-heath said...

Suz: I think the fact that I write adult historical in 3rd person and teen YA in 1st helps me switch voices more easily.

Anna: I will have to look for The Rainbow and the Rose.

All: I'm not sure when you all sign off for the day. I want to thank you for the warm welcome, for making today so much fun, for all your kind words, and for sharing what a man needs to know about you. I've really enjoyed visiting here.

Anna Campbell said...

Lorraine, thanks for visiting. It's been a hoot. Oh, and I just ordered the Weldon book from Amazon, thanks to a friend's birthday present voucher (thanks, Vanessa!). Sounds like it's right up my alley. I, you see, live in an alley. Unlike the wonderful Keira, who dwells in marble halls... ;-)

Anyway, getting back to relevant stuff, come back and see us! You're welcome any time!

Joan said...

BANDITA Joan popping in late (and waving to the other Joan madly....can't have too many Joan's in my opinion LOL.

Lorraine, thanks so much for stopping by. Your books sound fantastic.

A man would have to respect my independent streak, squish spiders make me laugh and know that I am...


jo robertson said...

Lorraine, welcome to Bandita Land! Your new book sounds great!

Bottom line, a man has to know what makes me laugh and what doesn't. I think men and women approach humor very differently.

Trish Milburn aka Tricia Mills said...

I'm late responding back, Lorraine. Been neck-deep in revisions on another project today.

Thanks for the congrats. My YA, I believe, is going to be out sometime in 2009. Nothing has been decided for sure yet.

Bookstoredeb said...

Hi Banditas! Big thanks to Joan for inviting me to check out your blog. It is wonderful and I hope to investigate it further a little later on.

Lorraine, I have adored and collected your books for years, ever since I read my first one. I'd gladly buy whatever you wrote!

I was glad to learn about your YA books. I'll have to suggest them to our bookstore owner.

I was so glad to see you had a new historical coming out for Sept. I featured your book as one of the ones in this months Romance Previews that I do for our store website. We always carry your books and I can't wait to get back to work this week and pick up my copy!

Keep up the great work here ladies! I'll be stopping by again soon!

Joan said...

Hi Deb!

Welcome to Romance Bandits! I'm so glad you had a moment to stop by.

Deb, ya'll, is the romance manager at The Bookstore in Radcliff, KY. (Close to Fort Knox).

I met her last year in Atlanta and we've attended and participated in several booksignings since then. I'm telling you, her booksignings are so energizing, so enthusiastic you cannot believe. Any author coming through KY should sign at The Bookstore.

Bookstoredeb said...

Thanks so much for the welcome Joan and for the kind words.

I love doing the book signings and always glad to have authors visit with us! Come on down anytime!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, small world! Hello, Bookstore Deb! Would you believe I just parcelled up some stuff for you for your next big booksigning? Thanks for coming by! And thanks so much for all your support for the romance genre.

Kimberly L said...

Congrats on your latest release. I say that a man needs to know that I need to be myself and try not to change me.

Caren Crane said...

Bookstoredeb, you have to know that Bandita Joan is always trying to lure us to KY with things like muffins and scones. We are susceptible! No doubt we will all make it to your store eventually! (though we may need to buy bigger pants...)

CrystalG said...

Hi Lorraine. I love your books. The cover to your new book is gorgeous.

Debbie said...

Hi Joan, Anna . Thanks for the good words about the signings and for sending the goodies! I do hope lots of authors and readers join us!

Caren I do hope you can come visit with us!

We are having a huge signing in Oct and everyone is welcome.