Get Lost in This Story…
The Duke of Castleford has been so bad for so long that scandal can’t be bothered to rise up around him anymore. To alleviate the boredom of his privileged life, he occupies himself with drinking and whoring, not to mention the occasional duel. When something piques his interest, however, he has been known to emerge from his ennui and employ his considerable mental faculties to finding answers to the questions that fascinate him.
When Daphne Joyes rejects this notorious hedonist’s seduction, she assumes that he will forget about her and continue on his path to hell. Instead her beauty, grace and formidable composure captivate him, and she becomes one of those fascinations to him. That he intends to have her, and soon, is actually the least of the dangers that his pursuit of her presents. More troublesome is his interest in her past and her history, and the way he keeps poking his nose into the secrets behind the distant relative’s bequest that gave him ownership of the property where she lives.
I am beyond thrilled to host fellow historical author, Madeline Hunter, on the blog today. Madeline has written some of my favorite books and she never disappoints! You’re in for a fun interview, so let’s get right to it.
Madeline Hunter’s first romance was published in June, 2000. Since then she has seen twenty-one historical romances published, and her books have been translated into twelve languages. She is a seven-time RITA finalist, and two-time RITA winner. Twenty of her books have been on the USA Today bestseller list, and she has also had titles on the New York Times printed list, Publishers Weekly list, and the Waldenbooks paperback fiction list. She has received two starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, and Romantic Times has awarded eighteen of her books 4 1/2 stars. Her current book is Dangerous in Diamonds (4/26/2011) which hit the NYTimes list at #15. She currently lives in Pennsylvania.
The Get Lost Interview…
Heather: What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?
Madeline: In addition to romance, I get lost in mainstream historical fiction, mysteries, and really well written nonfiction and biographies, which are stories if done right.
Heather: What’s the first book you remember reading?
Madeline: I have distinct memories of reading my older sister’s first grade Dick and Jane reader, before I entered school myself. Years later I saw that book, and my memory of the story was much more developed! I guess my imagination has supplied a lot more action and words than actually existed on the pages.
Heather: What’s your favorite “love” word?
Madeline: I favor the word “passion.” To me it contains both the emotional and physical parts of love, and also the wonderful craziness of love.
Heather: What turns you off like nothing else?
Madeline: There are four letter words that turn me off like nothing else. Not all of them. Just certain ones that I find really crude and harsh and that carry implications of gross insensitivity.
Heather: Where do you read and how often?
Madeline: I tend to read at home, as often as time allows. I’ll read while making dinner if a book has drawn me in. The dinners aren’t always very good when that happens though. (Oops, forgot the salt. Sorry, guys!)
Heather: What sound or noise do you love?
Madeline: Water flowing, babbling, or as waves breaking.
Heather: Do you write while listening to music? If so what kind?
Madeline: I like total silence when I write. This is a habit, though. I could probably listen to music, if I gave that way a chance.
Heather: What was the first story you remember writing?
Madeline: When I was about five, I typed out a story about going back to school in the fall, on my family’s ancient Underwood typewriter.
Heather: Who’s your favorite villain?
Madeline: I really liked my two villains in By Possession. One was the henchman, the other the brains and the motivator. The henchman was damaged, what today we would call a sociopath. The real evil, to my mind, was the “brains” who knew exactly how bad he was being and who went there anyway.
Heather: Is writing or story-telling easier for you?
Madeline: I can’t separate them. However, once I have the story, the writing is easy. Getting the story right is probably the harder part.
Heather: If you couldn’t be a writer anymore, what profession would you take up?
Madeline: I have always been fascinated by architecture, and how it combines the creative and artistic with the very rational and mathematical.
Heather: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?
Madeline: I groan with relief, LOL. And I immediately allow myself to think about other stories, which I have been avoiding so I won’t get distracted from the work in progress.
Heather: What do you do to unwind and relax?
Madeline: I wish I could say that I exercise, or go on long hikes. The truth is that I rot. I totally veg out. Then after a bit of that, I read a book.
Heather: What is something that not a lot of people know about you but you WISH more people COULD know?
Madeline: I have a secret girly girl side to me that almost never is seen. Really!
Heather: Do you read reviews of your books? If so, do you pay any attention to them, or let them influence your writing?
Madeline: I stopped reading reviews of my books about 8 years ago. Every now and then one is sent to me and I read it, but good or bad I tend not to. They do not influence my writing. I assume they are not intended to either. Reviews are conversations that are reader to reader, it seems to me.
Heather: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?
