Woot! I am super excited to present a great interview I did with one of my favorite authors. Her writing style is like butter and her characters are so funny! I can't gush enough about her!
Look out for her backlist books as they're reissued and brought to ebook
Without further adieu:
Patricia RiceAbout the Author:
All Blake Montague wants is to save Europe from a tyrant. But as the penniless youngest son of a baron, he needs a marriage of convenience to provide the money he requires for a military commission. Then he meets a blonde beauty who can fulfill all his needs-especially those satisfied by a wife...
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RJ: Welcome back to Not Another Romance Blog, Patricia! Thanks so much for stopping by so we can chat about your latest release, ‘The Devilish Montague’ (July 5th, 2011-Book 2 in The Rebellious Sons series, Signet Books). What was it like to work on this book and now see it through to publication? Do you still get the butterflies in your stomach as you await your releases or is the anticipation easier to handle?
PR: I don't handle stress well so I try to pretend a new release date is just another day. Besides, with my memory, it's easy to forget what day it is! DEVILISH MONTAGUE was a delight to write because I adored the characters. It's wonderful when I can get up each day, wondering what my characters will do next. It's NOT so wonderful worrying about reviews, but so far, knock wood, they've been great. PUBLISHER WEEKLY said: " Intriguing protagonists, quirky secondary characters, and a surprising plot make for an endearing sequel to Rice's 2010 Regency The Wicked Wyckerly" so I guess I accomplished what I set out to do.
RJ: Your latest is the second book in your Rebellious Sons series. Before we dive into Devilish, what is the series about? Does it have a specific premise or does it just follow a certain family or cast of characters?
PR: A cast of characters. I started out with the premise that all these dukes and earls and their heirs have it pretty easy, all things considering. But what about the younger sons, the "spares," who are expected to lounge about, waiting for someone to die, living off the estate because actual work is frowned upon. So I have a group of younger sons supporting each other in their endeavors while trying to avoid marriage, unless it's for love, of course.
RJ: What’s The Devilish Montague all about?
PR: DEVILISH is about learning to get along with others and that no man is an island, especially when surrounded by potty-mouthed parrots, eccentric little brothers, and half-brothers who need to be tarred and feathered. Well, it's probably about a lot more, like finding love in unlikely places and looking beyond the package to the contents and all those other lovely things, but I'm trying to sound intelligent. "G"
RJ: Where did the inspiration for the characters, setting, and plot come from?
PR: Oh dear, you do ask difficult questions! The setting, of course, is dictated by the series premise of younger sons in Regency England. The plot developed out of the characters, since Montague loves nothing better than a good puzzle and doing his duty for his country. So the new code engine gave him a puzzle beyond compare, and duty to England requires that he be on the battlefield to solve it, and unless he wishes to be cannon fodder, he needs the money for officer's colors. So one thing leads to another and another…. Which leads to Jocelyn, who has the money for colors and doesn't want a husband hovering over her and dearly wants the house that Blake will give her upon marriage, for a lot of very good reasons. I think I write books just to see what my characters will do next.
RJ: Did you pick up any interesting tid-bits while researching for the book and/or did you incorporate any unique elements in your story?
PR: Jefferson's code wheel was quite entertaining. It took a bit of digging to understand the logic of it and to find an image that clarified it in my mind. To me, it looks like an ingenious means of developing a code, but it would be rather difficult to let the person on the other end know which combination of letters and numbers the reader should use. And it was probably tedious to translate, which may be why it was seldom employed on the battlefield. But if one has talking birds handy…
I'm not entirely certain there are any unique elements anymore, just means of combining all the various elements available. I hope I succeeded in that.
RJ: Tell us more about the Hero and Heroine (Blake & Jocelyn). What are their biggest flaws and most redeeming quality? Why do they work as a couple? What’s different or special about them as individuals?
PR: Blake's biggest flaw is that he cannot accept that people who love him, want to help him. He pushes everyone away and insists on doing everything himself rather than be "mollycoddled." His most redeeming, and probably most irritating, quality is that he helps everybody and everything—even stray dogs, to the detriment of his health upon occasion. He would save the world, if he could.
Jocelyn, on the other hand, is a caretaker by nature. She adopts pets as naturally as breathing air. She hovers over her handicapped little brother and does her utter best to see that everyone around her is happy. Her flaw is that she sees herself as weak and silly and incapable of doing anything on her own, so she tries to be polite and smiling and not argue, which makes her furtive indeed when she wants to get something done!
As a couple, they bring out the best and worst in each other, and force themselves to realize their advantages and disadvantages. Jocelyn learns blunt honesty from Blake, and Blake learns to accept help from Jocelyn—and that he doesn't always have to tell everyone what he thinks. Yin and yang are so lovely!
RJ: I love well-developed main characters, but a strong supporting cast can push a book from just good to great. Tell me about a secondary character from your latest book. What’s their name, occupation, and something interesting about them?
PR: The secondary character who fascinates me most is Jocelyn's teenage brother. There were no medical terms for Asperger's Syndrome at the time, but he suffers most of the symptoms. (I'll do a blog on this at the Wordwenches on Wednesday) He adores birds and studies them as diligently as any scientist, but with a little less social grace. Trying to keep duck eggs warm under bed pillows tends to annoy people.
RJ: Okay, It’s Patricia Time! What’s a day in the life of Patricia Rice like?
PR: Oh, you mean the part where I lay about Cabo all day, dreaming up wonderful stories and asking my secretary to type them up and send them on for me? Or the part where I sit my rear in a chair for five hours every morning, slitting my veins and pouring blood on the page, before spending the rest of the day answering interviews like this along with my email, my editing and revising, my proofreading… Oh, my, I feel faint. Someone have the cabana boy bring me a margarita, please!
RJ: What can readers expect on the book shelves next by you? What projects are you working on?
PR: Actually, I have something new and fun coming up! In January, THE LURE OF SONG AND MAGIC, my first paranormal contemporary romance will be out. I'm also working on a new urban fantasy series, but that won't be out until next June, and it will be under a pseudonym. It's not dark fantasy, but I don't want anyone to expect a resolved romance by the end!
RJ: Picture this: Some major motion picture studio buys the film rights to The Devilish Montague and want to make it into a movie. They bring you in as a consultant (since you wrote the book and everything-LOL) and ask you to come up with an ‘ideal’ cast list. Which actors would make that list?
PR: I think they'd be imaginary actors. Or I might have to pull them out of old movies. "Character" acting seems to be a thing of the past, and that's what I need! So can I just ask them to give me the money for the book and let them do their own casting? "G" I suppose if I absolutely had to come up with a name, a younger Reese Witherspoon as Jocelyn would work, although I'm scratching my head at a brainiac actor. Maybe we could just go with hard and cynical and try for a young Bruce Willis?
RJ: Thanks again for coming on the blog! I really enjoyed your Christmas guest post last year and now I can't wait to deour more of your books! Best of luck with your releases!
PR:Thank you so much for having me visit again! I'd love to give away a copy of THE DEVILISH MONTAGUE, if you'll handle choosing a winner. And readers can always find me at anytime on twitter and facebook or at http://patriciarice.blogspot.com/. Let me know how you like the book!
Patricia has generously offered to giveaway a copy of 'The Devilish Montague' to (1) one lucky commenter! All you have to do to be eligible to win is comment on this interview post! Leave a comment, gush nonsensically, ask Patricia a question (maybe she'll even answer it!) The giveaway will end on July 19th and the winner will be announced and contacted shortly thereafter.