I'm so very, very excited to have Tessa Dare here with me today. She burst onto the historical romance scene in 2009 with the wonderful Goddess of the Hunt and continues to dazzle with her new trilogy featuring the Stud Club.
All of the heroes of the Stud Club trilogy -- and some minor members, Leo and Peter, respectively -- are surprisingly opposite in their character traits, mannerisms and demeanor. Was it difficult to get into the minds of Spencer, Rhys, and Julian?
TESSA: When I started the series, it was with the idea that I wanted to bring together some very different men, with clashing personalities and drastically different life experiences. And yes, it was difficult to get a handle on each of them! Spencer gave me fits. Julian was like a well that just kept getting deeper and deeper. But Rhys was the hardest, because he was so tortured and abused. Writing Rhys just made me want to call up my family and thank them for making it so incredibly hard for me to imagine what he went through.
TESSA: Yes, definitely. As I said above, I wanted to bring together three men who normally wouldn't want much to do with one another at all. Part of that is because I wanted them all to be rather strong, aloof alpha heroes, and in naturally occurring groups of friends, you usually find a balance of personalities. Goddess of the Hunt, for example, started with a group of four old friends -- but not all of them could have carried their own books and been true hero material. I mean, no one's ever asked me to write a book for Felix, even though he was an integral part of their group dynamic.
So it seemed to me, if I wanted to bring three alpha men together in a meaningful way, there would have to be luck or tragedy at the root of it... or some of both!
Do you have a favorite character pairing you've written that you "ship"?
TESSA: Hm. There were times when I felt like I was probably the only person who wanted to see Lily and Julian together! In the first few books, he is rather hard to love. But the response to their book has been overwhelmingly positive, so I guess I managed to convince some readers in the end!
I also get a lot of reader mail about Claudia, asking whether she will get her own book. I would love to write about her, but I think she needs to grow up in my head a bit first. She still feels like a teenager to me, so I need to think about the kind of woman she'd become. And I'd also need some time to invent a really strong, sexy hero to be her match!
The next question isn't really a question. I have to confess, I love the epilogues included in A Lady of Persuasion and Three Nights with a Scoundrel. It goes straight to the center of my epic-loving historical romance heart where I need to know how many children so-and-so had. So thank you!
TESSA: No, thank you! And you're very welcome. Really, the epilogues are almost just as much for me. I love them, too! Both writing them and and reading them in other authors' books. For my own books, I guess I feel it's important to show my characters not only happy with their romantic partners and children, but part of a loving circle of friends and family. Knowing they have that kind of support network helps me believe they'll be okay for the long haul.
What's next on the agenda for you? Your newsletter hints at a future series. Can you share any information yet?
TESSA: I am starting a completely new series, which will most likely go by the name Spindle Cove (you heard it here first). It's set about five years before my other books, while the Napoleonic wars are still going on. The first book has a fun, flirty battle-of-the-sexes overlaying an undercurrent of deep emotion, and I'm really enjoying the characters. I don't have an official title or release date yet, but it will be out in 2011. Watch my website for more details!
Thank you so much for the wonderful questions.
If you're not following Ms. Dare on Twitter, you should! I cannot wait to read more from her.