Today we would like to welcome to Book Lovers Inc. Maggie Robinson who is here to celebrate the release of Mistress by Marriage, Book #3 in her Courtesan Court steamy historical romance series! (You can read my review of the novel here.)
Maggie: Book Lovers have passion! They get behind the scenes. They read blogs like this, review magazines, interact with writers online. I am amazed at the support and strength of the romance community. It’s so amazing to get email from readers who talk about my characters as if they are real people!
Stella: Your latest release Mistress by Marriage is the third novel in the Courtesan Court series. Could you introduce the series to those readers who haven’t read it yet? (Those readers: Seriously what are you waiting for??)
Maggie: LOL, thanks! The books all take place on Jane Street, AKA “Courtesan Court,” a cul-de-sac of a dozen homes that house the most alluring mistresses in London. My heroines all wind up there pretty much by mistake. (the name of the first book!)
Stella: Can you tell us what we can expect of Mistress by Marriage?
Maggie: This book begins six years into an unhappy marriage, a very unusual spot for a romance. The hero and heroine are total opposites—Edward is rigid and proper and Caroline is emotional and improper. To get them to meet in the middle was a challenge. While the book has been described as a “romangst” (it’s being discussed tonight as the Smart Bitches September Sizzling Book Club selection), there’s a lot of humor in it too.
Stella: Did you already know when penning Book #1 (Mistress by Mistake) and introducing Caroline as a supporting character in the role of the fairy godmother of the Janes that you will tell her story later? Or was it something that just happened later?
Maggie: Yes and no, LOL. The first book I wrote was actually Mistress by Midnight even though it was published second in the series, and neither Caroline and Charlotte were on my mind in the beginning. From a random musing of the heroine Laurette, I realized I could tell her who was behind the garden walls next door. I then went back and added the characters, and even duplicated a few scenes from another POV in the other books.
Stella: The series is centered around the (in)famous Jane street. Was it an actual, existing street or historical fact? Did such a neighbourhood really exist or did you make it up?
Maggie: One of the best compliments I’ve gotten was to read in a review that the reviewer Googled Jane Street to see where it was located. It’s all in my head.
Stella: You have said several times that Mistress by Marriage was your favourite story in the series, why is that?
Maggie: Well, the heroine writes romance novels and is married to a man who drives her crazy. Enough said.
Stella: Can you summarize Mistress by Marriage for us twitterstyle (140 characters or less)?
Maggie: Do you know how hard it is for me to use Twitter and shut myself up? Hm. I’ll try.
Can an improper woman ever find comfort in her proper husband’s arms? Caro can kill him off in her books but not root him from her heart. (That’s with 4 characters to spare!)
Stella: Is Mistress by Marriage the last installment of the Courtesan Court series or will there be more books?
Maggie: Master of Sin comes out in April 2012, and is the last “official” CC book, although people do turn up on Janes Street in future books. You meet Andrew, the hero of MOS in Marriage, and you will wonder if I am completely crazy trying to turn him into a hero. We’ll see if I was successful next spring.
Stella: Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read your Courtesan Court series?
3.Heart…and not necessarily in that order.
Stella: You also pen historical romances under the penname of Margaret Rowe, can you tell us why you write under two names? What are the differences between your Maggie Robinson and Margaret Rowe novels? The Courtesan Court series is a scorching hot historical romance series, are your Margaret Rowe novels just as steamy?
Maggie: It was a contractual thing for my two publishers. Maggie’s hot, but Margaret is hotter. And a little darker.
Stella: In your opinion what characteristics does a historical hero have to possess to engage the reader in his story?
Maggie: Oh, such a hard question. Much depends on a reader’s expectations. I tend to prefer someone strong yet damaged or flawed in some way, so the heroine can patch him up. Or vice versa. In the book I just finished writing (Lady Anne’s Lover, out sometime in 2013) both h/h have a ton of baggage to overcome and they patch each other.
Stella: What behaviour of a historical heroine could you not overlook? Or how would you never make any of your heroines be/behave?
Maggie: My heroines are not especially domestic or “proper.” They aren’t sitting around doing needlepoint waiting for the heroes to marry them. But I dislike 21st century attitudes turning up in historicals, so it’s a tricky line to draw. The fact is, women were dependent on their fathers and brothers and husbands for the outlines of their future. It was up to them to color inside the box and make it their own. I try not to make my heroines too stupid, but the heroes do tend to make them lose their wits a little.
Stella: What shall we expect from you, what is next on your schedule?
Maggie: As Margaret Rowe, I have a short story in Berkley Heat’s Agony/Ecstasy anthology in December. Maggie has Master of Sin in April 2012 and Lord Craig’s List in December 2012, the start of a new series.
Stella: If you could have a literary crossover, from any other historical romance story what other character would you love to invite over and guest star in your stories?
Maggie:I’d like to invite Mr. Darcy over to see if he could out-Edward Edward in Mistress by Marriage.
Stella: Can you share with us some little secret trivia, something that not many people know about you?
Maggie:My life is pretty much an open book, LOL. But I had lunch with Jackie Kennedy’s half-brother once.
Now here’s my question for you. The Courtesan Court books are a four-book series (and actually, my novellas in Improper Gentlemen and Lords of Passion are also set there). How many books do you prefer in a series? Three? Four? An infinite number? One commenter will win a signed copy of Mistress by Marriage, or any book from my backlist.