Welcome to Nights of Passion. We’re so excited to have Laura Moore here with us today.
NOP: Please tell our readers about the Rosewood Trilogy.
LM: You’re hitting me with the tough questions already! I’m terrible at talking about my books in any kind of succinct fashion. Here’s my best shot: The trilogy is about three sisters, Jordan, Margot and Jade Radcliffe, who grow up on a large horse farm in Virginia. After their parents’ tragic deaths, they discover that their father’s ruinous financial investments have left Rosewood teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. The sisters, who are all leading very different lives, have to come together to save the grand old estate, Rosewood and the family’s horse breeding business, a heritage that none of them is willing to let go. Each sister has her own story and in it, she overcomes personal challenge and also has to find the courage within her heart to love.
That’s the gist of it, but I think the books are much better than my attempts at back cover copy!
NOP: What inspired you to write a trilogy?
LM: Lots of things, really. I think I knew when I started thinking about the first book, Remember Me, that this was going to be a bigger a bigger scale story than my previous single, stand-alone titles. I already knew enough about Margot and her sisters to recognize that they were characters who could develop in really interesting ways over the course of a number of years and I wanted to be able to give them that. I also liked the idea of weaving subplots into the trilogy that wouldn’t necessarily be wrapped up neatly until the final book’s end. I think I made a good decision because I really enjoyed writing about my three heroines—not only as strong women but as sisters, too. I also really loved introducing them to some great guys!
NOP: “Remember Me,” the first in your trilogy, has won many awards. Would you share an excerpt from the book with our readers?
LM: I’m really pleased Remember Me has done so well with its readers. It being the first story in the first-ever trilogy I’d attempted, I was a bit nervous about how it would be received. I’d love to share a brief excerpt from Remember Me with you.
In this scene, my heroine Margot is eighteen and is a pretty confused and unhappy adolescent. Her family is hosting its annual party and so far events aren’t proceeding well at all. She’s already had another in a seemingly endless series of ugly confrontations with her father and stepmother, and she hasn’t been able to find Travis Maher and dazzle him with her new sophisticated and sexy look. Other men are interested in her–her father’s guests and the shaggy-haired photographer who told her she should give modeling a shot. But she couldn’t care less what they think. The only man she desires is Travis…
She found Travis in the tack room, in the midst of cleaning a bridle with a damp sponge and an amber cake of glycerin soap, worn to a sliver from use. The dusty old boom box sitting on the worktable was playing Springsteen’s “Born to Run.” Travis’s boot tapped the cement floor in rhythm. For a moment she hovered near the threshold looking at him. Just looking. His dark brown hair was in its customary stubby ponytail. Sometimes, when he was currying a horse, for instance, a thick lock would come loose of the rubber band and it would hang, an inky J against his cheek, until he tucked it absently behind his ear. Lord, he was so handsome. With his high, slanting cheekbones, deep- set gray eyes, and leanly muscled body, he was all thrilling, sexy, dangerous male. A real bad boy. Give him a Harley to straddle and he’d be Springsteen’s song incarnate… except that, strangely enough, this bad boy had been born to ride horses. Stranger still and infinitely more frustrating, he seemed completely blind to the come- hither glances she’d recently been sending his way. But that was about to change.
She spoke, partly because she didn’t want to be caught staring at him, but also because she wanted to gauge his reaction when he saw her. Had he ever seen her dressed like this?
“Hey, Travis.” Margot was sure she detected a silver flash of surprise in his eyes. But any triumph was fleeting. Travis looked away, fixing his attention on the throat latch he was cleaning. She told herself that he was just being his usual self, cool and distant, like Clint Eastwood in those old Westerns, and that he wasn’t truly more interested in a dirty strip of leather than in her.
She mustered an air of nonchalance. “Everyone’s up at the house. The caterers are going to start serving dinner any minute. You haven’t even changed yet.” Privately she thought Travis in his dusty work boots, jeans, and faded Pearl Jam T-shirt was a million times better-looking than any other man. “What are you still doing here?”
He paused in the middle of soaping the sponge. “Funny you should ask, Princess. Recognize this bridle?” His left brow rose, a dark mocking line that underscored his question.
“It’s Killarney’s. The one you couldn’t be bothered to clean. I already did your saddle.”
Her gaze flew to the row of saddles on the wall. There on the rack with the small brass plate engraved with her initials was her saddle. Its leather gleamed. She flushed remembering how she hadn’t even bothered to put away her tack after she’d cooled Killarney down, but merely propped the saddle and bridle outside the gelding’s box stall. She’d been in a hurry, afraid she’d miss her appointment at the local beauty salon. She slipped her hands behind her back, hiding her brand- new manicure.
“You didn’t have to do that. I’d have cleaned them tomorrow.”
“Sure, you would.” His tone was so bland Margot knew he didn’t believe her. Once more she wished she hadn’t played the role of Miss Fancy- Pants- Princess- of- the- Barn so often, except that those were the only times when she had Travis’s full attention. He was so good at ignoring her.
Right now was a perfect example. He’d gone back to cleaning the bridle, as if he considered their conversation over. He was running the sponge over the braided reins. When she rode Killarney tomorrow the leather would feel soft and supple between her fingers.
Seconds ticked by.
What was wrong with her? Here she was, dressed, primped, and perfumed, and still Travis acted as though she were invisible. Did he truly find her so unappealing that he couldn’t be bothered to check out her legs or her breasts?
