DEB: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
TR: Thanks so much for letting me join you today! Besides being a writer, I am a wife and mom, an indifferent cook, a book addict, and a classic movie fan.
DEB: What was your inspiration for this book?
TR: I started with the characters, because I wanted to write a hero and heroine different from any I’d explored before. The heroine, Frances, is a little older than the hero, and she has a more scandalous past than he does. Oddest of all, she’s a widow who truly loved her first husband. My hero, Henry, has tried to prove himself as an artist and soldier, but he suffers a terrible injury that ends both careers. Once I put those two together, a Cyrano-ish plot grew in which they find their way to love through secret letters that allow them to learn about themselves—and eventually, build a new life.
DEB: Is it a single title or part of a series?
TR: IT TAKES TWO TO TANGLE is the first book in the Matchmaker trilogy, but each story will stand on its own. Readers will be able to dive in at any point.
DEB: What kind of research did you do on the Regency period for this one?
TR: In hindsight, I bit off a lot by giving my hero TWO occupations. I researched troop movements during the Napoleonic Wars, finding just the right regiment and division that would lead my hero across Europe and into terrible places. Since he’s an artist too, I also researched historic painting methods and pigments. Oh, and dueling etiquette! To say more about that might be a spoiler…
DEB: What comes first a good character or the story?
TR: It depends (sorry!). For IT TAKES TWO TO TANGLE, the characters came first. For the next Matchmaker book, TO CHARM A NAUGHTY COUNTESS (May 2014) the plot of the story—which takes place during the uncommonly cold year of 1816—shaped the character of the super-responsible and very stressed hero.
DEB: Do you have a favorite author or genre you read for pleasure?
TR: I read historical and contemporary romance for pleasure all the time. But for a change of pace, I also like historical nonfiction or narrative nonfiction. I’ve liked all of David McCullough’s books (and if you’re an audiobook fan, he reads most of his own books and is a wonderful narrator). And right now I have a few library books out on the history of dining. Maybe they’ll be useful for research—or maybe just for fun! I’m a big trivia buff.
DEB: What was your reaction when found out your first book would be published?
TR: I was on my lunch hour at work when I saw an email from an editor saying she’d like to talk about an offer—so I had to suppress my shriek and act very professional. But when I got home, I heard her phone message and had my husband confirm it was real. What I did next is sort of foggy, but I probably jumped up and down for joy!
DEB: Do you have advice for new writers?
TR: Don’t give up! The only way to finish a book is one word, one page, one chapter at a time. Also, it’s great to have support as you work toward finishing that book. Find a friend or loved one who will encourage you to stick with it, and consider joining a writers’ organization. For romance writers, there’s Romance Writers of America at the national level, plus chapters at the state and local levels and for subgenres (like historical, paranormal, LGBT).
DEB: Tell us something readers may not know about you.
TR: I’m left-handed, and maybe that’s why when I learned to write, I wrote in perfect mirror handwriting. That must have been a surprise for my parents and teachers! I don’t remember how they got me to start writing left to right. Maybe with a mirror.
DEB: What are you working on right now?
TR: I recently turned in the third book of the Matchmaker trilogy to my editor, and I’ll soon be working on revisions for the second one: TO CHARM A NAUGHTY COUNTESS, out in May 2014. Since I also write holiday historical romances, I’m now writing the fourth book in that series, which will be out in October 2014.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of It Takes Two to Tangle by Theresa Romain.
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