Trail of the Tudor Blue | The Wild Rose Press, 1/26/11
For straight-and-narrow art restorer Ardis Bellamy, a trip to the South of France to reclaim a historic blue diamond necklace should have been only mildly nervewracking. Understatement. In order to succeed, she's going to have to learn whom she can and can't trust, give the thugs who are chasing her the slip, and decide whether her growing relationship with sexy "recovery agent" James Tate is worth risking everything for -- or whether he's been double-crossing her all along.
Please describe your writing environment.
The embarrassing truth? I am, in fact, exceedingly lucky to have a room in my house that is mine alone. In spring and autumn I am able to write there -- winter and summer, though, there's just no way! It's too darn cold in winter and too blasted hot in summber. As a consequence -- or maybe a benefit? -- I rarely write in that room. I've taken to writing anywhere I can find a flat surface on which to rest my notebook. Oh! And I'm doubly fortunate that I can write through noise or silence equally. True fact: I put "the end" on TRAIL OF THE TUDOR BLUE sitting at the kitchen table while my husband cooked dinner and my daughter did her homework. So there you go; my writing environment is everywhere : )
Please tell us your latest news!
I'm currently at work on another romance, this one featuring a hero who is actually legally employed : ) I decided it was high time to mix two of my favorite things: romance and hockey. in additio, I'm evaluating some offers of publication for a mystery novel and for a young adult novel. I am having a very exciting 2011!
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
This question is really making me think! Maybe the third use of "diamond" on page 128 : ) In seriousness, I can't think of anything -- which means I'm in total denial. There must be something in need of changing. I'm confident my readers will let me know in no uncertain terms.
Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
I definitely get plot ideas before I have characters. It's in mulling over the plot that the necessary characters begin to take shape. In TRAIL OF THE TUDOR BLUE, I knew I wanted to hinge a story on a historic necklace, but I couldn't imagine an individual owning such an object. Pondering that issue leg me to Ardis Bellamy, the heroine of the story, and her inability to retain possession of the necklace. Luckily, hero James Tate showed up on scene fully formed and ready to take charge of the situation!
What's been the most challenging part of writing for you?
Persevering. Writing with an eye toward publication is a long hard climb. And there are so many other things demanding attention. There have been more than one periods in time when I've thrown in the towel completely...only to realize writing is one of the most fulfilling things in my life. Sticking with it has been really hard...and really rewarding.
How much research do you do for your books? Have you found any cool tidbits in your research?
Well, I hate research : ) There are writers who adore researching. They are happy as clams gaining all the information they can about time, place, history, culture. Me? I do the bulk of my research after the fact. Maybe not the best way to work, but if I fill in the detail after the scene is written, I find I work faster. Some of my favorite research tools are travel websites where the travellers themselves share their stories and pictures, and Google Earth. As to cool tidbits, one that really charmed me when working on TUDOR BLUE was learning about all the wall art/murals in Cagliari (Sardinia) and knowing they were a detail the main character, Ardis, would especially enjoy. And now I'm really looking forward to the cool tidbits my hockey research might turn up!
Do you have any animals? Do they influence your writing?
I have three dogs and three cats. The cats' main influence is in the edit process, when they walk across the keyboard and delete text at will. The dogs' main influence is the uncanny ability they have to need desperately to go outside at the very moment the hero is going to kiss the heroine/defeat the villain/declare his love. And it's never a quick out, either. Still, I love 'em and wouldn't trade 'em for all the chocolate in Hershey.
If a bookstore was putting up "Is Like" plaques, who would be listed as being like you?
Unfortunately, I can't think of a book to qualify as 'Is Like..." I do remember one day watching the movie "Romancing the Stone" and I went cold with horror. TUDOR BLUE is like Romancing the Stone, but instead of rainforest and jungle, there's Monte Carlo and the Med. I've also taken to describing the book as "a romance in the vein of 'The Thomas Crown Affair'". But hey! Now I have an excuse to hit the bookstore and pick up some more romance novels and call it research : )
Do you have a website recommendation for other writers?
There are so many great websites out there for writers - especially romance writers! One of my favorite sites, though, is geared more toward any writer. It's part of author Holly Lisle's site and can be found here: http://hollylisle.com/index.php/Writers/forward-motion-for-writers.html The FAQs and "Feature Stories" etc. are some of the most straighfoward and informative I've ever come across. Definitely worth spending time on the site!
What's your favorite drink?
oh, this is bad. This answer always gets me in trouble somehow. But I love nothing better than a hot cup of tea (that's okay) or a cold Diet Coke. Oh, no, wait! Champagne. Yes, champagne is my favorite. Drink it all the time - lol!
Do you have an agent? If so who and please tell us about them.
I do. I am currently represented by the fabulous Michelle Humphrey at ICM. Perhaps her greatest skill is dealing with me in my most insane moments! She has wonderful instincts about the work and great taste in chocolates : )
What main genre do you write in?
Thanks so much for having me here! I've really enjoyed it!