1) Why Romance? Did you choose this genre or were you ‘chosen’ by it?
I chose it. My nature and professional experience taught me that I work better with an assignment and structure. Genre fiction offers a basic structure—western, love story, detective, fantasy, etc.—which keeps me from wandering off into aimless and pointless yammering. I chose romance because it focuses on a relationship, and relationships are really interesting. I was always drawn to love stories, but hated unhappy endings—even when they were allegedly “right” for the story. Romance requires a happy ending: Love must Conquer All.
2) Is there a romance author, living or dead, who inspires you
Jane Austen. If I can ever write anything as amazing as Pride and Prejudice, I’ll die happy. No, it’s never going to happen, but yes, one ought to aspire to greatness. The characterization is so wonderfully done and she has such an ear for speech and an eye for mannerisms, such a way of picking the perfect human detail. Then there’s the story itself, which continues to resonate with readers, including high school students, 200 years later. It’s a little miracle.
3) Please, tell us about your latest book and, if you can, about your
Following up on Silk is for Seduction and Scandal Wears Satin, I’m working on the third book—and the third sister, Leonie—of my Dressmakers series. For various reasons, Vixen in Velvet has wanted more time than originally intended, so it won’t be out until 2014. After that, I think the next story will feature Lady Clara, one of the secondary characters from the series. The next book is always a haze to me. I can only focus on what I’m doing now, one book at a time, one scene at a time.
4) How was your writing journey? Was it difficult to find an agent and
My journey was somewhat easier than some because I’d been writing professionally for several years. I knew how to put together a proposal and how to keep the audience interested. I did polish the daylights out of my first novel. Then, too, we had many more publishers to choose from in those days. I sent to one, and expected to send to the next on my list, assuming that many rejections would precede acceptance. But the first publisher accepted Isabella. The second book, The English Witch, set off a tug of war between my hardcover publisher and a paperback publisher. A writer in that position finds it not at all difficult to get an agent.
5) What’s your opinion about this eBook revolution? Would you consider
the indie route?
I love both print and eBooks. A print book feels good in my hand, but when traveling, my digital reader is so convenient. Via my agent, I’ve self-published all of my out-of-print titles, but that’s because otherwise they’d stay out of print. However, like my current books, they were written for a traditional publisher. This gives me top level editing, promotion, distribution, etc.—all of which has helped me grow into a bestselling author. I just want to write, so I’m glad to have the publishing team do all the heavy lifting of getting my stories to readers.
6) Nowadays many publishers expect their authors to use Social media a lot to promote their books. Many authors, on the other hand, would prefer to write only, without being distracted by digital trivialities: what are your thoughts?
As mentioned above, I’d much rather be writing. But one can’t turn back the clock. My feeling is, this is a business and I’m a professional. That means I need to adapt to changing times. The trick is to find a balance between the writing (top priority) and the siren call of the Internet—at least until I can clone myself or find an assistant with a degree in mental telepathy.
Info about the author:
Loretta Chase holds a B.A. from Clark University, where she majored in English and minored unofficially in visual art. Her past lives include clerical, administrative, and part-time teaching at Clark and a Dickensian six-month experience as a meter maid. In the course of moonlighting as a corporate video scriptwriter, she fell under the spell of a producer who lured her into writing novels… and marrying him. The union has resulted in more than a dozen books and a number of awards, including the Romance Writers of America’s RITA® Award.
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