Thanks for being here today! To start off, can you please tell us a little bit about your current project?
The Bluestocking is the story of an unlikely couple. After his son was kidnapped and his wife killed in a fire, Edwin, the Marquess of Maddock became known as "the Mad Marquess". He’s been consumed with hatred for the family he holds responsible for destroying his family. Gertrude Killoran, the heroine, is the illegitimate daughter of the man who ruined Edwin’s life.
Would you say this book showcases your writing style or is it a departure for you?
The Bluestocking definitely showcases my writing style. My books tend to be full of emotion; my heroes and heroines multi-layered. Family is often central to my stories. All of this is part of Gertrude and Edwin’s journey.
How did you ‘get to know’ your main characters? Did they ever surprise you?
I’d spent time with Gertrude and Edwin in the previous books in the story where they were secondary characters. With each glimpse I had of them, I was more and more intrigued by who they were, and how they’d become the people they did. Gertrude proved the greater surprise for me. We learn in the previous books in my Wicked Wallflowers series that Gertrude is partially blind, and we know a great deal about her family history and background…and yet her story was entirely different from her siblings’ background. It was just a reminder that two people can grow up together and share similar experiences and still become entirely different people.
What was the most difficult scene to write?
The story centers around Edwin trying to reconnect with Stephen, the son who’d been kidnapped years earlier. I’d felt this deep connection to both of them in previous books: Stephen was this angry young boy. A child whose done horrible, dangerous things. And then the father who is a shell of a person after he’d lost all that mattered most to him—his family. And for me it was so important to get the moment father and son truly reconnect right. As I wrote, there was so much emotion driving that scene, and it was so cathartic.
What was your favorite scene to write?
All of the scenes with Gertrude and Edwin and her menagerie of animals was just so fun! There’s one particular scene with ten cats, and I just smiled the whole while I wrote it!
Can you list some things that inspired this book?
My entire Wicked Wallflowers series was inspired by the Lumineers’ album Cleopatra. The album has such a raw feel to it and just brought this gritty world to life in my mind…this series about these women who are queens who couldn’t be more removed from nobility. In fact, the first heroine of the series is, in fact, named Cleopatra and the second is Ophelia which are also the titles of two songs on the album!
What project are you working on next?
After I’d finished my Wicked Wallflowers books, I went to a ‘lighter’ place. I have a new book coming out late June. A Matchmaker for a Marquess is the third title in my Heart of a scandal series. I always say after writing in a darker world, my creative soul craves light-hearted and that’s what my June release was and is…it’s a fun story about an almost thirty-year old matchmaker who falls in love with her best friend’s younger brother!
In the meantime, my latest work-in-progress drew me back into a darker side of the Regency world. I’m writing the fourth installment in my Brethren series which features clever, and sometimes ruthless, heroes and heroines who work for the Home Office.