» Guest Author Interview: Miranda Neville

Guest Author Interview: Miranda Neville

This post originally appeared on the Dashing Duchesses.

 

Mneville bio_picI am delighted to welcome the always delightful Miranda Neville, who is the author of nine historical romances and is joining us to celebrate the release of her newest book, THE RUIN OF A ROGUE (better known as ROAR). ROAR is the second in her Wild Quartet Series and is available now at all major booksellers and e-retailers.

RWA11I first met Miranda when I was just an aspiring author attending the Romance Writers of America conference in New York, in 2011. To my ever-loving astonishment, she and several other amazing historical authors plopped themselves down at my table (*squeak!* Little old ME!) and proceeded to share a series of pink pomegranitini’s. I have never forgotten the kindness she showed me, and present photographic proof of that grand occasion (and that fabulous drink!)

From left to right, that’s Meredith Duran, a very giddy and-yet-unpublished moi, Kate Noble, and Miranda Neville.

From Miranda: Good morning Your Graces. It’s so lovely to call on you. I do hope you allow me to stay more than fifteen minutes. And thank you for the invitation, Jen. I rather think I owe you a pink drink!

From Jen: I see we are bound to be frequently tipsy in each other’s presence. Now that we share the same editor and the same publishing house, I am happy to say I knew you before we had so much in common. I am thrilled to be here today to help you talk about your latest release, THE RUIN OF A ROGUE (which looks as delicious as a pomegranitini, I might add.) Can you tell us a bit about the book?

ruinofarogue THE RUIN OF A ROGUE (READ AN EXCERPT)

Charm, wit, and nerves of steel have helped Marcus Lithgow gamble his way across the Continent. But when his heart is at stake, all bets are off for this most perfect of rogues…

Anne Brotherton is tired of being an heiress. Why can’t men like her for her sharp mind and kind heart rather than her impressive dowry?  When she meets Marcus Lithgow she thinks she’s found the right man, until she learns he’s nothing but an unscrupulous fortune hunter.

  It’s been years since Marcus set foot in England—why toy with the ton when he can fleece wealthy fools in Paris and Rome? Everything changes when he inherits a ramshackle estate. Marcus’s first and only chance at a respectable life needs funding…the kind Anne Brotherton can provide. Such a wallflower should be ripe for the picking. So why does Marcus feel like he’s the one hanging by a thread?

 She nearly falls for Marcus’s smooth seduction. But when Anne realizes she’s being strung along, a lust for revenge empowers her like never before. Two can play at the game of deception. The game of love, however, has its own rules…

 

From Jen: One of the things I love about your writing (beyond your witty dialogue) is that you have a habit of taking a hero I might not otherwise think is very manly or hero-worthy and you turn him into someone I am rooting for by the end. Can you tell us about your latest hero? Apparently he’s a rogue out to fleece our heroine for everything she’s worth, if the title is to be believed, but just what sort of a man is he?

 From Miranda: Thank you for appreciating my jerks, nerds, and dandies. Marcus is my baddest hero yet, at least on the surface. He has no illusions about himself: he’s “a man of honor when there was no reason not to be.” He learned roguery at his father’s knees and has been a professional gambler for all his adult life. He’s actually not that keen on finding a rich wife, but he has a problem: against all the odds his luck has run out and he can no longer keep himself through winning at games of chance. Marcus’s journey to becoming an honest man is the story of the book. Falling for Anne is a big part of it, but love isn’t the answer to everything. Until he re-examines his values and confronts his past, there isn’t going to be any HEA. Marcus has to learn to respect himself and be worthy of Anne.

 

From Jen: Your heroines are often unconventional (think: female chef masquerading as a man, or a wallflower exacting her revenge on the man who ruined her socially) which I find a fascinating juxtaposition for a woman who was born and raised in Britain and who has been known to wear a fascinator! Where do your ideas come from for your heroines? And is your latest heroine someone whose antics might widen our eyes, even as we cheer her on?

 From Miranda: I have no patience for martyrs and I want my characters to get what they want, in love and in life. Obviously within the constraints of the period there are limits to what a woman can do, but I like my heroines to have ambitions, whether it’s being fabulously well-dressed, giving great parties, or exerting political influence. Not that I advocate selfishness, but in my books a heroine actively pursues her desires, rather than passively accepting fate.

 Anne is probably my most conventional heroine, at first. As the heiress to a great fortune she has never questioned her duty to make a suitable marriage and ensure the future of her estates. When the book opens she is beginning to resent her fate. She wants to be seen as an individual so when she learns that she is mistaken in Marcus, her desire for payback jolts her out of her rut. She ends up doing some outrageous things including working as a housemaid, wearing men’s clothes, digging up a Roman villa, rolling around in the mud (not alone), and making love in a curtained alcove during a banquet. The sheltered heiress is liberated from the shackles of propriety, the opposite of what happens to Marcus.

 

From Jen: What is your favorite scene in The Ruin of a Rogue? Can you share your inspiration for the idea?

From Miranda: Can I give you two? When Anne agrees to do some housework in Marcus’s very dirty house, she has to face her greatest fear: spider! You may think a strong heroine wouldn’t be bothered by a few little arachnids, but I know otherwise. My eldest sister, one of the most powerful women I know, is terrified of spiders. I thought of her – and the times we retaliated against her bossiness by chasing her around the house with eight-legged critters.

I love rescue scenes. Since my heroines are always at least as smart, and often smarter, it’s good for the hero’s self-esteem if he can do something useful, like saving the heroine from death. In The ROAR, Anne gets trapped in a hole during a violent storm and has to be pulled put. The event is a turning point, for Marcus’s feelings, for the romance plot, and also for the external plot. It’s satisfying to write a scene that works hard!

 

From Jen: When she agreed to do a post , Miranda probably felt because we both ladies, and had chatted over pink liquor, things would be tame. Yes, well, someone forgot to inform her that I have begun to garner a reputation as being someone who can ask somewhat…er…inappropriate interview questions. So, here is my fourth (and most questionable) Question.  I know you are here to talk about your newest book, but I cannot end this open opportunity to probe your mind without asking you about your FIRST book, NEVER RESIST TEMPTATION, which features a heroine chef and an intimate scene that involves the hero placing a dollop of pastry cream on his… um…. well, would “wooden spoon” suffice as a metaphor? Are you trying to give a woman heart palpitations? And what was the inspiration for that scene?

 From Miranda: Wellll …. Let me see. I was sitting at a pavement café in Paris, and I ordered a glass of cognac and a large éclair. A gorgeous man, who looked very like a young Alain Delon, approached the table …  Are you freakin’ kidding me? You expect me to remember what I was thinking when I wrote a scene six years ago? Or to admit it??!!!

 

From Jen: Well. I suppose I shall just have to imagine it myself, then! Lucky for me I have a vivid imagination and an appreciate for wooden spoons. Thank you for joining us today Miranda!

From Miranda:  Thank you, Jen!

 

Jennifer McQuiston writes Different. Historical. Romance. (But apparently so does Miranda Neville!) An infectious disease researcher by training, Jennifer has always preferred reading romance to scientific textbooks. Her next book, Summer is for Lovers, will be released September 24, 2013.

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