Perhaps she was too far away. That must be it, she decided. Travis was hardly about to sweep her into his arms if she were on the other side of the tack room. At the click of her heels on the concrete floor, Travis went still, his hands curved around the metal mouth of the snaffle, his dark head lowered. She stared at his angled head in frustration. Why wouldn’t he look up so he could see how her heart was pounding against the fabric of her dress? Why couldn’t he see how much she cared?
NOP: How would your hero and heroine have spent Christmas?
LM: That’s easy. I’m going to pick my hero and heroine from Trouble Me, the third book in the trilogy, which is due out on March 27, 1202—just around the corner and available for pre-order! Rob and Jade would spend Christmas with their extended family. On Christmas Eve they would attend the afternoon Christmas mass with all the younger generation. They’d sing carols at nightfall with Owen Gage (who is now the husband of Jordan, Jade’s oldest sister) accompanying them on the baby grand piano. Afterwards, they’d check the horses in the barns and then sit down to a lovely and somewhat chaotic Christmas Eve dinner in the huge dining room at Rosewood. Once the little kids were put to bed, there’d be champagne and perhaps some last minute wrapping for everyone but Jordan (who’s incredibly efficient) and then Jade and Rob would go off to celebrate in a more private manner.
NOP: If you were to give a Christmas gift to your hero, what would it be and why?
LM: I’m going to pick Rob Cooper, the hero from Trouble Me for this question. I think I’d have Jade buy him a pair of suede chaps (no fringe). He’s the only one in the family (make that clan) who has yet to take up riding but she knows that breeches and field boots aren’t necessarily his style. Knowing Jade she won’t be able to wait for him to model the chaps for her; she might get him to open that present on Christmas Eve.
NOP: What advice do you have for new writers who are striving to get published?
LM: Read, write, and find a good critique partner or group.
It’s really important to read as much as you can in your genre so you know what other authors are doing, but I think you should also read as widely as possible. You never know where that incredible idea for your next book may come. Many of mine have their origins in newspaper or magazine articles that got me thinking about a possible story line or character.
Try to write every day. Writing’s a discipline and if you want to be successful you have to work at your craft.
Find someone who’s willing to read your work carefully and be honest (without being cruel) about where your story is weak, your characters’ motivations implausible, or where your grasp of grammar has all but disappeared. This isn’t advice that only rookie writer should follow, it’s something all of us need to remember.
Those are the fundamentals, I think. Right now it’s the crystal ball about where publishing is going is fairly murky but one thing seems to be clear: there’s tremendous opportunity in the e-publishing world. The downside to e-publishing is that it takes more hustling and entrepreneurial spirit on the writer’s part, which is not for everyone. But if you need an excellent primer on marketing and self-promoting and advice that pertains to all types of publishing, I recommend you read Jennifer Fusco’s Market or Die books. They’re really useful and easy to understand.
NOP: If you were unable to write, what other profession would be of interest to you?
LM: I also teach English the Rhode Island School of Design and have previously taught art and art history and worked as a museum educator so those would all be alternate careers I’d consider. If I were to make a more radical life change, I’d love to go back to working with horses full time.
NOP: How do you deal with the dreaded “doubt monster”?
LM: Feed it brownies? Unfortunately that’s less of a joke than I’d like it to be. When I’m filled with self-doubts I usually reach for the chocolate. I wish I could say I were a stronger person and never had a moment’s uncertainty about my abilities as a writer but unfortunately self-doubt is pretty much a constant in my life. Good thing I love chocolate, huh?
NOP: Do you ever get writer’s block and if so, how do you deal with it?
LM: Yes, I have gotten blocked and it’s a pretty awful experience. There was a period when I just had too many personal crises unfolding at once. I’d sit down at the computer and try to write but I just couldn’t concentrate on the characters or the plot. I simply couldn’t. Getting to the end of a sentence was like running a marathon.
One thing I tried that helped with the block was to be a bit nicer to myself. If I managed to write even a little bit that day, I’d give myself a pat on the back. Literally. It sounds stupid, doesn’t it, but at that point in my life I was having to assume the role of a personal coach for myself. Any effort at writing had to be rewarded and encouraged (without chocolate entering the picture too frequently). Eventually my life calmed down and I was able to get back to writing and feeling fairly good about it—as good as someone who’s riddled with self-doubt can be.
One last thing: the writing I did when I was blocked? Ninety-eight percent of it was utter junk. But at least I had something on the page to fix and once I figured out what the two percent of okay material was, I worked from there.
NOP: If you could be any fictional character, who would that be and why?
LM: I’d choose Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee because of his brave stance on social and racial injustice. And I love what he says to Scout: “If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
NOP: Who is your favorite author?
LM: Jane Austen. I’m lucky to be able to teach her and no matter how many times I read her I continue to learn and be entertained.
NOP: What is your favorite novel?
LM: Pride and Prejudice
NOP: What’s next for you?
LM: I’m writing a new series! It’s set in California on a working guest ranch. I’m still really in the early stages of the first book so all I can tell you is that my heroine, Tess Casari, is a widow who’s come to the Silver Creek Ranch to escape unhappy memories. She’s made a vow never to fall in love again and leave herself vulnerable to heartbreak. Ward Knowles, the eldest son of the family that owns and runs Silver Creek, has made much the same promise…I think I’m going to have fun getting them to change their minds and give love another chance.
If you would like to know more about Laura and her writing, here is some contact information.
Readers can contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Places to buy her books–both paper and ebooks:
In keeping with our 12-Days of Christmas giveaway, and because it is the 12th day, Laura has agreed to give one lucky reader a copy of not only the first book in her Rosewood Trilogy, Remember Me, but also the second, Believe in Me. In order to qualify, somewhere in your comment, you must write the words, “I want twelve drummers drumming.” Best of luck to all who enter.