Archive for the ‘Dabney AAR’ Category

Snippets from RWA2014

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Blythe and I had a great time at RWA2014. We both have interviews and insights to share and we will be publishing columns over the next few weeks sharing our encounters and experiences.  (more…)

Courtney Milan: A Slow Writer’s Guide to Making a Living (RWA2014)

Friday, July 25th, 2014

imageI’ve loved attending my first ever RWA. It’s always great fun to meet new writers, talk to those I already know, and listen to everyone chat about Romancelandia. (more…)

Courtney Milan talks to AAR… and gives away five copies of The Suffragette Scandal!

Friday, July 18th, 2014

The Suffragette ScandalI, like many AAR readers, have been avidly awaiting Courtney Milan’s most recent book, The Suffragette Scandal, which she released this week. I asked Courtney if she’d answer some questions and she agreed to do so. She is also giving away in five copies of The Suffragette Scandal to five lucky AAR readers. (To enter the drawing, just make a comment below.) (more…)

Jill Sorenson talks implants, earthquakes, and gives away five copies of Backwoods!

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Author Jill Sorenson is known for her heart-pounding romantic suspense. You can read AAR’s review of her latest book, Backwoods, here. I know Jill on Twitter and asked if she’d be interested in answering a few questions. (more…)

Loretta Chase interview and BIG giveaway

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Loretta Chase’s latest book, Vixen in Velvet, comes out on June 24. Ms. Chase was kind enough to agree to an interview and to offer ten lucky readers galleys of her new book. To be entered in the running for a copy, all you need do is make a comment below. The contest is open  until midnight on Sunday, June 22nd. (This contest is now closed.)
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Nine romance writers band together to support RAINN, the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the United States

Monday, June 9th, 2014

What happens when love gets caught in the rain? In this romance anthology, RITA-Award winning author Molly O’Keefe shows us the power of a city thunderstorm from the top of a skyscraper, while Amy Jo Cousins soaks us in a rain in Spain. New York Times bestselling author Ruthie Knox’s heroine is devastated by a winter storm, while a summer thunderstorm grants Alexandra Haughton’s hero and heroine a second chance at love. Rain sparks self-awareness in the robot in Charlotte Stein’s story and allows Mary Ann Rivers’s heroine to fall in love with her hero and her own art. Rain causes romance between the college students in Audra North’s and Shari Slade’s stories, while romance causes rain in Cecilia Tan’s myth-inspired tale of a sacrifice to a demi-god. Nine romance novelettes, edited by Sarah Frantz. (more…)

Not Your Ordinary Hero

Friday, June 6th, 2014

logan-veronica-marsI’ve spent the past few weeks watching the TV show Veronica Mars (I so love Amazon Prime.) I’d seen it when it first came out but my husband hadn’t. When the movie came out this year, I thought it would be fun to check out Veronica and her pals in Neptune again.

There are many things to love about Veronica Mars–Kristen Bell’s adorable snark, the stinging accuracy of its portrayal of class, the haunting and hip soundtrack, just to name a few. But the thing that strikes me the second time around is how unusual a hero Logan Echols (played brilliantly by Jason Dohring) is.

Logan is the son of two spectacularly screwed-up movie stars played by real life spouses Harry Hamlin and Lisa Rinna. Logan’s grown up with money, fame, and access. In the first half of the first season he is an unmitigated ass. And yet…

By the end of the first season, he’s a man in love, a guy who most of the time, I find myself cheering for even as I struggle to define him.

If you listen to Logan without seeing him, he sounds like an obnoxious, overly confident alpha male. And if you turn the sound off, and just watch him, his mien is that of a beta guy. His body leans away as he speaks, his facial expressions are gently mocking. He routinely holds up his hands as if to say, don’t mind me, I’m backing away. But he’s never really backing away. His laid-back schtick barely hides the rage that undergirds his character . He finds his own path, one that almost always leaves him on top of the proverbial high school heap. I find him fascinating.

The hero in romance novels who most reminds me of Logan is  Sebastian Verlaine, the hero of Patricia Gaffney’s controversial historical romance To Have and to Hold. Like Logan, Sebastian is, when the reader first encounters him, an awful person. And yet, midway through the book, he’s the hero of the piece, a man I trust. Sebastian, like Logan, is neither a villain or a hero. He’s something else entirely–a complicated man whose actions belie his admitted sins.

I’d like to encounter more such men in my reading. Who are the heroes who defy easy categorization? And do you like them? Or do you find that some sins are too grave for you as a reader to overcome?

