What would readers be surprised to find out about you?
Goodness. So many things, I would expect. Perhaps the fact that I never went to high school (but did go to college). Or that I wanted to be an astrophysicist. Or maybe that I have a bunch of very slight touches of facial blindness, dyslexia, and synesthesia. All of which makes it an adventure when writing out a check that has amounts using 4 or S (both of which are red).
Do you have any favorite book boyfriends of your own?
Oh, mercy, just line my books up and start reading off the hero names. I’ve said before that I write books for myself first, and that’s absolutely true. I love all of my heroes, and it’s only because publishers won’t let me write all the heroines as me that I bother with writing those dishy men females who are worthy of them.
Outside of my books, I was one of those girls who grew up with the hots for Sherlock Holmes. As an adult, I’ve been quite fond of several of Georgette Heyer heroes, particularly those who give in to their senses of humor (Sir Tristram from Talisman Ring, and Freddy Standen from Cotillion).
Where do you find inspiration for you writing? Do you use real people/places as a foundation?
I’ve always told myself stories, so writing is really just an extension of that. My inspiration is my muse, who I picture as a bon-bon eating diva who reclines of fainting couches a lot, waving a languid hand whenever she wants something, and basically ruling me with threats of going away on vacation if I attempt to work her too hard. I seldom use real people in my books, since the people in my head are much more flawed and thus suitable for me to torment, but I do use as many real locations as I possibly can. I rely heavily on past trips to Europe as the source of many locations, and those I haven’t visited I usually research by finding people who live there, and haunting online webcams, and photo galleries.
How did you choose the names of your characters?
I love historical names, so I tend to hang out on census sites, looking up naming patterns for whatever era is pertinent. I also love ethnic names, so I maintain a list of names that I like and want to use one day. Also, I have a great book that lists every character in Shakespearean works, and pull from there a lot, too.