Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wacky Wednesday: A Halloween Visit with Maya Rodale, author of the Writing Girl Series

Happy Halloween Everyone!
I've got a wonderful treat, and no tricks, for you today! On Monday, I reviewed the newly released SEDUCING MR. KNIGHTLY by Maya Rodale. If you haven't read my review yet, please click on the title and do so but hurry back because Miss Maya is about to join us followed by a fabulous Giveaway! 

Maya Rodale is now the author of numerous “dazzlingly sexy and witty” historical romance novels. A champion of the romance genre and its readers, she is also the author of the non-fiction book Dangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation Of Romance Novels, Explained and a co-founder of Lady Jane’s Salon, a national reading series devoted to romantic fiction. Maya is also, what I affectionately call her, my muse for this blog. It was because of her being such a champion of the romance genre and its readers that I was inspired to write a rant that set me on the course of unwrapping romance, romance novels and their authors. I adore this lady and her books aren't half-bad either.  *wink*

Please join me in welcoming Maya Rodale to UNWRAPPING ROMANCE,

Amy:  Hi Maya, thank you so much for joining us today and taking time from your busy schedule.

Maya:  Hi there! Glad to be here!

Amy:  I have to admit this is a long overdue visit and I'm so thrilled to have you here today. Perhaps you'd like to tell us a little bit about yourself for those who don't know you yet.

Maya:  My name is Maya and I’m living the dream! I write smart and sassy historical romance novels. I married an actual Englishman, you know, for research (Just kidding! It’s a love match!). My constant companion is my darling dog, Penelope. We all live in New York City.

Amy:  I have to admit that your life certainly does sound like the dream, I know I'd trade places with you in a heartbeat - well, maybe not the domestic life part. I'll let you keep your rogue. *wink*
I've mentioned often that you were my muse, my inspiration for this blog. What first inspired you to write and why romance?

Maya:  Aww! I’m so humbled and happy to know my blogging has been so inspiring!

As for my entry into the world of romance: My mom made me do it! Actually, while she got me started reading them, I started writing them because I would read the books so fast and wanted to stay in that happy Regency romance world a little longer.

Amy:  I love that! I get a kick out of your mom making you do it but I love that you write because you want that imaginative world to continue. I know that feeling well, as I'm sure many of your readers do.
Do you have any favorite authors that you enjoy and do they ever influence your writing.

Maya:  I love Loretta Chase and Eloisa James (and many other historical authors). I also love contemporaries by Julie James or Jenny Crusie. I’m always inspired to write and revise an even better book after reading such fantastic, perfectly crafted novels.

Amy:  Well, you certainly can't lose with such awesome writing models as inspiration.
Speaking of inspiration - your Writing Girl series has been so much fun to read and to be honest, I'm a little sad to see it end. Those scribbling women are inspirational to us just as you were to me. How did they come about in the first place?

Maya:  Thank you! I love those girls. They came about when I was living in London doing research for my master’s degree. I was reading a lot of 19th century newspapers and walking around the city and searching for a new series idea. I think I started with the newspaper and thought, what kind of women would do such a scandalous thing? And then, who would their perfect heroes be?

Funny thing is, I found a scrap of paper with exactly the same idea to center a series around the newspaper The London Weekly but it was from, like, 3 years earlier and I had totally forgotten about it. In short, the Writing Girls were an idea so nice I thought it twice!

Amy:  Indeed it was and we are very glad you had that idea twice!
I have to admit that I found myself relating very intimately with Annabelle. I know that when is it going to be my time feeling. So which of the Writing Girls, do you relate to the most?

Maya:  That’s a great question and a lovely way to describe Annabelle! I relate to that aspect of her, too. There’s always something of me in my heroines and it provides a snapshot of my life when I was writing. Eliza’s ambition, for example. Or Annabelle learning to take risks and stand up for herself.

Amy:  That's wonderful and insightful. So now you're closing out the series with SEDUCING MR. KNIGHTLY. Derek Knightly and Annabelle have been with us throughout. Was it planned from the beginning to pair up these two and save them for last or was this something that your muse whispered in your ear along the way?

Maya:  Oh, I had plans for them from the very beginning! J I knew from the initial pitch of the series that Annabelle would seek advice from her readers and try all those crazy suggestions on how to get a man’s attention. I knew from the start that her hero would be Knightly.

