Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lorraine Heath's return to the Lair

by Suzanne Welsh

I first met Lorraine Heath through her book TEXAS DESTINY. The story of Houston and Amelia won my heart and had me looking for anything and everything by Ms. Heath. When I moved to Texas, imagine my surprise to discover she was a member of my local chapter. Over the years we've become friends, and I've gotten to enjoy more and more of her wonderful books.

Lorraine, welcome back to the Lair. We're always delighted when you come visit us. Pull up a chair and tell us about your newest book, IN BED WITH THE DEVIL, book one of The Scoundrels of St. James series.

Thanks so much. I'm thrilled to be here again. Love you Bandits.

"The Devil Earl", as Lucian Langdon is known, came into his title in a rather odd manner. Can you give us some details?

I'm not sure I can explain it better than Lucian does himself.

"They say my parents were murdered in the London streets by a gang of ruffians. I have no memory of it, yet it has always seemed to me that I should. After all, I was supposedly there, but only if I truly am who the world recognizes me to be. The Earl of Claybourne.

It's my eyes that convinced the old gent who called himself my grandfather that I was indeed his grandson. "You've got the Claybourne eyes," he'd said with conviction.

And I readily admit that looking into his was very much like looking into a mirror at my own, but still it seemed a rather trite thing upon which to base so grand a decision. I was fourteen at the time. Awaiting trial for committing murder. I must confess it was a rather fortuitous moment to be declared a future lord of the realm, as the judicial system was not opposed to hanging young lads who were considered troublesome."

Lucian is released into the old gent's care and his life changes dramatically, even though he doesn't believe he's the true heir.

You know I love gutsy heroines and Lady Catherine Mabry was such a strong foil against Lucian. She approaches Lucian with an unusual request. How does this surprise him, and how does he respond?

She is the only lady among the aristocracy who ever had the courage to hold his gaze, so when she shows up in his library, he's convinced she's come to seduce him. When he discovers she wants him to do away with someone, he's angry. He's spent years struggling with what he did at 14, and her request brings all his self-loathing to the forefront. He tells her, "Nothing that would cause me to kill a man simply because you wish him dead." Of course, when he discovers he needs help acquiring the one thing he wants most-Frannie Darling's hand in marriage-and Catherine can help him acquire it, a bargain is struck and Lady Catherine finds herself in bed with the devil on several levels. It's the reason I loved the title for this book. It works on different levels.

This book had many unique secondary characters, some of which may be familiar to readers from the Dickens novel, Oliver Twist. What made you decide to base IN BED WITH THE DEVIL on this classic?

I woke up one morning at 4:00 with these street scamps in my head wanting me to tell their stories. I went to my computer and wrote the prologue, very little of which has changed from the initial writing. As I began researching children and crime, I discovered that Charles Dickens lived near the rookeries and is believed to have spied on a Fagan-type character and his child thieves. I thought it would be fun to make my characters the ones upon whom Oliver Twist was based. I did a timeline to put them in the rookeries at the time that Dickens was working on Oliver Twist. His work is an incredible documentary of the rookery and criminal life.

Don't you just hate it when characters disturb a good night's sleep? (grinning) Are there plans to show more of these characters' stories to your readers?

Oh absolutely. BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND DESIRE, the second in The Scoundrels of St. James series, which will hit the stores in late December, is Jack Dodger's story. And Jack, of course, would be the Artful Dodger. During this time period, it was very easy to change identities. If you were caught for a crime, you just moved over to the next neighborhood and changed your name, so I had fun naming my characters. Jack's story is an Oliver Twist/Great Expectations combo in that he has an anonymous benefactor who is largely responsible for his success. The story I'm writing now is Frannie Darling's.

I'll be watching for BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND DESIRE. (Must remind kids to stuff my stocking with gift cards!) Jack will be a difficult hero to redeem, but as a good friend pointed out to me, if anyone can redeem the unredeemable, it's you. Was it difficult to find a heroine for him?

Bless your good friend! It was hard to find the right heroine for Jack. His story actually went through about three phases. Originally I thought the woman for him was someone down on her luck who came to his Gentlemen's Club willing to sell herself-and I saw him teaching her the ways of men and falling in love with her, determined to keep her for himself. Then I saw her as a reformer set on exposing his establishment and him for his wicked ways. But then as things go, I started writing his prologue - and when I got to the end of it, I realized money motivates Jack and he will do anything to acquire it. And the proper lady for him has never sinned in her life - but when fate has him moving into her house much to her objection, she'll discover that between the devil and desire the only choice is surrender.

You mentioned Dickens and his affinity for accurately displaying the rookeries and crime element in his writing. (lifts eyebrows in a questioning manner) Will he make an appearance in one of these books?

I won't promise, but I certainly wouldn't be surprised.

You also write Young Adult and had a new release hit the stores June 10. Can you tell us about it?

Under the name Rachel Hawthorne, I write romances for young adults. LABOR OF LOVE is the story of some teenagers who go to New Orleans to help with the rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Katrina. Our heroine, Dawn, had her heart broken by her cheating boyfriend and she wants a summer without boys. She and her friends go to see a psychic and her reading is:
"I hear hammering. You're trying to rebuild something. But be careful with the tools. You might get distracted and hurt yourself - more than hitting your thumb with a hammer. You could get very badly hurt. And worse, you could hurt others. Lots of people are around. It's hot and dirty. There's a guy . . . a red and white baseball cap. The cap has a logo on it. Chiefs. Kansas City Chiefs. I don't get a name, but he has a nice smile."

