Miranda Owen: I normally don't care for
stories about star-crossed
lovers but I loved reading YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET THE
MARQUESS YOU WANT. Was it always the plan for this Masters of Seduction
series to have the children of two bitter enemies fall in love? Do you enjoy
reading stories with this theme?
Alexandra Hawkins: Yes. Iím a plotter so I always work out the
main story arcs in advance. In fact, Chance and Tempestís story was actually the
first synopsis that I wrote for the series. As I developed the backstory for
their families, I realized almost immediately that what had transpired between
Norgrave, Blackbern and Imogene was dark, intense, and complex. I felt their
story deserved more respect than to be condensed into a few pages so I pitched
it to my editor and she loved the idea.
Do I enjoy reading stories with this theme? Over the years, Iíve come across
books that have included the enemies to lovers trope and Iíve enjoyed them. Off
the top of my head, Jayne Ann Krentzís Eclipse Bay trilogy and Linda
Howardís After the Night come to mind.
Miranda Owen: Frost, from your Lords of Vice series,
is one of my favorite characters and the Marquess of Norgrave, is one of those
characters that you can't help but hate. Which is more fun to write Ė an
appealing and complex antihero, or a rotten-to-the-core villain?
Alexandra Hawkins: Each type is entertaining to write. If I had
to choose, Iíd prefer to write about a charming antihero. What intrigues me the
most about an antihero is digging through all of those complicated emotional
layers to discover if he has a shot at redemption.
Miranda Owen: Iíve asked you this, but can you please explain to other
readers why you didn't choose to kill off the Marquess of Norgrave at the end of
A DUKE BUT NO
Alexandra Hawkins: Killing Norgrave at the end of the book
seemed too contrived and convenient. Iíll grant you, he deserves to die, but it
was never my intention for his story to end with the first book. The tempestuous
relationship between the Rookes and the Brants will play out as a subplot in the
Miranda Owen: As much as I loved reading YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET THE
MARQUESS YOU WANT, I don't think I've ever been as excited at the end of a
book, because there are so many secondary characters that I want to read more
about in future books. What can you tell readers about who you plan on creating
a book for in the future and who you'd like to? Of course mostly I'm talking
about all the super hot guys you threw into YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET THE MARQUESS
YOU WANT. Although I do care about Arabella too, and want to see her get out of
the house and away from her evil father. But still....historical hotties aplenty
in this book.
Alexandra Hawkins: The next book in the series, WAITING FOR AN EARL LIKE
YOU will feature Chanceís cousin, Lord Kempthorn aka Thorn and Miss Olivia
Lydall who makes a brief appearance in YOU CANíT ALWAYS GET THE MARQUESS YOU
WANT. Iíve also plotted stories for Thornís identical twin Gideon who appears in
book three, Tempestís brother, Lord Marcroft, St. Lyon, and the exiled prince,
Rainbault. Arabella wasnít part of my original proposal but she has clearly won
the hearts of many readers. I would love to see her get her own story, too, so I
wonít rule out the possibility. However, Iím currently up for contract with my
publisher so nothing has been decided as of yet.
Miranda Owen: Iíve always wondered about something as I've been a
longtime fan of historical romance. As a writer, is it difficult to come up with
different and interesting ways for the hero and heroine to be together and
conduct passionate affairs under the watchful eye of parents and guardians?
Alexandra Hawkins: Iíll admit working around parents and
chaperones does present a few challenges. How I deal with it depends on the
book. Some characters have more freedom than others, and a few are willing to
defy convention and risk everything to be with the one they love.
Miranda Owen: Are there any specific qualities that you always try and
give your heroes and heroines, or does it all depend on the story?
Alexandra Hawkins: It varies from story to story. However, if I
strip away the flaws, external/internal conflicts, and individual personalities,
at their core, my heroes are strong men who live by their own code of honor and
my heroines are intelligent women who too often feel restricted by societyís rules.
Miranda Owen: Iím partial to the Victorian era. Have you ever, or might
you write a book set in that time period, or any other?
Alexandra Hawkins: My books span the years from 1792 to 1827.
Although Iíve never set a story in the Victorian era, I enjoy reading books
about the period so I wouldnít dismiss the idea of writing one. Iíve even
collected a few research books for the period so itís something Iíve considered
but havenít found the right story idea to act on it. Before I sold my first
book, I also worked on an outline for a medieval romance. It never got beyond
the basic outline stage so itís collecting dust in an old box of papers and
Miranda Owen: Confess. Who is your favorite Lord of Vice?
Alexandra Hawkins: Believe it or not, thatís a very difficult
question to answer. When I wrote the proposal for the series, I would have told
you that Sin was my favorite. He was the first out of the seven who fired up my
imagination and drew me into their world. However, as I delved deeper into the
lives of the other six heroes, I fell in love with each one of them. All of them
have a special place in my heart.
Miranda Owen: I love stories with twins or doppelgangers like
Frankenstein. Some of my favorite romances include this theme like MIDNIGHT
PLEASURES WITH A SCOUNDREL and A MATTER OF TEMPTATION by Lorraine Heath. When
writing about the Netherwood twins, what intrigues you most about their
Alexandra Hawkins: I love Thorn and Gideonís emotional
connection. For them, itís deeper and more complicated than most sibling
relationships. They are truly stronger together, which is why Thorn felt
betrayed by Gideonís decision to leave England. Thorn was unsettled by the years
of separation, and heís not quite ready to forgive his brother when Olivia comes
back into their lives. The twins havenít fully resolved their differences by the
end of WAITING FOR AN EARL
LIKE YOU, but I intend to delve deeper into their relationship and Gideonís
secrets in his book.
Miranda Owen: In WAITING FOR AN EARL LIKE YOU, danger and malicious
intent comes from several directions. Throughout history, female criminals
sometimes went undetected longer than their male counterparts because of a
tendency by men of the time to underestimate, or overlook, women. In Norgrave
youíve created a classic villain, but this book shows that you can create
poisonous female characters as well. Is it more enjoyable to write a villain
versus a villainess? Any inspiration from fairytales?
Alexandra Hawkins: It wasnít a conscious decision, but there
are similarities between Lady Grisdale and the evil queen in SNOW WHITE. The
countess is vain and ambitious, and she views Olivia as a rival for Lord
Male or female, I enjoy the challenge of creating a compelling antagonist. I do
agreeóFemale criminals are often underestimated and overlooked. Lady Grisdale is
not the first villainess Iíve included in one of my novels, however, she will
not be my last.
Miranda Owen: Iíve read quite a few historical romances that have a
series built around female friendships. This Masters of Seduction
series, like the Lords of Vice series, seems to be centered around a
group of men and their strong friendships. How is writing about a group of male
friends different from writing about a close-knit group of women? Is it a
Alexandra Hawkins: Some characters are more challenging than
others. However, Iíve always had an affinity for writing male characters. When I
am developing a new story, often it is the heroís voice that emerges first but
thatís just how my brain works. My approach to writing about a group of males
versus a close-knit group of women is basically the same, especially in the
beginning when I am working out motivations, conflicts, and unspoken fears and
Miranda Owen: With this book, youíve made me ten times as excited at the
prospect for Marcroft to have a book of his own. If everything works out the way
you hope it will, and you can put out the rest of the books in this series as
youíd like to Ė can you say at what point his story will be told? Can you say
whose book will be next?
Alexandra Hawkins: Iíve just finished my current contract with
my publisher so nothing has been settled. I do have the remaining books in the
series plotted, and Marcroft is definitely one of them. After writing Thornís
book, Iíve been rethinking the original book order so Iím reluctant to share
more details until I know whatís next for me.
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