This post originally appeared on Lime Cello’s Blog.
So, when Lime told me about the author interview on her site, she encouraged me to really go whole-hog with the questions. Be original. But see, here’s the thing about that—I write dark, gritty historical romances. Inside my head is a weird place to be, as I’m sure you’ll understand from my answers to the following questions. I polled my readers to see what they’d like me to talk about today, and made the solemn promise I’d answer whatever they asked.
What’s your favorite thing to research when writing?
Lord hope the FBI doesn’t ever find my bookshelves or Internet searches, as with writing historical romantic suspense, things get a little suspicious. Upstairs I’ve got a bunch of books with titles like “Body Trauma,” “Crime and Punishment in the 19th Century,” “Madams, Bawds, and Brothel Keepers,” “The Italian Boy: A Tale of Murder and Body Snatching” (basis for the case I use in A Dangerous Invitation). My newest exciting purchase is “Pleasure and Pain: Opium and the Orient in the 19th Century.” I enjoy learning about how the lower class lived, and the more obscure the statistic is, the more I love it.
What’s the weirdest death you’ve used in a novel?
In my debut novel, A Dangerous Invitation, my hero is charged with the stabbing of a warehouse laborer. Said laborer had his throat slit, which isn’t very original, now that I think about it. I’m just getting started with my Rookery Rogues series, so it’s my new personal goal to make sure I write a death scene that hasn’t been used 5,000 times before. The “Death by being oversexed by one’s mistress” is always a classic, but I’m thinking more like death by a vicious disease that makes it so Scully from the X-Files has to come investigate your demise. (What? I like the X-Files, and I really wish Scully would pop out of my TV.)
Any favorite snacks you like to eat while writing?
Ah, you’ve found the way to my heart with this question. I’m married to a man who is a classically trained chef, and I’ve never met a (gluten free) pastry I didn’t love. When writing, I like to eat chocolate, almonds, and potato chips. Sometimes I go through a period where I eat an entire box of Dots while writing a scene. Said husband does not enjoy this, as then I’m loaded with sugar and springing off the walls.
You’ve been known to have a Twitter Army. Should we be concerned?
Yes, very much so. Given enough coffee, I’m pretty sure I could put my world domination plans into action. I have a friend who addresses me as “The Dictator.” I’d like to institute this as a national order, personally. All applications for joining my fabulous pink-wearing, glitter-covered Army can be taken through carrier pigeon.
Have you ever tried to stand on your head?
Yes, and it went very badly for me. I am highly uncoordinated. My idea of “dancing” is to bop around because I cannot move my hips independently. As a child, I tried to take both dancing and gymnastics classes. Eventually when they figured out I could neither do a split nor had the ability to maintain silence throughout an entire routine, my mother was kindly told by my instructors maybe it’d be best if I didn’t come back to class. I guess they feared the damage I was doing to my brain by continually falling down, to which I want to say, “hah, fooled you, it just made me more creative.”
If you could have dinner with any four people, dead or alive, who would you pick? And WHY?
I’d like to see my father again, so that’d be one for sure. Then I’d like to meet Jane Austen, as she founded my love for British literature. I’d also like to meet Aubrey Hepburn, because she’s my all-time favorite actress and she intrigues me as a person. I was once Jean Jacques Rousseau in a historical reenactment salon for high school, so I’d kind of like to meet him and punch him in the nose. (As much as I found his social philosophies intriguing, he was kind of a tool.)
What author’s works do you avoid like the plague?
There are certain times in your formative education when you are forced to read books you don’t like, and because you then have to attend a three-week unit on them afterwards, you get a little angry and bear a probably entirely unjustified resentment toward that author. I’ll confess I harbor such resentment toward Richard Wright for having to read Native Son while I should have been studying for my AP Euro final. Intellectually, I recognize the value of his book and its contribution to American literature, but I will never, ever read it again.
I also hate with the passion of a thousand burning suns Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, though it has been explained to me now in a way that makes me a little less ragey. As much as I love 19th century British lit, this just isn’t the book for me.
Would you be a man for a week?
Sure, why not? I’d like to be like Jack on Will and Grace. I don’t really think I could pull off an alpha male type man. Assuming I’d keep my current voice, it would sound like Minnie Mouse has been put into Sylvester Stallone’s body, and nobody could take that seriously. I assume I’d also still be quite short, which just adds to the awkward picture.
If you could be any piece of (time) period underwear, what would you be?
I’d like to be a bustle. I mean, think about it. Have you ever tried to wear a bustle? You start knocking into stuff—and people—with your rear. Imagine the chaos you could cause as bustle. Whole parties of people could be rolled over by the sheer might of your fanny. That kind of power might get to my head, though.
What’s your favorite words for naughty bits?
Cock. It’s a rooster, it’s a tilt to your head, it’s a penis. I admire the ambiguity. Plus, it works in both historical and modern times.
What is the stupidest thing you’ve ever done when drunk?
I’m not actually a heavy drinker, given the fact that I’m definitely a lightweight. But I do remember one time about four years ago in which I decided I was very angry at my husband over something he did four years prior to that, and I smashed two wine glasses and poured wine in his lap. I have no idea why I was that astronomically angry, but there you have it. Suffice to say he was not pleased. Then I had to buy two new wine glasses, which totally goes against my cheap-ass mentality.
Top or bottom?
Why, a lady never tells…or something equally vague here, right? But I will say it depends on the position.
What’s your favorite TV show?
So many. Top contenders are Castle, Chuck, The X-Files, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, Friends, Modern Family, The Originals, Elementary, and Sleepy Hollow.