‘Scandal at the Midsummer Ball’ – Q & A with Marguerite Kaye and Bronwyn Scott
If you could turn the book into a movie, who would be your dream cast?
I always cast my characters. For my hero, I picked Paul Walker from ‘Fast and Furious’, who had the sexy good looks with the dangerous edge that I was looking for. Russian actress Natalya Rudakova would play Katerina – she’s got that elfin quality that I had in mind.
My hero is a horse breeder and trainer named Kael Gage who wasn’t officially invited to the party. I would have him played by Adrian Paul (Duncan MacLeod from the 1990s TV series ‘The Highlander’). Zara Titus (my heroine) would be played by Madeleine Stowe (à la ‘Last of the Mohicans’).
We both thought The Duke himself should be played by 1980s Dynasty star, John Forsythe.
What are your writing processes, are they similar or very different? Talk us through your day!
I have a very definite pattern. I like to do four books a year, so I have a lot of four-book series. Here’s the pace: I like to complete a manuscript that is editor ready every ten weeks. I give myself one to two weeks ‘off’ which usually involves gathering research and thinking about the next book. Then, I’m ready to sit down and start the next project.
I have about 4 days a week where I have 3 hours a day to write. Approximately 15 pages = a chapter. So that’s 5 pages an hour and four chapters a week, and most of my books are 23-26 chapters. To keep myself on pace, I set myself a timeline. It looks like this:
9:00-10:00 AM p. 1-5
10:00-11:00 AM p. 6-10
11:00-12:00 AM p. 11-15
Then, I write the paragraph that begins the following chapter and leave myself a few notes so I can start strong the next time I sit down.
I’m a morning person, so I get up really early (6am). If I’m on a roll, I get straight to it, but usually I listen to the Today programme on Radio 4 with my breakfast, or do some research – I always have three or four books on the go at once.
I usually start by editing the previous day’s work, and then I write. My chapters are all about 5-6 thousand words and I break these into scenes. I visualise each scene in cinematic terms, and draft it out roughly – where it starts, where I want it to get to, what it contributes to the romance and the narrative. I’ve found this is a great way of eliminating unnecessary action, ensuring secondary characters don’t take over, and most importantly, keeping the pace brisk.
I take a break about ten-ish to make a pot of soup every second day – if you’re interested in my repertoire of broths, then I tweet about it regularly. (Oh, the scintillating glamour of an author’s life!) If I’m stuck, I find a walk along the sea front is the best mental unblocker.
The major variation is at the weekend when I try to fit in some walking, cycling or gardening (battling with the deer who treat my vegetable patch as an all-you-can-eat buffet). Oh, and on Friday night without fail, a vat of vodka martini.
What’s in store for your readers next?
Regency sheikhs! Hot Arabian Nights is a four-book series set in 1815, the Age of Wonder. My heroines are striving to be recognised in the male domains of botany, astronomy, veterinary science, and geology, fighting to free themselves from the shackles of convention. Three of them travel to exotic Arabia, and encounter three desert princes seeking to escape their own dark pasts. In the fourth book, I reverse the trope, with an Arabian princess meeting an English adventurer.
The Widow and the Sheikh is out now. The Sheikh’s Mail Order Bride is released in August, with the two other titles following soon.
And then, of course, there’s a Christmas visit to Brockmore to come. I’m really looking forward to revisiting old friends and the chance to work again with the delightful and talented Bronwyn Scott.
The Christmas House Party! The Duke of Brockmore and his Duchess are still at it! We decided to bring them and their beautiful house back for a Christmas fête fit for the ton in 2017.
I have a brand-new series starting in July 2016—Wallflowers to Wives. It features—wait for it—4! young women who have as yet failed to attract suitors. They decide to take matters into their own hands by forming the “Left Behind Girls Club”. The first book is entitled Unbuttoning the Innocent Miss.
Then, I’m planning a series about four Princes of Kuban—I can hardly wait to get started on it! Look for a hint of the princes in the second Wallflowers to Wives book, Awakening the Shy Miss.
Thank you to both authors for taking the time to speak to us! Scandal at the Midsummer Ball is available now!