Of interest about this reading is that I was struggling with the story, thought it was boring, it wasn't going anywhere. I contacted my friend Nancy Haddock, author of La Vida Vampire, and said, "I'm thinking of sending my character to a psychic. How would a psychic reading go?" And Nancy said, "Just snatches of images, something like this," and she gave me the above. Suddenly everything fell into place. I chunked the whole story, opened it with the psychic reading and it pretty much wrote itself. It's wonderful to have friends who are writers and don't think any question is too odd to ask. But I also realized that it's important for writers to experience as much as possible. The past couple of years, I've thought more than once about getting a psychic reading, just for the fun of it. Who knew I'd ever want to use it in a book?

Oh, that sounds intriguing. Those glimpses can be interpreted in more than one way. Does your heroine end up questioning her actions throughout the story?

Absolutely. Her two friends also got a psychic reading and as things happen in the story, they're trying to determine if that was what the cryptic messages meant. And when things happen, it's like "Oh, no! That's what the psychic predicted." It was just fun to write.

Okay, this question is purely for my own nosiness. You write fairly different genres under different names, and have contracts with tight deadlines. Do you ever sleep? (I know you're often awake at the same middle-of-the-night hours I am.)

Sleep? What is this thing you call sleep? Seriously, butt in chair. If I write at least 10 pages a day, I can make my deadlines. Also, the boys are no longer at home; hubby works long hours, plus he takes care of the cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping (amazing how the hint of possible early retirement will motivate a man). Besides, right now there isn't anything I'd rather be doing. When I get into the story I get a little obsessed with finishing it.

Which brings me to a question for the Bandits and friends - how do you balance your life? I'll admit that I'll drop whatever I'm doing if one of my boys calls and wants to get together for lunch. Otherwise, I tend to lock myself in the writing zone.

Lorraine has offered a signed hot-off-the-presses copy of IN BED WITH THE DEVIL to one lucky commentor, so bring them on.


kimmyl said...

Hi Lorraine. Great interview and wanted you to know that I LOVE LOVE LOVE your books.
My life is never balanced. LOL I have two teenagers and when I'm stressed I usually have to go for a walk or I just take a long bath and read a book.
You know my friends used to tell me that a boy was harder to raise than a girl. But in my case it's the opposite. Do you guys have these problems. My daughter is just plain mouthy.

Anna Campbell said...

Kimmy, congratulations on the rooster! Perhaps he can get those teenagers into line! He's got all that experience with P226 to draw on now!

Anna Campbell said...

Lorraine, welcome, welcome, welcome! I've been so looking forward to your return visit. Suz, thanks so much for inviting the gorgeous Lorraine and asking her such wonderful questions.

Lorraine, the new books sound absolutely wonderful. By the way, did you know the guy Fagin was based on ended up getting transported to Australia? I wouldn't be surprised if the Artful Dodger ended up here either! There's a bit of larrikin in all of us!

Do you tend to work on one project at a time or do you spread your energies across a couple of different stories at one time? Where do you go to find inspiration?

flchen1 said...

Congrats on the GR, Kimmy! I'm not so sure about boys being harder than girls--my kids are still relatively young, but the girl definitely seems a bit more of a handful than the boys ;) My husband and I are quaking in our boots thinking of the challenges that lie in the years to come... Also, I think that ultimately each child is different, and some kids will feel easier at different times for different reasons than others. Books are lovely escapes though, aren't they? Best wishes to you!

Hi, Lorraine! Boy do you sound busy! I'm definitely intrigued by the sounds of your new series--how neat that you've drawn on some classic Dickens for inspiration too :)

As for balance, I don't think I've quite mastered that myself--for now, it's letting some things slide so that my mind doesn't completely desert me, too. Some weeks, it's laundry; with others, it's letting the kids watch a little more TV or not vacuuming... I'm not sure what this week's compromise will be yet ;)

jo robertson said...

Great interview, Suz and Lorraine!

Welcome back to the Lair, Lorraine. The Scoundrels of St. James series sounds delightful, especially the story of Lucian. I love a hero who's had a difficult early life and overcomes it.

Wahoo, another book to add to my TBR list.

jo robertson said...

Ah, Kimmy, forgot to say congrats on getting the rooster.

I have four sons and three daughters and I've found the girls much easier to raise. But the boys definitely have far less angst than the girls.

Natalie Hatch said...

This is something I'm trying to work out. I've got one year old boy/girl twins who are very demanding of attention, esp Twinling1 as he's teething with molars right now, so not much sleep. Mister 3yr old is trying to boss everyone around, two teenage step daughters round out our house into an all out war zone sometimes, and then hubby comes home and smiles asking me why did we have kids?
So I take the time whenever I can to write, at 1am or 4am, or 12 pm whenever and wherever I can get a spare moment, so far I've written 40,000 words+ in three weeks, I find little bits add up to great word totals, they're probably all going to be edited out when I redraft, but I'll get there.
I used to say I didn't have time to write, now I can only say I don't have the inclination not to. I need to get it out of my head so the characters stop ranting... (yeah my appointment with the psychologist is coming up soon I think *g*).

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Welcome back to the Lair, Lorraine!

HUGE THANX to Suz for luring...er, um inviting you! Pull up a cabana boy or 2 and we'll get you a tall cool whatever-it-is-you-want!

The Artful Dodger is one of my all time favorite characters so I can't wait to read his story. I'm curious also if you work on a YA and historical at the same time. Or do you work on one until it's done?

