Joanna Bourne talks about ROGUE SPY!

Cat 243 Doverby Mary Jo

MJP: Word Wench Joanna Bourne's long-awaited new book, Rogue Spy, will be released tomorrow! Her last book, Black Hawk, won RWA's RITA for best historical romance of the year, and Rogue Spy was named to Library Journal's list of the 10 Best Romances of the year even before it was released.

So–Joanna, could you tell us about the story and the characters?  I loved not only the protagonists, but all the delightful, kindly criminal elders, such as the Fluffy Aunts.  <G>

 JB: I'm writing a love story, of course, so the emotional mainspring of Rogue Spy is the relationship between Pax and Cami. They reach out to each other. They heal each other's wounds. They fall in love.

RoguespycoveramazonThey also unravel a a spy plot, chase the bad guy, (very bad, bad guy,) across London. and in the end avert death, disaster, and international chaos.

The usual, y'know.

 But the book is also about family. The family we're born with. The one we choose.

 That 'family' theme lets me bring in some of the wise elder characters I so enjoy writing. The Fluffy Aunts, who are only as dithery and harmless as they choose to appear. Galba, trying to manage his British Service agents. This is like herding cats, except it's cats who kill people. Bernardo Baldoni, spy lord, power broker, con man, and political plotter. His Medici ancestors would have been proud.


MJP:  Both Pax and Cami were " Cachés."  Could you explain what that means?  And are they based on any historical school for spies?

Storming of the BastilleJB: This spy school is one of those 'I made it up out of whole cloth' things. Pure fabrication. So far as I know, the French — or the English for that matter — didn't actually raise kids to be foreign agents.

 The story idea is that, in the early days of the French Revolution, a radical clique within the French Secret Service created a training school for spies. Men combed the streets and the orphanages of France looking for the smartest kids. There being lots of orphans hanging about at the time what with war and revolution and crop failure and all kindsa stuff like that there, they had a wide choice. These children were brought back to Paris to be trained to pass as English and become sleeper agents in England.

Not a nice place, that school, with those fanatical ideologues running it. The kids formed a mutual protection pact, took an oath, and became 'family'. (See that theme there.) They called themselves 'Cachés' — the hidden ones. Eventually everybody started using the term.

MJP:  Your books often leap around the timeline, and Rogue Spy seems to be inserted into other ongoing stories.  Though there is significant backstory, the basic structure reminded me of the classic Western, High Noon¸ with a ticking clock leading to a lethal showdown.  Do you have any comments on that? 

Highnoon-posterJB: Ooooh, cool. You're right. And how perceptive. Take away the distracting side-action and what we got is a mano-a-mano showdown between the hero Pax and the villain on that long street. From the establishing shot where Pax returns to London, the story leads to that inescapable moment when they face each other.

 I was thinking specifically of High Noon when I plotted that ending. I played with the various ways it could come out. (Maybe there's a little echo of Gary Cooper in Paxton.)

 Do I get to say I rewrote that last scene three or four ways? That I was still unsure of how it should end when I sent it off to the editor?

 MJP:   You do get to say that you rewrote it different ways.  <G> Certainly the ending could have twisted in other directions.  Also, I think the High Noon theme could also apply to Cami and the villain.  Your heroines are never wimps!  As always, the big question is what, or who, is next?!

 JB: I'm working on Séverine's story right now. She's Justine's younger sister, (Justine being the immensely complicated love interest Adrian's been saddled with.) Séverine has been hanging around the edges of other books for a while and will doubtless be glad to stomp out on stage.

 I can't say a great deal about the Séverine story because I'm still in the middle of figuring it out myself.

MJP: I look forward to whatever twists and turns you throw at the poor girl.  <G>  Here's a brief excerpt from Rogue Spy

 She whispered, "Let me go.  I said I'd tell you what you want to know."     

If he didn't let go of her now, he might not be able to.    

He opened his hands and stepped away and away, keeping an eye on her, till he felt the storeroom door behind him.  He reached behind him to open it and let more light in.    

Vérité.  Cami Leyland.  A woman with one too many secrets.  He was going to pry them out of her, and he didn't have much time.  

