Saturday, May 3, 2008
Real Women Deserve a Hero
Wow, how exciting to be part of something new. The blog is new. And the Casablanca imprint is new, the first books were out last October (2007), and I was very proud that No Regrets was one of them. And I am over the moon that the book has been nominated by Foreward Magazine for best book of the year.
Who am I? Well, I am an Englishwoman who immigrated to Canada. I was an administrator at a university. I’m a mum, and a wife, and a sister, and holy smoke! now I am a writer. I think that is the biggest surprise of my life. I admire people who always knew they wanted to write novels. For me, it was sort of sitting in my subconscious waiting for a chance to make itself known.
Oh, I wrote lots... business reports, letters home from Canada, speeches, skits for Christmas parties, but never in my wildest dreams did I think of writing a book. Until I got trapped in a boring round of union negotiations where the parties were not meeting and I had nothing to do for days on end. Bored with the tv I started doodling with something going on in my head. And it turned into a book. A Regency romance, since I love history and historicals. That was in 2000. Since then, I left work to write full-time.
My dog, a Maltese we rescued from the pound called Teaser, sits under my computer, or on the sofa, depending where I am working and loves that I no longer leave him by himself all day.
The first book is under the bed, never to see the light of day. But No Regrets, my first book with Sourcebooks and Casablanca, was an American Title Finalist, in 2006. It went on to place in the top four and you can imagine the thrill when Sourcebooks offered me a contract. All of the American Title 2 ladies have remained very good friends and we blog together regularly over at http://www.titlewave.blogspot.com. I also blog about my research on Regency Rambles.
People often ask where do you get your ideas. And it is a difficult question to answer, except that I will get a scene in my head, something bad happening to one or two characters, and I will follow it wherever it leads. So I write into the blue and see where it takes me. I write every morning, until about two pm, and aim for about fifteen pages, if it is new writing, more if I am editing, and then I do emails and other writing related business until the end of the afternoon. That of course is on a good day. Life gets in the way.
My idea for No Regrets, broke new ground in that the heroine is neither beautiful nor slender, and her conflict probably stems from my own insecurity about self-image. I see so much pressure on women about body image, and yet few women meet the idealized vision we often see in romance. We are even at the point where beautiful young women are not good enough for advertisements and their images are digitally enhanced, become something to which no human woman can aspire. I thought it was time a real woman had a hero! Of course, that is pushing the boundaries, so I was lucky that Sourcebooks went with the idea.
And they liked the idea for a second book. And you are the first (after my amazing critique group) to get a sneak preview of the cover. What do you think? How about a name that dude, contest? If you can come up with the first letter of his name, I will send you a copy of No Regrets. If you already have a copy, then I will send you a copy of a Western Anthology in which I have one of the three stories. Oh, and only one guess each! If there is a tie, or no correct answers, I will have one of my daughters draw the winner from a hat.
It is lovely to meet you here and I look forward to talking with you all and my fellow authors in the weeks and months to come. If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.