First of all, my apologies to Lara Temple and Rachel for this post being a day late, but I hope you enjoy this fab interview I have with the author herself.
Interview with Lara Temple…..
1) For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
Hi, I’m Lara Temple and I write historical romances for Harlequin Mills & Boon set during the Regency period (give or take a few years). I’m a bit of latecomer to romance writing. I’ve worked in finance, high tech, and consulting most of my life and I only began publishing two years ago after entering the Harlequin SYTYCW contest and being offered a contract. I’m now about to release my fifth book with them and hard at work on more. It isn’t easy, juggling the writing between my other work and my family (I have two amazing but time consuming little kids), but the high I get from writing is something I could never give up. Thankfully I work from home and my husband and kids (and dog) are pretty forgiving when I get that blank I’m-lost-down-a-plot-rabbit-hole look.
2) Where did/do you get your ideas from?
I should say from my degree in history and a life-long love of reading historical fiction and romance but while those provide background for my stories, the ideas themselves often come from just about anywhere – a dog I see on the street, a chance line I overhear at a café, and very often in the middle of the night after having been woken up by one of my kids. The number of times my mind has gone into overdrive as I try to get back to sleep at 4am might explain the bags under my eyes. Suddenly I’m swamped by heroes, heroines and all manner of characters climbing onto my mind’s stage and demanding I drag myself out of bed, open my laptop, and get to it…
3) Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
Very rarely. Once an idea is sparked, my characters just take on a life of their own, they grow as I write and I often have no idea who they are going to be until I am finished writing them. That is part of what I love about writing – it is like watching a movie and I simply have to stay and find out how it is all going to work out.
4) How do you pick your characters names?
Sometimes characters come name-ready (4am inspiration again) but sometimes I browse through time appropriate lists of names, or in the indices of old books, until I come across a name that sounds right. Sometimes I even sneak names from books I loved – my Lord Ravenscar is a case in point (Max Ravenscar was the first Georgette Heyer hero I encountered and it was love at first card playing scene). Once I find that name there is always a kind of inner sigh – ‘yes, that’s it.’
5) Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
I’m an absolute pantser who wishes she was a plotter and decides before every new books that she will reform but fails miserably. For the first trimester of my book I just sit down and write and my characters take over and I pretty much discover them as I go. It really is like watching (and listening to) a movie in my head. This doesn’t mean it is easy. I often run myself into a plot ditch and then I have to take a step back and rethink where they are going – I force myself to stop being a passive reporter and start taking a hand in their destinies. This second trimester is usually the hardest. Then after that agonizing attempt to make believe I’m a plotter, it gets easier again and I can finally see where they are heading and start wrapping things up.
This whole process is complicated by the fact that I don’t have much writing time, but I do try to maximize it by having a few hours set aside only for writing between dropping my kids off at school and seeing to my other commitments. Oh, and I drink lots and lots of tea in the process…
6) Who are your top 5 favourite authors?
I actually can’t name just five, because the list keeps changing, but there are some authors that shaped my reading world and I go back to them again and again including Jane Austen, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Georgette Heyer. I’m also currently rereading my P.D. James collection and I also just read a marvellous historical mystery by Arianna Franklin, Mistress of Death.
7) If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
This is hard. Very hard. I think I would like to find myself with the three Bronte sisters and all I would ask was to be with them so I could try and puzzle how they created such brilliant stories in a world so ungenerous to women. The same would be true if I could ask Mary Shelley what was going through her mind when she wrote Frankenstein, or any of the brilliant genius women who were writing works of art during the period I write about.
8) Were you a big reader as a child?
I devoured books. My mother would take us to the public library in Farringdon and my brother and I would cry when we had to leave. Even when I was a little older I would fall in love with a series and then, again, cry when I came to the last book (we read every Sherlock Holmes but I still found it hard to accept when we reached #64 and my mother told me that was the end – so we started at the beginning again…). I especially liked mysteries until the day I discovered Georgette Heyer and my fate was sealed…
9) When did you start to write?
I dictated my first story to my mum when I was four years old so I suppose that counts. It had lots of dinosaurs and skeletons and secret stairways, which makes me wonder just what bedtime stories she was reading to me at that age. I kept writing stories over the years but I never made an effort to become published. I worked in finance and high tech and used writing as an escape and a private pleasure – I wrote what I wanted to read. When my kids were born I started looking for less stressful careers but it still took a stroke of circumstance to make me embrace the choice of becoming a writer.
One day my mom drew my attention to Harlequin’s SYTYCW contest and to my absolute amazement I made the top ten and was offered a contract. In two years I will have published five books with them and so I am finally beginning to face the wonderful reality that I am a bona fide writer.
10) If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?