She didn't try to hide herself.  She kept her arms at her side.  Her fists clenched.  Her chin lifted defiantly.  Her skin was pale as milk in this weak light, a sketch in pastel, laid down in thin shades of color.  She looked scared and sneaky, and determined.  She was a warrior maiden, utterly indomitable in a shift that didn't cover half of her.    

She was beautiful.  Add that to the list of complications.     

She was also cold.  He'd dragged her out of her warm nest and left her freezing in the damp air.    

He gathered up her cloak from the floor and tossed it to her across the space between them.  

"Thank you."  Gravely, she organized it in her hands, turned it right-side-out.  "Why are we still alone?  I keep expecting your friends to drop in–the ones who followed me.  I don't hear them."  

"They're outside."  

"So you came to take me alone.  That was either a mistake or very subtle.  I don't think you make many mistakes."  She circled the cloak around her and was enveloped in darkness.  Only her face showed and her feet, white and vulnerable against the wood floor.  "This is better.  Ask your questions."  

RoguespycoveramazonMJP: Joanna will be giving away a signed copy of Rogue Spy, complete with one of her delightful little origami bookmarks.  The winner will be chosen from among those who leave comments between now and midnight Tuesday. 

A question for you: do you enjoy colorful older characters in your stories?  Who are some of your favorites?  The Wenches have certainly written our share!

Mary Jo

 

 

275 thoughts on “Joanna Bourne talks about ROGUE SPY!”

  1. Gwendolyn Meadows in the Passion of the Purple Plumeria. She wields a mean umbrella.
    Soillier, a 2000 year old mage, in several of Lynn Kurland’s Nine Kingdoms novel.

    Reply
  2. Gwendolyn Meadows in the Passion of the Purple Plumeria. She wields a mean umbrella.
    Soillier, a 2000 year old mage, in several of Lynn Kurland’s Nine Kingdoms novel.

    Reply
  3. Gwendolyn Meadows in the Passion of the Purple Plumeria. She wields a mean umbrella.
    Soillier, a 2000 year old mage, in several of Lynn Kurland’s Nine Kingdoms novel.

    Reply
  4. Gwendolyn Meadows in the Passion of the Purple Plumeria. She wields a mean umbrella.
    Soillier, a 2000 year old mage, in several of Lynn Kurland’s Nine Kingdoms novel.

    Reply
  5. Gwendolyn Meadows in the Passion of the Purple Plumeria. She wields a mean umbrella.
    Soillier, a 2000 year old mage, in several of Lynn Kurland’s Nine Kingdoms novel.

    Reply
  6. My copy of Rogue Spy arrived Saturday and I look forward to reading it. I love the way all of Joanna’s stories fit together. Interesting older characters are necessary to make a complete, believable world. If all the central characters are young there will be no depth.
    Beverly

    Reply
  7. My copy of Rogue Spy arrived Saturday and I look forward to reading it. I love the way all of Joanna’s stories fit together. Interesting older characters are necessary to make a complete, believable world. If all the central characters are young there will be no depth.
    Beverly

    Reply
  8. My copy of Rogue Spy arrived Saturday and I look forward to reading it. I love the way all of Joanna’s stories fit together. Interesting older characters are necessary to make a complete, believable world. If all the central characters are young there will be no depth.
    Beverly

    Reply
  9. My copy of Rogue Spy arrived Saturday and I look forward to reading it. I love the way all of Joanna’s stories fit together. Interesting older characters are necessary to make a complete, believable world. If all the central characters are young there will be no depth.
    Beverly

    Reply
  10. My copy of Rogue Spy arrived Saturday and I look forward to reading it. I love the way all of Joanna’s stories fit together. Interesting older characters are necessary to make a complete, believable world. If all the central characters are young there will be no depth.
    Beverly

    Reply
  11. Bev–
    You’re so right–a good story requires a full age range. I think older characters are so much fun because they’ve learned a lot over the years, and often they’re more uninhibited about expressing themselves. At least, from a writer’s point of view, they make great characters!

    Reply
  12. Bev–
    You’re so right–a good story requires a full age range. I think older characters are so much fun because they’ve learned a lot over the years, and often they’re more uninhibited about expressing themselves. At least, from a writer’s point of view, they make great characters!