However, I hadn’t fully developed their characters until I sat down to write it and it was a lovely experience for me to really explore them and what kept them from getting together sooner. After all, Annabelle had been sighing over him for three books and everyone else knew. But with Knightly so focused on his business and Annabelle awkward about drawing attention to herself, they never got to know each other. That is, until Annabelle starts making it impossible for Knightly to not see her.

I’ve been so excited to write this book ever since A Groom Of One’s Own (don’t tell the other Writing Girls!) and it was such a pleasure to write it.

Amy:  That's so amazing and I think it's probably one of the reasons why this story was so wonderful and touching. And something tells me the other Writing Girls won't mind - they do so love Annabelle, as do we.
I know you love Regency but have you ever thought of wandering off into some other time or world, even?

Maya:  Yes! In fact—here’s some breaking news for you—I will be writing contemporaries in the future! But those stories will be inextricably linked to a new series of historical romance novels.

Amy:  Really! Well, can you tell us a bit more about this new direction in Maya's writing world?

Maya:  New series! In a word: wallflowers. In two words: wicked wallflowers. I’ll be posting news and sneak peeks on mywebsite and on Facebook.

Amy:  Awesome news and I'm sure everyone will anxious to learn more about these wicked wallflowers - I know I will.

Last question and the one I love asking most - IF you could be ANY character in ANY book, who would it be and why?

Maya:  Oh my goodness, I have been mulling over this question for days and I simply could not decide, which is probably why I’m author: I can be lots of characters in many books.

Amy:  Well, can't ask for a more sensible answer than that. Maya, you've been a wonderful inspiration to me, and I thank you so much for that.
Thank you again for joining us today. You're an absolute delight as always, and I hope everyone reads the entire Writing Girl series and especially SEDUCING MR. KNIGHTLY - it's by far your best.

Maya:  Thank you so much!!!!

Amy:  Maya has graciously provided a print copy of Charlotte's story - THREE SCHEMES AND A SCANDAL - as well as 2 beautiful SEDUCING MR. KNIGHTLY coverflats and they're all signed! So Happy Halloween everyone - you have a chance to win one of these three (3) awesome prizes and Maya will provide a question for you to answer when you enter. Maya?

Maya:  Who are some of your favorite and most inspiring Writing Girls? They can be real, fictional, or even unpublished.

Amy:  Great question, Maya, thank you. Well, you heard the lady, so what's your answer?
Comment and be sure to leave an email address so that you may be entered in the Giveaway!

Giveaway Prizes: 
Grand Prize:  1 print copy of THREE SCHEMES AND A SCANDAL by Maya Rodale
Enter the Regency world of the Writing Girls series in Maya Rodale's charming tale of a scheming lady, a handsome second son, and the trouble they get into when the perfect scandal becomes an even more perfect match.

Scheme: A folly, a swan, a little lie . . . a compromising position

Lady Charlotte Brandon is always up to something . . . but somehow her best schemes for matchmaking often end in disaster.

Scheme: A family feud, outrageously false rumors, a shattered priceless vase . . . an even more compromising position
It's no wonder she's considered by at least one devastatingly handsome man to be devious, destructive, and dangerously appealing.

Scheme: A fox, a rabbit, a childhood foe, and a dashing rogue . . . the proposal to end all proposals

It's high time someone turned the tables on the lovely Lady Charlotte, and James Beauchamp is just the man to do it. Even if it means beating Charlotte at her devious game with a scandalous scheme of his own.

Second Prizes:
2 signed coverflats for SEDUCING MR. KNIGHTLY  (they are gorgeous!!)

Giveaway Rules:

* In order to qualify to be entered to win, you MUST comment and leave a valid email address so that I can notify you when you win. Remember the formula:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Thanks for playing!

* This Giveaway is open to US RESIDENTS ONLY (void where prohibited)
* This Giveaway will run until 11:30PM EDT, Friday, November 2, 2012 at which time one lucky commenter will be chosen at random to win a print copy of THREE SCHEMES AND A SCANDAL and two lucky commenters will be chosen at random to each win a signed coverflat for SEDUCING MR. KNIGHTLY. The winners will notified by email and then announced on a special Saturday post. Good Luck Everyone!

To learn more about Maya and her wonderful books, please feel free to visit her website, follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Happy Reading Everyone!

SEDUCING MR. KNIGHTLY by Maya Rodale, Avon Romance, available now in print and ebook formats.

