BEAUTY AND THE BRIT
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We girls love our romance heroes—and one of our favorite things to do is get the straight skinny on what they find romantic, sexy even, about life, love, and especially their heroines. In other words—give us an interview with a hero any time and we’ll rush to find out what his favorite color is, how he felt when he met his heroine, and what made him fall in love with her.
But, I found out something fun the other day when David Pitts-Matherson from BEAUTY AND THE BRIT met up with my husband, Jan Selvig. I wanted to know what my guy would ask my hero. Guess what? Ain’t the same things I’d ask—not even close!
But the questions led to some great answers and David seemed relieved to have some non-touchy-feely questions to put his mind to. Never fear—I got in a couple of girly questions at the end—but, mostly, here are all the simple guy things Jan wanted to know.
Jan Selvig: Here you go, David, since my wife is making us do this thing, sit and have a home-brewed beer, and let me start with this: how the heck did you end up in East Podunk, Minnesota all the way from England?
David Pitts-Matherson: Good beer, Jan, thanks. And, good question—it does seem odd, doesn’t it? Bottom line is, because of the unhappy circumstances surrounding my discharge from the army—you might remember from the book—my then-fiancée left and my father was none too pleased with me. I felt a very long trip to someplace less judgmental was in order, so America was my choice of destination. Wouldn’t you know, my mother, an ace of a busy-body, determined that my father should plan a trip as well and we should go together. He traveled around teaching riding clinics, and I followed until I found the farm in Minnesota for sale. It was love at first sight—I stayed and sent my father on his way. I’ve never looked back.
JS: Where are you from in England?
DP-M: I was born in the north, in the Yorkshire dales. My grandmother had a bed and breakfast there, which is where my mum and dad met. Da’ moved in, married Mum, and we stayed there until I was six. After that we moved to Kent where my father built his successful riding stable—and where I learned the horse business as well.
JS: Are you related to royalty?
DPM: There are times when we all wish we could get some good out of a direct line to the Queen. Sadly, I have no provable thread to the Windsors. There’s a rumor that my mother’s great uncle, who married into our family, was a cousin to a cousin of Prince Philip-but I’m afraid that puts me pretty far down the line of succession.
JS: What do you think of Prince Charles?
DPM: Well he got a rum go in life, didn’t he? I mean, really. He’ll be seventy, like tomorrow, and what’s he had to do all these years? Wait to be king. What kind of job is that? It’s no wonder he’s a bit bonkers. At least he has Camilla—not that the whole thing with Diana wasn’t tragic. But Camilla, turns out she’s a bit of all right. Stable. Keeps her place quietly. People like her well enough. Better than Charles I daresay.
JS: Have you ever seen the Crown Jewels?
DPM: Sure, yeah, on a school trip to London once. I was just a proper tourist like everyone else. It seemed like a lot of gold wasted on scepters and things to me and what for? But it goes back centuries, I suppose, so it’s impressive.
DPM: (Nearly snorting beer out his nose). Nobody’s ever asked me that before. You know what? I have, actually. My mother had an old friend once who studied the ways of the Druids. She used to travel to these stone circles all over England and Scotland and participate in the old solstice rituals or whatever they were. She was nutters, the old girl, but my sister and I loved her. She’d bring us sweets from all over the country.
JS: Have you ever shopped at Harrods? Can you really get anything there?
DPM: I’ve been into the store but I’m not much of a shopper. My Mum is shopper enough for half of England. I’ve heard you can order everything from golden toilet seats to camels, but the weirdest thing I’ve ever known about was when my Mum ordered fifty gold-plated toothpicks the year my father won an Olympic gold medal. Splashed down a couple of hundred quid, I think. How mad is that?
JS: Is it true all you eat in England is lamb and fish-and-chips?
DPM: (Laughing again.) Why, because of all the sheep in Yorkshire? In truth, we did eat a lot of lamb in things when I was a kid, and I hate mutton. But fish-and-chips were rare at home. That was a town treat. Although, ever had mushy peas? Mum made those and served them with everything. I miss a good dish of mushy peas.
JS: I have had them—and I don’t blame you for missing them.
JS: Have you ever met the Queen—because of your father’s status as an Olympian, for example?
DPM: I haven’t ever, but we did meet Princess Anne and her family. Since she’s an accomplished horsewoman, she was at the reception for my father after he won his equestrian medal. She’s pretty down to Earth. Now her daughter rides. My dad has taught her.
And here’s where I (Liz) jump in to stop the travelogue—since my husband is clearly as big a fan of England as I am. But I have to ask a couple of romance questions—or I’ll be drummed from the girls’ club!
Liz: David, what was your first impression of Rio—remember her?
David: (Laughing) Nobody ever forgets Rio once he or she has met her. My first thought was that she was a little human volcano. Fiery red on top, with flashing blue sparks from her eyes and steam coming from her ears when she was on a tear. But it turned out that she was tough but a big faker about blowing up. She’s nothing but soft and kind and understanding beneath it all. And smart and practical. Best thing that ever happened to me.
Liz: Will you stay in the U.S. now? Or would you and Rio ever consider going to England to live?
David: I’ll take Rio there as often as she’d like to visit, but, no. I’ll never move back. I’m a U.S. citizen now, and I love my adopted country. I love England, too, but this is home—with Rio.
Liz: Tell us about that tattoo. The one for Rio.
David: All I can say is—I wanted something that would prove I’d do anything for her. Considering what a hard time I gave her about tats, this seemed like the perfect thing. Infinite infinity. I actually quite like it now.
Liz: Can you describe it?
David: Don’t you think it would be more fun if people read the book to find out?
Liz: You’re right! Run out and buy the book everyone!!
And that’s all the time and room we have. David and Jan—thanks so much for the awesome interview. I certainly learned things about David I never knew!
David: My pleasure! And thanks for the beer, Jan. You can interview me anytime. Your questions were easier.
Jan: Thanks for your time, David. I’m gonna run now and get you that home-made maple syrup I promised you.
I hope everyone enjoyed the goofiness! I have three e-books to give away this weekend—one each of “The Rancher and the Rock Star,” “Rescued by a Stranger,” and “Beauty and the Brit.” Just leave a comment for a chance to win. Let me know your answer to ANY of the questions we asked David! Or ask one of your own.
Come back on Monday for two excerpts from BEAUTY AND THE BRIT and a chance for more prizes!