Madeline: Some financial pressures have been eased and I have been able to travel more than I might have otherwise. The income from writing is not a sure thing, though, so I have not given up the day job and I do not depend on writing to put food on the table. I am very conservative that way.
The biggest dream that was realized was just getting published. Having all the hard work pay off was fantastic, and having that dream come true sort of stunned me.
Heather: Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?
Madeline: Coffee, with cream and sweetener. I drink a lot of it. Too much.
Heather: What does it mean to love someone?
Madeline: This is a big question, that would take pages to answer. However, I will say that loving someone means accepting the imperfections along with the good things. It means being willing to be vulnerable with that person, too.
Heather: What would you say is your most interesting quirk?
Madeline: Interesting? My quirks are just quirky. I am aware of two that others have found humorous (that is a nice way to say “funny in a weird way”, and not interesting or charming.) I talk to myself, out loud, and sometimes do not even realize it anymore. And I can focus to the point where I do not see other people or my surroundings. Sounds like the makings of one of those people you see on city streets, that you cross to the other side to avoid, huh? My husband promises to make sure I never get totally lost in my head. Unfortunately, he is not always with me.
Heather: Which era would you least like to have lived in, fashion-wise and why? Most?
Madeline: So glad you asked! For men, Tudor times. Their clothing was pretty ridiculous during that era. For women, the 1950s and early 1960s. It isn’t only that the clothes of that period would look horrible on me, either. I have always found the silhouettes from then, and the styles, unforgiving and unworkable unless the dress was from a top designer. Grace Kelly looked great in those clothes. Everyone else looked frumpy, I think.
Historically, Regency period dress is attractive for both men and women. I think that is one reason the books set in this period are popular.
Heather: Have you ever written a character who wasn’t meant to be a hero/heroine but he/she wouldn’t go away?
Madeline: My most recent book features one of those characters. Castleford was a walk on in the first book of the series, and did some things in that book that he might not have done if he had been planned as a hero of a later book. Talk about a character who would not go away, too!
Heather: What is your favorite cheese?
Madeline: Right now, Asiago.
Heather: What’s in your refrigerator right now?
Madeline: Oh, dear heavens, please do not ask! I am on deadline and the fridge is pretty gross.
Heather: Is Elvis really dead?
Madeline: Yes, indeed he is. He told me so.
Heather: Tell me how many hats you have in your home?
Madeline: If I had my way, I would have dozens. Unfortunately I look bad in most hats. Also, most do not fit me. Women’s hats come in only one size, while men’s are still sized, which just is not fair.
Heather: Dog person or cat person?
Madeline: I would say cat. However, mine has been waking me up too early in the morning recently, so this may change in a week or so if he doesn’t stop that.
Heather: Which is your favorite language other than your native language?
Madeline: French, but probably only because of all the foreign languages I speak a little, I can speak more of that one than the others.
Heather: How much money does it take to be happy?
Madeline: Well, let us assume that we are not spendthrifts and do not embrace debt easily. In that case, enough is when you can take care of the basics and some additional nice things without worrying over each purchase. I am not someone who needs to buy a lot of stuff, so it may take less for me to be happy than someone else, of course.
Heather: What is your favorite thing about you? J
Madeline: Hmmm. I like to think that I am honest. I will also share what I have with others.
Heather’s GOTTA ASK – Madeline’s GOTTA ANSWER J
Heather: I noticed on your website that you have a Ph.D. in Art History, and teach at the college level. What do you teach, and are you students aware of your career as a romance author? Have any of them dared rib the Prof?
Madeline: I keep my two lives separate, so as far as I know none of my students has been aware of my writing. One student did recommend my own books to me once, unaware that she was talking to Madeline Hunter, which was interesting. There are people at my school who know about it, though. Several of my biggest fans work there. I teach Art History, to undergraduates mostly.
GOT A QUESTION YOU’D LIKE TO ASK YOUR FANS?
Madeline: Dangerous in Diamonds is a redemption story, with a touch of Cinderella thrown in. Romance novels often fall into types or categories like that. There are the beauty and the beast stories, the Cinderella stories, the nurturing mother earth stories, the coming of age stories, etc. Which is your favorite type?
WILL YOU HAVE A DRAWING FROM THOSE LEAVING COMMENTS?**
Madeline: I will offer a signed copy of Dangerous in Diamonds to one of the readers who posts a comment.
Thanks so much for being with us today, Madeline! Where can your fans learn more about you on the web?
My website is www.MadelineHunter.com
Facebook is http://www.facebook.com/MadelineHunter
**Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North American addresses only. If an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.
Join us next tomorrow when Angi hosts Nancy Haddock!