My summer vacation continues with another back porch chat!
Fires of Destiny is a great book — one that drew me in years ago and has stayed with me ever since. As soon as I learned that a new, completely revised edition was available, I grabbed a copy and am now reliving the exciting and adventurous love story of Roger and Alix, which is set against the backdrop of Mary Tudor’s reign.
Welcome, Linda! Thanks so much for making time to chat! Can you share a little about Fires of Destiny and introduce us to the main characters?
Fires of Destiny is based on a romance trope that I am fond of: the hero and heroine knew each other when they were young, but have been separated for many years. When they meet again there’s a clash between their old memories and the changes that the years have wrought. Alix, the heroine, is several years younger than Roger, but she shares his wild and adventuresome spirit. In the ten years since they last met, though, he has traveled widely and had all sorts of escapades while she’s been living quietly on a country manor in the north of England. He returns at a time of turmoil both in England and in his family (his elder brother has died mysteriously), and Alix is no longer sure that she can trust this tall, dark and angsty stranger. Besides, there’s now a powerful sexual attraction to complicate things.
If you could choose just one character trait from Roger and one from Alexandra that you most admire, what would those be?
Alix is much gutsier than I’ve ever been. Since I tend to be anxious, even fearful, at times, I admire someone who has the courage to face all sorts of dire circumstances without faltering. As for Roger, I love his open mind and tolerance of other people’s opinions and beliefs. He is living at a time in 16th-century England where religious intolerance is tearing the country apart, but he refuses to accept the propaganda presented by either side. He’s also hot. And a bit dark, which is something I like in romantic heroes.
You call this the book of your heart. What led you to its creation, and what do you hope readers remember most about it?
Fires of Destiny is the book of my heart because the main characters have been with me for most of my life. I invented the hero and heroine when I was 14. In his first incarnation, Roger was the villain of the tale. He was the master of a pirate ship and he kidnapped the heroine (of course!). He was much more intriguing to me so than the original hero, whom I quickly dumped. I kept tinkering with the story for the next 15 to 20 years, never really planning to publish it. I was writing for my own entertainment and pleasure. There was never any thought of pleasing readers or satisfying genre expectations or anything like that; it was my story to be told my way. Well, actually, it was my characters’ story, to be told their way…they never did what I wanted or expected! Very strong-willed, my characters. : )
As for what I hope readers will remember…hmm. I guess I hope they care about the characters and feel compelled to keep turning the pages.
What is next for you? Can you share any info about your next writing project?
I’m working on a series of four contemporary romances that are loosely based on some of my previously published short romances written in the ’80s. Unlike Fires of Destiny, which has not been changed in any essential way, these books will be very different from the originals. In one case I kept the first chapter and threw out everything else. In another, the core plot of the story is pretty close to the original, but there are a whole bunch of new characters and scenes, resulting in a book that is almost twice as long. The series is called Night Games, and the protagonists of each book are friends from college, three guys and a girl. They’ve stayed connected both by friendship and by their mutual enjoyment of an online roleplaying game. I’m an avid gamer myself. In fact, if I could have back all the time I’ve spent online playing MMO’s I’d have written a lot more books!
The first of the series, which introduces the heroes of the other three, is called Magic Nights. It should be out in a few weeks. The fourth book will tie back subtly to Fires of Destiny. In that story, the hero and heroine come to believe that they are reincarnated lovers. Turns out they really messed things up the first time around, so they’re now back to see if they can do better.
I hope to have an edited version of my World War I historical novel Her Sister’s Keeper out early next year. Since 2014 will be the hundredth anniversary of the start of World War I, it feels like the right time to re-release that book. The heroines of Her Sister’s Keeper, Verity and Bret Trevor, are descendants of Roger and Alexandra.
Thanks very much, Lindsay, for this opportunity to talk about my books!
Thank you, Linda! I appreciate you joining me this summer for a back porch chat!