Archive for April 11th, 2008

NT: Hi Nancy! Thank you for interviewing with RRAH. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

NW: Sure. I live in Vancouver which is gorgeous except getting pulled to pieces and rebuilt because we’re hosting the winter Olympics in 2010. Every time I get stuck in traffic or rerouted because of some Olympics related construction I think, all this for two weeks of skiing and skating? I love movies, cooking, and I’ve recently been studying screenwriting.

NT: When did you know you wanted to be a writer? How long did it take for you to make your first sale?

NW: After I finished a degree in literature I kind of fell into my first job, which was the low-man-on-the-totem pole position in the newsroom of a local paper. I ended up staying there for five years as a reporter and then editor. I learned so much from the newspaper that’s been useful as a novelist. For instance, you learn that words are simply tools, not precious babies, that clarity is always better than fancy prose, and that the craziest things really do happen. I decided I wanted to write fiction about ten years ago after reading a spate of romances and thinking, THIS is what I want to do. After that decision it was four years before I sold. Four years of working pretty hard at it, too.

NT: Is writing a full-time job for you or do you juggle another job?

NW: Writing is my full time job. How lucky am I?

NT: You have two books coming out soon. Tell us about FRENCH KISSING and THE ONE I WANT.

In fact, I’ve got three! Out in April is French Kissing — a Harlequin Blaze about couture week in Paris. I loved the idea of putting together Paris, fashion and hot sex. What more could a woman want? Also out this month is the mass market release of Turn Left at Sanity, a Kensington Brava about an eccentric small town. I had this idea that there had once been an institution,  full of people who weren’t exactly crazy, but were definitely eccentric. But it ran out of  money and so they opened the doors and called everyone cured. Most of the patients ended up settling in the area and this story is about that town and how a hard-driving Manhattan workaholic finds himself falling under its spell— and that of the proprietor of the former brothel turned B&B, The Shady Lady.

In May my next Brava is out in trade paperback. It’s called The One I Want and is about a London party girl with a big commitment problem. After her latest broken engagement, she ends up leaving London and coming to Austin, Texas where she decides to open a business doing the only thing she’s really good at. Breaking up relationships that aren’t working. Her landlord and neighbor is a tough ex-cop who doesn’t realize how much he needs her services, and, in fact, her. I really loved these two. I imagined this spoiled London princess and the tough guy who falls under her spell in spite of himself. I’ll miss them.

NT: What inspired the idea for these stories?

NW: I love France and Paris is just such a great city. I really wanted to set a book there and while I was on a sight-seeing jaunt, I thought how fun it would be to put a sexy spin on the idea of visiting monuments, which became the core idea of French Kissing. I don’t want to give too much away, but the hero’s a photographer, it’s the middle of couture week and Paris by night is even more romantic than Paris by day.

The One I Want was inspired by a character who only has a tiny role in British Bad Boys. Chloe was the spoiled little sister who canceled her engagement at the last minute causing a lot of trouble for the characters in BBB. I loved her. She was so snooty and self-obsessed, but there was also something kind of sweet about her that I wanted to explore. I’d also spent some time in Austin and I wanted to use that wonderful city as a setting, so I sent Chloe to Texas and gave her a tough, no-nonsense ex-cop to deal with. The chemistry between the two is so immediate and they are both so smitten and so determined not to be that the book was a breeze to write. I think The One I Want has been one of my favorite books so far.

NT: Which of your characters’ story was the hardest to write? Which was the easiest?

NW: I’d say Chloe was the easiest to write. I had such a clear picture of her in my mind and I could hear her voice. Probably the toughest was my secondary hero, Rafe. He’s a Mexican with a tough past who works undercover. It’s just too easy to fall into cliché when you write a motorcycle riding tough guy. I got inside him which I realized that he’s the opposite of what he appears to be. His great weakness is that he was born to rescue troubled women. Once I knew that about him, we got along fine and I fell in love with him. I fall in love with all my heroes.

NT: Do you have a writing routine? What is your average writing day like?

NW: Well, sadly, I’m a disorganized person and really not good with schedules. What I do instead is to set myself page goals. Daily and weekly goals. However, there are days when I write nothing, and days when I can’t type fast enough to keep up with what I’m trying to say, so I don’t worry about it too much so long as I pretty much make my weekly goal. Of course, once you are published, you have deadlines which are extremely effective for keeping a writer on track!