Super congrats on the GR, KimmyL. Hope he doesn't smell of chlorine after his day in Caren's pool. :-)

Jane said...

Welcome, Lorraine. I really enjoyed "A Matter of Temptation." I usually try to part of my evenings and weekends away from the computer and email. I'm very anal about checking my messages, but sometimes I realize that I can't enjoy my time off because I always coming back to the computer every hour. Shopping definitely helps me balance my life.

Congrats on the GR, Kimmy.

Annie West said...

Lorraine, now that excerpt about Lucien is a hook and a half! Wow! I'm really looking forward to picking up a copy now. Thanks so much for sharing with us. Am wondering if your 10 pages a day means 7 days a week. Feeling chuffed myself as I just made 11 on a new story and feel I deserve a night off.

Anna, hi! I heard about that Fagin character too - ending up in Tasmania and, I think going into business in Hobart. Interesting to think Dickens based some of his characters on real people!


Christine Wells said...

Hi Lorraine, welcome to the Lair and thanks to Suz for bringing you along! What a fantastic idea to base your stories on Dickens. They sound wonderful.

As for work/life balance, I still haven't worked it out. I have a 5yo and a 2yo and it's very busy.

Hi Kimmyl! Congrats on winning the Golden Rooster!

Margay said...

Hi, Lorraine, I just wanted to welcome you to the lair, as well. Isn't this place great? I absolutely love it here - you never know what you're going to get or who you're going to meet, but the experience is always memorable! Your new book series sounds very intriguing - it's one I will have to watch out for.

Carol said...

Kimmie Congrats on the Gr...Has he visited your house before?

Gosh Claybourne eyes! that is a great hook! I'm intrigued, another for my TBR folder.

Anna, a great bit of info to follow about Fagin.
A link here for Ikey Solomon, the Fagin character.

Last year our ABC TV had Bleak House... the progran was just wonderful, with Gillian Armstrong in it...also wonderful.
Cheers Carol

Maureen said...

Hi Lorraine,
I like the sound of this new series. It seems like it's been a little while since your last release. I will be looking for this new book.

Helen said...

Congrats kimmy have fun with him

Fantastic interview Lorraine and Suz. Lorraine you are an auto buy for me I love your stories they are so enthralling once I start one I don't want to put it down. I have even found some of your older books that are out of print and am really looking forward to reading them.
As for balance in my life I must read I have a fairly stressful job four adult children two grandchildren (that were here for dinner tonight) and another two on the way and all this keeps me very busy but I can always wind down with a great book and loose myself in a romatic adventure and I have got to say you have taken me on some wonderful ones thank you.
Have Fun

Helen said...

I have 2 girls and 1 boy and my son was always a handful and one of my daughters as well the eldest and the youngest both girls were just fantastic kids and still are but the middle two were always mouthy and in trouble although now that they are adults and my son is a father himself and the problem daughter is going to be a mother herself in December they truly are beautiful. The garandkids are treasures as well keep me running but adorable.
Have Fun

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Can't wait to get my hands on the new series Lorraine. It sounds like a winner from the get go.
Congrats on the GR Kimmyl. In my opinion girls are harder than boys. I have a 30 year old daughter and an 18 year old son. She just about had me whooped by the time he got here. And you are so right, she was just plain mouthy.

Caren Crane said...

Kimmyl, congrats on nabbing the Golden Rooster! What part of the world will he be playing in with you today? He may need a bath. The pool guy had shocked the pool yesterday and the GR was running about like, well, a chicken (but with head intact) and wouldn't let me rinse him off. He kept asking where the hot tub was and, sadly, we don't have one. Sorry if he looks a bit bleached!

Lorraine, welcome back! I have to say, your new series sounds wonderful. I love the dark, Dickensian view of Victorian England. I'm dying to get my hands on these St. James books. The thought of Dickens possibly making a cameo is so fun!

Also, I have two teenaged daughters, so Labor Of Love sounds right up their alley. Looks like I'll be heading to the bookstore. Or maybe I'll just use the handy click-throughs in your blog and let Amazon deliver them to my doorstep. Yes, in the 95-degree heat, that sounds more the thing.

Balance? What is this "life balance" I hear so much about? I generally just try to keep my head above water. When it seems like I will lost it completely, I go to the movies with my BFF or out with my writer friends. They are my sanity!

As to the boys vs. girls, I think it's more personalities, really. My son was HORRIBLE when he was young. IMO, of course. He never shut up! Then, as a teenager, he was equal parts wonderful and tremendously challenging. Now that he's grown, he's a treasure (though still a challenge, intellectually *g*). My daughters (now teenagers) are a bit mouthy, but my husband and I are always firmly in control of the reins. It's important to stay in control of the house, no matter how unpopular it makes you. My friends who have the worst trouble are the ones who give up and let the teens call the shots. Man, is that asking for trouble!

Hang in there, Kimml. It gets better!

Buffie said...

Hey Lorraine!!! It's so great to see you here. I too just love your books.

Balanced life? Is that even possible? I have two boys under the age of 10, both of which think they are already 30 years old!! There are always too many things to get done in a days time. I wish I didn't require but a couple hours of sleep. But on those days when the world is crowding in, I have to say all it takes is for my boys to come up, hug me and tell me they love me and the world seems to stop spinning -- at least for a couple minutes.

Eva S said...

Hi Lorraine, great interview. And a new book, it's something I've been waiting for! Lucian sounds like my kind of hero...Since I read As an Earl Desires and loved it I've got all your newer books and I'm trying to find the older ones too.

