Please welcome my special guest today, Christine Wells, who writes luscious Regencies for Berkley Sensation. Christine is also generously offering a fabulous double-giveaway to one lucky commenter - see her question at the end of the interview!
Christine Wells was a 2009
RITA® nominee and the first Australian to win the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® Award. A corporate lawyer before resigning to write romance novels, Christine lives in with her husband and two small but very noisy boys. You can find her at http://www.christine-wells.com or blogging with the Romance Bandits: http://romancebandits.blogspot.com lace>Brisbanelace>
Hi Christina, thank you for having me on your blog today! I'm looking forward to chatting with your readers.
Can you tell us a little about your book?
SWEETEST LITTLE SIN Out May 4 from Berkley Sensation
A Marquis' Betrayal
Lady Louisa Brooke has many suitors, but the only man for her is the wild and ruthless Marquis of Jardine. When Jardine suddenly abandons her after a long-standing liaison, he leaves her with nothing except the secret they share. Her future in ruins, Louisa recklessly accepts a mission from the head of the secret service and becomes embroiled in a perilous operation in which nothing is as it seems...
A Lady's Revenge
The Marquis of Jardine is determined to destroy the criminal mastermind who's sworn vengeance against all he holds dear. But when he hears that Louisa is to wed a dangerous enemy, Jardine is tortured by jealousy and fear for her safety. He tracks her down, only to discover that her mission collides with his.
A Love that Won't Be Denied
Together, Louisa and Jardine must now foil a plan to betray the secret service and escape a diabolical revenge. But can they put the past behind them, and take the greatest risk of all--on love?
So how did the idea for the plot come about?
Lady Louisa Brooke and the Marquis of Jardine were secondary characters in my second book, THE DANGEROUS DUKE. I had intended to wrap up their romance by the end of that book, but they had too many issues to resolve, so THE DANGEROUS DUKE ends with them torn apart by his secretiveness and her suspicions. I had so much mail from readers wanting their story that my editor let me go back and revisit them in SWEETEST LITTLE SIN. They're electric together as a couple but they need to work through quite a bit before they get their happy ending! For those who are interested, Jardine also makes a short appearance in WICKED LITTLE GAME, which is out now.
I love sale stories! (OK I am just nosy!!) so can you tell us about your road to publication - and your call story?
I love sale stories too! I wouldn't call that nosy - who doesn't love to tell their call story? My journey to publication took about five years. I was working as a lawyer when I started writing my first novel (now under the bed, where it will stay!) I sold the third book I wrote as a result of full manuscript requests from contest finals. One editor emailed wanting to buy the book. I then hustled and got an agent involved and within a week the book was sold to Berkley. I was heavily pregnant with my second child and it was 4am when I heard the news. So there was this demented pregnant woman doing a silent but violent happy dance in her livingroom that day! I called the only person I knew who was also up at that hour - Anna Campbell - and we squeed on the phone together. I don't think I quite realized at the time how lucky I was. Now, I'm fully aware and very grateful!
What a fantastic call story, Christine! Now onto the nitty-gritty. Do you write every day? Do you give yourself daily/weekly goals?
I try to write every day, even if I'm just playing around with a scene I've already written. I think that's the absolute best thing a writer can do to stay immersed in the story when life is so busy and there are so many other things to think about. I don't usually have specific goals but I'm trying at the moment to do a certain number of pages by Friday, with the weekend as catch up time if I'm running behind.
Panster or plotter?
I'm a panster and wish I wasn't! It's so much easier if you can plan your books in advance.
I totally agree with that!!! What keeps you motivated when the writing gets tough?
Deadlines.LOL But seriously, if the writing gets tough it's often because I've taken a wrong turn somewhere. That's when I go back to basics and do a little more work on Goal Motivation and Conflict (see Debra Dixon's fabulous book) or story structure to try to get my bearings again. Sometimes, I chat to my writing buddy, Denise Rossetti, who is fantastic at picking away at plot and character until I can see how I need to fix it. If I'm really desperate, I take a break from reading. After a day or two my mind is so bored it's coming up with more story just to entertain myself!
Is there any advice or light bulb moment you'd like to share about getting/being published?
You need to 'protect the work' as Jenny Crusie puts it. The quality of your books is the only thing about this business that you can control, so make sure you do your part to the best of your ability and don't let any outside influences distract you. The thing about promotion, reviews, advertising etc is that no one ever knows what works to help sell a book. It's not to say you shouldn't do any promotion, but you should never let the time you spend on those things impinge on your writing time.
Don't ever think someone else's success takes anything away from you. Success breeds success in this business. Look at the way the Twilight books have created a huge demand for vampire romance. Remember that when someone who writes in your subgenre gets a 6 figure deal.
That's excellent advice and good to remember. Do you have critique partners (CPs)? If so can you tell us how you met up and your process?
I have Denise Rossetti, who mainly helps with plotting, which she's brilliant at, and I have Anna Campbell, who reads the finished manuscript draft for me and looks at the big picture stuff like pacing and characterization. I'm very lucky to have these two! And I must say I love getting a sneak peek at their work also
I'd like to give away a signed copy of THE DANGEROUS DUKE and a signed copy of SWEETEST LITTLE SIN to one lucky commenter. Just answer this question--what's your favourite lovers reunited story?
Please leave your answer for Christine over at my blog so she can pick her winner!