I am delighted the welcome the author
Hi Maureen ~ welcome to Jaffareadstoo
First of all, thank you for having me here. I really appreciate it.
Please pass that on to Jaffa.
What inspired you to become an author?
My big dream was to be an actress, but my mother very wisely told me I could study whatever I wanted in college, as long as I could support myself afterward. I chose journalism, then took a job as a staffer in Congress right after graduation. I worked as a press aide for most of a decade, then when I went through a very painful divorce in 1996 I moved to Los Angeles, determined to pursue a career as a Hollywood writer. I've had my share of ups and downs. My biggest job to date was as a writer for Jimmy Kimmel’s late night show. My low point was right when the recession hit and I couldn't find any sort of job. And, oddly enough, I'm finally pursuing an acting career. I turned 50 in March and decided acting would be a better mid-life crisis that buying a sports car. So far, I've had one audition for a show called REVENGE. I don’t know if it airs in the UK, but it’s like a night time soap opera. It was for the role of a doctor and I didn't get it.
What makes you want to write romantic historical fiction?
Other than Gone With the Wind and Pride and Prejudice (my very favorite book), I’d never read a romance novel until the recession hit in 2008. I lost my job and suddenly found myself with lots of free time. I picked up a Catherine Coulter Regency romance and fell in love. I read voraciously for two years. And I picked Regency because that’s what my mom reads. My favorite authors are Sabrina Jeffries, Lisa Kleypas and Karen Hawkins.
I like writing it because there’s something very romantic about that time period. I find it difficult to read earlier eras because the lack of sanitation really, really bothers me. I can’t stop thinking about it. And while things were far from clean in the Regency era, it was getting there. As for modern, I don’t think it’s all that romantic, though I think I may try my hand at it next.
What comes first, the plot or the people?
I'm finishing up the sixth book about the Kellington family, based around the Duke of Lynwood, his three brothers, one sister and a family friend. The people definitely came first. They’re all named for Kings and one Queen of England. When I started, I thought that would enter into the plots, especially in Arthur’s book. Ironically, that one was the most difficult to write since there’s no definitive tale of King Arthur. And, after all, the guy basically gets cheated on. I was very depressed when I figured that one out. Hal’s book was a combination of the debauchery of Henry the VIII and the courage of Henry V.
Can you tell us what you are writing next?
I’m finishing the series with their friend, Joseph Stapleton’s, book. He’s an Inspector with Bow Street whom we met in the first book. His book is turning into kind of a gothic romance as he travels to a castle with an acquaintance of the duke’s to keep her safe from harm. After this series is done, I think I’m going to try some modern stories, but I’m not quite sure.
Do you have a special place to do your writing?
Just a couple months ago, I finally got wireless Internet, which has freed me up to write wherever I want in my apartment. Being online comes in handy when I have questions about things. But despite all the freedom, I'm always at my dining room table. I cannot write in coffee shops, though it certainly did wonders for J K Rowling.
What books are on your bedside table?
I’m currently reading Dangerous Angel by Sabrina Jeffries when she was writing under the Deborah Martin pen name. I love her writing. If you haven’t read her, please do. Everything she does is great.
I also have been re-reading Candace Camp’s Willowmere series. I’m obsessed with it. Her characters and stories are superb. It’s probably about time for me to re-read Mary Balogh’s Bedwyn series. I LOVE those books. Each is so different than the others. And that’s hard to do. I have some wonderfully nice readers who've had suggestions for more Kellington books. There are one or two more I may do, but I really don’t want to wear out my welcome with them. I think we've all read series where plots begin to repeat themselves and things get awfully familiar. I don’t want to do that and will (hopefully) quit while I'm ahead.
The Kellington Series
Maureen - thanks so much for taking the time to visit us - Jaffa and I wish you much success with your writing !
My Review of Never A Mistress, No Longer A Maid is here