Dabney Grinnan

mentioned in this post are:

RT20014: The Author interviews, part four

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

The best part of RT was, for me, talking to authors.  I asked each the same three questions.

What is the most interesting piece of research you ever uncovered while writing a book?

How have people responded to you when you tell them you write romance?

If you had to have lunch with one of your characters, who would it be and why? (more…)

RT20014: The Author interviews, part three

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

There were countless authors at RT and I met many of them. Those I interviewed, I asked the same three questions.

What is the most interesting piece of research you ever uncovered while writing a book?

How have people responded to you when you tell them you write romance?

If you had to have lunch with one of your characters, who would it be and why?

CourtneyMCourtney Milan:

My next book is called The Suffragette’s Scandal which is about Frederica Marshall who is a recurring character in The Brothers Sinister series. It comes out later this summer. The hero of the book is someone my readers have never met. He is a complete scoundrel, a blackmailer, a man who doesn’t believe in anything at all. Frederica is the most idealistic heroine I’ve ever met so it’s an explosive combination.

In my latest book, my heroine had gone to Cambridge so I was researching women attending Cambridge at the time. They gave a test called the Mathematical Tripos to those who would graduate with Honors. They finally started allowing women to take the test but wouldn’t rank them alongside the men. Instead, they would announce the women separately and then say where they would have fallen in the official ranking. In 1890, there was a woman named Philippa Fawcette who was a badass. She took the test and her results posed a challenge for the announcers. Her score beat out all the men… by 13%. She is one of the reasons Cambridge began to let women be ranked alongside the men.

For a very long time I kept my romance life completely separate from my work life. Then, I quit my day job. All of my friends were completely supportive. I went to a reunion and, afterwards, a guy from it emailed me and said “We all voted and we think you have the coolest job.”

At this point, it would be Free (Frederica). She’s funny, she’s optimistic, and she likes to eat. So we could order everything.

JenniferMJennifer McQuiston:

My latest book is Diary of an Accidental Wallflower–it’s “Mean Girls” set in Victorian London. It’s will come out in late 2014 or early 2015 and is being published by Avon.

In Diary of an Accidental Wallflower, the hero’s a physician who is working on a device to safely deliver chloroform in surgeries. I researched the phases of sedation. I actually found a YouTube video from the late 1940′s and early 1950′s and watched it over and over again. I was interested to learn that many people fight being sedated and may have to be tied or calmed down to get to that final stage of unconsciousness.

I get a lot of raised eyebrows because in my day job I am an epidemiologist at the CDC.

I would have lunch with Carolyn Tolbertson, the heroine of my second book, Summer is for Lovers. First, I would get to go to Brighton in the 1800′s. Second, she was a very unusual woman. She was a swimmer at a time women didn’t swim. She was very true to herself. I think she would be an interesting person to talk to.

EliseCElise Cyr:

My latest–and first–book is Siege of the Heart. It’s a Medieval romance set in England in the aftermath of the Norman conquest. The heroine, Isabel, is English-born but Norman-blooded and is somewhat adrift in this new political climate. The hero Alexandre is one of William’s knights sent to her holding to secure her family’s loyalty. It was released in April of this year by Kensington Books.

It was incredibly difficult to research this time period. It was a time when everything was in the transition, so I had to research the late Anglo-Saxon period, the post-Norman climate in England, and make guesses as to what happened in between. It was an eye-opening experience for me, especially given that the victors write the history.

I’d pick Isabel. She is a twisted mirror reflection of myself. She’s the version of myself I’d like to be.


MeganMMegan Mulry:

My upcoming release is Roulette, which comes out in December, 2014.

The most interesting bit of research had to do with Sharia Law and arranged marriages in Somalia. This still goes on, but the laws are gradually changing to allow mothers to support their daughters’ decisions to decline an arranged marriage. It’s only a minor part of a subplot, but I love learning all these random facts. I also loved doing research into Parisian cheese shops, high-end clothing shops, Van Cleef & Arpels, and private jet interiors.

When I tell people I write romance they are usually super-excited to meet a “real” writer. I am often out socializing with my husband and the conversation frequently leads to the raised eyebrow along with, “So…do you help with research?”

I would love to have lunch with Miki and Rome from Roulette. He brings her take out from Petrossian that they eat in the back of a limo when she is too busy to eat lunch between high-powered meetings in New York City.

Dabney Grinnan

available books mentioned in this post are:

 

RT2014: The Author Interviews, part two

Monday, May 19th, 2014

I spent one morning at RT, sitting in the lobby and accosting authors. I asked each the same three questions. (more…)