THREE SCHEMES AND A SCANDAL, a novella by Maya Rodale, Avon Impulse, available now in ebook format and print will be available Nov 6, 2012.

Be sure to check out the other Writing Girl books if you haven't already.  : )



kipha said...

OMG Hi Maya!!! Thank you so much for the interview Amy. Totally love your books and can't wait for the new series and up coming books too.
I love all of my Writing Girls ( me authors I read)!! Too much to name them off but, they should know who they are. *wink wink*
I also love all my Writing Girls on the blogs that I follow. They introduce me to new books and new authors and are just so amazing.
If it weren't for all these amazing Writing Girls I wouldn't haven't met and read there amazing books and blogs!
Much applause to you Writing Girls .


Amy Valentini said...

That was really nice, kipha, thank you. I like being called a Writing Girl! You made my day. xoxo
Good Luck!

Blithely Bookish said...

Thank you so, so much for this awesome interview, Amy and Maya! I have to say, in case you're blind and hadn't noticed, you have some yummy covers there, girl!!!

Best wishes for much success now and always!

blithelybookish AT gmail DOT com

erin said...

Thanks for a fun post and giveaway! Congrats to Maya on the newest release! I just started this series and so I'd say my fav writing girl so far has been Sophie :)


Amy Valentini said...

Amy Conley says:

OK Amy, I tried THREE times to leave a comment for Maya, so I'm sending it to you, again, to post! ^&^%##$% Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!

Maya, What an easy question for me to answer, Amy is my writing hero/muse/kick in the butt inspiration!! We connected by both being Avon Addicts inagural group and both being named Amy. I am so excited she has turned her manuscript into Avon and I just know she's going to be published, sooner, rather than later. And she pushes me to get the story I have inside out. She's doing a pretty good job so far. I actually have words on paper, finally!

Anyway, I was introduced to you because I won a different Avon contest and several of your books were in there. And of course, Avon sent 1 to the Addicts (first one I read out of that batch). I will continue to read ALL of your books and can't wait to see how you bring together your Contemporary and historical (that is SO right up my alley!).

moon _ princess111 @ msn dot com

Amy C
(And yes, Amy, THIS contest I want to enter!)

Amy Valentini said...

Amy C - I am so flattered, thank you. I do know there's a story in you and I know it's going to come out during NaNoWriMo! You go, girl!

You're entered and I am sorry about the Captcha blocking you - I'd love to get rid of it but the SPAM just becomes unbearable. You know you can send it to me and I'll post it. xoxo

Amy Valentini said...

Hi Blythely and Erin,
Aren't those the best covers?! You're so right that they are most definitely yummy.

Sophie is one of the best characters written. : )

BrittanyG said...

Love your work! I love all the women romance bloggers that help people like me find awesome books like yours! I literally get over 20 emails a day just from romance bloggers who review! I read 4-5 books a week an depend on their helpful insight to direct me to a new book!

Maya Rodale said...

Hello everyone!

I've loved reading everyone's comments and HUZZAH for all of our favorite writing girls! Happy Writing to y'all!

And oooh, I did luck out with my covers! Thank you, Avon! I haven't confirmed it, but I swear it's the same hunky guy on each one. Just don't tell those Writing Girls...

Maya ;)

LadyRed said...

Oh boy, what a tough question! Stephanie Laurens, Mary Balogh, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsey, Amanda Quick/Jayne Krantz, Maya Rodale,Julia Quinn, Christina Dodd, Jill Shalvis, I could go on and on! My favorite fictional writer girl would have to be Kathleen Turner's character Joan in Romancing the Stone and Jewel of the Nile!

Amy Valentini said...

Isn't Maya the best, everyone!?!

Lady Red, you've got a great list! Totally love your fave fictional Writing Girl - love that movie. Thanks for coming by and Good Luck!

Elizabeth H. said...

Hi Maya!! Thanks for the awesome interview and the great goodies!! I love these covers!

ehaney578 at aol dot com

Kim said...

Congratulations on the new release. Even though she's a fictional publisher and not a writer, I'll pick Helena Fitzhugh from Tempting the Bride by Sherry Thomas.


Kathy said...

This is my first visit to this blog and I did enjoy reading the interview/conversation above. I'll be back. I love romance in general and especially Maya Rodale's titles.

Amy Valentini said...

Hi Kathy, thanks for visiting and I'm so glad you enjoyed yourself. I hope you will be back and often. We have fun here. : )
Good luck!