    Reply
  13. Bev–
    You’re so right–a good story requires a full age range. I think older characters are so much fun because they’ve learned a lot over the years, and often they’re more uninhibited about expressing themselves. At least, from a writer’s point of view, they make great characters!

    Reply
  14. Bev–
    You’re so right–a good story requires a full age range. I think older characters are so much fun because they’ve learned a lot over the years, and often they’re more uninhibited about expressing themselves. At least, from a writer’s point of view, they make great characters!

    Reply
  15. Bev–
    You’re so right–a good story requires a full age range. I think older characters are so much fun because they’ve learned a lot over the years, and often they’re more uninhibited about expressing themselves. At least, from a writer’s point of view, they make great characters!

    Reply
  16. I will have to go look at both those grand dames. They’re both books I’ve been meaning to read by authors I follow. The books are on my mental To Be Read list.

    Reply
  17. I will have to go look at both those grand dames. They’re both books I’ve been meaning to read by authors I follow. The books are on my mental To Be Read list.

    Reply
  18. I will have to go look at both those grand dames. They’re both books I’ve been meaning to read by authors I follow. The books are on my mental To Be Read list.

    Reply
  19. I will have to go look at both those grand dames. They’re both books I’ve been meaning to read by authors I follow. The books are on my mental To Be Read list.

    Reply
  20. I will have to go look at both those grand dames. They’re both books I’ve been meaning to read by authors I follow. The books are on my mental To Be Read list.

    Reply
  21. You’re very kind. I hope you enjoy Rogue Spy.
    Your comment about older folks being necessary to make the story feel ‘real’ is spot on. It’s what I think when I’m lining up the characters in a book. It sort of expands the world I’m building.

    Reply
  22. You’re very kind. I hope you enjoy Rogue Spy.
    Your comment about older folks being necessary to make the story feel ‘real’ is spot on. It’s what I think when I’m lining up the characters in a book. It sort of expands the world I’m building.

    Reply
  23. You’re very kind. I hope you enjoy Rogue Spy.
    Your comment about older folks being necessary to make the story feel ‘real’ is spot on. It’s what I think when I’m lining up the characters in a book. It sort of expands the world I’m building.

    Reply
  24. You’re very kind. I hope you enjoy Rogue Spy.
    Your comment about older folks being necessary to make the story feel ‘real’ is spot on. It’s what I think when I’m lining up the characters in a book. It sort of expands the world I’m building.

    Reply
  25. You’re very kind. I hope you enjoy Rogue Spy.
    Your comment about older folks being necessary to make the story feel ‘real’ is spot on. It’s what I think when I’m lining up the characters in a book. It sort of expands the world I’m building.

    Reply
  26. I can’t wait to read this book!
    And some of my very favorite older characters in books, even after all these years and books, are still Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which and Mrs. Whatsit from the Wrinkle in Time series.

    Reply
  27. I can’t wait to read this book!
    And some of my very favorite older characters in books, even after all these years and books, are still Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which and Mrs. Whatsit from the Wrinkle in Time series.

    Reply
  28. I can’t wait to read this book!
    And some of my very favorite older characters in books, even after all these years and books, are still Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which and Mrs. Whatsit from the Wrinkle in Time series.

    Reply
  29. I can’t wait to read this book!
    And some of my very favorite older characters in books, even after all these years and books, are still Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which and Mrs. Whatsit from the Wrinkle in Time series.

    Reply
  30. I can’t wait to read this book!
    And some of my very favorite older characters in books, even after all these years and books, are still Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which and Mrs. Whatsit from the Wrinkle in Time series.

    Reply
  31. I think the fluffy ones (or apparently fluffy ones?) also balance the tone. If the book is 100% intense action and emotional trauma, it’s a bit stressful. We need those moments of lighter relief, must as my facebook feed needs cat videos interspersed among the Deep Political Concern. (I am now deeply troubled by the image of Pax having an Aunt Pittipat tucked away in Paris.”

    Reply
  32. I think the fluffy ones (or apparently fluffy ones?) also balance the tone. If the book is 100% intense action and emotional trauma, it’s a bit stressful. We need those moments of lighter relief, must as my facebook feed needs cat videos interspersed among the Deep Political Concern. (I am now deeply troubled by the image of Pax having an Aunt Pittipat tucked away in Paris.”

