And now it’s time for…
Shameless Promotional Spotlight! Er… The Word Wenches Guest Author Interview!
Our first guest is Mary Jo Putney!
Ballantine Books ISBN 0345449185 June, 2006
"Putney skillfully, cleverly, and beautifully combines the paranormal with the romantic…pure enchantment." — Romantic Times Book Reviews, 4 1/2 stars
Set in an alternative Regency world where magic is known but considered dreadfully vulgar by the upper classes, THE MARRIAGE SPELL is a marriage of convenience story with magic. The heroine, Abby Barton, is an acknowledged wizard and healer while the hero, Jack Langdon, wants nothing to do with that sort of thing. But necessity makes strange bedfellows—literally so in a romance!
WW: Mary Jo, THE MARRIAGE SPELL is getting wonderful, well-deserved praise. It’s powerful storytelling with surprising plot twists, and at its heart is an extraordinary romance. Jack is tough yet kind, and Abby determined but forgiving. What do you personally love about these characters, and their story?
MJP: I liked that they were both practical, down to earth people, not glamorous or larger than life. Jack is a Regency version of a big friendly jock, good natured and a little shy around dazzling society ladies. Abby thinks of herself a big strapping wench, a good healer but not the sort of woman that makes a man stare enraptured across a crowded room. They’re both kind and reasonable–and those qualities are a foundation for building a deep, nurturing love.
WW: What inspired you to bring a new depth of magic and paranormal to your latest books?
MJP: I’ve always loved reading science fiction and fantasy, and I love writing magic. It’s just–so cool! When I started to feel that I was running out of ideas for straight historicals, it made sense to add magical elements. As it happened, I began doing that just as paranormal romance was starting to take off.
WW: What first interested you in writing? How has your interest changed?
MJP: I love telling stories. I stuck to daydreaming until I got a computer and found that when you fix your typos, they stay fixed. <g> Then I went commercial.
I’d always liked stories with romantic elements–and must definitely a happy ending!–so writing romance was a natural. I also really liked history, so that came naturally as well. I’m still working with those elements, though over time I’ve delved more deeply into the characters’ motivations. As for torturing my characters–I’ve done that from the beginning. <g>
WW: What do you love about being a writer, and what do you find more challenging?
MJP: I love working at home and setting my schedule and not having to get dressed up or deal with office politics. I like having the cats around, and being able to run out and exercise when I’m in the mood. But writing books is seriously hard work. The hardest part is just sitting down and getting the words down. It doesn’t get easier.
WW: Is there a trend you hope to see in romance fiction?
MJP: I like the diversity of stories we’re seeing these days. I hope it continues.
WW: Can you tell us something about your next book?
MJP: I’m working on the third Guardian novel, which will come out from Del Rey in summer 2007. The heroine is Jean Macrae, who was a secondary character in A Kiss of Fate and Stolen Magic. She always felt that she’d never marry a Guardian, and she’s right. She finds a dark and dangerous man with a very different past and magical gifts of his own. He is a man with a mission, and she has been drifting without much purpose for years. His mission, and he himself, captivate her. And they’re off!
WW: Thanks, Mary Jo, and best of luck!