Hey guys. Thank you for joining us at the Coffee Time Romance & More. I am back again. *winks* Today I bring you the lovely Ms. Rebecca Minto.
So let us begin the interview. Ms. Rebecca, please first help yourself to the yummy sweet and salty goodies in front of you and with your favorite beverage ranging from coffee, tea, and hot chocolate to delicious shakes and smoothies; sit back and make yourself comfortable before I bombard you with questions.
Firstly, let me tell u that I was completely drawn into the story from the prologue. It had me on the edge of my seat. I later understood it was a scene from the first book. Am curious, why did Annalise think Elliot glared at her with hatred for what she did? I mean why him only and not her brother or best friend?
Annalise’s subconscious wreaks havoc with her deepest, darkest emotions in dreams, the way it does with all of us. She is traumatized by what she had to do in order to protect her loved ones so much that she relives the event each night with nightmarish embellishments of what really happened. The reason Elliot judges her so harshly with his eyes inside her nightmare is because she has deep, secret desires where he is concerned. Her subconscious cannot conceive that anyone could not view her with hatred or disgust for what she did.
Now with that out of the way, please introduce us to Lady Annalise and Elliot Morton. Their romance, what makes them tick, etc.
Annalise is a lady who often hides behind her book-smarts and her science experiments because she thinks she is so awkward with people and feels so uncomfortable with herself as a woman. Elliot is a man driven by a determination to succeed, knowing just how bad things can get if he fails. Annalise has desired him from the first moment she set eyes upon him, but she also believes a man as handsome as he could never find anything to recommend a woman such as herself, so she treats him abominably with frequency. Elliot doesn’t understand his attraction to a prickly, stubborn, spectacle-wearing woman who treats him like she’s the mud beneath her slippers, but he is drawn to her, going back for more and more. Often it is need for one another’s company rather than mere desire that pushes them together again and again.
Most important, why a heroine and not hero who loves blowing up things, that too in regency times? I mean we have had bookish wallflowers before but never this..
When I first began writing this story, I had absolutely no intention of making Annalise the sort of woman who enjoyed explosions. As the story developed, this became part of who she was. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I tried to write it differently, but the character insisted that this was her passion. She’s a science-loving fiend, and one of her passions is studying the properties of different materials that, when put together, can cause a huge explosion. It is her gift, and in the end, I think it worked out pretty well.
Now this question I ask in all my interviews due to my curiousity, as the readers know, I love digging into the background story of any book that I read. The ideas behind it, the inspirations, etc because it makes the story more real and everyone to feel connected to it. So my question is: What inspired you to write this particular story and characters? Are they based on some actual people or events you read about?
Annalise and Elliot were both background characters in my debut novel, A Kiss To Remember. While writing Daphne’s story, I found myself fascinated by Annalise. I knew by the time I finished the book that she simply had to have her own story. She was stubborn and difficult, often rude, yet she had the softest heart I’d ever seen. I was crazy about her, and I knew Elliot was just what she deserved.
Actually, Elliot Morton is partially based off someone I knew in college. More specifically, Annalise’s reaction to him is based off how I reacted to someone my first year of college. I was attending a school in the middle of nowhere, miles from everything familiar to me. On that first evening, I was hiding up in my dorm room, watching the students headed to the dinner hall, dreading the moment when I had to join them. A group of guys passed by and one of them was prancing about, being a show off. He was the most beautiful human being I had ever set my eyes upon. I swear he looked like a fallen angel with brilliant blue eyes and the sun shining on his golden hair. I decided to hate him at first sight. He was the type of beautiful and popular kid that would have tormented me in high school. I made a fool of myself, going to outrageous lengths to avoid this person the first few weeks of school. Fate just kept pushing us together, however. Eventually, he became one of my best friends in college. It is easy to see a correlation with the story.
*hehehe.. that was an interesting meeting and result..*
One thing left me a bit confused till the end, who was the man after Annalise? How did he know about her experiments from before? Or is it continued from the first book?
It never mattered who the villain was, but what he was. The villain was working for the French. The French had heard of Annalise’s special talents and wanted to use her knowledge for themselves. Her experiments weren’t a secret, and her last one was so huge that it was impossible to keep knowledge of it from spreading across the land, particularly when so much of the aristocracy were supportive of Bonaparte.
Another thing, why is Annalise like she is? I mean why does she feel the need to not breakdown, show weakness or share her issues with her friends or even Elliot? Moreover, her resistance to marriage even after the thing she thought impossible, happened?
