Today we're talking to Maggi Andersen on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the historical romance, "A Baron in Her Bed".
Maggi will be awarding the winner's choice of a backlist eBook to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour, and a $30 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter, so comment today AND follow this tour (if you click on the banner above, it'll take you to a list of tour stops)! The more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a really cool prize!
Thanks to Maggi for answering all my prying questions and in such a clever, interesting manner!
Thank you for inviting me to your wonderful blog. I was blessed – or blighted – however, you care to look at it, with far too much imagination. I was a dreamy child and that got me into a spot of bother more than once – especially in math class. I narrated breathless stories, hanging upside down like a bat from the rafters in my father’s garage – until he made me stop, afraid I’d fall on my head on the concrete. I then took to swinging on the clothesline, but he put paid to that swiftly too! My story telling didn’t stop, however, until I married and began to raise my children. I poured my creativity into my home and family for a while, then, after studying at university, I took writing up again.
The books I first read were exclusively British as that was all our small library by the sea in Sydney, Australia, stocked at that time. Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven books and The Famous Five were favorites and fostered my love of adventure stories. Later, I got my eager hands on Trixie Belden. Other writers, who shaped my writing and developed my interest in historicals and romantic suspense, were Phyllis Whitney, Mary Stewart and Agatha Christie. But I loved Georgette Heyer’s Regencies the most. The fascinating world she created in her books made me return to them often through the years.
When I first began to write a Regency novel, I didn’t have a computer and it was hard to find the sort of research I needed. The internet has opened the world up for writers. There’s so much to tap into from great non-fiction books, to informative Regency/romance websites. There are groups a new writer can join such as the Beau Monde, with members who are successful writers and researchers and very generous with their knowledge.
When writing Regency, I write about the ton, the Upper Ten Thousand – those that made up upper class Regency society. They had a strict code of morals, and it could prove be disastrous to flaunt them. If one caused a scandal, the reaction would be dire. They would be ostracized, which would prove quite devastating, as the lavish, exclusive society of the ton was the very centre of life, set during the London Season, which followed the months when parliament was in session.
I began as a panster, but I’m a bit of both now. I do an outline before I write a scene, and have a general idea of where I’m going with the story and what will be in it. I still don’t entirely know what lies ahead. Anything can happen, which I find exciting. The story loses vitality if I plan it too much. But as a panster, I found shaping an unwieldy first edit can take too long. I prefer to have a better draft to work with, so I edit as I go. In the second draft, I fill in more about the characters and their motivations – I know them thoroughly by then, their faults and their strengths. I strengthen themes; some of which might have been quite unintentional. Writing is a magical business. But becoming published is also a hard slog for most of us, and at times will test our mettle. When I began, over ten years ago now, I put up quotes from writers to keep me inspired. This is one from Andre Dubus: “Don’t quit. It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years.” It didn’t take me quite ten years, but it took a long time – a lot of study, reading and writing to discover just what I wanted to write. During those years before I got my first sale, I learned my craft and discovered my voice. No knowledge you acquire along the way is ever wasted.
Through my window, I can see the pretty, ninety-year-old house next door and a fine Himalayan Dogwood tree which flowers in the spring. A Kookaburra sits on the fence with his eye on me. We feed the birds here and have a huge variety from tiny humming birds to clever black ravens.
I have three new books coming out this year. WITH MURDEROUS INTENT, a contemporary romantic suspense, is a woman in jeopardy story, set in Ireland and the Australian outback and released in March with Black Opal Books. THE FOLLY AT FALCONBRIDGE HALL, a historical romance set in 1894, released by Knox Robinson Publishing on May 8th. The second novel in the Spies of Mayfair Series – TAMING A GENTLEMAN SPY comes out in September. I’m working on the third, WHAT A RAKE WANTS, and hope to work on other stories, time permitting, but I also write for several blogs and belong to a critique group.
