Monday, April 18, 2011

Tell Me a Story...

I'm so excited to have Ms. Eileen Dreyer as a guest on the blog today.  We're talking about Drake's Rakes, her historical romance trilogy centered around the Napoleonic conflict. 

I was just amazed by Olivia's story in Barely a Lady.  The twists and turns -- my goodness!  Did you have each one of those plotted or were some pleasant surprises along the way?  

Thank  you so much. I'm really delighted. Actually, I have a problem when I write. I call it Toilet Tank Syndrome. I'm convinced that somebody somewhere is going to be reading my book on a toilet and think, "When I get to the end of the chapter, I'll stop for now," leave the book on the top of the tank, and just forget it, because it wasn't that interesting. So even after I have my plot laid out, I'm compelled to twist it a couple more times along the way. In fact, when I started the book, there was no Jamie. He just kind of showed up.

We're introduced to Grace Fairchild in Barely a Lady, and she takes center stage in Never a Gentleman.  Yet Diccan Hilliard is not who I would have pictured her with in any kind of entanglement. (I pictured her with Kit, truth be told.)  I'm interested to read about Grace and Diccan's squabbles; if the excerpts I've read are any indication, I'm sure they will be doozies!  Is that kind of I-hate-you-but-I'll-soon-love-you banter difficult to make believable? 

I know. I first thought it would be Kit, too. Don't worry. Kit gets his own book. But I realized that for Grace I needed her exact opposite, or she'd never be forced to stand up for herself and come out of her shell. 

As for the  I-hate-you factor, I love writing characters standing toe-to-toe. I grew up on John Wayne-Maureen O'Hara movies.(you want sparks, wait til you read Kate's book). The hard part is to know when to begin easing off. I can't tolerate books where they're hating each other (with the occasional--or frequent--stop for hot sex) until the last two pages of the book. I need to see them figure out how to negotiate better, or I'm not going to believe they have a chance.

As for Diccan and Grace, Diccan is angry, but once he realizes that Grace couldn't possibly have set him up, he focuses his anger on the situation rather than her. Their interaction grows and changes quite a bit through the book as the two of them grow into the marriage and overcome the increasingly harsh interference from Diccan's undercover activities and the villains he's trying to bring down.

(As an aside, and if I can gush for a moment, I finished Never a Gentleman today, and I just absolutely loved it.  LOVED it.)

Oh, I'm REALLY glad. It's been very interesting. I was checking on some of the open reading sites(authors can never stay away from reviews), and for the first time in my career, the reviews were split dead even between 5s and 1s. I think(I hope) that people who came to this book with a more thoughtful attitude got more out of it, rather than just saw the action that might appear to be offensive. Yes, there are places where Diccan is horrible. He has to be. And it hurts Grace. And I know Grace doesn't always react the way some readers want her to. They want her stronger and more self-assured from the outset. But that's the point. She ISN"T self-assured. She's never learned how to expect any better, and in this book she learns. I love Grace to death, much more now that I've written her book. I truly think she's my favorite heroine I've ever done. So I'm delighted that you loved her, too.

In a way, I feel like Barely a Lady, Never a Gentleman, and Always a Temptress should be subtitled "The Graces" since Olivia Grace, Grace Fairchild, and Her Grace, Lady Kate Gilbey are the heroines.  Are more Drake's Rakes in the future?  I would love to see Kit and Chuffy in particular in love while trying to maintain service to God and country.

You discovered my secret. The series was originally a trilogy named THE THREE GRACES. But then I realized that they had to have heroes, and that the heroes were spies, whom I casually called Drake's  Rakes, and the marketing department of Grand Central went wild. So Drake's Rakes it is. As for future books, keep your fingers crossed. I think there are six more books, with Marcus Drake the last hero. He REALLY has secrets. And wait until you see who his heroine is. And I knew the minute Chuffy first mistook Corunna for Cornwall that I had to give him his own love. The funny thing is that it was only last night that I realized who she was, and I've been giggling all day. As much as I love Chuff, he's not a lead hero. But he will have his place in one of the books, I promise. People just have to tell Grand Central they want to see the rest of the men given their stories. ;-}.

Thank you so much, Ms. Dreyer.  I cannot wait to read more about Drake's Rakes! Ms. Dreyer is holding a contest at her website through the month of April.  The grand prize will be  a ruby and emerald bracelet she brought back from India!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails