Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Today's Special - - Theresa Romain


It's my pleasure to welcome RITA-nominated historical romance author, Theresa Romain back to the Romance Dish today. Theresa's Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress was recently named a 2016 finalist for Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA award in the Historical Romance:Short category and as a long-time fan of her writing, I could not be more thrilled. 

Theresa Romain is “one of the rising stars of Regency historical romance” (Booklist). A member of Romance Writers of America and its Regency specialty chapter The Beau Monde, Theresa is hard at work on her next novel from her home in the Midwest. Fortune Favors the Wicked is the first book in her new Royal Rewards series. For information about her other books, please visit her online at http://theresaromain.com, or find her on FacebookTwitter, or Pinterest.

Theresa joins us today to talk about the inspiration for Benedict Frost, the hero in her new book, Fortune Favors the Wicked. I adored him and his story! 



Where Heroes Come From

Every writer has a different way of dealing with writer’s block. Some take walks. Some watch movies. Some simply power through.

When I hit a block while writing Fortune Favors the Wicked, I went to the library and checked out a pile of books.

It’s not that the story wasn’t flowing. The plot was fun to write; after all, it’s a Regency treasure hunt. But I didn’t have a good handle on the hero. What was his personality? His backstory? The heroine was sassing him on every page, and he wasn’t lively enough to sass her back.

I turn to nonfiction when I want a change of pace from romance, and one of the books I’d checked out was The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons, by Sam Kean. Sounds stuffy? Not at all. I’d read Kean’s first two books and enjoyed the mixture of science, history, and humor, and this one was just as good. I was reading along, trying to forget my troublesome work-in-progress…

…and then I got to a section of the book about a man named James Holman.

James Holman was a Regency-era naval lieutenant who went blind due to a tropical illness. Only then did he 1) begin studying medicine, 2) traveling the world, and 3) writing memoirs and travel books. Here, I’ll link to his Wikipedia page so you know I’m not making him up.

What an interesting person, right? True romance-hero fodder, you might even say.

One I read an additional biography of James Holman, the character of Benedict Frost came together seamlessly. Benedict has a personality all his own—he’s a flirt and a bit of a rascal—but his accomplishments are borrowed from James Holman. Finding his way around by echolocation? Holman did that. Writing books with the aid of a special editing device? Yep, Holman did that too.

What I learned from this experience (besides what a cool guy James Holman was) is that inspiration can be anywhere. When I stepped back from something that wasn’t working, I found exactly what I needed to move forward with the book. Benedict’s story is available today in print, ebook, and audio. I hope you love meeting him and Charlotte in Fortune Favors the Wicked.


To one random commenter, I’ll give a print copy of Secrets of a Scandalous Heiress—which also includes inspiration from a real-life historical figure. (Read the “About the Book” section on my site!) Just let me know: what’s your go-to method for finding inspiration? Or how do you most like to unwind? Giveaway open internationally.



FORTUNE FAVORS THE WICKED


INDECENTLY LUCKY

As a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, Benedict Frost had the respect of every man on board—and the adoration of the women in every port. When injury ends his naval career, the silver-tongued libertine can hardly stomach the boredom. Not after everything—and everyone—he’s experienced. Good thing a new adventure has just fallen into his lap…

When courtesan Charlotte Perry learns the Royal Mint is offering a reward for finding a cache of stolen gold coins, she seizes the chance to build a new life for herself. As the treasure hunt begins, she realizes her tenacity is matched only by Benedict’s—and that sometimes adversaries can make the best allies. But when the search for treasure becomes a discovery of pleasure, they’ll be forced to decide if they can sacrifice the lives they’ve always dreamed of for a love they’ve never known…



Ebook: kindle • nook • kobo • ibooks • kensington • google




44 comments:

  1. You can't beat the Internet, in general, for inspiration. Google is my friend. I follow links gathering inspiration along the way.

    As for unwinding; I love to walk. I let my mind drift as I go about my errands.

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    1. Mary, Google is my best friend and my nemesis. It's easy for me to find the info I want--and then keep looking, and looking, at the other interesting things I find. Overall, though, I can't imagine research without it.

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  2. I find my inspiration on the Internet. I subscribe to several daily devotional messages.

    As for unwinding, I love to walk, be with my dogs and family and friends, and read.

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    1. Cathy, my mind is often so busy that I notice a big difference when I step away from work and take a walk. It makes me feel much more relaxed. Thanks for the reminder--I always intend to do that more often.

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  3. Hi, Theresa! Welcome back! I'm so excited that Fortune Favors the Wicked is now available to everyone. Another wonderful story!

    Long walks with my dog are great for unwinding as well as losing myself in a good book.

    For inspiration, all I have to do is step into the shower. Something about running water fires my creativity and the ideas start flowing. (pun intended) ;-)

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    1. Hi, PJ! Thanks so much for the chance to visit the Dish.

      That's so funny that you mention the shower! A lot of writers have that same experience. There really is something special about the warm water for getting ideas, as you say, flowing. :)

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  4. I'm looking forward to reading Fortune Favors the Wicked! Pinterest is my go-to for ideas and creative inspiration. Working in my garden and spending time with my dogs are my best bets for unwinding.