It’s great to hear from readers to learn what they enjoy reading. What sort of heroes or heroines they prefer. Do they like alpha males better than Beta? My heroes are alphas, and not just in my historicals. Alpha males feature in my contemporary stories too. They just appeal to me. Most readers want feisty heroines, but do they prefer them to be innocent, or more experienced? Feedback from readers is great, especially if they enjoy A BARON IN HER BED. I fell a little in love with Guy, Baron Fortescue, and some members of my critique group confessed to feeling a bit hot reading about him. I hope readers do too.
I learned from my heroine, Horatia Cavendish that your dreams might not always be the right ones for you. Fate can intervene and change one’s plans for the future, as for Horatia, who wished to become a spinster poetess living amid the London literary set. Her life with a passionate man like Guy will prove a far more fulfilling option.
Now that the war with France has ended, Baron Guy Fortescue arrives in England to claim his inheritance, abandoned over thirty years ago when his father fled to France after killing a man in a duel. When Guy is set upon by footpads in London, a stranger, Lord Strathairn, rescues and befriends him. But while travelling to his country estate, Guy is again attacked. He escapes only to knock himself out on a tree branch.
Aspiring poet Horatia Cavendish has taken to riding her father's stallion, "The General", around the countryside of Digswell dressed as a groom. She has become bored of her country life and longs to escape to London to pursue her desire to become part of the London literary set. When she discovers Guy lying unconscious on the road, the two are forced to take shelter for the night in a hunting lodge. After Guy discovers her ruse, a friendship develops between them.
Guy suspects his relative, Eustace Fennimore is behind the attacks on his life. He has been ensconced in Rosecroft Hall during the family's exile and will become the heir should Guy die. Horatia refuses to believe her godfather, Eustace, is responsible. But when Guy proposes a faux betrothal to give him more time to discover the truth, she agrees. Secure in the knowledge that his daughter will finally wed, Horatia's father allows her to visit her blue-stocking aunt in London. But Horatia's time spent in London proves to be anything but a literary feast, for a dangerous foe plots Guy's demise. She is determined to keep alive her handsome fiance, who has proven more than willing to play the part of her lover even as he resists her attempts to save him.
“This is a dance with which I’m familiar,” the baron said, drawing her close in his arms. “We danced it in Paris long before it came to England.”
She supposed he considered England far behind Paris in most things fashionable. Finding herself pressed up against his hard chest produced the memory of how it looked unclothed. Her breath caught, and she wriggled within his arm. “We do not dance this close in England, my lord.”
He let her go in surprise then took up the pose again, leaving space between them. “Merci. I did not know. You have saved me from making a faux pas.”
She suspected he knew quite well, for the devilry in his eyes betrayed him. “You might learn by observing others, my lord,” she admonished him.
At least now she could breathe. But this was unlike the night they had spent together, when her disguise had protected her. Did he find her attractive?
She had no idea if his charm was merely part of his personality. It shouldn’t matter, for he would choose a bride from the aristocracy, but somehow it did.
His hand at her waist, guiding her, made her recall their time in the hut and his indecent revelations of lovemaking. Her breath quickened at the thought of such an act perpetrated by him on some woman, and even possibly her. His proximity and the strength and pure maleness of him overwhelmed her.
Breathing in the familiar woody Bergamot scent, intermingled with starched linen and soap, she closed her eyes, but that made her dizzy. After examining his masterfully tied cravat adorned with a sapphire pin the color of his eyes, she raised her eyes to his. “I have not seen a cravat tied in that way before. What is it called?”
He smiled down at her. “I believe it is called Trone d’Armour.” The style hailed from France most likely. He was different from the English in other ways too. The French had a disconcerting way of looking at someone. Was he the real Baron Fortescue or an impostor?
She supports the RSPCA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to animals) and animals often feature in her books.
BUY LINK: http://www.amazon.com/Baron-Her-Spies-Mayfair-Series/dp/1908483342/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1339661805&sr=8-2