Theresa Romain is the author of Season For Surrender, which will be in stores next week. She dropped by the virtual offices for a chat, and she even brought along a present for one of you! After the interview, enter for a chance to win a copy of Season For Temptation!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.[Theresa Romain] 140? I only need two. Bookish like Dahl’s Matilda. Devoted to family & friends like Austen’s Elinor Dashwood. (I am also fond of wordplay.)
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Season For Surrender?[Theresa Romain] But of course. SEASON FOR SURRENDER is a Regency-set historical romance that takes place during the holidays. It’s a sequel to my romance debut, SEASON FOR TEMPTATION, though each story can stand on its own.
To tell you a bit about the plot, please join me in welcoming SEASON FOR SURRENDER’s back cover blurb:
HONOR AMONG ROGUES
Alexander Edgware, Lord Xavier, has quite a reputation—for daring, wagering, and wickedness in all its delightful forms. But the wager before him is hardly his preferred sport: Xavier must persuade a proper young lady to attend his famously naughty Christmas house party—and stay the full, ruinous two weeks. Worse, the lady is Louisa Oliver, a doe-eyed bookworm Xavier finds quite charming. Yet to refuse the challenge is impossible—he will simply have to appoint himself Miss Oliver’s protector…
MISCHIEF AMONG MISSES
Louisa knows her chance for a husband has passed. But she has no desire to retire into spinsterhood without enjoying a few grand adventures first. When Lord Xavier’s invitation arrives, Louisa is more intrigued than insulted. And once inside the rogues’ gallery, she just may have a thing or two to teach her gentlemen friends about daring…
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?[Theresa Romain] The hero and heroine were both characters in my first novel, SEASON FOR TEMPTATION. In that story, Lord Xavier appears to be villainous—but he’s also very popular. I thought it would be interesting to figure out what made him tick, and one way to do that is by throwing seemingly-opposite characters together. Shy, brilliant Louisa made a great match for him, because she doesn’t take anything at face value.
Neither Louisa nor Xavier is quite who people assume them to be. Since the story’s set at Christmas, the themes of redemption and forgiveness—and, of course, openness to love–seemed a natural fit.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Louisa?
[Theresa Romain] Thoughtful. Determined. Clever.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are three things Xavier would never risk losing in a wager?
[Theresa Romain] At the beginning of the novel, there’s really nothing Xavier wouldn’t risk losing. He says he won’t wager on a respectable lady’s reputation, yet he does it anyway. (Oh, Xavier.) By the end of the story, he has changed, and he would never risk the well-being of his estate, his tenants, or the people he loves.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Louisa had a theme song, what would it be?
[Theresa Romain] It would have to be The Music Man’s “Madam Librarian,” that witty ode to book-loving women. In fact, while I was writing SEASON FOR SURRENDER, I used Madam Librarian as its working title!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Theresa Romain] Anything can be a creative influence, from a snippet of overheard conversation to a particular color of paint. But for me, the greatest of all is reading. I feel like I can’t get words out of my head if I don’t put words in–that is, I couldn’t be a writer if I didn’t read all the time. I read history, biography, nonfiction, and of course lots of fiction. I keep a giant pre-order list of titles I’m looking forward to, so I can be sure to get the latest romances by my favorite authors right away.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Theresa Romain] 1. Quiet. I get really distracted by sounds; I can’t listen to music while I’m writing. Even instrumental music pulls my attention away from my work.
2. A reasonably tidy environment. This goes along with being easily distracted! If my office is too cluttery, I can’t concentrate. Note: I did say “reasonably tidy.” As long as I can shove all the papers on my desk away from my keyboard, that’s good enough.
3. A computer. I have a plan for where the book is going (thanks to the synopsis I always write as part of a book proposal). But the specific details of each scene come about while I’m writing. For example, it’s not too much of a spoiler to say that Xavier is farsighted. That detail occurred to me while I was writing an early scene in SEASON FOR SURRENDER, and it shaped several later scenes too. It seems like my brain needs a keyboard to get fully engaged.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Theresa Romain] Ravishing the Heiress, by Sherry Thomas. The way she uses language is absolutely beautiful, and I loved the characters in this story too. The hero and heroine make a marriage of convenience, but the heroine is deeply in love with her new husband—and for the sake of that love, she hides her feelings. She’s strong, honorable, and heart-broken. I wanted to hug her and be friends with her and have the story continue for ages.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Theresa Romain] I’ve loved reading for as long as I can remember, so the real answer is probably something my parents introduced me to in the forgotten years of my babyhood. One of my favorite books as a very young kid was the Sesame Street classic “Farley Goes to the Doctor.” Even after I could read by myself, I liked my father to read it to me because he would do ridiculous character voices.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Theresa Romain] I spend time with my family and read as much as I can. I also like to bake, especially after I’ve been writing a lot. Baking uses my mind in a whole different way. Instead of being creative and abstract, baking is exact: if I follow the recipe, deliciousness will result. Batter breads (like banana bread or cranberry-orange bread) are a favorite of mine.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Theresa Romain] Thanks for asking! I have several online homes and love to talk with readers at all of them.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
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Historical romance author Theresa Romain pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. Her historical romance debut, SEASON FOR TEMPTATION, was published in October 2011. The sequel, SEASON FOR SURRENDER, will be published in October 2012.
SEASON FOR SURRENDER back cover blurb:
Book order links (embedded):