Romeo and Juliet. Not because I like the story in that play, but because I have a problem with the romanticization of suicide. I hate that two teenagers (yes, I’m aware things were different back then and they were considered adults) felt so boxed in by circumstance they had to obliterate themselves. Yes, I know it’s only a story but it is iconic and it always bothered me.
11) Is there a book you wish you had written?
That has happened to me many times, but I remember that feeling very strongly when I was in my late teens and was addicted to Milan Kundera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Dostoyevsky, and Camus. I devoured their books and was really depressed I would never write anything as brilliant. I’ve grown up since then and realized we all have our own stories to tell and our own way to tell them but I can still remember that burn of envy when faced with genius.
12) If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?
I’d never write one, that’s for sure. But a possible title could be: Did Not Go According to Plan.
13) What are you working on right now?
I’m working on my next series. In my third Wild Lords’ book Lord Stanton grapples with the toxic legacy of his mother’s family – the Sinclairs. In a scene where he was telling the heroine Christina about escaping to play with his Sinclair cousins Lucas and Chase in the woods, I had an image of two dark haired, intense brothers. So the moment I finished writing Stanton’s story (which comes out in June) I began writing their stories, which are called for the moment, the Sinful Sinclairs.
14) Do you have a new release due?
My second Wild Lords, Lord Ravenscar’s Inconvenient Betrothal, is out 1st March and my third, Lord Stanton’s Last Mistress, is our 1st June. I love that all three of my Wild Lords are coming out in such a short period of time so people still have each one in mind as they read the other. They are definitely standalone books but the heroes do make appearances.
15) What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?
Publication day is one of mixed feelings for me. My baby is finally out there after months of tender care and I’m full of hope everyone will love it as much as I and worry that they will hate it. So on the day itself I don’t at all do what I would like – which is put up my feet, open the bubbly, and celebrate. That usually waits for the day after, when my nerves have calmed.
16) How can readers keep in touch with you?
I love hearing from readers (criticism too – I’ve learned so much from reader feedback in the past couple of years and I benefit from it). I’m in touch with an amazing group of readers through Facebook (www.facebook.com/laratemple1), twitter (@laratemple1), and my website (www.laratemple.com). Also – I and a group of amazing historical romance Harlequin Mills & Boon authors manage a Facebook group where we chat with readers, share amusing and amazing stories, and do giveaways. I recommend all romance lovers come and join us at https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheUnlacedBookClub/.
17) Is there anything else you would like us to know?
I think I’ve taken up more than my fair share of your time, but there is one thing I’d like to add. One of the most wonderful things about writing romance is the women – I work in a very male world and during the past two years I’ve met so many amazing, enriching, and generous women (readers, authors, and editors) I am simply blown away. It has been a double gift – not just seeing my writing published and enjoyed, but also becoming part of an amazing world I hadn’t even known existed. I wish I had taken some steps to become part of that world even before I published – like joining a local RNA or RWA chapter. To all the women contemplating writing but not sure about it – I really recommend find a community of romance lovers/authors around you!
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Lara 🙂
You are so welcome, Kerry! It’s been a pleasure to be on your blog.
Lord Ravenscar’s Inconvenient Betrothal
“Women either ran from Lord Ravenscar or ran to him.” A Wild Lords and Innocent Ladies story Alan Rothwell, Marquess of Ravenscar, is furious when unconventional heiress Lily Wallace refuses him purchase of her property. He can’t even win her over with his infamous charm. But when fever seizes him and they’re trapped together, horrified, Alan realizes Lily’s attentions will compromise them both! His solution: take Lily as his betrothed before desire consumes them completely…
Author Bio –
Lara Temple writes strong, sexy regency romances about complex individuals who give no quarter but do so with plenty of passion. Her fifth book with Harlequin Mills & Boon, ‘Lord Ravenscar’s Inconvenient Betrothal,’ will be published in March 2018, and is the second in her Wild Lords series. Her four previous books are: Lord Hunter’s Cinderella Heiress, The Duke’s Unexpected Bride, The Reluctant Viscount, and Lord Crayle’s Secret World. When she was fifteen Lara found a very grubby copy of Georgette Heyer’s Faro’s Daughter in an equally grubby book store. Several blissful hours later she emerged, blinking, into the light of day completely in love with Regency Romance but it took three decades of various fascinating but completely unrelated careers in finance and high tech before she returned to her first love. Lara lives with her husband and two children who are very good about her taking over the kitchen table for her writing (so she can look out over the garden and dream). She loves to travel (especially to places steeped in history) and read as many books as possible. She recently went looking for that crowded little bookstore but couldn’t quite remember around what corner it was…hopefully it is still there and another girl is in the corner by the window, reading and dreaming…
Social Media Links –
Amazon author page: http://amzn.to/2mWin9R
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/LaraTemple 7
As I’m the last why not go back through the tour and check out the fab posts by these awesome book bloggers…..