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Alexandra Hawkins talks about her 'Lords of Vice'

Waiting For an Earl Like You
Alexandra Hawkins




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Masters of Seduction #3

January 2017
On Sale: January 3, 2017
Featuring: Thorn
352 pages
ISBN: 1250064740
EAN: 9781250064745
Kindle: B01H03IC40
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book
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Also by Alexandra Hawkins:
Waiting For an Earl Like You, January 2017
You Can't Always Get the Marquess You Want, April 2016
A Duke but No Gentleman, July 2015
Christmas Brides, October 2014


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. I’m a plotter so I always work out the main story arcs in advance. In fact, Chance and Tempest’s 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, I’ve come across books that have included the enemies to lovers trope and I’ve enjoyed them. Off the top of my head, Jayne Ann Krentz’s Eclipse Bay trilogy and Linda Howard’s 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 – 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, I’d 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: I’ve 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 GENTLEMAN?

Alexandra Hawkins: Killing Norgrave at the end of the book seemed too contrived and convenient. I’ll 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 remaining books.

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 Chance’s cousin, Lord Kempthorn aka Thorn and Miss Olivia Lydall who makes a brief appearance in YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET THE MARQUESS YOU WANT. I’ve also plotted stories for Thorn’s identical twin Gideon who appears in book three, Tempest’s brother, Lord Marcroft, St. Lyon, and the exiled prince, Rainbault. Arabella wasn’t 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 won’t rule out the possibility. However, I’m currently up for contract with my publisher so nothing has been decided as of yet.

Miranda Owen: I’ve 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: I’ll 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 society’s rules.

Miranda Owen: I’m 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 I’ve never set a story in the Victorian era, I enjoy reading books about the period so I wouldn’t dismiss the idea of writing one. I’ve even collected a few research books for the period so it’s something I’ve considered but haven’t 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 it’s collecting dust in an old box of papers and research notes.

Miranda Owen: Confess. Who is your favorite Lord of Vice?

Alexandra Hawkins: Believe it or not, that’s 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 relationship?

Alexandra Hawkins: I love Thorn and Gideon’s emotional connection. For them, it’s deeper and more complicated than most sibling relationships. They are truly stronger together, which is why Thorn felt betrayed by Gideon’s decision to leave England. Thorn was unsettled by the years of separation, and he’s not quite ready to forgive his brother when Olivia comes back into their lives. The twins haven’t fully resolved their differences by the end of WAITING FOR AN EARL LIKE YOU, but I intend to delve deeper into their relationship and Gideon’s 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 you’ve 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 wasn’t 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 Dewick’s affections.

Male or female, I enjoy the challenge of creating a compelling antagonist. I do agree—Female criminals are often underestimated and overlooked. Lady Grisdale is not the first villainess I’ve included in one of my novels, however, she will not be my last.

Miranda Owen: I’ve 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 challenge?

Alexandra Hawkins: Some characters are more challenging than others. However, I’ve always had an affinity for writing male characters. When I am developing a new story, often it is the hero’s voice that emerges first but that’s 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 desires.

Miranda Owen: With this book, you’ve 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 you’d like to – can you say at what point his story will be told? Can you say whose book will be next?

Alexandra Hawkins: I’ve 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 Thorn’s book, I’ve been rethinking the original book order so I’m reluctant to share more details until I know what’s next for me.




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