%name Coffee With 2016 RITA finalist Lorraine Heath%name Coffee With 2016 RITA finalist Lorraine Heath%name Coffee With 2016 RITA finalist Lorraine Heath%name Coffee With 2016 RITA finalist Lorraine Heath%name Coffee With 2016 RITA finalist Lorraine Heath

%name Coffee With 2016 RITA finalist Lorraine Heath
First, if we were meeting at a coffee shop I’d be drinking a Latte with Coconut Milk 🙂
What would you order?

Thank you so much for inviting me for coffee. If we were meeting at a coffee shop, I’d be drinking green tea with lots of sugar. I love the smell of coffee but have never developed a taste for it.

Thanks so much for hanging out with me today.

Thank you for the opportunity to get away from my work zone for a while. I’m looking forward to it.

Congratulations on your RITA nomination for Falling into Bed with a Duke. Super exciting and what an honor.

Thank you. It really is an honor, especially considering some of my fave authors and reads also finaled in my category, so there will be happiness no matter who wins.

For those who are not familiar with your Hellions of Havisham series can you tell us a little bit about it? Are you planning any more books in this series?

Several years ago, I was researching another book (A Matter of Temptation) when I read about Charles Dickens being involved in a railway accident and also losing a brother to a railway accident. When railways first got started, there were so many accidents. The stories stuck with me, and when I needed something to tie my new heroes together, I decided they would be connected by disaster. When the Duke of Ashebury and the Earl of Greyling, along with their wives, perish in a railway accident, their sons are sent to Havisham Hall where they become the wards of the Marquess of Marsden, who also has a son—Viscount Locksley. Since I wanted them to have an unusual upbringing, I decided the Marquess would be quite mad, in the way that Miss Havisham in Great Expectations was mad (Hence, Havisham Hall, my nod to Dickens). He lost his way when his wife died. So my lords are a little wary of love, having been raised by a man who lost the love of his life. The third book, The Viscount and the Vixen, will be released in December. Then in early 2017, I’ll close out the series with an e-novella that will tell the tale of Marsden and his great love. It’s tentatively entitled Making Merry With the Marquess.

Every time I read your stories I’m swept away with strong and daring heroines and the heroes. They are bold, sensual and usually have an element of mischief. Sometimes the heroes are just plain wicked ;). Do you have a favorite?

My favorite is usually the one I’m writing at the time, and that’s because the characters that I’m writing are what I need at the time. I will admit that it was difficult to let Ainsley, Rafe, or Rose go. But all my characters give me a challenge—in one way or another.

Was there one that gave you a challenge while their story developed?

My current hero, Edward, in The Earl Takes All, is pretending to be his twin brother, which on the surface can seem like a betrayal to his brother’s wife and yet he’s doing it out of love. The challenge was to make him sympathetic and to ensure readers could forgive him. I think writing any character carries that challenge—the reader has to like the characters and has to understand their motivations.

For those who have not read your books I find that fact that you’ve published in a few different genres exiting. Do you have a favorite? Does that present any challenges for you as a writer?

Historical is my first love. When I discovered the romance genre, I devoured historical novels. I have expanded my reading options to include all romance sub-genres as well as young adult. I haven’t had any challenges switching between historical and YA because I write historical in third person and YA in first, so there is a little switch in my head that turns on and off as I move between genres. For the most part, the YA is contemporary or paranormal; they’re just fun to write. I think because I read so broadly now that I’m more open to writing different things.

I love your Scoundrels and Scandalous Gentleman of St. James series, can we expect anymore? Your latest release is the second book in the Hellions of Havisham. What can we expect?

I do hope to write some more of the St. James characters as I have a whole generation waiting in the wings. I know some of their stories, and I’m looking forward to exploring them. Some of the characters will make cameo appearances in the second book in the Hellions of Havisham, The Earl Takes All. When I first began writing British-set stories, I was creating new secondary characters for each book/series and it finally occurred to me that I could just use existing characters so I wouldn’t have to keep coming up with so many names. It’s always fun to run across someone we’ve seen before.

When you research for these amazing reads are you able to travel to any exotic locations for research?

I did go to Scotland a couple of years ago with a group of writers. That was an amazing trip. I’m hoping to make it to London soon (I haven’t been since I was a kid). But for the most part, my research is done between the covers of nonfiction books.

Thanks again for hanging out! Time for another Latte 🙂

Thank you! I’m off to make another pot of tea.

Happy Reading Dear Readers.
Happy Writing Lorraine!

***** 8 Tantalizing Tidbits *****

1. What is a must read book and why?

Wild at Heart by Patricia Gaffney, if you can find it. It’s the beautiful story of a man raised by wolves and the daughter of the professor who is studying him to determine if he possesses any humanity or if he’s as wild as the wilderness in which he was raised. I love this story. It’s on my keeper shelf.

2. What is one place that I should see if I visit your hometown?

The fairgrounds. The county fair (I lived in the county seat) was the most exciting time of year. I grew up in a very small (pop. 10,000) town. The restaurant where I was a waitress when in high school is no longer there and the high school isn’t the one I attended. The drug store where I used to go for lunch (they had the best pimento cheese sandwiches) is no longer there. But the fairgrounds, the county fair in the fall, and its corresponding rodeo are still an important feature of the town.

3. Castles or Beaches?

Beaches but castles are a close second.

4. If you had an all expenses paid trip anywhere in the world for research, where would you go?


5. Binge watcher or weekly viewer? Which show(s)?

Binge watcher (House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad)

6. What’s your favorite TV show and why?

Game of Thrones. So well done, such an interwoven story.

7. If you could pick a book you’ve read and make it into a movie, which book would it be (besides yours 🙂 )?

Paint the Wind by Cathy Cash Spellman. It’s an epic tale and would probably do better as a mini-series.

8. What’s your favorite movie of all time and why?

Casablanca. Because Rick, who starts out so hard and cynical, in the end is so noble.

To find out who wins the 2016 RITA in each category head over to Romance Writers of America on July 16 at 8PM PT. Winners will be announced and be sure to follow #RITAGH and #RWA16 for all the news that night!

%name Coffee With 2016 RITA finalist Lorraine Heath

Lorraine Heath always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals and computer code, but something was always missing. When she read a romance novel, she became not only hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She’s been writing about them ever since, for both adult and young adult readers (as Rachel Hawthorne and Jade Parker and with her son as J. A. London). Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards including RWA’s RITA®. Her novels have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists.

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