by Caren Crane
I am very excited to welcome a brilliant new Regency historical star to the Bandit Lair, Deb Marlowe! Deb was the winner of the 2007 Golden Heart for short historical romance with The Lost Jewel. But before she even donned her lovely Golden Heart necklace, she sold her 2005 Royal Ascot-winning manuscript to Harlequin Mills & Boon. That manuscript was released in November 2007 in the UK and has its US release today as Scandalous Lord, Rebellious Miss.
Deb, congratulations on your US debut! Many of us here in the Lair have eagerly awaited the arrival of this book! What can you tell us about Scandalous Lord, Rebellious Miss and the wicked Lord Dayle?
Ah, the Wicked Lord Dayle! I do love him so. :-) In point of fact, Charles Alden, Viscount Dayle USED to be wicked. As Scandalous Lord, Rebellious Miss begins, he is actually a rake reformed.
Charles's days of pranks and peccadilloes ended with the deaths of his brother and father. Now he is working hard to pursue a political career, but someone seems determined to use his old antics against him. Charles decides that the only way to live down the wickedness of his past is to secure the dullness of his future. He determines to find a bride, and only the primmest and most proper will do.
Prim and proper, eh? Sounds like a recipe for conflict! I take it your heroine is not exactly a buttoned-up Regency miss?
Oh, no! Sophia Westby is Charles's childhood friend and she has as little use for English society as it has for her. Fate has brought her to London and she is determined to become known as a designer. While she is thrilled to run into Charles again--literally--she despises his new stiff-rumped demeanor and longs for rake's return.
Oh, my, I love Sophia already! Don't we all long for the rake inside our responsible men? And I know a number of Banditas are fans of the friends-turned lover hook, as well. *g* A designer is quite an unusual occupation for a Regency miss. How did you decide on that one for Sophia?
Because it gave me the perfect excuse to travel to England to see fabulous Great Houses up close and personal? Hee hee, not really, although I did do just that. Truthfully, I love people who have goals, interests and passions. I wanted my heroine to be that sort of woman.
In the Regency, technological advances were making interior design possible for all sorts of homeowners for the first time. I had so much fun delving into the subject and seeing how the important events and charismatic personalities of the time influenced furniture and decor.
Ooh, a tour of the Great Houses - how fun! We were just discussing extreme research over at Romance Novel TV last week. Sounds as if you sacrifice greatly for the sake of research. *g* I understand your Golden Heart winner, The Lost Jewel will be released in the UK in March as An Improper Aristocrat. Did you get to do any extreme research for that one?
I wish! That story is a rollicking adventure taking us from the tombs in Egypt's Valley of the Kings through Devonshire and into London. I would have dearly loved to explore Seti's tomb, the gorgeous coasts of Devon, or even the British Museum! Alas, the months when I was working on that story were filled with such excitement as packing school lunches and waiting in the carpool lane, rather than international travel. I have to say, I'm feeling the itch of the travel bug again. Now, if only the exchange rates would cooperate!
Ah, yes, the glamorous life of a writer, another favorite Bandits topic! Working around home and family is always a challenge. With your two releases timed so close together, you give the appearance of sudden success. Could you tell us about your road to publication? We do love a call story!
Sudden success? Is there such a thing in publishing? I suppose there is, but not here! I loved books and history when I was young. I had a friend who used to tell me I should be a writer. But practical considerations prevailed and I went into the medical field instead. It wasn't until my first child was born that I began to write. He had health issues that led me to stay home, and I started writing during nap times. I didn't get really serious until his health was finally settled and the younger one was in preschool. I began to concentrate on my writing, found fabulous critique partners and writing friends. I submitted, got rejected, and whined to said critique partners and writing friends. :-) Then I did it all again.
Finally, one day I was walking out the door to get the kids to school and my dh said, "There's an email here you'd better read." It was from an editor at Harlequin Mills and Boon who asked if she could call later that day. I jumped up and down, cried, then calmly answered in the affirmative. I took the kids, came back and paced the house for two hours, until the phone rang and a voice with the loveliest British accent said, "We've read your book. We love it. We want to buy it."
Miraculously, I did not faint. I held it together, accepted the offer, and then came a wild flurry of phone calls to dh and critique partners and writing friends! Much celebrating ensued! I'm still celebrating, to tell the truth, although everyone else might be sick of it. :-)
Well, we certainly aren't tired of it here! We love success, especially when it comes to lovely people like you. Speaking of transitioning to the writer's life, how has being a full-time romance writer been accepted by your non-writing friends? Have any reactions to your success surprised you?
Hmmm. I would say a lot of them were surprised when I made the decision to pursue this full time. When my youngest went to kindergarten I heard a lot of "When are you going back to work?" Shock was often the reaction when I answered with "I'm not." Even when I sold, some were happy and interested, but still uncertain, mostly because many people do not understand the way that publishing works. But I've had a blast educating them and I think that career changes are becoming more common and accepted. My dh has been wonderfully supportive and has graciously handled the ribbing and all the questions about whether he inspires the spicy scenes I write! I'm very happy, because I love Romance, love the message it sends, and I'm thrilled with my new career.
Deb, thank you for being with us today. Readers, be sure to check out Deb's website or click on the cover and order Scandalous Lord, Rebellious Miss today!
So, readers, have you decided on your dream career? Do you want to be a designer like Sophia, a writer like Deb, or maybe a professional cruiser like Aunty Cindy? Please share! A lucky commenter will receive a copy of Scandalous Lord, Rebellious Miss.