December 20, 2001 Newsletter
Dear Friends and Fans:
I suspect I'm getting this letter out a bit late to reach some of you in time for the holidays - but I hope your season of celebration is a bright and wonder-filled one!
I've been busy - which is what I always say, I know! But it's true. The proof is in the fact that I've got a Regency novel out right now, called "The Marriage Masquerade." I wanted to put a few "things royal" in this book, just for the fun of doing the research and learning new things, so I made the heroine a goddaughter to Queen Charlotte (wife of King George III). I had to read up quite a bit on Buckingham Palace, (which wasn't yet a palace, indeed it was an older, much smaller building that was slowly falling into ruin at the turn of the 19th century) as some of the scenes are set there.
To keep me as busy as ever, I then quickly had to write another book I'd contracted for with Signet. It will be coming out in July/2002, and will be called "The Former Fiance." It's a bodyguard book in essence (although the word "bodyguard" existed during the Regency, I felt it didn't work well in the context of the book, so I used instead the phrase "protective services"). That aspect, protecting the heroine, led to more research as well, which I rather enjoyed doing, because it was a bit more obscure. The hero and heroine end up spending quite a bit of time alone together in the book, as you can imagine, so I believe it made for great tension/attraction betweeen them.
As to the futre ... that's a bit harder to say. I'm putting together a proposal right now (yes, in the busy month of December! I'm a glutton for remaining ever frantic, it would seem!) and hope to get a new contract soon. So far the writing gods have been kind to this mere mortal, but one never knows. The events of 9/11 hit the economy hard, as you know, and the publishing industry has had to take its knocks as well, so there are fewer manuscripts/proposals selling right now. On the other hand, there is wide speculation that people will be wanting a "good read" soon, if only to escape the dreariness of the nightly news, and the publishing industry will be sure to answer that call if it comes. Hopefully I'll have news soon, which would mean I'd be sending another letter to all of you kind and thoughtful folks.
Other than the fact that Seattle is having one soggy winter, there's not much else to report from my corner of the world. So just let me wish that, whatever your holidlay celebration is, that it is a safe and joyful one !
All the Best
March 2001 Newsletter
Dear Fans and Friends:
I had the best darn intentions of mailing out a Christmas letter...
That wasn't a very realistic intention, however, since I had a manuscript due to my publisher in January. That manuscript is to be called: THE MARRIAGE MASQUERADE, and it is to be released this next coming Christmas, December 2001.
I think, when it comes out, you will enjoy THE MARRIAGE MASQUERADE. The story begins in the Queen's House (which is how Buckingham House was offically called - only being designated as Buckingham Palace after the Regency.) My heroine's godmother is no less a personage than Queen Charlotte, who is determined that her goddaughter not be left on the shelf... I think you'll like the hero, too, who has the misfortune of being facially scarred and of the conviction that he's best off remaining a bachelor.
I hope most of you had the chance to read THE RELUCTANT SMUGGLER, which came out last month (Feb/2001). It was the third and final in a three-book series about the Whitbury brothers. This was the youngest, Sebastian's tale, and has been garnering some truly wonderful reviews.
In case you missed any of the three, here are the titles:
THE MISFIT MARQUESS
Released September 1999
This is the story of Gideon, whose burdens almost bury his soul...until love rescues it.
THE BARTERED BRIDEGROOM
Released March 2000
Benjamin is seeking his identity - and finds it in the arms of the woman he's forced to marry.
THE RELUCTANT SMUGGLER
Released February 2001
Sebastian has a secret known to no one but Charlotte - and the price of her knowledge is to spend night after night alone with the reluctant smuggler...
As I said earlier, my next book out is THE MARRIAGE MASQUERADE. This is a wholly new book (not connected to the Whitbury brothers in any way) and was truly a joy to write. I enjoyed researching both the history of the Queen's House and of Queen Charlotte herself.. Poor lady, not only did her husband (George III) have a terrible disease (you've probably heard of the movie "The Madness of King George") but she also had fifteen children! She did not get along at all well with her eldest son, the heir (later George IV), and I'm afraid hers was not a terribly happy royal story. She did, however make for a wonderfully colorful character in my book!
I have another Signet Regency coming out sometime in 2002, currently untitled. I'd tell you more about it, but I'm a little bit superstitious about revealing my plots, so I'll have to save that for a future newsletter! I've just started writing it, so even I'm not competely sure how it'll end up - I have a synopsis that I follow, but sometimes the ideas take a new bend in the writing that I like even more than the original idea, and so many hints as to scenes in the book might end up "on the cutting room floor" anyway!
As for the future, I'm developing more ideas even as I write this (that's one of the reasons why I am so slow at answering fan mail, I have a lot of projects at varying stages - right now I have a small rewrite I need to do on the manuscript just handed in. I have to get my newest book going, and I have at least two idea/proposals I'm working on... Busy, busy, busy!).
As you know I live in the Seattle area - so some of you might be wondering how I and mine fared during the recent 6.8 earthquake. My husband was on business in New York, so he missed the whole show (although his building at work was so damaged his entire work group was moved to another building!) ; my kids were at school, where they were safely ensconced under their desks (their school is a single story structure and the extent of "damage" was one sign that fell down and a few ceiling tiles that needed to be reseated). I was working at my home computer and knew instantly what was happening. I jogged into the kitchen and flung myself under the kitchen table - a nice stout piece of furniture , and was amazed at how long the quake seemed to go on. They say it lasted 40 seconds, but at the time it seems to take five minutes! I have a decorative piece of plasterwork on my mantel in the family room, and that's the only thing that fell and broke - all my collected tea cups and saucers made it through without so little as a single chip! The magnitude of the quake was a tad unnerving and (I admit) a little exciting. Thank goodness the surrounding cities and citizens all fared fairly well, although the price tag on repairs will be felt in future taxes, I have no doubt!
That's all the news for now. I hope you didn't wait too long for my response (although I know some of you have had to have more than a wee bit of patience!) If it's any consolation, I think of you frequently, often longing for another couple hours a day in which to accomplish everything I'd like to get done.
My wish for you for this month: that you discover a new, exciting author with a big backlog of titles for you to enjoy! (That's always one of my favorite thrills, to discover a "new to me" author who has a dozen or so books I need to hunt down and enjoy!)
All the best to you, now and always,
P.O. Box 33323
Seattle, WA 98133