As for balance (if you don't count reading!) I simply take a walk, a short one will do, then I'm ready for everything again!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Congrats Kimmy on snagging the Golden Rooster for the day!

Lorraine's books are great, aren't they? And trust me when I tell you, this one will really hook you in!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Anna! How are things down-under this fine day?

I'm telling you, this Romance Bandit gig is a great thing! Not only do I get to hang with a great group of writers and our readers, but I get to interview some of my favorite authors.

When Lorraine asked me if I wanted an ARC to read of IN BED WITH THE DEVIL, I said, "duh, yes!!" And believe me when I say, I devoured it.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Jo! Waving wildly from my neck of the woods. (Still have to change out of my scrubs.)

It's always a pleasure to talk to Lorraine about her books. And sometimes I'll send her an e-mail about something in the middle of the night, expecting a reply in the morning, and five minutes later the reply pops up in my e-mail, so I know she writes all hours of the day and night.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Flechen. When my kids were little I figured we'd keep the clutter to a minimum and everyone with clean clothes and full tummies. Anything else was gravy!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Natalie, that is how I wrote when my kids were still at home. A few hours here, 30 minutes there. Add on top of that screwed up sleeping hours and a full time job...I'm happy with 20 pages in a week! But eventually it turns into a story. Keep plugging away, it will only get easier. :)

Suzanne Welsh said...

Pssst, Aunty Cindy, Dodger is one of my favorite charcters, too. Along with Pip from Great Expectations!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Jane! Glad to see you today.

Isn't the computer addictive. I have absoloutely not will power when it comes to checking my e-mail. I find myself getting up half way through my sleep to check and see if I have to answer anyone!!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Annie West!

I think Fegan would've made a very successful businessman in a new enviornment, don't you?

Beth said...

Welcome back to the lair, Lorraine! What a wonderful excerpt - I can't wait to read In Bed With the Devil *g*

I try to balance my life but between the kids, my writing, starting a new business with my husband and our extended families balance isn't always easy to find *g* But I love what I do so it's all worth it!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Madame!! I find it amazing you've written and published books with two small boys running around! I didn't start writing until my three were all well settled in school.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Margay! We love having you and all our blogging buddies here in the lair with us. We figure the more the merrier. (I just have to figure how to get Adrian Paul to volunteer to be my personal cabana boy, accent and long hair a must!)

Gannon Carr said...

Hi Lorraine! Excellent interview.

Is a balanced life possible?! I'm still striving for it, but I'm not sure I'll ever obtain it....well, maybe for brief moments.

With three children (15, 12, 8), my dh, two cats and two dogs, my life is crazy busy. My sanity saver is when I can have a few quiet hours with a good book. Ahhh! It is a necessity, and my family knows that if Mom's not happy, nobody's happy!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Carol! Glad to see you here again today! I missed that BBC version of Bleak House...dang it!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Maureen! Did you read Lorraine's last book, JUST WICKED ENOUGH? It came out last fall, and woooooooooooow!! was it good!

Cheri2628 said...

Your Scoundrels of St. James series sounds wonderful. I am especially looking forward to this first book. I enjoy stories in which the hero and/or heroine have to overcome a difficult past, and of course true love is the catalyst for the change in their lives.

terrio said...

Good morning, Lorraine. I found your Texas Trilogy long ago and love your writing. I'm desperately trying to win my copy of this latest on the benefit auction on the Eloisa James/Julia Quinn Bulletin Board. We'll see if I come out the winner in the end. LOL!

I had no idea you write YA as well. And I can answer that balance question with two words - I don't. LOL!

Congrats on the GR Kimmyl!

Louisa Cornell said...

I am afraid La Campbell is overly optimistic, Kimmy. The GR is far more likely to lead your teens into more mischief, not less!!

Loud SQUEEEEE! And another Fan Girl moment here. I LOVE Lorraine's books! Great interview Suzanne and you are so right. JUST WICKED ENOUGH was fabulous and a real sizzler!

This new series sounds awesome. That intro to Lucian was a hook and a half!

Balance? What's balance? (By the way, Lorraine, your workload makes me TIRED!)

The best thing about this last year and my decision to take that leap into writing is that it has given me a reason to find balance in my life. Since my husband's death (almost 15 years ago) I have gone through life at full bore and running from one thing to another. I had let whatever job I was working control my life.

So now, I still work a 40 plus hour a week job managing the bakery, but I have taken control of all of the other aspects of my life so that I can maximize my writing time.

For me, that means LISTS! I make lists of my lists. Of course that could just be a way to keep my serious case of CRS at bay. (Can't Remember Squat)

I am a member of an online critique group and a small critique group here in the little town where I live. I take online writing classes when I can. I read Regency research books on breaks and at lunch at work. I read research books three days a week and try to make headway on my TBR pile four days a week.

In addition to all of that I am the caregiver (I can't say owner as these animals own ME, not the other way around!) for four rescued cats and nine rescued dogs. That requires time for loving, walking, scooping dog runs, baths, vet visits, feeding, and watering.

What do I do to relax? Read romance novels, of course! Come to Mama, Lucian!

Louisa Cornell said...

Oh and Lorraine, I have to ask this question while the Banditas snicker. What are your favorite research books?

And I had no idea that Dickens studied real people on which to base his characters. How cool is that!

Lorraine said...

Good morning Bandits and friends! You all got an early start. I have to apologize for coming late to the party. I misplaced my password and had a heck of a time figuring things out.

I'm thrilled to be here again. The welcome is always so warm.

