Saturday, March 6, 2010

Rose Lerner Talks About Her Debut Regency

I'm thrilled Rose Lerner has come to blog with us today at the Chatelaines and celebrate her new release, In for a Penny, which hit bookstore shelves February 23rd.

Welcome, Rose!

GR: Tell us a little bit about your debut title, In for a Penny.

RL: It's a marriage of convenience story. After his father's death, a young lord marries a pretty, practical merchant's daughter so he can support his family, but money turns out to be the least of their problems. Faced with scandal, rioting tenants, and a menacing neighbor, they have nowhere to turn but to each other--and to their surprise, that just might be enough.

Inspiration for this book came from a lot of sources--Prince Hal in Shakespeare's Henry plays, my frustration with Georgette Heyer's A Civil Contract, and my research into England's agricultural depression, to name three.

GR: Can you share your “call moment” with us?

RL: I was at work. I checked my voicemail at the very end of my lunch break and realized I had a message from Leah Hultenschmidt (my now-editor)--and then had to wait four agonizing hours until the end of my shift to call her back! When she made me the offer, I was sitting in the front seat of my car with my coat on. After I hung up the phone, I went back into work and told my friends and jumped up and down and squealed a lot.

GR: What influenced you to write about Regency England?

RL: I've always been a fan of romance in the comedy of manners tradition. Which mostly translates to "I love banter," and Regency romance usually has plenty of that. I imprinted on the era early: my mother read me the complete works of Jane Austen in fifth grade, and a friend loaned me my first Georgette Heyer when I was thirteen. We made dozens of trips to the bookstore to buy Regency romances together over the next four years and even exchanged in-character letters between Regency debutante friends like the ones in Sorcery and Cecelia. (I'm sure they were mostly awful, but we thought they were brilliant and hilarious. I remember in one of our favorite scenes, her character's hero opened his snuffbox with a delicate flick of his wrist--very common in old-skool Regencies--and accidentally spilled snuff all over her dress.) So it's probably not surprising that it's what I started writing. Plus, I think the clothes are sexy.

GR: How long was your road to publication?

RL: Well, I wrote my first full romance manuscript at seventeen, but I only seriously started submitting to agents and editors five years ago. In for a Penny is the third book I've written.

GR: What’s one thing that you know now that you wished you knew when you started your journey as a writer?

RL: Writing sex scenes is fun once you get over the initial embarrassment! I was intimidated by them for a long time.

GR: Is there anything special to your writing process? Pictures? Music? Any tricks of the trade?

RL: To be honest, no. I've tried all kinds of things--index cards, charts--but nothing stuck. I'm a pantser and I get a lot of my ideas from research, so my usual process is: research, write the first six chapters or so, pause for more research while I figure out where the story is going, and then write the rest of the book. The only thing I do that might qualify as a trick is that I back up my manuscript every few days by e-mailing it to myself, and I sometimes keep notes for future scenes as draft e-mails in Gmail.

GR: When you’re not Rose Lerner the author, who are you? What do you do in your down time?

RL: I work full-time as a cook in a local natural foods store, and I cook and bake at home. I hang out with my friends and roommates. I'm a big geek and spend a fair amount of time on the internet, mostly following blogs and journals and keeping in touch with the friends I've made that way. I love TV and movies, too--recently a friend and I watched all three seasons of Kyle XY. That show is adorable, and all the romances are so well done! And of course I love to read, but there's not as much time left over for that as I wish there were.

GR: What do Rose Lerner fans have to look forward to in the future?

RL: My next book, Lily Among Thorns, will be out from Dorchester in January 2011. It's about a young woman innkeeper who has worked hard to bury her past, but finds herself facing the man who long ago helped her escape her life as a prostitute. He's now turning to her for her help; she believes the biggest threat to her independence are the sparks that fly between them until disaster threatens and she finds they must work together to fight for their freedom and their lives...

GR: And anything else you’d like to add.

