Today we have, Janet Mullany, author of Hidden Paradise.
How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set outline?
I usually start off with an idea, "I'd like to write a book about …" and take it from there. If I'm selling on proposal I have to squeeze out some sort of synopsis but I can't do it until I'm well into the story and know more about the characters. I wish I had some sort of magic formula and what's scary is that this may be the closest I get to a magic formula!
What do you think makes a good story?
Something that stays with you after you've read it and that you want to press into friends' hands and demand that they read it too and talk to you about it. This is where ereaders don't quite do the job because unless it's a book you can lend you have to hand over the entire ereader.
Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet?
Yes, mysteries, and I have a germinating idea.
What book are you reading now?
The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalians which is a little disappointing so far because I was hoping it would as crazily creepy and clever as Sarah Waters' The Little Stranger.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
An archaeologist. I was, for a time, in my early 20s. I was really good at shoveling dirt.
What influenced the idea for Hidden Paradise?
I wanted to write something that tied in my interests with Jane Austen, Regency servants, historic buildings, and the idea of people dressed up in wonderful clothes trying (not very seriously) to reinvent Regency life. And why not make it an erotic romance (and I just happened to be contracted for a second book!).
Did you surprise yourself at all, as an author, when writing this story?
I wasn't really intending to write m/m scenes but they just sort of fell in there, although it's a very domestic sort of relationship. I think a lot of writers agonize about the "right" way to write sex scenes, like there's some sort of secret book with all the rules that everyone else knows about. I've never worried about that. I take the view that it's the characters who determine the sexual activities.
What was the most difficult to thing/scene to write in this story?
Coming up with Regency activities that wouldn't bore the characters or the readers to death. I couldn't write about modern women sitting around sewing for hours! The men are better off with fencing, boxing, and riding. There's quite a lot about dancing which was a very sexy activity.
Did the story turn out the way you planned from the beginning? If not, what change happened that you didn’t expect?
I wasn't quite sure what was going to happen with the character I call Hero #2, Rob, a footman. He's quite young, and dealing with all sorts of problems in his family, and surprisingly he got a girlfriend toward the end of the book. I really didn't plan that!
What do you hope readers take with them after they’ve read this story?
That they'll have had fun and found it hot. I don't believe in books with deep moral messages.
Fast & Fun:
Boxers or briefs? Boxers
Star Trek or Star Wars? Star Trek
Captain Kirk or Spock crush? Kirk, but it's mainly because I now love his TV ads
Silk or satin? Silk
Brad Pitt or George Clooney? zzzzzzzz neither
Harry Potter or Twilight? Harry Potter
Big Bang Theory or 30 Rock? Sorry, don't watch either
Wine or beer? beer
Dancing with the Stars or American Idol? Sorry, don't watch either
Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
Heels or running shoes? Running shoes
HBO’s Game of Thrones or True Blood? Sorry, see above
What place to travel is on your Bucket List? Prague
When traveling do you prefer hotels or Bed & Breakfasts? B&Bs but my husband whines so much about inadequate bathrooms/beds we go to hotels
Was it love at first sight for you when you met your spouse? Not really
What did you notice first when you met your spouse? He was late!
Thank you very much for being here. We all wish you the best of luck!!
Thanks for having me visit.
by Janet Mullany
CALL IT SENSE AND
Louisa Connelly, a recently widowed Jane Austen scholar, needs some relief from her stifling world. When a friend calls to offer her a temporary escape from her Montana ranch, she is whisked into a dizzying world of sumptuous food, flowing wine...and endless temptation.
She's an honored guest at Paradise Hall, an English resort boasting the full experience of an authentic Georgian country-house weekend. Liveried servants tend to the every need of houseguests clad in meticulous period costume: snug breeches, low-cut silken gowns and negligible undergarments.
It's Mac Salazar, a journalist immersing himself fully, deeply, lustily in the naughty pleasures of upstairs-downstairs dalliances, who piques Louisa's curiosity-and libido-most.
He's a dilettante straight out of a novel: uninhibited, unapologetic and nearly insatiable. But Lou's not romantic about this much, at least: Paradise Hall is a gorgeous fantasy, nothing more. A lover like Mac is pure fiction. And the real world beckons....
Lou took a deep breath, enjoying the solitude and silence. She took inventory of her outfit and gathered her fan, gloves and fancy red-and-black reticule. Her remaining silk flowers wouldn’t work with this gown, or her headdress, a small turban which was little more than a twist of the same fabric sewn into a circlet. But she needed some sort of adornment, some bling. She looked at her meager collection of jewelry and picked out the ruby on a fine gold chain that Julian had given her for their wedding. When was the last time she had worn this? At his funeral?
She threaded the necklace carefully around the turban, adding a few clumsy stitches to secure it with the sewing kit the room provided. By candlelight, her inadequate housewifery would pass and the ruby, a large square-cut stone, glistened. Perfect.
A touch of glossy red on her lips and she was ready, and only just in time. She joined a flow of guests down the stairs, where women in gorgeous gowns and men in Regency evening wear or military uniforms mingled. Footmen passed through the crowd with trays of champagne. There was a little more light than usual in the foyer and she guessed the floral arrangements concealed hidden lights. A few flashbulbs exploded as they descended the steps, members of the media incongruous in modern clothing, and a couple of camera crews.
A man stepped forward and bowed, dressed in a severe black swallowtail coat and snowy white linen. His evening trousers were black knit that shone with the luster of silk and clung to his beautiful physique, a lock of dark hair tumbled over his forehead. He extended a gloved hand to her.
“Mr. Darcy, I presume,” she said.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Janet Mullany, granddaughter of an Edwardian housemaid, was born in England but now lives near Washington, DC. Her debut book was Dedication, the only Signet Regency to have two bondage scenes (and which was reissued with even more sex in April 2012 from Loose-Id). Her next book, The Rules of Gentility (HarperCollins 2007) was acquired by Little Black Dress (UK) for whom she wrote three more Regency chicklits, A Most Lamentable Comedy, Improper Relations, and Mr. Bishop and the Actress. Her career as a writer who does terrible things to Jane Austen began in 2010 with the publication of Jane and the Damned (HarperCollins), and Jane Austen: Blood Persuasion (2011) about Jane as a vampire, and a modern retelling of Emma, Little to Hex Her, in the anthology Bespelling Jane Austen headlined by Mary Balogh. She also writes contemporary erotic fiction for Harlequin, Tell Me More (2011) and Hidden Paradise (September, 2012).
Book Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bixcPDj8JKA
Janet will pledge $1 for every comment made on the blog tour to Heifer International (which has absolutely nothing to do with the book but is one of her favorite nonprofits), up to $250. Additionally, she'll award the choice of the following eBooks from her backlist to one randomly drawn commenter at every stop: Forbidden Shores (erotic historical romance w/a Jane Lockwood), or Tell Me More (contemporary erotica) or The Rules of Gentility (funny sexy Regency). To one randomly drawn host, she'll award their choice of either a 1 lb. box of Leonidas chocolates (US only) or a flock of chicks in their name from Heifer International.
Please leave a comment or question for Janet (and your e-mail address) on this post to be entered in the giveaway.
Click HERE for the complete tour schedule. The more tour stops you comment on, the better your chances of winning. Good luck!