Kimmy: Thanks for loving my books! Wish I had some advice for dealing with mouthy teens. I did find that they got less mouthy when they left home.

Anna: You're so sweet to think I'm gorgeous. It'll go to my head. Interesting about Fagin. For research, I read this wonderful book called "Fagin's Children" - it was such an interesting dark time.

I tend to work on one project at a time. I find it easier to focus that way. Although I will jot down ideas that come to me for the next story. As for inspiration--where does it come from? I think with the historicals it comes from an old picture; I saw a sketch of mudlarks (children picking through the muddy banks of the Thames for bits to sell) and I think that might have prompted the dream about my scoundrels. But who knows?

flchen: Yes, it was fun playing what if with Dickens' characters.

Jo: I love heroes who have to overcome hardship. I'll also admit that Lady Catherine Mabry may be one of my favorite heroines. She challenges him so much.

Loucinda: I get a cabana boy? Think I'll have to go with Henry Cavill. Have you all been watching The Tudors? Cavill plays Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. Oh, is he hot!

Oh, and I work on 1 book at a time. The voice for my YA is so different from the voice for my historical that I'd probably get lost writing them at the same time.

jennybrat said...

Hi Lorraine, interesting idea to base the story on Oliver Twist. If you could visit any location in any time period, which would you choose and why?

Lorraine said...

Hi, Jane! So glad you enjoyed A Matter of Temptation. Shopping sounds like a great balancer.

Annie: Yes! My 10 pages a day includes 7 days a week. Congrats on hitting 11. I have a friend who stops when she hits her page count, but I tend to keep going. While 10 pages is my goal, I tend to focus more on finishing scenes. Like I need to get this scene and this scene written.

Carol: Thanks for the link for Ikey Solomon. I'll have to check that out.

Hi, Maureen. The good news is that the first two books of this series will come out fairly closely together: July, then January, so readers won't have to wait too long.

Helen: Thank you so much. I hope you'll enjoy the older books as well. I love the way you balance your life. And enjoy the grandchildren.

Dianna: 6 days, 14 hours to go and you can have your hands on the first book. I have a countdown counter on my website.

Caren: Thanks for the welcome. I love the dark Victorian era, too. It's just filled with opportunities for stories.

Hi, Buffie! Great to see you here. Yes, young boys can keep you hopping! My older son used to bring me rocks (instead of flowers). One day I sent him to daycare in shorts without pockets, so he put the rocks in his socks and walked around on them all day. I was so touched, but felt badly as well. Never bought him any clothes without pockets after that. I keep the rocks in a little vase in my office.

Eva: I really enjoyed writing Lucian's story. He is a scoundrel but as Catherine discovers he has a strange honesty about him.

Beth: Thanks for the welcome back to the lair. A longer excerpt is on my website. I also have a book trailer there to intrigue you more. :)

Lorraine said...

Hey, Suz! Thanks so much for inviting me back and for the terrific questions you asked. I think you sleep about as much as I do. I don't know how you do all that you do--but you do it all so well.

You're definitely on my list of people to get an ARC - you do such a terrific job of handselling books.

Nancy said...

Hi Suz, Lorraine and Banditas!

I've read every book Lorriane has written, and I'll continue to read every book she ever, EVER writes. She is a marvelous stroyteller, and an incredible friend!

I'm also in awe at how much Lorraine gets done in a day - and keep asking what vitamins she takes. :)

(Oh, and thanks for the plug, darlin'. Not necessary, but typical of you to be so gracious!)

No need to put me in the drawing. I'm just thrilled to be able to pop in on the blog before my company comes in.

Nancy Haddock

M. said...

fascinating concept, to base a currently-told tale on this well-known classic. the things authors come up with! and it would be so much fun to encounter dickens somewhere in future pages, it seems to have been done a fair bit with jane austen and mr. darcy, but dickens would be (as far as i know) a new one!

CrystalGB said...

Hi Lorraine. Great interview. I love your books. I don't think my life is ever balanced. Family comes first and every thing else I get to when I can.

Caroline Clemmons said...

I can't wait to read this new series. I've loved all your books, and save them to reread again and again. These next two sound as if they will become favorites. Good luck with them! In addition to being a great writer, you are always so kind to help other writers, you deserve all your success.

Trish Milburn said...

Hey, Lorraine! So good to see you here. Your new books sound great. And you know I love YA, so I'll look for your newest when I go out this afternoon.

I'm doing pretty much the same thing with the two names/duel deadlines thing, and I'm immensely grateful that I can write full time. I have my wonderful hubby to thank for that. Also, I don't have kiddos, so that's not something that takes up my time.

Had to laugh at your "hot" comment about Henry Cavill. I was trying to imagine you saying it in person and having a hard time doing that. :)

acdaisy95 said...

Welcome Lorraine - Great interview! Looking forward to reading your books.

Esri Rose said...

Wow, what a fabulous premise! Thanks for introducing me to this author!

terrio said...

I had to go look up Henry Cavill as I don't get to watch the Tudors. He played the son in The Count of Monte Christo. Man, he grew up well. LOL!

Nice choice, Lorraine!

MsHellion said...

Now that is a title!!! I love it!! And I love the name Lucian.

How do I balance? Sometimes I cook something. I think cooking is relaxing...and has that food payoff in the end. And go out with my friends...lunch or a matinée movie. And I have to work in the gym, mainly because if I don't I'll absolutely croak...so really the gym is more a MUST DO...but since it's neither work nor writing, it seems like an extracurricular activity. :)

I also like to go to museums--and I adore the St Louis City Museum, which is more a play-palace than a place full of old stuff to look at.

