I only write up book reviews here for books I love and it was easy to gush about A Hint of Wicked by Jennifer Haymore. She agreed to let me pick her brain, being a fellow historical romance author.
In celebration of Jennifer’s NY debut release today, I am giving away a free autographed copy of the book. I’ve never done a giveaway before on this blog, so I’m quite excited.
So enjoy and leave a comment for a chance to win.
Me: As a historical author, what are your sources of inspiration?
Jennifer Haymore: History, mainly. History is oftentimes stranger, wilder, and more intense than fiction, and it completely fascinates me. I love all times periods, all countries, all cultures, and all the wild and crazy thinks human beings have done for love through the ages.
I also have a long (and kind of eclectic) list of historical authors I find inspiring: Diana Gabaldon, Sharon Kay Penman, Anya Seton, Wilbur Smith, Colleen McCullough, Loretta Chase, Julie Garwood, Elizabeth Hoyt, and Laura Kinsale, to name a few.
Me: How did you come up with the storyline for “A Hint of Wicked”?
JH: The core idea for A Hint of Wicked was my husband’s—I use him as a sounding board and a brainstorming partner all the time. The story, however, has developed quite a bit from his original “vision,” which was of an enraged husband catching his mourning wife in bed with another man. I latched on to that scenario and ran with it…but I don’t think I ran in the same direction he envisioned for the story! I guess that’s my prerogative as the writer <grin>.
Me: Do you feel the Regency period lent itself to the conflict?
JH: Honestly, I feel like the essence of this conflict could have occurred in any period, but yes–the laws and morals regarding marriage in the English Regency were so strict and narrow, I believe they added to the intensity and depth of the conflict in A Hint of Wicked.
Me: Without revealing too much — what kind of challenges did you face when figuring out how to untangle this love triangle believably?
JH: Ooh, that’s a great question. One thing I knew when I started the story was that I didn’t want to make the heroine’s decision an easy one. I wanted her to be truly torn between the two loves of her life. What I didn’t know was who she would ultimately choose or what would drive that decision.
I went in circles debating the resolution. I argued with myself. With my husband. I talked to my critique partners. I discussed it with my editor and my agent. I pulled out clumps of my hair! Who would it be? Tristan? Garrett? Both?!
Thinking back on all of that now after having written this book as well as the second book in the series, all the angst I had over the ending seems so odd. After the fact, the heroine’s final decision is so clearly the correct choice, it’s difficult to think there was ever a question. There is no doubt in my mind that Sophie did ultimately end up choosing the right man.
Me: Were there any “Ah ha” moments while you were writing this book that you can share?
JH: As I was near the end of writing A Hint of Wicked it struck me like a lightning bolt who the heroine in book two, A Touch of Scandal, must be (yes, she appears briefly in AHOW!). It was a perfect “ah ha!” moment.
Me: Finally, for self-serving purposes, please tell us more about “A Touch of Scandal”. Tease us!
JH: It’s hard to talk about A Touch of Scandal without revealing spoilers for A Hint of Wicked! But I will say that it’s the story of the “losing” man from A Hint of Wicked. Most of the characters from the first book make an appearance, including the villain, and Rebecca, Garrett’s younger sister, plays a big part in the story’s conflict. The third book in the series (currently untitled, but I’m mulling over A Taste of Desire at the moment) is Rebecca’s story.
Me: The winner will be drawn this Friday, but if you can’t wait, order your copy here or check the shelves at your local bookstore. And don’t you dare peek at the ending!