RL: Just that I'm running a contest on my website and giving away five signed copies of In for a Penny and a package of ten of my favorite Regency-set novels (by Georgette Heyer, Naomi Novik, and Loretta Chase, among others)! You can see the list of books and enter the contest here.

Rose, thanks for stopping by today! We've so enjoyed having you. Wishing you all the best with your new release, In for a Penny! To celebrate her new release, Rose will be giving away a signed copy of her book to one randomly drawn commenter. Good luck to all!


EmilyBryan March 6, 2010 at 7:16 AM  

In for a Penny sounds like great fun! I'm a huge fan of banter too. Oscar Wilde is my favorite and I love the story about him coming to the US and being asked by a customs official if he had anything to declare. "Only my genius," the wag said.

Gerri Russell March 6, 2010 at 4:05 PM  

Rose, After I posted your interview, I got to wondering if your second book, Lily Among Thorns, is also a Regency?

Jacquie Rogers March 6, 2010 at 4:25 PM  

Rose, congratulations on your debut release! Judith Laik tells me it's a wonderful book and yes, I'll definitely be reading it.


Jennifer Ashley/ Allyson James / Ashley Gardner March 6, 2010 at 4:35 PM  

Congrats on your release!! Isn't Leah great? I love Regency romances (especially ones with banter), so I will definitely be picking it up. Best wishes to you on your very first release!

Cindy Holby March 6, 2010 at 4:52 PM  

Congrats on your first release. Rose donated a copy for a charity I'm involved with and I received it today. As soon as I read the back cover I was very tempted to keep it for my self.

Its going in my book basket for the raffle and I will be picking up my own copy as soon as I hit the bookstores.

I love banter too!

April Rickard March 6, 2010 at 4:57 PM  

Thanks for sharing your "call" story Rose. I've heard from several others, too, that third manuscript seems to be magic. Congratulations!!

Gina Robinson March 6, 2010 at 5:00 PM  

Congrats on your debut, Rose! I love marriage of convenience stories.

Rose Lerner March 6, 2010 at 7:35 PM  

Emily--I love Oscar Wilde too! I'm a big fan of "One cannot eat muffins in an agitated manner--the butter would get on one's cuffs!"

Gerri--Yes. I've yet to write anything else. Maybe someday! But for right now, I'm happy with the Regency.

Jacquie--Thanks! Judith has been so nice--did you see the blurb she gave me?

Jennifer--Thank you so much! I adored The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie, I hope you enjoy Penny even half as much! And yes, Leah is fantastic. :)

Cindy--Thanks! I'm glad the book got there so quickly. Banter is the best!

April--huh. I guess three times is the charm! And thanks!

Gina--Thanks! I love marriage of convenience stories too! Let me know what you think of Penny.

Judith March 6, 2010 at 8:49 PM  

Congratulations on your book finally being available, Rose. I was lucky enough to read it pre-publication, so I know that readers are in for a treat!

Bonnie Vanak March 7, 2010 at 4:54 AM  

Congrats on your debut, Rose! In for a Penny sounds like a fun story!

Terri March 7, 2010 at 5:26 AM  

Congrats on your debut novel and a bigger one on a second coming out so soon.

I'll be sure to look for them as I do love historicals that have lots of research and it sure sounds like yours do.


Virginia March 7, 2010 at 1:10 PM  

This book sounds like a great read and I have been hearing good things about this book. I would love to read it!

Rose Lerner March 10, 2010 at 2:38 PM  

Judith--thanks so much! Just today I got another comment about how fabulous your quote is. You're the best!

Bonnie and Virginia--thanks!

Terri--Thanks! I hope it lives up to expectations. :) It's true what people say, probably only about 1% of my research found its way into the actual story, but I do think all of it affected the tone and shape of the story anyway. (This may not come as a surprise, but I really, really enjoy research.)

Cindy Holby

Gerri Russell

Joy Nash

Bonnie Vanak

Emily Bryan

C.L. Wilson

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