Lorraine said...

Hi, Cheri! Yes, it's all about true love. Where would be without it?

Louisa! Squeeeeing back at you! I love you readers! And I love your acronym CRS - I'm going to have to remember that. I've written it down.

My favorite research books include "Daily Life in Victorian England" by Sally Mitchell (I really like this one because she breaks it down by economic/social class so you can see the differences in lives); Fagin's Children by Jeannie Duckworth; The Victorian Underworld by Donald Thomas; Pickpockets, Beggars and Ratcatchers (Life in the Victorian Underworld) by Kellow Chesney; and To Marry an English Lord by Gail MacColl and Carol McD. Wallace

Lorraine said...

Oh, and Louisa, yes on Dickens using real people. He lived only a few blocks from where he set Oliver Twist.

Jeanmarie Hamilton said...

Hi Lorraine,
I'm so looking forward to reading your next book. I've enjoyed all your books.
Ten to eleven pages a day is a lot to write. You must take some breaks, right?


Lorraine said...

Hello, Jenny. If I could visit any location, would go with London 1851. Would love to have seen the Great Exhibition in person.

Nancy! You're a dear to visit with us when I know you have company about to knock on your door at any moment.

M.: Well, Dickens almost showed up in In Bed With the Devil but I couldn't make it work, so he's still tapping on my shoulder. We'll see.

Crystal: Maybe balance is just finding whatever works best for us. I agree family has to come first.

Lorraine said...

Carolyn: It's so great to see you here! You're always so sweet and gracious yourself.

Trish: You made *me* laugh with your comment about imagining me saying hot. It's the quiet ones you have to watch out for, you know. How are your deadlines going? We're looking forward to having you at Buns 'n Roses in October, but we won't give you any time to write then.

Hi, Daisy and Esri Rose. Thanks so much for joining me today.

Lorraine said...

Terrio: I'll have to rewatch the Count of Monte Cristo. Cavill has a couple of movies in the works, so I'm looking forward to those.

MsHellion - I love the title, too. It was one of several I submitted for consideration. I was glad it got the nod.

Lorraine said...

Bandits: I saw the wonderful treasure trove you're auctioning at Eloisa James and Julia Quinn's bulletin boards. I have to say you are the most generous group of authors I know. I know you contributed to other fund raising events. I think you're a terrific group of authors. Will all of you be at RWA in San Fran?

Lorraine said...

Jeanmarie: It's so nice to see you here. And yes, I definitely take breaks. As a matter of fact, I'm about to go jump on the elliptical trainer for a few minutes and catch up with Jeopardy. I'm addicted to Jeopardy, but I have to be working out while I watch it. It's the only way I get any exercise.

limecello said...

Hi Lorraine, thanks for visiting with us today! Hm... life. Mine seems to go with [or be determined to prove the "it never rains, it only pours." And it seems like it's aways pouring. One thing, after another, with too many things going on. Still, it keeps things exciting, and me occupied. Sometimes I wish for five of me to have time to do everything thought :P.

Louisa Cornell said...

And I am writing down all of those research books, Lorraine! I actually have To Marry an English Lord and it is really good.

Yes CRS is what you get before you get full-blown dementia - that way it isn't such a shock. Or at least that is what my German/Russian professor used to say.

Trish Milburn said...

Lorraine, my deadlines are going fine. I'm working on revisions to the second American, due by July 15, but I want to get them in early so I can begin work on the second YA when I get the go-ahead. And I had a fabulous new idea pop into my head yesterday for a paranormal/historical. I haven't touched historical since my very first book, way back when.

I'm looking forward to Buns & Roses too.

I just bought Labor of Love at Books-a-Million while I was out running errands.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Helen! Good to see you in the lair. Lorraine is an auto buy for me, too! I loved her Texas books and now her Victorian England books, too.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Diana! We had the mouthy wild-child, then two that were a bit easier, one a girl and one a boy. I sometimes wonder if it isn't the oldest child syndrome more than the sex of the child?

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Caren! While I was reading IN BED WITH THE DEVIL, I kept thinking a wisened writer would pop up in the book, maybe now friends with the new Earl or hung out with the other grown Fagin kids...aka Dickens!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Buffie! Wait until those boys are about 6'1" or 6'2" and they have to bend to hug you, and you have to reach up to hug them....It will all be worth it, trust me!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Eva! Good to see you today. Walking really can clear the mind, but now that it's usually over 100 here when I wake up, I'm in the summer routine of 30-45 minutes in the pool.

And Lucian is a very, very yummy and tortured hero! Y'all will just gobble him up!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Beth! With the release of your first book this month, NOT WITHOUT HER FAMILY, I bet life has gotten even more hectic at your house! How are the kids having their mother be a published author now?

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Gannon!

Well we have a cure for you! This book will definitely take you into Victorian England and keep you there for hours of enjoyment!!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Lorraine! Great to have you in the Lair again. :> Balance is So important, isn't it? I have two boys at home and it means that to get those ten pages in, I have to write when I've got them at school, camp, and/or daycare, and I have to really WRITE then, not fool around. Ha! I'm prone to procrastination, but...I love to write, so I try to get to it.

I love adding to the TBR pile. Are you signing at National?

Amy said...

