ETA: the giveaway is closed. Kim won!
Theresa Romain is the author of a dozen historical romances, including the Romance of the Turf trilogy and the Royal Rewards series. She loves having coffee with friends, baking with her daughter, and reading (preferably alone). Please find her on Facebook or Twitter, and visit her website at http://theresaromain.com for free short stories and excerpts.
Theresa is the bomb, y’all! And someone I am deeply honored to have drunk blue Klingon drinks with.
This is part 2 of 2 of the conversation. You can find the beginning on Theresa’s blog here. And please stick around to comment, because we’re offering a book + snack giveaway on each site!
A little orientation before we start:
In A Gentleman’s Game, when valuable racehorses fall ill before a rich stakes race, Nathaniel Chandler must work with his father’s mysterious new secretary, Rosalind Agate, to protect the horses and get them safely across England to Epsom. Along the road, Rosalind and Nathaniel fall for each other—but she’s keeping some secrets that will tear them apart. Read the first chapter here.
And in Listen to the Moon, John Toogood is a very starchy, very proper valet…who’s currently out of a job. Sukey Grimes is a maid-of-all-work with a big mouth and a mean boss. The local vicar is looking for a married couple to head his staff of servants….Read the first chapter here.
You may remember we were talking about the Romance of the Turf series and the other Chandler siblings’ books…
Rose: And is Kate the one who married young and lives in Ireland? ::is terrible with names::
Theresa: Yes. She’s sometimes called Abigail by her siblings (again, SRS BZNS REASONS).
Rose: What about Sir William? I went back and forth with wanting him to have his own book. On the one hand it seemed like he had a lot going on that was interesting, on the other hand, he was such a bad dad and bad dads are like, my narrative nemesis. Plus I was creeped out by his slut-shaming at one point.
Theresa: I’ve been thinking about that. I’d like him to have an HEA, because he was a sucky husband and father the first time around and he has a lot to learn. But it couldn’t be with Anne Jones. There’s too much animosity between them, at least on her side. I am mulling over giving him a secondary romance in Jonah’s book.
Rose: I still want you to write a novella about Egg and Love, the ex-boxer friends from AGG, though. OMG when they sparred around a little and showed Rosalind how to throw a punch I DIED. Out of curiosity, is there a reason you do trilogies? Like do you get bored after that point?
Theresa: One of my publishers (Sourcebooks) has preferred trilogies. The other (Kensington) schedules books differently and my series there are different lengths.
Rose: Gotcha. So how many Royal Rewards books should I expect??
Theresa: Two of those. There’s only one reward, but (SRS BZNS REASONS) only half of it is claimed in the first book.
Rose: I never used to imagine myself writing a series and now I’m like “I could write 15 more books about this.”
Theresa: OMG yes! You have created the Regency version of Lucky Harbor. Everyone who lives there’s character is rich enough to get a story.
Rose: Aw, thank you!! I have a problem where I have trouble writing characters I don’t love, so then I just want everyone to be happy. (Not, like, EVERYONE everyone but almost everyone.) Even the characters I don’t want to be happy, I still love usually.
Theresa: I get that. After spending so much time writing characters, you want to know even more and see them get to a point of peace/stability.
Rose: I actually just posted a long disjointed thing about my long-term plans for Lively St. Lemeston. I won’t get into details here because did I mention long and disjointed? But if you have questions about anyone in particular I can tell you!
Theresa: Clicking it now! OMG VIENNA AND FROST FAIR! NOOR YASSSS! Her character was a puzzle to me, in a good way. She had mixed reactions to male attention, but didn’t want that commented on. There was clearly some ginormous backstory there that I would love to learn.
Rose: I think she just had mixed reactions to Mr. Bearparke honestly. Because he was kind of a creep but she liked him.
Theresa: So she liked him until he crossed the creeper line?
Rose: I mean, I dunno. I know I’ve liked guys I kind of knew were creeps. Like, he fetishizes her, right? He just wants to talk about India and his childhood and how she reminds him of the mangoes of his youth. But also he’s really cute and charming. And it’s hard to balance that because really…we live in a creepy world. How do you know when you’re just being picky and when you should really stay away from someone?
Theresa: That is the sort of question that could power an entire plot.
Rose: That would be a Gothic!
Theresa: It would be a great Gothic.
Rose: I’ve never written a Gothic but part of me really wants to. Because Gothics are often metaphors for the patriarchy in a really interesting way.
Theresa: You would rock that. I would love to read that. Except the Gothics I’ve read have been humorless. Maybe you could turn that around!
Rose: lol, you’ve just been reading the wrong ones! Try Barbara Michaels, Houses of Stone. Anyway, we’ll see. In the meantime I’m hooking Noor up with a guy who is Definitely Not A Creep though because she deserves that.
Theresa: Thanks for the rec. 🙂 She definitely does…And Mr. Moon is the confectioner, right? I have been eager for his story! I love the way you write about food. Will there be lots of sweets in his story?
Rose: Yes, LOTS of sweets in Mr. Moon’s book! It’s structured around him catering a big local assembly.
