1. What inspired you to become a romance writer?
like to read romances. Truly, that’s all there is to it. So when
I thought I might like to try writing a book, it’s only natural
I’d choose romance.
You had a wonderful debut. Your novels “Splendid” and “Dancing
at Midnight” were subject to a fierce bidding war between two
publishing houses. How did that feel?
felt great! Almost surreal. I had had several months of rejections,
so I felt rather lucky that my manuscripts happened to find the two
editors who loved it at the same time. The best part is – I’m
still with the same publishing house (and the same editor!) eleven years
Do you ever contemplate writing a contemporary?
anytime soon. I don’t have the time.
Do you have any idea what you are going to do after finishing with the
have a few ideas, but they’re still in the early planning stages.
I don’t think I’m going to embark on another eight-book
series anytime soon, however.
Will Francesca and Michael ever have children?
don’t know. Seriously, I just don’t think ahead in that
manner. When I finish a book, I finish a book. If it happens to be part
of a series, then when the next book opens, say, a year later, all the
characters from the previous books will have moved forward in my mind,
but not past the date I’m currently working in. So I guess all
I can say at this point is that by 1825, when IT’S IN HIS KISS
is set, they have not had children.
Do you have any idea what you are going to do about Gregory?
just finished the outline! I don’t generally discuss story ideas
this far in advance, though. Too many details are likely to change.
If I’d chatted about IT’S IN HIS KISS at this stage in the
game, you would all have thought that Hyacinth would have ended up in
Spain. (She doesn’t; she never leaves London, as a matter of fact.)
Have you got any words of advice for beginning authors?
things. First, join RWA. It’s an invaluable resource. Second,
if you want to write, you have to write. You have to put your butt in
the chair and do it. And you have to finish what you start. The world
is full of first chapters.
Do you do extensive research for your books’ settings?
tend to research as needed. I’ve been working on the Bridgerton
series for so long that I already have many of the facts that I need.
But I do look things up as I need them. For example, when I was writing
TO SIR PHILIP, WITH LOVE I did a bit of research on botany. With WHEN
HE WAS WICKED I spent a ridiculous amount of time finding names of vessels
that had sailed from England to India (all for a one word mention!).
How do you handle criticism?
have always said that a book is a kind of social contract between the
author and the reader. If I get to write stories and actually get paid
for it, then you, the reader, get to say whatever the heck you want
I do pay attention to what people say. I read and answer all of my reader
mail (I’m always hopelessly behind on it, though) and I do pay
attention to what readers say they do and don’t like about my
books. It doesn’t necessarily mean that their feedback will be
reflected in my work, but I do listen.
Can you tell us which books you read yourself? Or which authors you
know I’ll forget someone, but off the top of my head, some of
my current favorite historical romance authors are: Lisa Kleypas, Eloise
James, Gaelen Foley, Teresa Medeiros, and Loretta Chase. There are also
some wonderful up and coming authors I think everyone should be watching:
Adele Ashworth, Laura Lee Guhrke, Mary Reed McCall, Kresley Cole, and
Julie Anne Long.
I’l like to encourage readers to go out and buy at least one new-to-them
writer this year. I hear a lot of readers complaining, for example,
that there isn’t enough variety in historical settings; If you
want more medievals, you have to vote with your pocketbook and buy one!
This may sound funny coming from an author of regency historicals, but
as a reader, I love variety too. Or if you love regency historicals,
try someone new. It’s so hard for a new writer to get a foothold
in this business, and there are so many wonderful writers out there,
just waiting to be discovered. And in this internet age, almost everyone
posts excerpts on their websites, so you can even try before you buy!
Or visit the JQ Recommends page on my website. I don’t update
it as often as I’d like to, but I do try to list plenty of books
that I enjoy.