~ LORRAINE HEATH ~
Welcome to UTC, Lorraine! We are so thrilled to have you. Let’s get to know you a little better. Who is Lorraine Heath? Tell us 5 interesting things about yourself that readers don’t know about you!
Thank you so much for having me here today. It’s a real treat. Five interesting things that readers might not know, huh? Well, let’s see if I can come up with that many.
1. I am married to my first love.
2. I grew up in Angleton, TX, a little town with a population of 10,000.
3. I am incredibly shy but have worked very hard to overcome that because I love meeting readers.
4. I’ve shaken hands and talked with both Penn and Teller.
5. I’ve shaken hands with Minnie Mouse.
You have a new series coming out called the Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James. Can you tell us about the premise of this series? How did you get the idea for it?
One of my earlier series was The Scoundrels of St. James, which had the premise that the characters served as the inspiration for Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. As the stories were told, the readers met 3 young boys. The boys are now grown and are the Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James. I came up with the idea of telling their stories when readers kept asking for them, so I don’t know if I can take full credit for the series idea although each of the stories are my own. I’ve had fun writing the first two. WHEN THE DUKE WAS WICKED is He’s Not Really Into You meets Victorian London. The heroine wants to marry for love. She asks her childhood friend, the Duke of Lovingdon, to help her identify the man who really loves her. The second book, ONCE MORE, MY DARLING ROGUE, is Overboard meets Victorian London. My heroine, who has been really catty to Drake Darling (formerly Peter Sykes in SURRENDER TO THE DEVIL). When Drake finds her in the river with no memory, he decides a little payback is in order and tells her that she is his servant, but he quickly discovers a woman he’s never known. Losing her memories is crucial to her being able to be her true self with him.
WHEN THE DUKE WAS WICKED is the first book of this series. How would you describe Lady Grace Mabry’s personality? Would you say she is similar to you in some ways?
Lady Grace Mabry is bold, confident, and extremely kind. But she has a secret that in her mind makes it crucial that she marry a man who loves her. She has an immense dowry so all the gents are falling over themselves to gain her attention, which is why she needs Lovingdon’s help. I don’t think she is similar to me. At her age, I was very concerned about being proper and not doing anything I shouldn’t. Grace doesn’t care. She drinks, snitches her father’s cigars, and cheats at cards. She wants to live life to the fullest, have an abundance of experiences, and she sometimes gets frustrated with Lovingdon because he withdrew from life after losing his wife and daughter.
Could you describe a typical writing day for you? What items do you absolutely require to write? How many words would you ideally love to have at the end of a typical work day for you?
A typical writing day involves a lot of hours at the computer or with my nose buried in research books. To write, I like to have thunderstorms playing in the background and a cup of hot tea within easy reach. I also like to have on hand fragrances that might represent my hero or heroine: sandalwood, lavender, roses. Ideally I would love to have written 3,000 words a day. Sometimes I fall short, sometimes I go over. I especially go over when deadline looms.
Historical Romance involves a lot of research and fact-checking. How do you keep track of all the information that is needed to make a story believable?
I usually write my story first and then begin my fact-checking so I know exactly what I need to research. Sometimes the discovery of something I didn’t know will mean rewriting a scene (once I wrote a book where I had a cattle drive passing through the big city of Dallas—only to discover that particular year Dallas was a couple of stores and neighborhoods). Once I get started on research, it’s so easy to get lost in it.
Since it’s Historical month at UTC, we want to know why you love the era in which you write in and perhaps share with us one or two of your favourite books that explore that time period.
I love the Victorian era because it is such a broad expanse of tapestry to work with. If I need a darker time, I can go to the early Victorian years. If I want something a bit more modern, I can go to the later years. It was such a time of change. I love that beginning in the 1870’s, American heiresses were coming to England to marry lords. I love exploring the difference between Americans and the British during this time.
Two of my favorite books for research are:
TO MARRY AN ENGLISH LORD by Gail MacColl and Carol McD. Wallace. It chronicles the American heiress invasion in England. It gives insight into the differences between the two cultures and the different expectations of each.
DAILY LIFE IN VICTORIAN ENGLAND by Sally Mitchell. What I really appreciate about this book is that Mitchell breaks down daily life in an interesting manner that includes showing the differences in the classes. Funerals and marriages were very different for the lower, middle, and upper classes. So depending on where you were in Society, your experiences were different. It fascinates me.
Thank you so much for stopping by today and sharing with our readers!
Thank you so much for having me here today and for the interesting questions.
They are England’s most eligible bachelors, with the most scandalous reputations. But for the right woman, even an unrepentant rogue may mend his ways…
Lady Grace Mabry’s ample inheritance has made it impossible for her to tell whether a suitor is in love with her—or enamored of her riches. Who better to distinguish beau from blackguard than her notorious childhood friend, the Duke of Lovingdon?
With no interest in marriage, Lovingdon has long lived only for pleasure. He sees little harm in helping Grace find a proper match. After all, he’s familiar with all the ploys a scoundrel uses to gain a woman’s favor. He simply has to teach the lovely innocent how to distinguish honest emotions from false ones. How better than by demonstrating his wicked ways. But as lessons lead to torrid passion and Grace becomes ensnared in another man’s marriage plot, Lovingdon must wage a desperate gamble: Open his heart fully—or risk losing the woman he adores…
Out February 25, 2014
Buy Now: Amazon
Ms. Heath is giving away a copy of WHEN THE DUKE WAS WICKED (either in print or e)
to a lucky poster.