I met Tessa Dare at RWA Nationals in DC last month and she was a delight. Then I read her newest release GODDESS OF THE HUNT and I was delighted twice. Her heroine Lucy is a spunky, out-of-the-ordinary character and I loved her! Anyway, I wanted to share Tessa and her work with you, so I invited her for a chat. As usual when I have a guest, my words are in bold, and Tessa is speaking italics.
Welcome to my blog, Tessa.
Emily, thank you so much for having me today! It was such a thrill to meet you at conference, you’re a sweetheart to have read GODDESS OF THE HUNT, and so quickly! Thanks for giving me some great questions to answer.
My pleasure. On your website, you list a number of movies that influenced your writing. Since you're also a librarian, I'll be there have been a few books that shaped your storytelling as well. Can you share your favorite and why it's important to you?
Several of those movies were based on my favorite books. Without a doubt, the novels of Jane Austen have had the profoundest influence on me, simply because they were my introduction to the Regency era and the romance subgenre that celebrates it. I also love Austen’s heroines—they are intelligent and strong, but not without faults. Although I wrote about my love of the Pride and Prejudice film adaptations on my blog, I think I’ve connected most strongly with Emma over the course of my life. I always wanted to be Elizabeth Bennet, but felt more like Emma Woodhouse—always meaning well, but frequently misjudging in her efforts to “help.” In the end, though, they both end up with smashingly wealthy and handsome gents, so… it’s all good! I think that’s just one more thing I love about Austen—her characters never needed to be perfect to earn their happy endings, just possessed of some self-knowledge and willing to grow.
And you gifted your heroine Lucy with those same endearing traits. Prior to publication, you dabbled in some fan fiction. Can you tell us a little about that experience?
Probably no surprise after the above, but I wrote some Pride and Prejudice-based fan fiction before I started writing original Regency-set romance. The online Jane Austen fandom is a wonderfully diverse and inclusive place, and there are many talented writers there. I learned a lot about pacing, dialog, historical context, and how to see a story through from start to finish.
After I got my contract, I wrote an article for RWR (Romance Writers Report, the RWA magazine) about fan fiction. I was astonished at how many top-selling romance authors also have dabbled in fanfic, in various fandoms.
It's probably a great way to get your name out there. I understand you are under contract for another trilogy for Ballantine. Can you give us a little tease for those stories?
Yes, thanks for asking! The Stud Club trilogy will be coming to stores in Summer 2010! While this year’s trilogy (Goddess/Siren/Lady) is very heroine-centric, this one is more about the guys. And while they are all unquestionably studs, THE “stud” in Stud Club is a priceless racehorse. Membership in the club is limited, but attainable to anyone with luck. And blind luck is pretty much the only way these three men—a duke, a war hero, and a scoundrel—would ever associate. When the club’s founder is murdered, the three must become reluctant allies in the search for justice. And along the way, they each fall desperately in love. As strong and independent as the heroes are, their heroines are even more so, and I’m having a wonderful time writing them. The first book, One Dance with a Duke, will release late May 2010.
Thanks for visiting with us today. Tessa is giving away a copy of GODDESS OF THE HUNT to a lucky commenter so please let your voice be heard.
Much is made of romance heroes and I don't want to take a bit away from the guys, but too often the heroines get overlooked. One of my pet peeves is wimpy heroines, but Tessa's Lucy does not fit that at all. She's fiesty, pro-active and determined to create her own destiny. My question for you all today to get the discussion started is this: What do you think is the most important quality for a romantic heroine to have?