Annalise was a very difficult character, and was even when she was merely a background character. At times you wanted to coddle her and other times you want to shake her. She has many insecurities that control how she deals with everyone and everything in her world. Daphne and Chrysanthe were fortunate to have parents that loved them. Annalise and James were not quite so fortunate. They have every possible advantage socially and grew up with great wealth, but they never had a father who loved and cherished them. James was gone most of her childhood, so she was left alone in a huge mansion with a man who forgot her existence most of the time. She idolized her father, but he wasn’t interested in a daughter. She pushed herself at a young age to study subjects that were considered masculine primarily because she wanted her father to notice her. After her father died, she was sent to an all girl’s school where they focused on beauty and the social graces with an emphasis on how to catch a husband. This is where she learned to be insecure about her appearance. She hides behind her books and beneath unattractive gowns because she thinks if she refuses to acknowledge her feminine side no one can hurt her ever again. She loves her friends deeply, but she is afraid to allow even them to see what she considers weakness. Needing another equals weakness in her eyes. She fears rejection and even more she fears that deep down she isn’t worthy of her friends or the admiration of her brother. This is what drives her ruinous behavior with Elliot. She is so convinced that he cannot possibly want her in his life that he will forever regret marriage with her. She needs him so much and she cannot possibly believe he could ever need her in return.
There are so many things I would like to ask you but I fear they will give the story away. I loved Chrys and her spunk. Will she get her own book?
I adore Chrys and her spitfire ways. I do plan to tell her story at some point in the future.
Okay, enough about the book. Time for some general questions.
This story is all Annalise. Elliot does make his presence known at times but she takes over mostly. Elliot’s past was also very unexpected. Usually we have a warning of dark past but none here. Was it intentional? Do you outline the story before writing or go with the flow with the characters guiding you?
Normally when I write a story I do have an outline, but I also allow the characters their voice at times. I wanted the story to focus on Annalise largely because of excitement I planned later in the book. I did fully intended Elliot’s past to be a huge shock, although there was a bit of foreshadowing in the first book. So often when people suffer through the horrors he experienced society applies a stigma, fully expecting that these experiences will make them into something different, and that stigma tends to be even worse if you are a male. A Touch To Remember is, first and foremost, a tale of hope. I did not want this to be a story about the heroine miraculously saving a fallen hero. There is no truth to such scenarios. Elliot saved himself and found his own way out of the darkness, and in doing so made himself into a man worthy of Annalise.
What in your opinion makes good chemistry between your leading characters?
What I loved most in writing the romance in this book was how special each moment became for our couple. Every look and every touch contained a bit of pure magic. When they were in one another’s arms the entire world simply melted away. Each of them was a moth to the other’s flame with the fire burning hotter and hotter any time they were together.
Tell us a little about yourself. Where you were born, do you have any kids, a hubby, a dog or cat or snake or a bird?
I am originally from the South, but a few years ago I decided to uproot myself and move to Utah with my son, a decision I rarely regret. I am a single mother with a darling son who lives his life on super-hero dreams and with a dog who tries to be a diva.
Since the start of your writing career, what piece of writing advice did you get that meant the most to you and how you wrote?
Never give up. It is easy to become discouraged no matter what you do, and we can usually rationalize a dozen different ways why we should just throw in the towel. I’m not quite ready to take the easy way just yet, though. Quitting is easy. Struggling your way through is more fulfilling.
How long did it take you to write your first book?
The first book I ever wrote I think took about me three months, working on it 14 hours a day. I was eighteen years old at the time and it was horrible! Thankfully I have improved since then.
How hard is it to keep your ideas fresh in each new book?
I actually don’t find that too challenging most of the time. I get ideas everywhere I go. I often find myself jotting down thoughts I want to later explore in a story. There are so many different dynamics in all relationships that fascinate me. Finding a fresh idea isn’t as challenging as finding the time to explore all my ideas.
Do you have a writing partner, mentor, critique group to bounce ideas off of? Do you think they are important for every would-be aspiring writer?
I think having a support is important to everyone, no matter who you are. I have two friends who are my sounding board for everything, including writing, Nicole Palmer and Michele Callahan. We’ve been friends for years and are there for everything. They get a first peek at anything I’m working on and pull me back on track when I head off on a wild tangent. I trust them implicitly.
What can we expect from you in the near future?
Right now I’m working on a holiday story I would like to offer in time for next Christmas set in the Medieval Highlands, and I have many other projects in the works, including another Regency and a few paranormal romances, a genre I’d love to explore.
Any last comments, advice or message for all your readers out there and us, here at Coffee Time Romance and More?
I’d like to thank you for your generous hospitality in having me over today. I love to hear from my readers. Happy reading!
Thank you so much for taking time out to spend time with us here at Coffee Time Romance & More and giving us more insight to your books, writing and personal life. I hope you will join us again. Best of luck and success to you. Readers I hope you also enjoyed as much as I did. Thank you for your time. See you next time with another great new author.