Contemporary romance author Mary Margret Daughtridge has been a grade school teacher, speech therapist, family educator, biofeedback therapist, and Transpersonal Hypnotherapist. She is a member of Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Romancing the Military Soul, and is a sought-after judge in writing contests. Her newest release, SEALed with a Ring (check out my review here), hit shelves this month and she is my very special guest today! Please help me in welcoming her to The Romance Dish!
Hi, Mary Margret! Thank you so much for joining us today at The Romance Dish! You have a new release, SEALed with a Ring, on shelves now. Congratulations! Can you tell us a little bit about it?
I subscribe to the theory you should write what you love to read. Well I love books with alpha males with a tender side, smart ambitious heroines, and marriage of convenience plots. So SEALed with a Ring has a lovely CEO of a car dealership who needs a husband quick, and hottie SEAL who only wants to look after his special needs brother and who will marry her—if she’ll make the kind of deal he’s looking for.
For the fun of it, I added a seduction by rumba, and a dog.
Ah, yes, we do love our alpha males here at The Romance Dish. *g* SEALed with a Ring is the third in a series about a group of Navy SEALS. What prompted you to write about SEALs specifically?
I know SEALs seem like an odd choice for someone who writes pure romance, not action/suspense/romance. In the first in the series, SEALed with a Kiss, any special operator would have done. I only needed someone military who had certain job constraints. After I had researched SEALs, I realized these extraordinary men could make fascinating heroes for character-driven stories.
I couldn't agree more--they are fascinating! What type of research do you do before/while writing?
I’m a research junkie and usually have five times more than I can use. I do all the usual, books, newspapers, the Internet, etc. I find there’s no substitute for firsthand knowledge. I took ballroom dance lessons. I interviewed a salesman at a local Toyota dealership. A Navy doctor and a retired Navy nurse helped me with Davy’s wounds and also the timeline.
Wow, you really immerse yourself in research. I admire that! In SEALed with a Ring, Davy has a younger brother with Asperger’s Syndrome. This is a disorder close to my heart as my son is on the autistic spectrum (PDD) and my cousin has Asperger’s. Do you know someone affected by the disorder?
I first learned about autism as a speech therapist. Later I was a Parent Educator at a center for children with developmental delays. We had autistic children there and several who today would be classified as Asperger’s. That was some years ago. To bring myself up to date, I read not only clinical descriptions but memoires by people with Asperger’s, including Freaks, Geeks, and Asperger’s Syndrom: A User Guide to Adolescence by Luke Jackson, a teenager when he wrote it.
You asked if I know someone. She’s passed away so I can only speculate, but I think my grandmother may have had it. A lot of our favorite funny stories, about what a “character” she was, actually would be examples of someone thinking with pure Asperger’s literality.
It sounds as if your grandmother was a very special person, Mary Margret. I often wonder how many people have it and don't know it.
Okay, here at The Romance Dish, we love to talk about heroes. Davy is a wonderful hero; a sexy, ladies’ man with a heart of gold. Who was your inspiration for him?
A-w-w-w-w! I’m so glad you liked him. I knew he was a sweetie from the moment he appeared first in SEALed with a Promise—even though he was acting like a jerk. The inspiration for him came about as I asked myself, suppose you had all that SEAL confidence/arrogance/drive in a man who is footloose and fancy free and likes sex—not seduction, mind you, sex, and is so handsome both men and women have a hard time seeing past his beauty? And suppose his self-respect depended on believing he was one of the good guys?
I seriously need to read SEALed with a Promise. I would love to see Davy acting like a jerk! LOL!
Our Gannon lives in the beautiful state of North Carolina where SEALed with a Ring is set. Are you from there?
I am. I’m North Carolinian, born and bred. I grew up in NC’s coastal plain, an easy drive to the ocean. Topsail Island is a real place. I’ve vacationed there for many years.
I loved your descriptions of Topsail Island in the book. It sounds like a place my family needs to visit! What is your favorite part about being a writer?
Being able to stare out the window for long periods and tell people, “I’m working.” Seriously, I think I was born to be a writer. I just didn’t know it. I’ve had a lot of professions, and it always seemed that I had to squelch some part of myself. My favorite part of being a writer is that I feel exactly like myself.
Very well said! What are some things that you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
Sing, cook and of course read and research. I never tire of it. I go to the coast as often as I can.
What are you working on now? What can we expect from Mary Margret Daughtridge in the future? More SEAL books?
A while back I began to think about a SEAL lieutenant who’s nickname, behind his back, is “Darth Vader.” It isn’t meant disrespectfully, exactly, but it isn’t meant affectionately either. In SEALed with a Ring, suddenly, there he was—Lt. Garth Vale. Now he’s found a baby, a stowaway, aboard a CIA plane. It’s a variation of the Secret Baby plot.
Ooooh, sounds great! Can't wait for it!
Quick Six time!
Plotter or Panster? Pantser—God help me!
Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Dogs or Cats? I have a cat. Don’t tell her but I’m really a dog person.
Flats or Heels? I don’t go many ‘heels’ places anymore. But on the dance floor, heels for sure. Five inchers. Love ’em.
Summer or Winter? Fall. In this area it begins the third week in August and lasts until Christmas.
Thank you so much, Mary Margret! Since you’ve been inundated with questions, I’m going to let you have a turn. Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
What do you think of the cover? Does it “look” like a book you would like to read? Why or why not?
Comment for a chance to win one of two copies of Mary Margret's latest, SEALed with a Ring!
SEALed with a Ring by Mary Margret Daughtridge
She’s got it all…except the one thing she needs most
Smart, successful businesswoman JJ Caruthers has a year to land a husband or lose the empire she’s worked so hard to build. With time running out, romance is not an option, and a military husband who is always on the road begins to look like the perfect solution...
He’s a wounded hero with an agenda of his own
Even with the scars of battle, Navy SEAL medic Davy Graziano is gorgeous enough to land any woman he wants, and he’s never wanted to be tied down. Now Davy has ulterior motives for accepting JJ’s outrageous proposal of marriage, but he only has so long to figure out what JJ doesn’t want him to know...
For more information about Mary Margret and her books, please visit her website at http://marymargretdaughtridge.com/.