Hello Lorraine! Thank you for the funny question. Balanced Life?!?!? I have a 14 year old a 4 year old and a 19 month old. I try I really do. The best I can do is keep to our daily routines as much as possible. Both of my oldest have special needs, and they really need that. I REALLY need that, too...LOL Now I just need to find a balance for my financial life. Like how to keep from spending more than I have!!!! Hope everyone has a great day, and Lorraine, I am SUPER EXCITED about In Bed With The Devil and this series. Langdon makes me shiver...*G*

Anna Campbell said...

Carol, thanks for the Ikey Solomon link. It's fascinating, isn't it? I've just seen Bleak House - the ABC repeated it at lunchtimes on Fridays. Was absolutely loving it up until the last episode when suddenly everything was on fast forward and I missed out on any emotional payoff. Have that problem with a lot of the modern adaptations of classics. They spend forever setting up this fabulous atmosphere and then tie up all the loose ends at the speed of sound. But I must say the acting was absolutely amazing!

Anna Campbell said...

Now, Suz, a gloating smile is NEVER a good look! Mind you, if I'd got an ARC of Lorraine's latest, I'd be gloating too! Bit chilly down here this morning! And grey! Speaking of which I have a hairdressing appointment soon.

And I thought I was the only person with the embarrassing "get up in the middle of the night to check email" addiction. Perhaps we should form a support group!

Lorraine said...

Limecello: Thanks for the welcome. One thing after another keeps you on your toes! But I know what you mean; sometimes I wish I had a clone. Of course, I'd make it do the tedious tasks, like file away everything presently stacked on my desk.

Trish: Thanks for picking up Labor of Love. I hope you enjoy it. And fabulous on the paranormal idea, esp. a paranormal historical. Paranormal is so hot right now. I keep thinking the market is gettin saturated but authors keep breaking out with these stories; there's so much you can do with paranormal. Good luck with it! And with everything else you're working on right now.

Hey, Suz, I'm so glad you liked Lucian so much.

Beth, congratulations on the release of your first book! How very exciting. Savor the moment.

Jeanne: Two boys at home will keep you busy. When my younger son was about eight, he made a "Do Not Disturb" sign for my office door -- but since he made it, it didn't apply to him and he could still come into the room any time. But I appreciated the thought.

And yes, I will be signing at National. I'm really looking forward to the conference.

Amy: Routine can be so important; it sounds like you've worked really diligently and managed to balance your life. A friend once told me she controlled her spending by never going to a store. Of course now there's the Internet and things are just a click away. Not helpful at all when it comes to managing the budget. And so glad Langdon makes you shiver. :)

Lorraine said...

Anna: I have to say that I'm anxiously awaiting "Tempt the Devil." Great title and the story sounds wonderful as well.

Anna Campbell said...

Lorraine, thanks for letting us get a window into your inspiration. Isn't mudlark a wonderful word? I love old, colorful language like that. There's an old black and white movie called The Mudlark that I haven't seen since I was about 10. The mudlark got to meet Queen Victoria! And I thought your story about pockets and stones was darling!

Waving to Nancy!

Hellion, I love name Lucian too. Lorraine, on the grounds that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, I thought I'd give you some warning, it's now on my list of future hero names ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Lorraine, nearly ALL of us, as far as I know, will be in SF. I've just had a lovely morning booking some day trips! Whoo-hoo! Looking forward to seeing you there!

Hey, I'm addicted to Jeopardy too! We get the American show here on pay TV and it's absolutely addictive. And I now know a lot more about the States than I used to. Surprised at how often Oz comes up as a topic.

Diana Cosby said...

Great seeing you here. The Earl of Claybourne sounds fascinating, and I look forward to reading his story. :)
10 pages a day. Wow, that's impressive. My sincere best to you.

Diana Cosby

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Lorraine, mwah on the plug for Tempt the Devil. It's only, uh...SEVEN months away!!! Actually, it's more like six because they release the books at the end of the previous month so it will be late December when it hits the stands.

Pat Cochran said...

Hello, Ms. Heath,

I'm a fellow Texan, a life-long
resident of Houston.

Balance in life? There is no such
"critter" residing in this home.
I'm, unfortunately, one of these
"all-in" types of people. A year or so ago, I discovered the BLOG! I
dove in head-first,I love blogging!
Most often, I am found in front of
my computer, communicating with
new-found friends. Luckily, Honey
is a computer "Geek", who also
spends a lot of time on the 'net.

Teenagers? We had 3 children in their 'teens at once! When my children began school, I began
volunteering in the schools.This
continued until all four had
graduated from HS. If they went
on a field trip, so did I. If
they had a band concert, we went
to that event, even chaperoned to
competitions. We even joined
parent groups: PTA, band parents
association, etc. The best way
to have a handle on the teenage
situation is to start when they
are young. If they see that you
are giving of yourself for them
and their friends, you end up
with a peaceful life situation.

Pat Cochran

robynl said...

married dh and with him came 2 teenage boys and a teenage girl; HELP ME is what I screamed involuntarily for a long time. I had never had children if my first marriage and now 2 teen boys. The daughter lived with a grandma.
It was very hard for me obviously b/c it was a new experience and they were already set in most ways. We survived and now the 2 have given dh and me 5 beautiful grandkids. I would take walks and relax and quite often holler at dh when he came home from work. LOL.
I enjoyed the interview.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Lorraine, Anna beat me to the answer, (I need to work on my JEOPARDY skills), but yes almost all the Banditas are going to be in San Francisco next month!! whoohoo!! SF and RWA may not know what hit them. hehehe

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Trish! How're things in Tenn? We're getting storms here today. Dang it, no swimming, (glances at the dreaded exercise cycle).

