Blogoversary Day 20: Deb Marlowe

Jen: We are happy to have Deb Marlowe return to Romancing the Book to help us celebrate our blogoversary.  Deb, will you share a short bio with us?
Deb: Here’s the bio from my website, which seems to cover it all:  Deb Marlowe grew up in Pennsylvania with her nose in a book. Luckily, she’d read enough romances to recognize the true modern hero she met at a college Halloween party—even though he wore a tuxedo t-shirt instead of breeches and tall boots. They married, settled in North Carolina and produced two handsome, intelligent and genuinely amusing boys. Though she spends much of her time with her nose in her laptop, for the sake of her family she does occasionally abandon her inner world for the domestic adventure of laundry, dinner and carpool. Despite her sacrifice, not one of the men in her family is yet willing to don breeches or tall boots. She’s working on it.

Jen: Tell us about How To Marry a Rake and where is can be purchased.
Deb: How to Marry a Rake is a spin-off from the anthology The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor. Diane Gaston, Amanda McCabe and I created the scandalous Fitzmanning Miscellany in Diamonds, and each of the three sisters found love. Now each of the three brothers is getting his own book.

HTMAR is Stephen’s story and I had so much fun with him! Readers may remember the, ah . . . difficult time he had with his sister’s friend Mae Halford. Now Mae is all grown up and still causing havoc. The story takes place in the racing town of Newmarket and the pair finds themselves reluctantly teamed up to find a missing Thoroughbred horse—and a husband for Mae! As they go, they’ll encounter degenerate gamblers, scorned mistresses, snarky misses and a challenging mix of adventure and emotion.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing? When where you first published? Tell us your call story.

Deb: I’ve wanted to write since I was a teenager, but I didn’t have the chance until my oldest was born. Because he had some health related challenges, I had to leave my career. I used the time to do what I’d always wanted and started writing. I’d always loved history and I’d been a romance reader since I was young, so historical romance was right where I wanted to go!

I finished my first book in 2006. Like most writers I got my share of rejections and close calls, but when ‘The Call’ came, it was extra special because it came from London! “I want to buy your book” sounded lovely with an English accent.

Jen: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?

Deb: Nope—just me!

Jen: Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?

Deb: Hmmm…My thesaurus, maybe. I also usually have a stack of research books related to the current WIP piled on my desk.

Jen: How do you remember ideas that come to you at odd times?

Deb: Notes! I have a notebook for each book and it’s filled with random research and character notes.

Jen: What is it about the romance genre that appeals to you?

Deb: I adore romance for many reasons, but mostly I love it for the fabulous characters. Romantic heroes and heroines are flawed, but they face their inner demons and they never give up the fight. I love that they earn their Happily Ever Afters!

Jen: How much of your actual life gets written into your fictional stories? Have you ever written yourself into a story?

Deb: I’ve never written myself into a story, but I think that all writers leave pieces of themselves in their work. They do say that writing is cheaper than therapy!  But I think that many writers have themes that resonate with them because of events in their own lives.

Jen: If you could travel back in time for one year, what time and place would you choose? If you could only take 3 things with you, what would they be?

Deb: Staying for a year? I might choose 1815 London. Just after the wars, and before so much of the political upheaval. I’d love to meet Prinny and all of the notables of the day and see all the visiting foreign dignitaries. And I’d like to travel about England a bit and explore different areas.

As for three things to take…Well, if I couldn’t take the dh and kids, then I’d take antibiotics, portable wealth, and…maybe some more antibiotics.

Jen: What five authors or people, past or present, have been important to your writing? What question or comment have you always wanted to say to them?

Deb: First off—my husband, who gets me. Isn’t that the best thing in the world? He’s funny and smart, a great conversationalist, and so amazingly supportive. He’s even learned to listen to me vent without having to try to fix things. Amazing!

Liz Carlyle—my critique partner, who has been there from the beginning, cracking her whip and slashing with her red pen. She brainstorms with me and doesn’t laugh when I talk about my characters like they are real people. She listens to me vent, but hasn’t learned to not try to fix things—but I love her for it. 

Sabrina Jeffries—also my critique partner and possibly the world’s best editor. She is totally willing to endlessly talk Regency history with me-not that common a trait, would you believe it? She’s also fun and adventurous and generous and willing to be talked into random research trips.

Claudia Dain—perhaps the only other person in the world who finds connecting the dots to be as fascinating as I do. She is opinionated and wise, always looks at the big picture and is the very definition of a strong woman and staunch friend.

Lydia Dare—I’m cheating here and counting both Jodie and Tammy as my fifth. They are hysterical and wonderful and supportive and keep me motivated and looking ahead.

Jen: What’s next for you?

Deb: I’m very excited to say that in September Harlequin is releasing my first two books in a two-in-one edition called Regency Rebels.

Next, in Spring 2012, Tall, Dark and Disreputable is coming to North America! Mateo Cardea made an appearance in my very first book, Scandalous Lord, Rebellious Miss. A merchant sea captain, he finds he’s lost his shipping company to the very girl he refused to marry long ago! Portia Tofton is a garden enthusiast, not a merchant, and despite her reservations about dealing with the man who broke her heart, she’s willing to use him to help her save her home. They strike a bargain and work to uncover an elusive enemy and unravel an ancient family legend.

After that comes Unbuttoning Miss Hardwick, the story of a reclusive nobleman and the woman he hires to help him organize and display his incredible weapons collection. It’s a rollicking story with such disparate elements as a mysterious Hindu spear, party planning, an obsession with men in boots and the very difficult feat of dropping the masks we hide behind in order to embrace love.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?

Deb: My website, where you can find info on my books, photos, recipes and fun articles on the history and inspiration behind the stories, is www.DebMarlowe.com

I love to talk books, movies, tv and life in general on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Deb-Marlowe/70397149702

And I’m tweeting at http://twitter.com/#!/DebMarlowe

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?

Deb: I love it when readers write to me and tell me that they’ve learned something interesting from one of my books. So I ask: Have you ever learned something fun from a historical romance? Are you interested in the historical backdrop or is it just the Men in Boots? (I admit to a passion for both!)

Contest details:

  • The prize is a print copy of How to Marry a Rake.
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  • The contest ends on Tuesday, July 26.

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