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    1. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, Laura!

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    2. Laura, thanks! I hope you enjoy Benedict and Charlotte's story. I discovered Pinterest within the past year, and I've enjoyed that--especially for examples of historical clothing.

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  5. Congrats on the RITA nomination! How exciting for you!!!

    James Holman sounds like a fascinating man to base a character on. It's amazing all that he did despite serious limitations.

    Music inspires and relaxes me. So does reading a good romance. :-)

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    1. I'm always inspired by people who overcome obstacles to follow their dreams. I was just reading about a University of South Carolina alum, paralyzed in an auto accident ten years ago, who, with the aid of medical technology, is about to become the first paralyzed person to walk the Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston.

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    2. Cheryl, thanks! It's my first RITA final, and I'm still pinching myself.

      The more I learned about James Holman, the more impressed I was. His experiences and accomplishments could have filled several lifetimes.

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  6. Walking in the foothills is the best method to unwind and feel inspired and healthy.

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    1. I'm all for long walks to feel inspired! I used to live in the foothills of the Blue Ridge. So much beauty and serenity.

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    2. Petite, this time of year is the nicest for walking outdoors. You're inspiring me to get out there more often.

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  7. Reading has always inspired me very much. Sunshine and blue skies combined with a gorgeous locale inspires me.

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    1. Traveler, now I'm imagining reading under a sunshiny blue sky. Ahhhh...

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  8. Thank you for the giveaway! looking at recipes inspires me.

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    1. Jcp, you must be quite a cook or baker!

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  9. Give me a beautiful garden with the sounds of flowing water and bird song to ease away tensions and induce inspiration. After all Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity while relaxing under his apple trees. Maybe in the evenings sometime while watering my plants I may figure the nature of dark energy and why the expansion of the universe is accelerating... or just dream of possibilities. If it's raining however, as it often is here in the UK, I will just pour myself a large scotch with plenty of ice and relax with a good romance novel ... a scandalous heiress sounds perfect!


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    1. Quantum, your plan B made me laugh! There is something to be said for a quiet indoor day with a book--and a scotch.

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  10. listening to music is a good way to find inspiration or relax

    denise

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    1. What is your favorite kind, Denise? I don't listen to music while I write, but I love it for smaller tasks like hecking email.

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  11. Fascinating! I love reading up on real life people, especially those from the Georgian/Recency to Victorian eras. And I definitely find lots of inspiration from learning about their life, like you did. But if I didn't take that route, they usually come from me watching crime shows and BBC Masterpieces.

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    1. Ki, how fun! You just never know what will trigger an idea.

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  12. Congrats on your nomination. That's wonderful.For inspiration soaking in a hot bath relaxes me to where mu brain kicks in. :) Thank you for the giveaway.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. Thank you, Carol!
      A hot bath sounds luxurious. I ought to give that a try. :)

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  13. Congrats on your nomination. That's wonderful.For inspiration soaking in a hot bath relaxes me to where mu brain kicks in. :) Thank you for the giveaway.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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  14. The best way to unwind for me is a good book, but I also get to unwind by watching children. When they are playing or just being innocent little creatures I get a sense of peace and realization of accomplishment as well as hope for a better future.
    Congratulations on being a RITA finalist!

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    1. MsAwesome, what a cool approach. Do you work with kids? I am often so deep in the thick of parenting my 7yo that I have a hard time stepping back for perspective. But when I see younger kids--babies and toddlers--I just love to watch their cuteness.

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  15. best way to unwind is reading, tending to my flowers or walking. i get inspiration from pinterest, nature, friends' blogs, and thumbing through magazines!

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    1. Nova, you are full of ideas! Thanks for sharing them. :)

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  16. I like to walk my dog and then read a good book to unwind :) I look for inspiration all around me! Thanks for sharing and congrats on the new release!

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    1. Thank you, Erin! I celebrated by starting to read Julia Quinn's new release. :) So I'm right with you on the "read a good book to unwind" strategy.

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  17. I went Wikipedia and read about James Holman, and he s interesting. Wow! I have 'Fortune Favors the Wicked' and hope to get to read it soon. I find inspiration in every day life. Usually if I step back from what I am doing for a bit, inspiration strikes. To relax and unwind I read, watch a sitcom or spend time with my fur-babies. Laughing relaxes me. :)

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    1. A big good laugh is one of the best feelings in the world. :) Thanks for getting Fortune Favors the Wicked, Angela!

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  18. Trips to the beach inspire me - so much sea, sky, and sand.

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    1. Karlene, you are making me wish I were near a beach. What a peaceful image you bring to mind.

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  19. I unwind by reading - the stories can really take me away! I look for ideas for what to do (recipes, decorating, crafts, how to fix things) from the internet. YouTube videos and Pinterest are favorite sources.

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    1. Di, I'm in awe of the number of projects and designs and recipes available on Pinterest. People are so talented!

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  20. My inspiration comes when I walk through a park. I appreciate the beauty around me, and let the inspiration flow through me. :-)

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    1. Natalie, that sounds lovely. Are there a lot of flowers blooming in the parks near you?

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  21. Nature inspires me and I color to unwind it's a great stress reliever

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