NT: Is there any plot/setting/character that you’re dying to write but haven’t yet?

NW: I’ve always got ideas running around in my head. I would love to write a historical novel, I’d love to set a book in the diamond mining North of Canada, I’d like to write about a truly sustainable community. It’s easy to talk the green talk, but I’d love to write about a community that really lived it and see what the conflicts and struggles are as well as the benefits. It would be like a modern day utopia, only I’m guessing that once you give up a lot of the comforts that are killing the environment, life wouldn’t all be roses. I would love to see Al Gore and Tipper in a completely sustainable community where they grew their own vegetables, used solar power and walked or rode bikes. Hah! I’m excited already to go write that. I’ve also got an idea cooking about a bar tender in a small town. I met a guy who really impressed me as being the Don Juan of this small town and I’d like to tell his story. I could go on!

NT: What aspects of your life have you found creeping into your stories?

NW: Everything and nothing. I don’t write about real people or events, but everything I see and hear and experience of course influences me and becomes fodder. I did have a funny experience recently. I went on a writing retreat with two other authors. Usually, I get so much done on a writing retreat, but this time the hotel had a problem with bed bugs. Yes, let’s all pause for a moment and go EEEEEWWWWWWW!!!!!! I didn’t get bitten, but one of my friends did, and the hotel took away all our clothes, brought us some things from the lost and found bin and shuffled us off into other accommodation. My room had a leaky roof  with buckets to catch the drips that sounded like a drum solo in the middle of the night when it rained. Imagine three, very fashion conscious writers, stripped of their clothes. We were left for days with no underwear. I was in too-short yoga pants and a man’s blue wool sweater, another writer had flood pant jeans too tight to zip up and the other got black polyester lounge pants and a bright pink jacket.  To say we looked ridiculous would be an understatement. I don’t remember the last time I laughed so hard (in a desperate, hysterical sort of way). When I got home I immediately called my editor and pitched the idea. The book will be called Booty and the Beast and is going to be part of the Wrong Bed series.
I think it’s scheduled for next February. But that’s a rare instance of art so directly imitating life.

NT: Is there anyone you use as a sounding board when you’re stuck on a scene?

NW: I don’t have a formal critique group or partner but I have amazing friends who help me when I’m stuck. Cathy Yardley, Bobby Hutchinson, Kathleen Lawless, Isabel Sharpe, Holly Jacobs and Wendy Roberts have all recently brainstormed or read work and given me feedback. My agent and editor are also great about reading and brainstorming. And sometimes I’ll go for a walk, take a break and the problem will solve itself.

NT: Who are some of the authors who inspired you when you were still working towards becoming published? Who are some of your favorite authors to read?

NW: I’ve been influenced, or simply worship at the feet of: Jane Austen, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jenny Crusie, Helen Fielding, Emily Giffen, Janet Evanovich, Susan Isaacs to name a few off the top of my head. I love Holly Jacobs, Isabel Sharpe, Cathy Yardley, Wendy Roberts and Eileen Cook — all funny, wonderful writers and close friends. I try to read widely. I’ve been reading a lot of male mystery authors lately and literary fiction.

NT: What was the most interesting thing you had to research and what was the hardest thing to research?

NW: In my whole career? The most fun and interesting was definitely getting behind the scenes of the NASCAR world last year. Getting to hang out with driver Carl Edwards and put him into my books was a fantastic opportunity. I think my ears are still ringing from the noise of those race tracks. Toughest thing? I don’t think anything is really tough. I love research and always learn amazing things.

NT: What was the most memorable reader reaction you’ve received about your books?

NW: A woman who read Whisper, an early Blaze of mine, and told me she could hear the hero whispering to the heroine. This reader is profoundly deaf. I still get shivers when I recall her lovely letter. I had one person very suspicious that I’d used a character name that happened to be the same as hers. I assured her it was not identity theft, just an accident. Most people who take the time to write are just lovely and I’m so grateful they take the time to tell me they enjoy my work. Writing is such a strange profession. If you’re a violinist or actor or singer, you perform and receive applause. Once you write a book it goes out of your hands and you rarely see or hear from the people who actually read it. So I treasure reader letters.

