First, if we were meeting at a coffee shop I’d be drinking a Latte with Skim and a drizzle of caramel. 🙂 What would you order?
If it’s summer, I’d get a huge glass of iced coffee with lots of ice and cream.
Thanks so much for hanging out with me today.
For those who are not familiar with your Maiden Lane series can you tell us a little bit about it?
Maiden Lane takes place in Georgian London, a colorful time period and place with both the very rich living in gilded mansions and the very poor living in grimy back alleys. All sorts of characters weave in and out of the books from arrogant dukes to masked vigilantes to poor lady’s companions and stern dragoon captains.
At what point did you realize this was going to be big?
Pretty much from the start. 😉 I had a vision and knew where the books were going and the series started rolling and snowballing as they came out and readers began responding. First with wondering what I was going to do with Mickey O’Connor and Silence (Scandalous Desires) and then wondering who the Ghost of St. Giles was. Val, the hero of Duke of Sin has had, by far, the most reader mail to date.
I’ve read that you have twelve books planned in the series. Now that book ten is almost here, is the series winding down like you envisioned?
Originally I’d planned to make the series open-ended and just never stop. 😉 But there are some readers who simply won’t pick up a book until the entire series is finished. (They must be pretty stumped by Stephanie Laurens.) I also didn’t want to make it too daunting for new readers. So yes, I’ll be leaving Maiden Lane after twelve books and three enovellas (the first one, Once Upon a Moonlit Night, will be out this July.)
Did you have a plan of how it would work or has it evolved with each book?
Plotting-wise I usually have a broad idea what’s happening for the next three books. Which means when I started I definitely didn’t know what the twelfth book would look like.
What do you do to research for this series?
Here’s a secret: if somebody paid me as well for doing nothing but research I’d probably do that instead of writing. Mostly now I do my research at museums (Paris recently!!!) and by looking at photos and pictures in books and online (Pinterest!). If I have a specific question I Google it like everyone else—and then I can spend hours happily falling down Wikipedia black holes. For instance, a recent black hole was looking up how Orion the constellation was depicted in the eighteenth century. That took about two hours, cause stars plus Greek mythology!
When did you realize the fairy tale inside the story would be so well received?
Well, basically I didn’t. 😉 I made the decision to keep going with the fairy tale thing with my fourth book (To Taste Temptation.) At that point I’d gotten some feedback, most of it positive, on the fairy tales. I happen to really, really like the fairy tales and they’re my books so… Since then I’ve received a lot more reader mail most of it overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the fairy tales. Although I did get one last year from a woman who wrote to tell me I should just stop with them, please. 😉
I fell in love with The Maiden Lane series a long time ago and have enjoyed reading each book. I will be sad when the series comes to an end. I also fell in love with The Raven Prince, a must read as well!
Thank you! A lot of readers tell me that The Raven Prince is still their favorite.
One of the things I admire about you is how connected you are with your readers. Lately you’ve kept them up to date with the details from your sexy cover shoots. I find it fascinating and look forward to those posts!
I’m glad you like the real time cover shoots we do on my Twitter feed and Facebook page!
What was it like the first time you witnessed the models creating your vision?
I was surprised just how many people are involved in a cover shoot. Besides the male and female models and the photographer and her assistant, there’s my editor, her assistant, the cover artist, the costume designer, the art department head, and the publicist. Various other people might be there as well. Good cover models are very professional. They’re basically acting, after all—they have to sell that clinch. 😉
How much input do you have with the cover design?
My part of the cover process usually starts about a month or so before the actual shoot. My editor asks me for the hero and heroine’s stats (eye and hair color) and ideas I might have for the stepback (the inside picture in my books.) Since covers have to be done so far in advance, sometimes I haven’t even started writing the book when I’m asked for ideas! Usually I send what I have and refer my editor to my Pinterest page (https://www.pinterest.com/elizabethhoyt/). Pinterest actually helps a lot. I’m pretty visual and my editor and the art director often get color and background ideas from the pins I’ve put up. I do get to choose models, which is not as easy as it would seem, and I do get some say so in the finished cover. I’m very, very fortunate to have a fantastic art department at Grand Central—I really love my covers!
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?
I’m published in contemporary as well under the name Julia Harper. If I had to choose between historicals and contemporaries, I’d choose historicals, but I really do like writing contemporaries as well. Writing in a different sub-genre is something of a palate-cleanser and keeps me on my writing toes. I go back to writing historicals feeling refreshed.
Can you tell us when and where you will be in the upcoming months?
***** 8 Tantalizing Tidbits *****
1. What is a must read book and why?
Edge of Obsession by Megan Crane: Future Vikings!
2. What is one place that I should see if I visit your hometown?
Minnehaha Falls Park. Just gorgeous.
3. Castles or Beaches?
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 because we do Netflix. We watch Daredevil, Game of Thrones, Peaky Blinders, and Penny Dreadful, to name a few.
6. Paperback or e-book?
Ebook because I can enlarge the font.
7. Do you love to cook or go out to eat?
Oh, my God, go out to eat. If I could afford to hire a personal chef I would.
8. What is one thing you can’t live without?
Congratulations again Elizabeth and I’ll be watching the #RITAGHs award ceremony via computer this summer.
Thanks again for hanging out! Time for another Latte 🙂
Happy Reading Dear Readers.
Happy Writing Elizabeth!
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!
********** Giveaway **********
Elizabeth has generously donated a paperback copy of the Duke of Sin to ONE lucky reader.
Answer the following question in the comments for your chance to win – What is your favorite fairy tale?
One winner will be randomly selected. Contest runs till 5/25/15 at 11:59PM (open to US/International)
Winner must comment within 24 hours to claim his/her prize or a new winner will be randomly selected.
ICYMI: Maiden Lane Blitz Day 1
Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weekly has called her writing “mesmerizing.” She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.