Spotlight New Release Interview | A MATTER OF MANNERS by Terry Graham
Please make welcome a sister Rose from The Wild Rose Press, Terry Graham! We're celebrating her new release, A Matter of Manners. The Tavern is serving a vintage Cabernet and cheese tarts, so get comfy and let's hear what Terry has to say...
Congratulations, Terry! Delighted you could join us today. I'll start by asking one of my favorite questions: Describe a typical writing day. Are you a morning, afternoon, or night-owl writer?
I wish my writing days could be described as typical. Lol. Some days I write for much of the day, others I stare at the page and wonder where I went wrong because nothing comes. Most days when I do write, it’s in the morning. I’m retired, so I have the luxury of sleeping in. I try to be disciplined and get up at eight-thirty, but don’t set your clock by me. After breakfast, I sit down with my laptop and write. On good days, it’s afternoon by the time I realize I should get dressed. (Yes, I wait that long to get dressed.) On an average day, it’s three or so hours and may or may not consist of working on the WIP. On bad days, I spend the time trying to market. Blah.
You have a fascinating writing style, Terry. It took me six months to find the balance between marketing/promoting after my first published book. Can you tell us about your current work-in-progress?
Right now, I’m rewriting the very first story I wrote. It was so long ago I won’t tell you the year and ended up at way too many words. It’s a Scottish historical, mid seventeenth century, and never made it past the query stage because it’s a traumatic amnesia trope, which the publishers claimed no one wanted. When my editor at Wild Rose contracted my second manuscript, I mentioned the story and that it involved two of the minor characters in the end of that one. After a bit of back and forth, and a goodly amount of sinking feeling, she said she wanted it, preferably before the other one gets published. Talk about pressure.
Oh, sounds great! What inspired you to write this book/series?
The series that starts with A Matter of Manners originated with my third story. After I’d written the two Scottish stories, I began a Regency romance that had bored its way into my head. I envisioned a strait-laced duke who believed himself sterile and an Irish rebel who would save him. During the first draft, I managed to get about a third of the way through it before it began to get steamier than I liked. Keep in mind, this was the late 1980s, early 1990s, and erotic romance wasn’t marketable. So I put it aside for a year or two, then tried again. It started getting kinky even earlier, so in frustration, I quit writing. Life was too busy and I didn’t like the selling part, so I pushed my dreams aside. By the time I returned to the keyboard, it was a good decade later and self-publishing, erotic romance, and Fifty Shades of Gray were the norm. I’d divorced and retired and decided to return to my passion. I started from scratch again, wrote about 30k in six months, then signed up for NaNoWriMo. At the end of November, the first draft was done, 90k words.
I love hearing the progress of a story and yours is amazing! What’s your favorite item on your writing desk?
Desk? I guess the foot mechanism on my recliner would qualify. One push and my feet are up, my laptop’s on, and away I go.
Haha! Love it! You’ve been given a golden ticket to time travel into the past. Whom would you meet and why?
That’s a hard one, mainly because I like imaginary characters more than real ones and I like my twenty-first century luxuries, but I’d probably have to choose Charles Dickens. I’d likely hate him, because he’s reputed to have been a crude fellow, but his stories shaped me in many ways. Great Expectations was the first story I read that really gripped me with its deeper meaning and I learned so much about what makes a story richer from reading him. He’s easily my favorite classical author and I like to think my love of twisting words would amuse him.
Dickens is one of my favorites, too. Now for some fun questions. Do you prefer...
Champagne or Beer? Neither. Give me red wine or a nice dark stout, in that order.
Southern drawl or Scottish burr? Scottish burr of course. Even my GPS has a British accent.
Kilt or Leather pants? Oooh, another hard one. I guess it would depend on which storyline I’m immersed in currently. I couldn’t resist either. My fantasy is to be fought over by a Scot and a Viking. 😉
First romance you read? Not sure if it was a Barbara Cartland or Victoria Holt’s On the Night of The Seventh Moon
Print book or e-reader? I love the e-readers. No more carrying around the entire library. Vacations are so much easier.
Wishing you all the best with A Matter of Manners!
Backcover blurb for A MATTER OF MANNERS
Jeremy Wyles believes himself sterile. He's also a sadist and fears no lady would agree to marry him. When a woman shows up on his doorstep, pregnant and claiming to be his wife, he'll do whatever is necessary to ensure his dukedom has an heir. A loveless marriage in name only seems the perfect solution, but his disobedient duchess stirs his desire for discipline...and something more.
Irish rebel Kathleen "Katy" Brennan only seeks recompense from the husband whose cousin married her by proxy and left her with child. The bargain he offers is tempting. He'll claim her baby as his own, and she can become the grand lady she's always imagined. There's just one condition she's not sure she can live with. The delicious-looking duke refuses to touch her...ever.
Can Jeremy put aside the wicked urges that rule his life, or will Katy's rebellious spirit destroy his tenuous control?
Sneak preview from A MATTER OF MANNERS
A marriage of convenience...or could it be more?
“Bollocks!” The expletive burst out, unbidden.
He had to stop using the word before it slipped out in the wrong setting.
At least it got her attention. Her moss-colored eyes widened, and her lips parted in surprise.
Another flicker of want paralyzed him.
“I should go.” With a grace that took his breath away, she rose and turned toward the door. This time, though, her feet inched forward.
“Stop!” Try as he might, it came out as a command.
She dropped into the chair, her porcelain skin fading to the pasty white color it had taken on when she vomited.
He raked his fingers through his hair. What was happening? Besides him losing control?
“You’ve done nothing wrong,” he explained. “It’s George I wish to thrash.”
To his surprise, she harrumphed in a very unladylike manner. “Might I watch?”
Her hand flew up and covered her mouth. Wide, emerald eyes with thick, long lashes stared at him, half horrified. Then she lifted her chin in defiance.
Damn, she was pretty. Dark cherries and clotted cream pretty.
Footsteps echoed from the hallway, drawing her attention, but Jeremy continued to stare. He
didn’t care who entered. He wanted to ogle her for a few minutes.
“Speak of the devil,” her luscious lips muttered.
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Meet the Author
Terry Graham has been imagining love stories since she began playing with Barbie and Ken. In high school, she read Barbara Cartland along with Dickens, Austen, Asimov and everything else she could get her hands on. After two careers, as a chemist and a computer programmer, she retired to try her hand at writing. Terry lives in upstate New York with her cat Amber. She's divorced with a grown son who makes it all worthwhile.
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