Interview with Emma Locke, Author of The Problem with Seduction

Please welcome Emma Locke today!  She’s here to chat about her book The Problem with Seduction.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Emma Locke] Debut author of historical romances. Lover of DailyHiit, hot yoga and hot wings. Engineer. Would-be runner; current ice cream connoisseur.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Problem with Seduction?

[Emma Locke] The Problem with Seduction sends Lord Constantine Alexander, a charming rogue terrified of returning to debtors’ prison, careening into the path of Elizabeth Spencer, a wealthy courtesan who will stop at nothing to keep her infant son safe in her arms. Seduction has been getting great reviews for its fresh characters and rather unique storyline, and I hope readers at Manga Maniac Cafe will agree!

The book opens with Lord Constantine doing his best to convince Elizabeth’s former lover that the baby he thinks is his son is actually Constantine’s child. Elizabeth has promised Lord Constantine ten thousand pounds if he is successful. A tiny pittance, in her mind, for the return of her baby.

Constantine naively believes she’s offered him an excellent bargain, as he’s about to be tossed into debtors’ prison again. But once they have her son safe in her arms, the real trouble begins. Constantine is the fourth of five unmarried rogues. His family is very close, and immediately, his mother and brothers want to meet his “son.” In the meantime, Elizabeth realizes that while she may have duped the baby’s father long enough for him to return her son, she now has an infuriated former lover on her hands.

When Elizabeth and Constantine decide their only recourse is to continue with their farce, she must either overcome her distrust of depending on others, or risk losing contact with those she loves.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Emma Locke] The Problem with Seduction is Book Two in The Naughty Girls Series. The Naughty Girls is built around six heroines who are all a little older and much more experienced than your typical Regency heroine. All of my Naughty Girls have baggage; Elizabeth’s just happens to squirm.

After introducing Elizabeth in the first Naughty Girls book, The Trouble with Being Wicked, I really wanted to write a story about a single mom who moves on from a bad relationship to find happily ever after with a man who deserves her and her baby. I also wanted Seduction to be about a custody battle between two parents who simply aren’t able to make their relationship work. I admit that I wasn’t sure whether either idea would be successful in an historical romance context, and I wasn’t the only one. My critique partners worried that readers would root for the baby’s father, rather than the hero. But I was determined to write this book, so I made sure Constantine is extra-huggable. He has been getting the most attention by reviewers, so I think it worked!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Elizabeth?

[Emma Locke] Resourceful, determined, scared.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Constantine had a theme song, what would it be?

[Emma Locke] Somebody’s Heartbreak by Hunter Hayes. Hunter’s voice perfectly captures Constantine’s handsome youthfulness, his yearning to be all to everyone no matter how much they let him down, and his naïve worship of Elizabeth, despite the fact that she has Bad News written across her forehead.

I’d love to know just what you’re thinkin’

Every little river, runnin’ through your mind

You give and you take

You come and you go

You leave me here wonderin’ if I’ll ever know

How much you care or how much you don’t

Whatever you need, whatever you want

If you’re gonna be somebody’s heartbreak

If you’re gonna be somebody’s mistake

If you’re gonna be somebody’s first time,

Somebody’s last time, baby be mine

If you’re lookin’ to be somebody’s ‘just friends’,

A little laughin’, little lovin’, never callin’ again, that’s just fine

If you’re gonna be somebody’s heartbreak

Be mine, yeah

Oh, be mine

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Elizabeth is never without.

[Emma Locke] Her face powder! Elizabeth was incredibly vain as a courtesan. She never left the house without first spending hours at her dressing table, making sure every lock of hair was styled just right to attract a man. As she settles into motherhood, she begins to change her priorities. But she still has one little luxury she can’t seem to give up, and that’s her face powder. She takes it with her everywhere.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Constantine’s pockets?

[Emma Locke] 1. Gobs of money, because when he rubs two coins together, they vanish.

2. A slip of paper with an assignation written across it in a woman’s hand, because he is not the rake everyone believes him to be.

3. An appointment book, because he has nowhere to be.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Elizabeth’s greatest regret?

[Emma Locke] If Elizabeth could go back to her 15-year-old self and not run away with the handsome Army captain who tempted her away from her father’s house, she would do it in an instant. But since she can’t, she won’t regret what she’s done since.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Emma Locke] I’m a sucker for well-timed comedy. I love How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, House, and all the droll comments in Downton Abbey. Just your typical romance writer, I guess!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Emma Locke] Noise, like the ambient racket at my favorite place to write (on a barstool at The Rock Wood Fired Pizza). My ACE bandages, because I’m starting to get carpal tunnel (bleh). And an internet connection so I can get to Dictionary.com (my vocabulary isn’t as grand as I would like).

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Emma Locke] I have so many on my TBR pile, I can’t possibly answer this question fairly!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Emma Locke] I loved all of my Little Golden Books as a child. I can remember re-reading The Pokey Little Puppy until it came unglued. When I got older, I read all of the Little House on the Prairie books, and then all of The Baby Sitters Club and Sweet Valley High books. Then I discovered historical romance and it was all downhill from there  Smile

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Emma Locke] In the imaginary world where I have free time, I love hot yoga. It’s hard to make the classes (and hot yoga isn’t really something you can do at home), but they’re so, so worth it. Nothing feels better than the high you get about 20 minutes after coming out of that hot room, all stretched out and exhausted and feeling like a million dollars… Hm… I may need to get to a class tonight!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Emma Locke] Twitter is a great way to chat me up. I’m still new to tweeting but I am getting more proficient, I swear. Or readers can come over to my Facebook page and post there. I do check Goodreads but not as often as I’m on the other two.

Here are my handles: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorEmmaLocke and https://twitter.com/EmmaLockeAuthor and http://www.goodreads.com/Emma_Locke

[Emma Locke] I hope to hear from you soon!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

You can order any of Emma’s books from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the links below:

About the book:

AN OUTRAGEOUS PROPOSITION

Elizabeth Spencer needs a man. Preferably one who won’t be too picky about the morality of her proposition, or his reputation. Lord Constantine Alexander can’t afford another trip to debtors’ prison, which makes him the perfect candidate. She doesn’t expect him to have a heart of gold, or to hold up his end of the bargain–particularly when his high-in-the-instep family gets involved. Nor does she expect to find him irresistible, because while she needs a man, she doesn’t particularly want one.

A WICKED BARGAIN

When a beautiful courtesan offers to satisfy his creditors, Con leaps at the opportunity. Never mind his mother and brothers are suspicious of his newfound fortune–being with Elizabeth is intoxicating enough to wipe any thought of scruples away. He soon realizes it’s not just his future he’s been gambling, but his future family. How can he convince London’s premier courtesan he’s more than a callow rake?

The Problem with Seduction is a full-length book (104,000 words) and the second book in The Naughty Girls series. The first book, The Trouble with Being Wicked, is now available and the third book, The Art of Ruining a Rake, will be released in early 2013.

About the author:

Emma Locke is a writer and engineer living in the Pacific Northwest, where she loves hiking with her dog, hot yoga and riding out the annual 330 days of rain. Hiking and yoga give her time to plot, the lack of sun makes for perfect writing weather, and as for her day job, the dichotomy seems to work: her analytic side ensures her passionate, satisfying love stories don’t mulch under her bed, and her author side forces her to keep writing more. You can Like Emma on Facebook at facebook.com/AuthorEmmaLocke or check out her books and appearances at www.emmalocke.com.