by Anna Campbell
I'm so glad to have back in the lair the fabulous Michelle Willingham who writes Medievals (and soon Victorians) for Harlequin Historicals.
For more information on Michelle and her books, including some wonderful excerpts, please visit her website: www.michellewillingham.com.
Don't forget if you click on the covers, you can order the books pictured. The 2010 books are available for pre-order from Amazon. The Undone! books are available from Harlequin ebooks.
Welcome back, Michelle! Always lovely to see you in the lair. You’ve been terrifically busy creating more fabulous stories to entertain us. Can you tell us about your October release from Harlequin Historicals, TAMING HER IRISH WARRIOR?
TAMING HER IRISH WARRIOR is the fourth book in my MacEgan Brothers series. It tells the story of Ewan MacEgan, the youngest brother. Readers might remember him as an awkward teenager in my earlier books, but he has definitely grown up as one of my favorite heroes. In the past, Ewan was a boy who desperately wanted to be a fighter like his brothers but had no natural ability. He's now learned that amazing strength can compensate for lack of dexterity. But the heroine, Honora St. Leger, is an incredible swordfighter herself, and he meets his match with this female warrior.
Sounds great, Michelle. You’ve recently had a Harlequin Undone! released. Can you tell us about THE WARRIOR’S FORBIDDEN VIRGIN? Does it relate to TAMING HER IRISH WARRIOR?
THE WARRIOR'S FORBIDDEN VIRGIN allowed me to create a longer story, by exploring the secondary characters in TAMING HER IRISH WARRIOR. There are some events that happen "off screen" in TAMING that I was able to reveal in the Undone. Not only that, but the character of Sir Ademar allowed me to do a virgin hero, which I'd never tried before. Ademar is the strong, silent type who has trouble speaking to women. I adored writing him.
THE WARRIOR'S FORBIDDEN VIRGIN is available here:
Love those virgin heroes! This is your second Undone! What are the challenges and rewards of writing these spicy shorts?
Keeping them short! The pacing of an Undone! has to be fast, furious, and extremely sexy. Often when I get to know my characters, I find myself wanting to do a full length book for them. In January, I was able to do just that. AN ACCIDENTAL SEDUCTION is the prequel to my February book THE ACCIDENTAL COUNTESS so I was excited to use the same set of characters. It presented a difficult challenge since I wanted readers to be satisfied with the short story but still curious about what happened next to the hero and heroine.
In romance terms, you’ve made medieval Ireland your personal kingdom. What fascinates you about this place and this period?
Ireland has a wild, haunting quality to it, similar to Scotland. There's something about Celtic legend and those craggy ruins that makes me wonder about the men and women who lived there. I also hadn't read quite as many Irish medievals, and there was a personal interest in learning more about the land.
I notice you have a trio of Victorian romances coming out early next year. Can you tell us about those?
As I mentioned earlier, AN ACCIDENTAL SEDUCTION is the prequel short story for THE ACCIDENTAL COUNTESS. I had been watching the movie THE BOURNE IDENTITY when it occurred to me… wouldn't it have been fun if Jason Bourne discovered he were married? And if you were his wife and your husband went missing for three months and had no memory of you, how would you feel? THE ACCIDENTAL COUNTESS is basically Cinderella meets THE BOURNE IDENTITY. It tells the story of Stephen Chesterfield, the Earl of Whitmore and his childhood sweetheart Emily Barrow. I had a great time writing it, and it was the most intense mystery-romance I've ever written, uncovering what happened to Stephen during the missing three months and who was trying to kill him. Quite honestly, I had no idea "whodunit" until the very end of the book—and the answer truly surprised me!
In March, Stephen's sister Lady Hannah Chesterfield gets her book. THE ACCIDENTAL PRINCESS is a secret royalty story, inspired by THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER. Two men look exactly alike—but who is the prince and who is the illegitimate son? It's another mystery to unlock the past of Michael Thorpe, a Lieutenant in the British Army. Michael is a bad-boy, rebellious soldier who is fascinated by innocent Lady Hannah, a woman he'll never be able to have. And Hannah, in turn, is drawn to this man who breaks all the rules and captures her heart.
What else is coming up for Michelle Willingham?
Readers can enjoy a free online story at eHarlequin, starting November 9th. VOYAGE OF AN IRISH WARRIOR is tied into my MacEgan Brothers series and features a few cameo characters from TAMING HER IRISH WARRIOR and HER WARRIOR KING. I also have a short story in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF TIME TRAVEL ROMANCE called "A Wish to Build a Dream On," available in the U.K. on October 29th and in December for the U.S. Last, I'm working on my final MacEgan brother book now, featuring Trahern MacEgan. It will release in the fall of 2010.
Wow, lots coming up! You juggle a writing career with a young family. How do you manage your time and your energy?
Early bedtimes! I have a 7-year-old son, a 5-year-old daughter, and a 22-month-old son. All three require a lot of my attention, and it's definitely a balancing act to meet their needs and still find time to write. Apparently I'm influencing them more than I realized. The other day, my daughter was visiting with family, and she asked why my mother's cousin was knitting. Our cousin responded, "Because it's something I enjoy doing in my spare time." My daughter quipped, "Well, why don't you go write a book? That's what my mommy does." Gotta love it!
I'm offering up a free download of THE WARRIOR'S FORBIDDEN VIRGIN and a signed copy of TAMING HER IRISH WARRIOR to two lucky commenters! Just tell me what you enjoy doing in your spare time! What's your guilty pleasure? And if you have any questions about my books or the characters, ask away!