Interview & Contest: Theresa Romain

TheresaRomainJen: Today we are excited to welcome Theresa Romain to Romancing the Book. Theresa, will you tell us a little about yourself?
Theresa: Historical romance author Theresa Romain pursued an impractical education that allowed her to read everything she could get her hands on. She then worked for universities and libraries, where she got to read even more. Eventually she started writing, too. She lives with her family in the Midwest.

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Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Theresa: SECRETS OF A SCANDALOUS HEIRESS is the story of a troubled heroine who adopts a false identity in Bath, then gets recognized by an acquaintance, an Anglo-Indian with his own secrets. They form an uneasy truce, then help each other, and—of course!—fall in love.

This is the third historical romance in the Matchmaker trilogy, and the hero and heroine (Joss and Augusta) both appeared in the second book though they never met on-page. When I started planning on their story, I wanted to research some aspects of Regency history that were new to me—setting, social class, and race. Apart from that, both Joss and Augusta have alpha tendencies, so it was a lot of fun to write their sparring.

Here’s a short excerpt:

A half step ahead of her, he made the final turn into Queen Square. She looked up at him; his profile was chiseled so sharply that he would have made a beautiful coin. He did not even glance at the manicured garden where they had recently passed a few cheerful minutes.

Feeling out of step, left behind, confused, she hurried after him. The long wool cloak caught around her ankles, flapping sodden and heavy. He seemed so sure-footed as he walked ahead.

At the steps to Emily’s house, he bowed a farewell to her. “Be well, Mrs. Flowers.”

One of her hands reached from the folds of the cloak and caught his coat sleeve before he could turn. “Why did you kiss me when we were in the mews?”

His smile was harsh and wry. “Because it was unthinkable not to.”

“And now?” Breathless, her words were almost a gasp.

His gaze skated away, as though the sight of her pained him. “I am not a fool. It would be unthinkable to kiss you again.”

Yes. This was good sense, and so there was nothing to say but: “I see. Thank you for the dinner, and—and for accompanying me home.” Releasing his sleeve, she hurried up the steps. She had beat a quick tattoo with the door knocker before she recalled that no one in the house knew she had left.

When the door opened, she slipped inside before the butler could ask any questions. She permitted only one glance behind her before the door closed again.

And this was what she had seen: Joss Everett, his shoulders square and hands folded behind his back, watching her with a face of desolation. He looked like a man hungry for something who had just realized he would never be fed.

Her hands went icy again—which made her realize that, as she walked at his side, they had been warmed.

No, it would be unthinkable to kiss him again. And yet somehow, it was all she could think about.

Jen: How do you remember ideas that come to you at odd times?
Theresa: In the most low-tech of all ways: I scribble them down. I have notepaper on my nightstand, in my purse, in my car, in my kitchen…you get the idea! Often these scribblings make no sense to me later, especially the random things I write if I wake up during the night. But sometimes I think up a character trait or avenue of research that comes in very handy later.

Jen: If you were able to travel in time, where would you go and what 3 things would you take with you?
Theresa: I can come back to the present, right? I’m not living in the past forever? (I’m too fond of electricity, indoor plumbing, antibiotics, and all that good stuff.) In that case, I’d love to go to Regency England and check out the setting for my books in person.

Three things to bring…hmm. I’d need my glasses, or I wouldn’t be able to take in a single detail. I’d also want a smartphone or some other kind of camera/video recorder for documenting everything I could think of. That would probably eat the battery quickly, so I’d also need a hand-cranked battery charger.

Jen: Do you have a favorite character or one you most identify with?
Theresa: My favorite characters are always the ones I’m working on, because I love the process of digging through personality and figuring out what makes someone tick. This doesn’t always go smoothly, which is why the characters I’m working on are also always my LEAST favorite.

There are bits I identify with in all my characters, like Joss’s impatience (in SECRETS OF A SCANDALOUS HEIRESS) or Jane’s worry about fitting in to unfamiliar situations (in SEASON FOR SCANDAL). My husband teased me that Louisa, the introverted bookworm heroine of SEASON FOR SURRENDER, was very much like me. Ahem, wrong. Sure, we share a love of books–but honestly, she’s a lot braver and quicker with a quip than I am.

Jen: What did you do to celebrate your first book? Do you do anything to celebrate a sale, new contract or release?
Theresa: When I got the first sale call from my soon-to-be editor, I was at work and totally missed it. My husband went home for lunch that day, heard the message, and called to tell me an editor was trying to reach me. I don’t remember exactly what I did; probably flailed my arms around and tried not to shriek. (Remember, I was at work!)

