Today I'm talking with my friend and Regency romance author Terry Long about her Regency romance, THE NOTORIOUS PROPOSAL.
1) Please tell us about your book.
THE NOTORIOUS PROPOSAL is about a beautiful gentlewoman caught in a crossfire between two brothers who have a rather contrasting opinion about her. While she believes she’ll be released from her outrageous bargain soon, she discovers differently when the offensive man of the two substitutes his disdain for attraction toward her.
2) What was your inspiration for this book?
Oh, just my daydreams. I tend to do a bit of that.
3) Though he's handsome and rich, at the start of the book, Michael is a bit of an arrogant git. This puts him in a long tradition of Regency and Georgian alpha males who need to be tamed when they are first introduced. Arguably, this goes back in fiction all the way back to Mr. Darcy. What's the continuing appeal of this archetype, even in the modern day with our far more liberated women?
I think it’s “romantic” when I read about a tough, rough-around-the-edge man who loves as much as he is proud. Personally, I believe it is the strongest men who falls the hardest. And what woman doesn’t find a man with armor around his heart appealing when he’s vulnerable? This woman does!
4) What went into designing Ally? Was it difficult to develop a character who is, in many ways, quite the naive innocent, yet still has enough allure to attract the eye of a stubborn man?
The process of designing Ally didn’t go as smoothly and effortlessly as it was in creating Michael. While striving to make her a kindhearted lady, I couldn’t have her weeping or swooning at the drop of a pen, and in my initial draft, she did exactly that. Since I find those characters rather dull myself, I contemplated how to turn her character around, ultimately deciding to make her spine a little stiffer, her vocabulary more colorful. That being said, she doesn’t actually curse. She only believes she’s gifted with her list of eccentric name-calling — she is a gentlewoman, after all.
5) Why did you choose to write a book set in Regency England?
I’ve always believed I was a romantic and Regencies are just that. One day, a long, long time ago, when I was browsing for my usual contemporary romance reads in a local library, I came across a rack— that’s right, a rack. The covers of scantily dressed men leaning over disheveled ladies, who happened to look appropriately weak in the knees, beckoned to me. After glancing around, making sure I wasn’t being watched, I reached for one of them and read the back cover. More than anything—even the naughty covers—I was enthralled by each and every synopsis, leading me to accept the fact that I couldn’t just read contemporary novels anymore. I had to read historicals! Many of which I read then were Regency based, so I became accustomed to their tongue and lifestyle. I am fortunate enough to be able to write about something I absolutely adore.
6) What sort of challenges did period writing present?
Many writers would agree with me here, I think. When it comes to the art of construing a tale, there are always challenges which come our way, be it mingling characters or creating new scenes. I’ve read this specific era for quite some time, but there is almost always a curveball where I have to stop, drop everything and research for accuracy.
7) What other projects do you have in the works?
Currently, I’m working on another Regency. However, this one isn’t about temperate, passive women and angry, arrogant men. I have her going about, behaving quite dastardly while he is watching on in disbelief. The attraction between the two is very different from Ally and Michael in THE NOTORIOUS PROPOSAL. I am happy with where it’s going so far, and I cannot wait to share their story and secrets with everyone. There are a couple of huge bombshells I’m keeping under wraps, and I can scarcely contain myself!
THE NOTORIOUS PROPOSAL can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or direct from the publisher.