I met Erin at the Anaheim RWA Conference when I tagged along to a dinner that ended up including some of the rudest service ever, but also some of the most charming company (and GIANT margaritas!). As writers, we're always being told "what the market wants", and often, I find myself thinking, really? One of the biggies currently is that "sweet" only sells in the Inspirational market. Which I though was crazy, considering that the Trad Regencies were almost entirely "sweet" and there were a LOT of readers out there looking for that same read.
Well, Erin has proved that if you do it well, "sweet" sells!
(If you haven't read Erin yet, don't miss the link and code at the end of the interview to get her novella, RUINED BY A RAKE, for free!)
AN HONEST DECEPTION
Sir Colin Tate has never imagined
marrying for money. But debts left by his artist father have put his
siblings’ futures in danger. To wed an eligible heiress, this
independent-minded Scot must play by restrictive rules—until an
irresistible lady dares to pursue her passion for art…and him.
AN UNEXPECTED DESIRE
Lady Beatrice Moore can spy a fortune hunter as expertly as she
captures subjects on canvas. But when she meets the striking son of
Britain’s most celebrated painter, the attraction is
instantaneous—blinding her to the possibility that he could ever be one
of those schemers.…
Flirting with Fortune is set in Regency
England. Is there a particular reason you chose that year/era for the series?
I’ve been a Regency fan for over a decade!
It’s always been the era that most completely captures my imagination.
How did you become interested
in this time period? What you love about it?
There is something so compelling about the Regency
world. The gowns, the wit, the societal structure—all the things that take me
from my modern day world and transport me into a fantasy world that still
actually existed. More or less, lol. I am not extremely strict with the time
period. For me, I enjoy characters and storylines that I can relate to,
accented by a historical flavor that sets the tone.
What do you like least about
this period? Anything that constrained you or that you had to plot carefully
I least like the same thing that I love about it:
the strict rules surrounding courting couples. Yes, it makes for tension and
compelling story lines, but it’s darn difficult to come up with fresh and
unique ways to get your hero and heroine alone together!
I know that in a world where
they say “sex sells”, you’ve carved out a successful niche with “sweet” books.
I’d love for you talk a little about that.
I’ve always skimmed the sex scenes in romance
novels. I have nothing against them, they just aren’t my cup of tea. What I
love—what I live for when reading—is that slow, glorious build of sexual
tension and chemistry. To me, a long awaited kiss can be every bit as intimate
and heart-pounding as falling into bed. I figured if I felt this way, that
others might as well.
To this day, after five books/novellas published, I
still get a big goofy grin when readers and reviews marvel that they didn’t
even realize the hero and heroine hadn’t slept together until after they had
finished reading. And that’s my goal—I don’t want anything to be missing. If
that were the case, then I didn’t do my job. I want my readers to feel fully
content and satisfyed
Anything you flat-out altered
or “fudged”? If so, why? (I always find this one fascinating!).
Oh yes, I have fudged along the way!
Although, I don’t know if I’m going to point them out—that’s kind of like
telling someone about the feature you most dislike about your body. That will
be the only thing people will see! Suffice it to say, I have glossed over some
things in order to keep the plot streamlined. If I made everything 100%
factual, the books wouldn’t be the enjoyable escape I wish for them to be.
Any gaffs or mea culpas you
want to fess up to before readers get their hands on the book? I know I always
seem to find one after the book has gone to press. *sigh* Pool chalk. Bane of
LOL – I’ve had a few gaffs along the way! In
RUINED BY A RAKE, I somehow wrote Tory when I meant Whig. Apparently, a reader
thought I should be tarred and feathered over that one! *shrugs* I’m human, and
I’m going to make mistakes. Sorry in advance for anything like that that may
pull you from the story!
What sparked this book? Was it
a character? An historical event? A scene you just couldn’t get out of your
Actually, I was reading about the famous writer,
Sir Walter Scott, and was amazed to learn that at his death, he was in debt
over fifty thousand pounds! I was fascinated by the fact that he actually
managed to pay them off posthumously via the sale of his works, though it took
many years. I suddenly wondered what it would be like if a straight-laced,
no-nonsense, practically estranged son inherited a mountain of debt from his
famous, eccentric father without ever having suspected that his father was up
the River Tick. With no way of providing for the family that suddenly depended
on him, how would he fare if he was suddenly thrust into society in order to
find an heiress bride?
The fact that talented painter and reluctant
heiress Beatrice despised fortune hunters and adored Sir Frederick was the
perfect combination to make this book come to life.
Did you have to do any major
research for this book? Did you stumble across anything really interesting that
you didn’t already know?
I decided to make Colin a barrister in training,
and I was fascinated to learn how the system worked. You didn’t go to law
school like we do now. Instead, you studied and ‘took your meals’ at the Inns
of Court, which meant that you attended a certain number of dinners in the
company of men of law in order to learn more about the profession.
It was also fun to learn about the painting methods
of the day: the sable brushes and the pig bladder paint holders, the primed
canvases, the smell of linseed oil, the hassle of mixing paint from pigments—it
was all very interesting to me.
What/Who do you like to read?
I try to read fairly broadly. I enjoy many in
my own genre (Heather Snow, Susanne Enoch, Sabrina Jeffries, to name a few), as
well as YAs (Veronica Roth, Kassy Tayler, Sophie Jordan), and even some
contemporary (Marquita Valentine, Sandra Brown, Susan Mallory). I also like
nonfiction, usually to do with health and nutrition. The only thing I generally
stay away from is paranormal—just not my thing.
Care to share a bit about your
writing process? Are you a pantser or a plotter? Do you write multiple drafts
or clean up as you go?
Ha! I used to be a plotter, and then I sold
to a publisher who expected things like outlines and synopses, lol. Now I’m a
bit of a planster: I know the overall arc of the story and the general goals,
motivations, and conflict, but the rest forms organically as I write.
The only thing that is sure about my writing is
that I NEED a deadline. As much as I hate it, I can’t seem to get any good
writing done until it’s down to the wire!
Scrivener? Yes? No? Or What is
Maybe! I’d love to learn, but so far the
classes haven’t been convenient. Someday I might find the time and check it
out. For now, I will stick with my physical poster board and sticky notes.
What are you planning to work
I am in the middle of writing my second series,
Prelude to a Kiss. It follows three female musicians who form a trio during a
music festival in Bath. Anyone who has read my first series will recognize the
pianoforte-playing heroine, Charity, in the first book of the series titled THE
BARON NEXT DOOR, due out in June 2014. I’m totally loving writing these books—they’re
all like friends to me now! If only I didn’t have to drag them through their
dark moments ;)
Thanks so much for inviting me to joint you today.
As a treat for your readers, I’m happy to offer my novella, RUINED BY A RAKE,
for free! Simply go HERE, choose the format best suited
to your e-reader, and use the following code at checkout: NA85T