Chanel Cleeton discusses the sizzling Flirting With Scandal
Can you tell us a little of what we have to look forward to with FLIRTING WITH SCANDAL?
I’m so excited to share FLIRTING WITH SCANDAL with all of you! The hero, Will, is one of my all-time favorite heroes. He’s a good guy with a heart of gold and a dirty mouth 🙂 He’s the perfect complement for Jackie’s sharp tongue and quick wit. This is one of my steamiest books, and I love how explosive their chemistry is. I had a blast writing their banter! The book is full of twists and turns, and Washington, D.C. provided the perfect backdrop for plenty of political scandal. I hope you enjoy the ride as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Politics, sex and scandal is a HOT combination! What inspired you to write about the world of politics in Washington, D.C?
I studied politics at university and for my master’s, and have always loved the subject. One of my best friends worked as a political consultant in Washington, D.C. and she had so many fascinating stories. I knew it would make a great subject for a book!
Who is your ultimate book boyfriend?
Ooh this is a TOUGH question. Probably Mr Darcy from PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. It’s one of my favorite books, plus I’m a HUGE fan of the BBC’s adaptation with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, so now whenever I reread the book, I picture Colin as Mr Darcy. I don’t think I could ask for a better book boyfriend 🙂
Have you always wanted to be a writer? What do you love most about your job?
I’ve always had a passion for books and for storytelling. I’m an avid reader, and when I was younger I used to write and illustrate books. Unfortunately, my art skills are seriously lacking, but I definitely discovered my love for writing. I didn’t seriously pursue writing as a career until my twenties, but once I did, I knew I’d found my niche.
I love getting to work with books on a daily basis. Writing constantly surprises me, and I love following my characters and stories as they take me in directions I never expected. I also love talking with my readers. The book community is so supportive and enthusiastic, and it’s an honour to be a part of it.
Do you have the most fun creating your heroes or your heroines?
It’s probably an equal balance. I LOVE writing my heroes’ point of view, and probably fall a bit in love with them during the drafting process. I also love getting to tell my heroines’ stories. I enjoy writing sassy heroines, so their inner monologue is usually really fun to create.
Do you have a favourite hero or heroine from your books or by any other author?
This is a tough one. I really, really love Jackie and Will from FLIRTING WITH SCANDAL. I always characterize Will as a ‘nice guy with bad boy moves’, and he’s definitely won a piece of my heart. I love how feisty Jackie is, and really enjoyed writing her point of view.
As a reader, I think Kristen Ashley writes the best heroines. They’re hilarious and always remind me of women I’d want to be friends with. Judith McNaught’s heroes are probably my favourites. I grew up reading her books, so my image of the ‘perfect man’ was definitely influenced by her heroes. I also have a special love for Elizabeth and Darcy in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.
Who are the authors you read for pleasure?
Some of my favourite authors include: Judith McNaught, Nora Roberts, Kristen Ashley, Brenda Joyce, Johanna Lindsey, Eloisa James, Lisa Kleypas, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jennifer Crusie, Suzanne Enoch, Gaelen Foley, Sophie Kinsella, J.R. Ward, Loretta Chase, Sarah MacLean, Julie Anne Long, Jenny Han, Tessa Dare, Christina Lauren, Joanna Wylde, and Samantha Young.
If you could take only three essentials with you to a desert island what would they be?
My iPad loaded with books, my laptop, and a power source 🙂
Who would be on your dream dinner party guest list, dead or alive?
Cleopatra, Coco Chanel, Jane Austen, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
What are your guilty pleasures?
I have a terrible handbag habit and own way more than I should. There’s something about a great bag that can always perk you up. I also can’t resist a book sale, so my iPad TBR is basically overflowing.
There’s so much interest and excitement around romance fiction right now. What do you think that romance readers are looking for in the romances they read today?
I LOVE the current enthusiasm for romance! I’ve been an avid romance fan for nineteen years now, and I’m so happy to see the audience grow. I think readers are looking for a story they can immerse themselves in, that will take them on an adventure. Romance novels have an incredible power to lift you up when you’re feeling down and inspire you. It’s not just about the swoon-worthy heroes; romance readers love a heroine that they can connect with, that they can root for, that they can identify with on some level. I’ve been so fortunate to read many amazing books throughout the years and there’s no better cure for a tough day then opening the pages of a great book. Romance readers know they’re going to get a happy ending by the time they turn the last page, and the journey along the way can be the ultimate adventure.
FLIRTING WITH SCANDAL is out on 19th May, and look out for the second title in the scorching-hot and enthralling Capital Confessions series, PLAYING WITH TROUBLE!