I’m a reluctant cook, so my favorite way to celebrate anything—a sale, meeting a deadline, having a new book hit shelves—is getting takeout. Having someone else cook tasty food that I get to eat? That’s always a treat.

Jen: What’s next for you?
Theresa: I’m working on two new historical romance series. Some of the details are still TBD, but I should be able to share a lot more information soon.

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35 thoughts on “Interview & Contest: Theresa Romain

  1. charlene capodice says:

    i visited the Ukraine and loved Odessa the people were wonderful and visiting all the sites was awesome

  2. Janja says:

    I was in Green Valley,Arizona with firefighers uniit for 4 weeks and it was time of my life…and i live in Europe where life is completley diferent..

  3. I visited Vigan (located in the province of Ilocos Sur, Philippines) on December 2013. The experience was very enjoyable, because it is one of the famous historic places in my country and I got to see it in person. I used to just gaze at it at pictures, and until now it’s still a little unbelievable that I’ve actually been there–and with college friends, no less. We went there for our thesis. I hope I can go back someday. 🙂

  4. Jen, thanks for hosting me today at Romancing the Book!

    I am really enjoying these travel comments, folks. I love to learn about new places! Thanks for sharing about your trips–and to those of you who stopped by to say hi, thanks for that too. 🙂

  5. Raquel M. says:

    I would have to say Gibraltar. The Barbary macaques are definitely the star attraction. It is amazing how close one can get to these monkeys. One lady on our tour allowed a baby macaque to climb on her shoulder and play with her hair.

  6. girlfromwva says:

    i loved going up through Canada when i was in 6th grade. it was nice to be “out of the country” and see different things. i liked everyone’s accent, and they were all nice to us.

  7. JoAnne_W says:

    My favorite was probably Italy since I went with my husband, son (who was 6 at the time) and my parents to see our heritage. We visited Sicily (where both my parents were from), Rome, Florence and Venice. Would love to go back and explore the Tuscany region.

    I’ve also been to England and it’s fun to picture some of the places in Regency romances that I saw.

    Great interview. Look forward to reading the book.

  8. Timberlee R says:

    My favorite place has to be Victoria, BC! We stayed at The Fairmont Empress Hotel. It was fun to have afternoon tea with my boyfriends niece. We went at Christmas time & it was really magical. My favorite part was the Christmas trees decorated with all different themes it was absolutely beautiful! I loved the place! I’m looking forward to going to Scotland this year.

  9. Melinda Žvan says:

    I just wanted to say Hi Theresa! Greetings from Slovenia!
    Can’t wait to read your books. And once again, the cover of SECRETS OF A SCANDALOUS HEIRESS , looks awesome!

  10. When I was at high school I visited Tolede in Spain who is an historic walled city where Christians, Jews and Muslims lived together for centuries. I loved the narrow streets that rise and fall , the historical treasures such as the Cathedral of Santa- Maria, the Synagogue of Transito and the Christo Mosque of Light an exceptional testimony to the Caliphate art .

    • Crystal says:

      Oh and favorite place I have visited was Teotihuacaun in Mexico. The pyramids we interesting and oh boy what a work out climbing to the top of all of them.

  11. Brenda Powers says:

    I loved visiting York! So much history. The museums and cathedral were awesome! Especially enjoyed the train museum.

  12. anne says:

    Visiting Japan was amazing, fascinating and intriguing. Modern, yet British customs and historical sites. What an experience.

  13. Amary Chapman says:

    Love your books. That is one beautiful cover. I wouldn’t mind having that a a picture on the wall.

  14. erinf1 says:

    a very long time ago, I visited Israel. It was so sobering and exciting to be in one of the oldest places in the world. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Karlene says:

    I have a lovely childhood memory of riding on a carousel in Paris with my brothers and catching the brass ring. (My father was stationed there in the army.) But as an adult, like Dorothy, I would say “there’s no place like home!”

  16. Carey says:

    I have loved everywhere I have traveled to but if I had to pick one place, it would have to be Germany!! I did a cruise with my Mom up the Rhine River!! We hit Sweden, France, Germany, and ended in Amsterdam-which I didn’t get to see since our flight was at 5AM we had to leave from the docks right to the airport!! Best vacation EVER!!

  17. Carey says:

    I have loved everywhere I have traveled to but if I had to pick one place, it would have to be Germany!! I did a river cruise with my Mom up the Rhine River!! We hit Sweden, France, Germany, and ended in Amsterdam-which I didn’t get to see since our flight was at 5AM we had to leave from the docks right to the airport!! Best vacation EVER!!

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