If you are a plotter, how do you handle when your characters decide they don’t like you have plotted and do their own thing?
I’m relatively new to writing as a plotter. When I first started writing, I was a total panster, following wherever the characters and storyline seemed to want to go. For ALWAYS A STRANGER and my next book, I’ve been much more of a plotter. In part, that’s been born of necessity; when my first book was picked up, the publisher offered me a two-book deal, even though I hadn’t completed the second book yet. So I needed to plot out the rest of what became ALWAYS A STRANGER for my editor to approve before completion. I also wrote a synopsis for Book 3 for approval and am now writing the actual novel. Still, my characters drive the story so, if new twists and turns and characters appear that aren’t in my initial plan, I’ll take some time to see where they take me. It’s usually a better direction than I’d originally intended. That happened with ALWAYS A STRANGER—no massive plot changes but certainly little details and events that changed from the original synopsis. I’m very fortunate that my editor was happy with the changes.
Do you have any other books? What do you have planned next?
My previous historical romance, NEVER TOO LATE, was released last year. I’m working on Book 3, tentatively called NEVER WITHOUT LOVE, which features a friend of the heroine of NEVER TOO LATE. Like Honoria in NEVER TOO LATE, Book 3’s heroine, Mrs. Helena Martin, is a widow in her 40s. Returning 20 years later to care for her ailing grandmother, she faces the long-simmering anger of this close-knit community and happens to find out some disturbing realities about some local businesses. As she tries to make things right, she finds a surprising yet irresistible ally: the brother of the man she jilted so many years earlier.
Was ALWAYS A STRANGER easy to write?
Some parts of it were. I saw and heard the main characters very clearly. It was also relatively easy to write characters who’d appeared in my previous book, NEVER TOO LATE. They seemed like old friends.
Who was easier to write–Hero or Heroine? Why?
They both had their moments of ease and difficulty, but overall I’d say the hero was easier to write. His behavior and dialogue seemed more natural, while Hanako tended to be a rather prickly and not always admirable character, frequently angry and frustrated by her situation. So I had to be extra careful about the cumulative effects of her scenes as the story developed. It was a challenge to depict her realistically and yet sympathetically.
Why are your hero and heroine perfect for each other?
Both Hanako and Skyler at are complex transitional moments in their lives. He has just lost his father and brother and become the unintended heir of his father’s title and estate. She is at the mercy of her employer, whose plans promise to dictate her future. He craves to prove himself up to the task of filling his father’s shoes, and she craves to be free of the horrible responsibilities and future awaiting her. Their lives seem to follow opposite extreme trajectories, and yet they need each other to find balance and peace.
What’s your favorite TV show or movie of all time?
Such a difficult question! My very favorite movie of all time is almost certainly THE GODFATHER. Fascinating story, phenomenal acting, complex characters—I never get tired of it.
If you could chose a period in history to be born in, what would it be and why?
Well, it’s probably not hard for anyone to guess my answer—the Victorian period. It’s just so full of ……
What was the most embarrassing thing your husband/boyfriend/partner/friend ever did to you in public?
In all honesty, I can’t think of a single thing. One of the many things that I appreciate about my husband is that he wouldn’t do embarrassing things to me publicly! He knows I hate being the center of attention, much less in ways that might make me feel bad!
What is the one place you have never visited but would love to?
London. Someday I will…someday.
If you were stranded on a desert island and could choose any famous person (living or dead), who would you chose to be stranded with you and why?
Well, I’d like to say anyone famous enough that a search party would go out immediately so we wouldn’t be stranded for long, but that’s probably cheating. I suppose I’d say Albert Einstein because, well, I’m a geek and would love to keep learning, even while stranded on a desert island.
Cake or Chips
Steak or Veggie Burger
Well, if it’s a good steak, absolutely a steak. But I’m really picky about beef so I’d take a veggie burger over a bad steak!
Chocolates or Roses
Boxers or Briefs or Nothing at all
Boxer briefs! The best of both worlds!
And since I write both, I have to know which you prefer… Vampires or Cowboys
Hmm…any vampire cowboys out there?
Always a Stranger
When two worlds collide, anything is possible. . .
An international affair, London’s Great Exhibition has taken the city by storm. As its newest Royal Commissioner, Lord Skyler Ridgemont must ensure the performers are properly contracted. Among them is the delicate and graceful Hanako Sumaki. Draped in vivid silk robes, Hanako’s exotic Japanese fan dance captivates Skyler–and he longs to learn more about her. . .
But Hanako’s enigmatic employer keeps his exquisite charge very close. The consummate artist, she shows the handsome nobleman many faces, but never her true heart, which holds a desperate secret. When Skyler learns the real reason Hanako has been brought to London, he will risk his entire world to win her trust–and save her from losing both body and soul. It’s a feat that will require the type of courage only love can give. . .
Amara Royce writes historical romances that combine her passion for 19th-century literature and history with her addiction to happily ever afters.
She earned a PhD in English, specializing in 19th-century British literature, from Lehigh University and a Master’s degree in English from Villanova University, and she now teaches English literature and composition at a community college in Pennsylvania.
When she isn’t writing, she’s either grading papers or reveling in her own happily ever after with her remarkably patient family. You can find her at www.amararoyce.com.
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