We're looking forward to you being here for the Buns&Roses tea in October. It really is great fun! And the food is pretty darn good, too.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Lorraine, how cool is that?? Love the counter and love, love the mini movie.
I am going to be on a roll now, just finished The Trouble With Moonlight, JE's Fearless Fourteen came out today so I will be ready for yours when it comes out. You guys are bankrupting me and I don't care, way too much fun reading to worry about finances LOL

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Suzanne, that could be true, but my daughter, bless her heart was more like an only child. She still calls my son her baby. Talk about a shock to the system, watching my baby girl care for my baby boy just about did me in.

Suzanne Welsh said...

But Anna....It's no fun being ahead of the crowd on reading Lorraine's books, if I can't gloat just a little. :)

Anna Sugden said...

Sorry I'm late to the party again ... have I mentioned lately how much I hate moving?!

Lorraine - awesome to have you back with us in the Lair. No fair on tempting me with yet another book, though! The shipping container is probably already bursting at the seams with books!

Dodger is one of my all-time favourite characters too. I don't know how much of that is because he was so adorable in the film. Jack Wild's dark, mischievous eyes captivated me! I was so sad when he died.

Balanced life?! *hysterical laughter* not a chance until The Big Move is done. But, I do always find time to read, do my Hanji puzzles and research my hockey hunks *grin*.

Looking forward to seeing you in SF, Lorraine!

Kathy Sullivan said...

Good afternoon, Lorraine

I'm anxious to read this book, and it's right at the top of my list to be bought (and devoured, as I do with all your books.) You're an autobuy for me.

Great interview, by the way. I always love to find out little insights into what makes an author put certain elements into their stories. Makes it all the more interesting.

Looking forward to seeing you soon, both at DARA and at Buns and Roses. Wishing you tremendous sales.

Lorraine said...

Anna: Yes, I love mudlark. I'd actually pitched a story about 4 books ago that involved a mudlark, but certain elements of it weren't marketable--but I did love the character. Maybe be morphed into the Scoundrels. I think I remember the movie you mentioned. I'll have to give it another look. And you are free to use Lucian.

Isn't Jeopardy fun? Unfortunately, the storms hit today and I didn't see the final question or who won because the weather station interrupted to let us know it was raining. Oh, well. Guess I'll find out tomorrow. It's amazing how much trivia I discover in research. I think my goal is to someday be a Jeopardy question.

Hi, Diana! How are you doing? I'm so glad you dropped by.

Hi, Pat. I grew up near Houston--in Angleton. And blogging is addictive. I haven't set up my own blog. But I enjoy being a guest.

Lorraine said...

Hi, Robyn. Suddenly having two teenage boys in the house would be an adjustment. Congrats on surviving and now having grandkids to bring joy to your life.

Dianna: I thought the mini-movie was fun. Book Candy Studios really captured the mood of the story. Fearless 14 is on my TBR list. So glad my book is on yours.

Anna: Jack Wild was just wonderful. I remember going to see Oliver and just falling in love with the story, Oliver, and the Artful Dodger.

The Big Move? Where are you moving? To another city?

Kathy: Thanks for stopping by. I probably won't be at DARA for a while (Suz was getting after me about that recently) as I work to meet these deadlines. But will definitely be at Buns. Have to go hat shopping, though. I love seeing everyone's hats.

Lorraine said...

I'm not sure when my time with you all ends, so let me just say now that I had a wonderful time spending the day with you. You're so gracious and welcoming. I'll see you all in San Fran.

And Anna - keeping fingers crossed that you bring a RITA home.

Suz, thanks so much for the invite and the wonderful interview questions. You're a dear friend.

Thanks again, ladies. It was a treat to be here.


Anna Campbell said...

OK, OK, Madam Suz! For such a good cause, we'll let you gloat a bit...

Lorraine, it's amazing actually how well I do with Jeopardy questions, thanks to my romance reading. There was a question the other day about the Shqiptar eagle being on a national flag. Well, as a dedicated Loretta Chase fan and reading her Albanian books, I knew straightaway! None of the contestants did. People really shouldn't diss romance readers ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Lorraine, you've been a delight to have in the lair. Suz, please invite Lorraine back! We love to have her visit. And thanks for the RITA wishes. Actually, and I'm not just being smarmy here, I'm just delighted with the nominations. It is with great pleasure that I tell people that 100% of my publications have been nominated for RITA awards! Snork!

elainec said...

This is my fourth try to leave a comment. I hit preview and what I wrote is in cyberspace. :-(
"In Bed with the Devil" sounds very interesting. Both Lucien and Lady Catherine should set off sparks. I can't wait to read it.

Anna Sugden said...

It's been great having you here, Lorraine!

The Big Move is back home to England (Cambridge) from NJ.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Just wanted to thank Lorraine for spending the day with us, and given her intense writing schedule it was an honor to have her here! And thanks to everyone for coming to chat with her and the Bandits!

Maybe we can convince her to come chat with us about Jack Dodger's story...which, I have on good authority, is going to be fabulous!!

Jill said...

I love your books. The first one I read was A Duke of Her Own & I was hooked. Keep up the great work.

peachy_pam said...

Hwy Lorraine,
I can't wait to read "In Bed" I always look forward to your next book right when I finish the last one! Keep up the great work!

Keira Soleore said...

Good nabbin' that wiley wooste'.

I've become a veritable Johnny-come-lately these days. But still, I'm so pleased (from the bottom to the top of my heart) that Lorraine Heath's in The Lair.

Having small kids makes time to yourself a moving target. So I write and go to the gym while the household slumbers on in the wee morning hours.