RLC: Scandalous was the first book I had read by you. Is this your first British Historical?
Ronda: Yes, I usually write westerns, but love the England set books, so I wanted to do one. I didn't really write it as a Regency, in fact, specifically told my editor not to
tout it as a Regency because I know what sticklers the readers are of Regency
for facts, language, clothing, the whole nine yards. Well, plain
as day my editor starts touting Scandalous as a Regency, and even though I
told the early reviewers the book was not a Regency, but a Victorian, they
all say it's a Regency in their reviews, too. Sigh. I guess it is, but I know how research oriented Regency readers can be (grin).
I just wanted to be honest and not pretend I also
think my book should be classified as a Regency. I do love the book, don't
get me wrong, and I hope my readers will love it too, just wanted to clarify
that in my opinion, Scandalous is not a true Regency romance.
RLC: What gave you your idea for Scandalous?
Ronda: The opening scene just came to me, that's the way it works with me most of
the time. I knew the setting was England, and yes, this was my first British
Historical. I cut my teeth on England set romances, so I've always loved
them and knew one day I wanted to write one. Luckily, my editor at Leisure,
Christopher Keasler, hasn't roped me in on what I want to write. He's been
great. I really tried to set Scandalous around 1830s
but the book really isn't about the political climate then.
RLC: I see by your publishing history that you write in varied settings, and write
contemporary as well as historical. Which do you like best?
Ronda: Historical has always been my first true love. I started out reading
historical and didn't discover a taste for contemporary until later in my
reading years. I do love contemporary too, and I do enjoy writing
contemporary romances. For me, it's a nice change of pace. I don't have to
worry if they had matches then, or if the dialogue sounds too modern. I'm
hoping to do more contemporaries in the future, but for now, am enjoying
RLC: Ronda, what other books have you done?
Ronda: Prickly Pear and In Trouble's Arms are both westerns, and Cougar's Woman is more of a Native American setting . Just to let you know what's coming up from me, I'm very excited to be doing an anthology with Madeline Baker and Christine Feehan, due out Sept.
01. It's a Halloween anthology and all the stories have, ah, different
heroes. My hero is a werewolf.:) Then in Dec. 01 my sequel to Prickly Pear,
Desert Bloom will co-lead with Bobbie Smith. Then in July 02, I'll have
another western, not even titled yet, that will also co-lead with Bobbie
Smith. So I'm excited about the coming year. You might have been able to
tell from my web page
that I don't just do one type of book.:)
RLC: How did you get published?
My first sale was a single title romantic comedy through LionHearted Publishing called
Isn't It Romantic?, it won me rave reviews and was a finalist for the Readers
Choice Award for best single title contemporary in 98. I also had a Precious
Gems book called Welcome To Paradise come out in 98, then I started selling
historicals to Leisure.
RLC:Can you tell readers how you keep coming up with fresh, new ideas for your
Ronda: I like to think the characters are fresh, rather than the ideas. Romance
has been around for a long time, and finding new plot lines is very
difficult, but to me, the characters are what makes a book great, regardless
if the plot line is tried and true.
RLC: Of all of your characters, which hero or heroine has been your favorite and
Ronda: That's a tough one. My characters are like my children, so it's hard to say I love one more than I love another. Gavin in Scandalous stole my heart
because his character growth throughout the book deeply touched me. I love
Christine because she has a good heart. I loved her because she discovered
things she didn't know about herself, not just about her background, but
about her soul.
RLC: Have you always been an author or did you work at other things?
Ronda: I've been dabbling in writing since I was a little girl. I wrote poetry and
short stories in those days. I didn't tackle novels until around ten years
ago. I had plenty of other jobs, but wanted one where I could stay home with
my children. I found one in writing, it just took eight years to get
RLC: Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?
Ronda: Just to remember to be true to yourself. Write from the heart, but learn the
RLC: Thank you Ronda for letting me interview you for The Regency Lover's Cafe, and good luck with Scandalous! Though you have set it in the 1830's, it does have a Regency flavor for those of us who enjoy the style and society of the Regency period.