Hi Karen! Welcome to TRD. I just finished reading the first book in your new The Oxenburg Princes series. What an absolute delight! Please tell our readers what they can expect from The Prince Who Loved Me.
Oh, thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I grew up loving Cinderella and her fairytale ending, and that gave me the idea for this book. I wanted THE PRINCE WHO LOVED ME to be all that a fairytale should be, but a little more … more humorous, and – hopefully – even more romantic.
This book is labeled as Cinderella with a Scottish twist. What draws you to Scotland as a writer and why do you think the setting resonates so strongly with readers?
I think writers love Scotland as a setting for the same reason readers do: braw men in kilts, lilting accents, lush green valleys with blue lochs set against purple snow-capped mountains, a castle around every corner . . . what’s not to love about Scotland? I’ve been four times now and wish I could go again. It’s the only place I’ve ever been where I feel homesick when I leave.
Will the other books in the series also have fairy tale themes?
Yes! I’m writing the second book now, and it’s based on Robin Hood. I’m still mulling over the third book, but I’ll let you know once I’ve decided.
Bronwyn and Alexsey are so realistically drawn that they fairly leap from the page and their scenes together sparkle yet they are vastly different and would seem to be an impossible match. What is it about these two that convinced you they belong together?
Thank you! They worked so well for me. Some books are a fight to get written, while other flooooow. And this one floooooowed. Alexsey and Bronwyn were very different people, and grew up under vastly different circumstances, and yet they were both curious in nature, and were inquisitive and passionate book lovers. Those two traits made them take a second look at one another . . . and then another look . . . and then another . . . and then – well, you know what happened then! J
Without giving away spoilers, what is the one scene that you would never cut from the book?
Where Bronwyn overhears Alexsey talking in the foyer with his friend and being a bit of a pompous arse, but instead of just being angry with the prince, she decides to make him pay for his impertinence. I won’t tell what that impertinence was, but I feel that scene shows the reader just how much Alexsey will have to grow before he’s equal to Bronwyn, and just how much of a match she is for him, too!
Books have an important role in this story. What do you enjoy reading when you take time away from writing your own books?
I read a little bit of everything. For fiction, I read more romance than anything else (Suzanne Enoch, Connie Brockway, Sabrina Jeffries, and Christina Dodd are some of my favorites), but I also love fantasy, thrillers, and mystery. For non-fiction, I love history books and biographies. Right now, I’m reading a biography of George Washington, which is simply fascinating as he was a figure during the Regency era, too.
Your characters always manage to surprise me in some way. What would readers be surprised to learn about you?
I’m glad to hear that! I hate being predictable. Readers would probably be surprised to find out I’m a huge Green Bay Packers fan even though I’ve never lived in Wisconsin. I have a cheese head hat, a jersey (GO, #12!), Packers earrings and necklace – heck, I even bought stock in the team, so I can say I’m an ‘owner.’ As an ‘owner,’ I’m working on a proposal whereby the team comes to Fan Appreciation Day without shirts.
I’ll let you know how that goes.
Here in the northern hemisphere, we’re feeling the first stirrings of autumn, which means it’s time for some of my favorite things: homemade soups and stews, football, fresh-from-the-tree apples and Halloween. What are your fall favorites?
Football, yes, yes, YES! And I love a good bowl of chili. Oh, and I’m a huge, HUGE fan of pecan pie, which is heavenly with a cup of coffee on a chilly night. Oh, and in the autumn, right at the peak of leaf season, I love taking walks while the leaves waft down. To me, nothing is more like a fairy wonderland than a fall-colored forest.
Sigh. I can see I’m going to have to visit my parents in Tennessee soon. We don’t have such spectacular season changes here in Florida and I’m going to need an autumn fix.
What’s next for the Oxenburg Princes?
I’m currently writing the second book, THE PRINCE AND I, which will be out next summer. It’s a retelling of Robin Hood but with a fun twist, and is set in Regency-era Scotland. I’m making it full of swashbuckling, romantic scenes that pay homage to all of the Robin Hood movies I’ve seen – and now I can honestly say I’ve seen them all!
Thanks so much for visiting with us today, Karen. Would you like to ask our readers a question?
Thank you for having me! I would love to ask your readers for some suggestions as to which fairytale the third Princes of Oxenburg book should be based on. I’m making a list, and I could use some new ideas!
Okay, readers, let's hear those suggestions! Karen is generously giving away a copy of How to Pursue a Princess and a Cinderella slipper key ring.