A pretend proposal
For the unconventional heiress
When American heiress Violet Wilkins crosses paths with William, Duke of Charteris, she has extremely low expectations of the “Duke of Bore.” But when this seemingly stuffy aristocrat offers her escape from a dreadful arranged marriage, she leaps at the chance! To her surprise, the arresting Charles whisks Vi into an exhilarating make-believe romance. And as she gets to know the man behind the title, she can’t help wanting more…
Did or do you like to read comic books/grapic novels? Which ones?
I was not really interested in comic books when I was a kid, but then a few years ago someone gave me a graphic novel version of “Pride and Prejudice” and I loved it so much! Now I look for versions like this of old favorites, and have really enjoyed them (someone recently gave me a version of “Wuthering Heights,” which seems perfectly suited to the graphic novel format…)
Whom did you inherit your love for books/reading from?
My grandmother! My parents were actually not big readers (though my mom read aloud to me a lot), but my Granny, who left school at 14, was a voracious reader and self-learner. She would buy big boxes of books at used bookstores, garage sales, thrift stores, wherever she could find them, and they would be full of all kinds of stories—classics, mysteries, romances, non-fiction. It’s where I found my first romance reads in the form of Heyer and old Barbara Cartlands, the first time I read an Austen novel (“Emma”), the Brontes, Gothics, Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. I loved visiting her in the summer and sitting on the floor of her walk-in closet, reading all the treasures
When you need a murder victim or someone you can diagnose with a serious disease or someone who is involved in a fatal accident do you sometimes picture someone nasty you have met in real life and think ‘got you’ LOL?
LOL!! Not very often, but once in a while it’s a great catharsis! (there was this terrible man who worked at one of my first jobs when I was a teenager, he was always hitting on the young girls who worked there, he was a very useful murder victim). Most of the time my characters are combinations of lots of people I’ve met or read about…
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
It depends on the time period! Writings of the time are very useful for seeing what was popular then, or unusual names that might have an interesting meaning. Baby name sites are fun, too. Many times they just seem to “tell” me what their name is
Do write other things beside books (and shoppinglists 😉 )?
I used to write poetry! I loved it, but now when I come across some of these (from waaaaayyyy back) I’m afraid I would have made a fabulous Victorian sentimental writer!
If a movie or series would be made from your books, would you be happy with the ‘based on’ version or would you rather like they showed it exactly the way you created it?
Exactly as I created it, of course! 🙂 I almost always prefer more faithful versions of favorite books I’ve read, but I know movies and TV shows are a very different format. They have visual shorthands books don’t, and often need to condense storylines or characters to fit the time constraints, but I’m always disappointed when they go WAY off-path
Who would you like/have liked to interview?
Oh, so many!!! Frida Kahlo would be fascinating, or Jane Austen, or Nancy Mitford
Do you have certain people you contact while doing research to pick their brains? What are they specialized in?
I’ve kept in touch with some professors I met in college (I was an English Lit major, History minor), and they often have lots of great sources I wouldn’t think of. I also have lots of writer friends who specialize in many different time periods (one knows so much about medieval Scotland!), and the best thing about being friends with writers is how generous they are with their knowledge
Is there someone you sometimes discuss a dilemma with?
A couple of writer friends are great with plotting holes! And my husband used to do improv/theater, which I’ve found means he’s very creative with characters
What is more important to you : a rating in stars with no comments or a reviewer who explains what the comments they give are based on (without spoilers of course)
I always like comments! (though five stars is nice, too, lol)
Thank you, Amanda McCabe and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Amanda wrote her first romance at the age of sixteen–a vast historical epic starring all her friends as the characters, written secretly during algebra class (and her parents wondered why math was not her strongest subject…)
She’s never since used algebra, but her books have been nominated for many awards, including the RITA Award, the Romantic Times BOOKReviews Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers Choice Award, and the Holt Medallion. She lives in Santa Fe with a Poodle, a cat, a wonderful husband, and a very and far too many books and royal memorabilia collections.
When not writing or reading, she loves taking dance classes, collecting cheesy travel souvenirs, and watching the Food Network–even though she doesn’t cook.