Have you always wanted to be a writer? What do you love most about your job?
Some of my earliest memories are of writing stories in my head, creating scenes and dialogue, rewriting them, always in my head, as I went along. I greatly enjoy finding a narrative and following it as it opens up in front of me. That’s probably what I love most about the job, except, of course, when the narrative hits a road block, and then that’s pure frustration.
Where do you find your inspiration for your wonderful historical romances?
History has all the inspiration one could wish for. I think of a particular event or historical figure and dig around. Almost always some interesting nugget of information or seemingly insignificant fact offers the perfect hook for a story.
Do you have the most fun creating your heroes or your heroines?
I think I’d have to say heroines, although heroes are fun to construct, but I really enjoy getting under the skin of a woman who both defines and defies the time she’s living in.
Do you have a favourite hero or heroine from your books or by any other author?
My favorite characters are always the ones I’m working on, or, more accurately, with.
Who are the authors you read for pleasure?
I have very eclectic tastes from Evelyn Waugh to Alan Furst, Dennis Lehane to Kate Atkinson, Jane Austen to Anthony Trollop.
What book, by any author, would you recommend for a first-time romance reader?
Anything by Georgette Heyer, although I remember most fondly my first reading of The Grand Sophy.
If you could take only three essentials with you to a desert island what would they be?
A self-charging iPad, loaded with all the books I’ve yet to read, and all my old favorites, a very large umbrella, and an endless supply of oysters rockefeller.
Who would be on your dream dinner party guest list?
Catherine the Great, Samuel Pepys, George Bernard Shaw, Jane Austen
What is your guilty pleasure or your biggest indulgence?
Good red wine, but I don’t feel guilty about it.
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?
What all good fiction offers, a different world, a sense of possibility, excitement, a wild ride with a truly satisfactory conclusion.