NT: When not busy writing, what do you like to do in your spare time? (If there is such a thing *G*)

NW: I wouldn’t call it fun, but lately I’ve been training for a 10K fun run. I think it’s critical for writers to get off our butts and exercise. I read, of course, love theater and the movies, am a pretty decent cook, and recently, I’ve been studying screenwriting. I think novelists can learn a lot from screenwriters, and vice versa.

NT: What are the latest additions to your TBR? What are you most eager to read?

NW: Water for Elephants which everyone raves about and I haven’t read yet. The new Lee Child (I love the Jack Reacher character) and I’m eagerly awaiting the 14th Stephanie Plum novel.

NT: Any advice to aspiring authors? What craft books helped you that you would recommend to aspiring writers?

NW: My best advice is to keep writing. It is a tough business, but new people get published all the time. I still think Harlequin and Silhouette offer fantastic opportunities for a new writer and I’ve been very grateful to be published there. Enter contests and take heed of what judges say, especially published judges. Figure out what your strengths are as a writer and make sure you write stories that showcase them. Critique partners and groups can be very good, just make sure that it’s a positive, helpful group. I still read how to books. On my shelves and most frequently consulted or re-read are: Dwight Swain, Techniques of the Selling Writer, Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones and Wild Mind, Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird, Stephen King on Writing, The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler, and GMC: Goal, Motivation and Conflict, by Deb Dixon.

NT: What can your fans look forward to from you in the near future? What are you working on now?

NW: After The One I Want in May, I think my next book out won’t be until Booty and the Beast next February. I’m currently working on that, as well as trying my hand at a mystery.

NT: How can readers contact you?

NW: nancy@nancywarren.net

Thanks so much for having me.  This has been fun.

Read Full Post »

Nancy Warren Books


Kensington Brava

ISBN 9780758210456

May 2008

Lucky for Chloe Flynt, everyone knows it’s harder to get out of a bad relationship than it is to get in one. But when it comes to hot, steamy, long-lasting passion, even Chloe is at a loss—until this British playgirl comes face to face with a true-blue Texas cowboy who tempts her to toss away her commitment phobic habits one and for all for a walk down the aisle…

Falling in love is much harder than breaking up…

With three broken engagements under her oh, so fashionable belt, it’s high time London party girl Chloe Flynt gets a job. Unfortunately, Chloe isn’t exactly qualified for anything, except dumping a Mr. Wrong or two (or three!) with a little dignity. Realizing she needs a new beginning, she lands in Austin, Texas and opens a company breaking up bad relationships.

Too bad Chloe’s tall, tough-talking and take-charge landlord, Matthew Tanner, isn’t interested in her expertise. Because anyone can see that his girlfriend is clearly all wrong for him. Not that Chloe cares. She and Matthew have nothing in common—other than mind-blowing attraction, that is. But when his girlfriend requests Chloe’s services, all hell breaks loose. If there’s one thing Chloe knows for sure, it’s that just because she’s good at breaking up bad relationships doesn’t mean she has a talent for putting together good ones. Maybe it’s finally time she gives it a try…

Excerpt found here.


Harlequin Blaze

ISBN 0373793938

April 2008

“Fashion crime” takes on a whole new meaning…

Manhattan magazine writer and fashionista Kimi Renton is one of the beautiful people at couture week in Paris. This time she’s stuck with a rumpled PI posing as her photographer. Holden MacGreggor is atough-guy gorgeous—and badly attired. So if he’s going to play the part right, she’s going to have to dress him properly…then undress him slowly.

Soon they’re having so much fun under the covers they almost forget they’re supposed to be undercover, busting an international theft ring. Then ooh, la la turns into oh-oh!

Excerpt found here.


Kensington Brava, mass market reprint

ISBN 9780758205896

April 2008

Corporate raider Joe Montcrief is in Beaverton, Idaho to do a deal and get out. But Beaverton and its citizens—especially proprietor of the Shady Lady B&B have other ideas. When he’s around Emmylou, his hostess at the former brothel turned B&B, Joe finds himself falling for the lure of the craziest place he’s ever seen, and the lush and sexy Emmylou. Is Joe the only sane person in Beaverton, Idaho? Or is Sanity highly overrated? Excerpt found here.

Read Full Post »