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Archive for January 24th, 2008

More book shopping! :)

Went to BAM again today…one of the girls needed a book for a report she’s doing and while I was there I ended up helping the manager put out the romance books…LOL I think I came home with half of what she had on the cart to put out. She said I could come back and help her anytime I wanted since I made the time go faster for her. ROFL

IN THE HIGHLANDER’s BED by Cathy Maxwell
THE ACCIDENTAL WEREWOLF by Dakota Cassidy
THE BRIDE by Carolyn Davidson
THE GOVERNESS WEARS SCARLET by Sari Robins
MINE TO POSSESS by Nalini Singh
TUMBLING THROUGH TIME by Gwyn Cready
TO PLEASURE A LADY by Nicole Jordan
SOMEONE TO LOVE by Jude Deveraux
DEMON NIGHT by Meljean Brook
KISS OF FIRE by Deborah Cooke
THE PERILS OF PLEASURE by Julie Anne Long
DAWN’S AWAKENING by Lora Leigh
MASTER OF THE HIGHLANDS by Veronica Wolff

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How did you two meet?

 

Thank you, Fatin, for inviting me.

 

When people discover that my husband and I were childhood sweethearts, I’m often asked how we met. It’s something you never forget, especially us women.  I can give the exact day of the week, the time, place, circumstance, etc. of the event that changed my life. I was fourteen years old and traipsing down the street, walking my dog while covertly eyeing the cute Irish boy lounging on the hood of a parked car, laughing with his friends. When I walked by him, he cleared his throat and asked me what my dog’s name was. I told him. He smiled and asked, “What’s yours?” How’s that for smooth, I ask you? Hey, it’s smooth to a fourteen year old, ok? And the rest, as they say, is history.

 

Meeting my characters for the first time is a bit like meeting my husband that fateful day-not as heart stopping, but always exciting and unforgettable. Like a chance encounter with the man of one’s dreams, the heroes in my books usually appear when I least expect them, sweeping my muse right off her feet.  When I’m getting ready to begin a new book, every face I see is a potential candidate for the lead. I sometimes have dozens of handsome men pacing about in my head, eager to audition for the part. (It’s a tough job, I know, but someone’s got to do it.) But my muse is a fickle diva and most of the time she turns up her nose, sending them all away. I’m visual. I could have the entire story-line plotted out, know exactly what the hero should be like, and what his conflict will be, but it’s the face (and of course, the body) that makes him come to life in my head.  Authors are also casting directors, you know.

 

When I was writing Lord Of Desire, I knew the setting, the other key players, even the hero’s name, but it wasn’t until I was watching a concert on television, not even thinking about the story, when the hero introduced himself to me. He was singing and his voice pulsated with emotion while his fingers picked and strummed a mournful, yet furious sonata on his guitar. The passion was Brand Risande, hungering for something lost, bitter with betrayal. “That’s me,” he whispered. “Let me tell you my story.” He did, and every word, every page grew around him.

Prince Gareth from Lord Of Seduction really kept me waiting. I was beginning to panic when my muse remained indifferent and unresponsive to every applicant who applied for the job. I’d written eight chapters starring a one dimensional hero and the deadline clock was ticking. At that point, I wanted to smack my muse in the head. You see, she’d been spoiled by Lord Dante Risande, my hero in Lord Of Temptation, who came to me without her help. Like my husband, reclining lazily on the hood of that car, Dante appeared before me, curled his lips into a carefree, dazzlingly roguish smirk and took my breath away. Ha! Who needs you anyway, diva?  I did, she painfully reminded me as she hurled another five candidates for Prince Gareth into oblivion.  And then it happened again. I was sitting with my family, watching American Idol and there he was!  Who would have ever thought my hero was a long-haired hippie type from Alabama?  Well, it wasn’t really Gareth, but it was the face, the subtle hint of deviance in his sensual expressions, the silky, honey colored mane that danced around his shoulders while he moved. My muse elbowed me in the ribs. There’s your Gareth, she whispered with snooty satisfaction. Now get on with your story. So I chucked those first eight chapters and began again.

 

With my most recent release, Laird Of The Mist, I’d had the story in my head for years, even before Lord Of Desire was published. I had done most of the research on the MacGregor clan and even attempted to write the story a few times, but something was missing. Callum. This story had a life of its own, with a hero who had to be born for the role. I didn’t try to find him. Somehow I knew he’d find me. I once heard that a story chooses the storyteller, not the other way around. I think this is true with characters, as well.  So I waited patiently, writing other stories in the meantime.  The meeting was quite unexpected. I was waiting to cross one of Manhattan’s busy streets and was nearly run over by a bus.  As I leaped back, heart jarred from its place, fist curled at the bus driver, an enormous face stared back at me. It was one of those huge advertisements they paste on the side on the bus for pedestrians to see from a safe distance away. This one was introducing a new actor on the American scene, soon to be starring in his first major role as Attila. His name was Gerard Butler, or as I soon began to call him, Callum MacGregor.  He was perfect! My gosh, he was even Scottish! His character was so strong, so real for me that he began to take over all my hero’s faces. But he was born to be Callum and nearly killed me to let me know it.

 

So what if it’s eccentric. I’m a writer and I can be a little overly imaginative if I want to be.  As a reader, so can you, and you certainly don’t have to envision the same face the author chose.  Have you ever read a book where you imagined the hero to be a certain someone? A man you felt was born to play the role?  Tell me about it. Or tell me about how you met your partner. I’ll be choosing one winner from the comments to receive a signed copy of Laird Of The Mist.

 

Think hard, and watch your step while crossing the street.

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