Theresa: Dammit, Skype chat doesn’t have a heart-eyes emoji! ALL THE HEART-EYESWhat for reals IS coming next in the series? The Vienna book?
Rose: Yes, the Vienna book.
Theresa: Are you working on it yet?
Rose: …yes? Okay fine, no not really. I’ve been working on a standalone novella that’s going to be in an anthology I’m doing with some REALLY AMAZING AUTHORS, that’s coming out in May, and now I’m taking a little time off. I’m going to the library to do research on the Congress of Vienna later today though.
Theresa: Is it the gambling trope anthology????
Rose: Yes! I’m still sad you didn’t end up being in it but obviously you are doing a bunch of other amazing stuff instead.
Theresa: I loved the idea and wanted to do it SO MUCH.
Rose: You would have killed it! 🙁 But our final lineup is nothing to sneeze at: Jeannie Lin, Jo Bourne, Molly O’Keefe, Isabel Cooper, and me.
Theresa: WHATTTTTT! THAT IS GOING TO BE AMAZING. And let me know if you all do Gamblin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo.
Rose: lol, we are actually talking about doing more trope-themed anthologies if this one does well. So if we do Snowbound: A Historical Romance Anthology or whatever, we will definitely contact you!!
Theresa: OMG snowbound stories. Luuuurve.
Rose: Right? SUCH A FAN of that trope. I’m going to get to do it a LITTLE with the Frost Fair story but not the full trope.
Theresa: I snow-bound (binded?) my characters in Season for Desire and it was so fun.
Rose: yes! That was awesome!…You know, it’s funny, your books are so happy and bantery and witty but in a lot of ways it’s the loneliness of them that sticks with me the most. I’m thinking back to Season for Desire and the scene that epitomizes the book for me is when they’re sadly looking through that telescope at the moon. You do such an amazing job writing yearning and wistfulness. Okay so now tell me about Royal Rewards!
Theresa: Oh, thank you so much. That is lovely to hear. Fortune Favors the Wicked is one of my rompiest, sexiest books, but it’s also the most wistful.
Rose: Music to my ears. (Oh man you also did one of my very favorite things in AGG which is sad sex where one of the characters is like “I know this can’t last but I want whatever I can get.” LOVE IT.)
Theresa: I pitched the duo to my editor as “Regency ‘It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.'” The plot was inspired by Heyer’s The Toll-Gate, with stolen coins that couldn’t be spent due to the recoinage in [pretend I remember whether it was 1816 or 1817]. In these books, 50,000 gold sovereigns were stolen before their release and some guards were killed, and the Royal Mint offers a 10% reward to whoever finds the coins. 5K pounds isn’t bad, and the country is overrun by treasure-hunters.
Rose: YES I love stories about rushes. I really want to read a Western romance about the dinosaur bone rush.
Theresa: Dinosaur bone rush, omg would read
Rose: RIGHT? One of the paleontologists mentioned at the Natural History museum when I was in NYC was named Levi Sternberg too and he was from a big Sternberg paleontology family. I haven’t looked up yet whether he’s Jewish because I’m terrified he won’t really be. But he and his three brothers and father worked together as a paleontologist team. What a romance set-up! [Note: I looked it up and the Sternbergs were actually Lutherans. BUT IN MY ROMANCE SERIES THEY WOULD BE JEWISH.]
Theresa: [They are in my headcanon.] The heroine of Fortune Favors the Wicked is an ex-courtesan and the hero is a blind ex-sailor.
Rose: Ex-courtesan ftw! I have to say, being blind seems like it would be a disproportionate liability in a treasure hunt. Is that part of why they team up?
Theresa: The hero is based on a real guy, James Holman. He was an explorer and memoirist AFTER he went blind. So Benedict isn’t fussed about being blind. He mostly wants to team up with Charlotte because she’s local to the place the coins seem to be hidden.
Rose: That makes sense. I made a dumb assumption! James Holman seems awesome, I will have to read this WP page more carefully later. ::skims:: “Within a week after finishing an autobiography, Holman’s Narratives of His Travels, he died in London on 29 July 1857. This last work was never published, and likely has not survived.” Noooo!
Theresa: I wanted to write a hero who wasn’t angsty about being blind. He’s made it a part of his life and is all charming and kind of a flirt.
Rose: YESSS charming flirts are my jam as you know.
Theresa: Holman was such a cool guy. I had to do an author’s note so people would know my knife-fighting treasure-hunting hero was based on someone real who was EVEN BETTER.
Rose: I have never done an author’s note because…I don’t know why. It never seems like enough space? I never know what to talk about? But I love reading them.
Theresa: Me too! History inspires so much cool fiction.
Thanks for joining us for this chat! Theresa is giving away a signed copy of A Gentleman’s Game, plus some sugared almonds (a treat enjoyed by characters in A Gentleman’s Game!), to one random commenter on this post. To enter the giveaway, do tell: do you enjoy author’s notes—and other book “extras” like acknowledgments and teaser—or do you go straight to the story? Or if you’ve got a question about books for one of us, that’s cool too! Comment away. A winner will be chosen at random from among all comments left by Sunday, February 28, at 3 pm ET. Since perishable food is included in the prize, this giveaway is limited to US addresses only.