    Reply
  33. I think the fluffy ones (or apparently fluffy ones?) also balance the tone. If the book is 100% intense action and emotional trauma, it’s a bit stressful. We need those moments of lighter relief, must as my facebook feed needs cat videos interspersed among the Deep Political Concern. (I am now deeply troubled by the image of Pax having an Aunt Pittipat tucked away in Paris.”

    Reply
  34. I think the fluffy ones (or apparently fluffy ones?) also balance the tone. If the book is 100% intense action and emotional trauma, it’s a bit stressful. We need those moments of lighter relief, must as my facebook feed needs cat videos interspersed among the Deep Political Concern. (I am now deeply troubled by the image of Pax having an Aunt Pittipat tucked away in Paris.”

    Reply
  35. I think the fluffy ones (or apparently fluffy ones?) also balance the tone. If the book is 100% intense action and emotional trauma, it’s a bit stressful. We need those moments of lighter relief, must as my facebook feed needs cat videos interspersed among the Deep Political Concern. (I am now deeply troubled by the image of Pax having an Aunt Pittipat tucked away in Paris.”

    Reply
  36. Recently re-read all of the Spy books to get ready for Rogue Spy. All of the heros and heroines deserve their HEA. Pax is no different. I’m not sure about Cam. 🙂

    Reply
  37. Recently re-read all of the Spy books to get ready for Rogue Spy. All of the heros and heroines deserve their HEA. Pax is no different. I’m not sure about Cam. 🙂

    Reply
  38. Recently re-read all of the Spy books to get ready for Rogue Spy. All of the heros and heroines deserve their HEA. Pax is no different. I’m not sure about Cam. 🙂

    Reply
  39. Recently re-read all of the Spy books to get ready for Rogue Spy. All of the heros and heroines deserve their HEA. Pax is no different. I’m not sure about Cam. 🙂

    Reply
  40. Recently re-read all of the Spy books to get ready for Rogue Spy. All of the heros and heroines deserve their HEA. Pax is no different. I’m not sure about Cam. 🙂

    Reply
  41. Older characters, especially if they’re not the character’s parents but at least one step removed, like aunts/uncles, grandparents, and teachers, can add so much to any story. They can provide a different perspective and influence a child in ways that may not be fully appreciated until much later, when the character realizes how much of the others’ values s/he has internalized.
    I just finished BURN FOR ME by Ilona Andrews, and Grandma is a hoot!

    Reply
  42. Older characters, especially if they’re not the character’s parents but at least one step removed, like aunts/uncles, grandparents, and teachers, can add so much to any story. They can provide a different perspective and influence a child in ways that may not be fully appreciated until much later, when the character realizes how much of the others’ values s/he has internalized.
    I just finished BURN FOR ME by Ilona Andrews, and Grandma is a hoot!

    Reply
  43. Older characters, especially if they’re not the character’s parents but at least one step removed, like aunts/uncles, grandparents, and teachers, can add so much to any story. They can provide a different perspective and influence a child in ways that may not be fully appreciated until much later, when the character realizes how much of the others’ values s/he has internalized.
    I just finished BURN FOR ME by Ilona Andrews, and Grandma is a hoot!

    Reply
  44. Older characters, especially if they’re not the character’s parents but at least one step removed, like aunts/uncles, grandparents, and teachers, can add so much to any story. They can provide a different perspective and influence a child in ways that may not be fully appreciated until much later, when the character realizes how much of the others’ values s/he has internalized.
    I just finished BURN FOR ME by Ilona Andrews, and Grandma is a hoot!

    Reply
  45. Older characters, especially if they’re not the character’s parents but at least one step removed, like aunts/uncles, grandparents, and teachers, can add so much to any story. They can provide a different perspective and influence a child in ways that may not be fully appreciated until much later, when the character realizes how much of the others’ values s/he has internalized.
    I just finished BURN FOR ME by Ilona Andrews, and Grandma is a hoot!

    Reply
  46. Being of an age of these older characters, I love having them in the stories. I love their perspective, one I can understand as I sometimes view my family in the same way. My only regret is that I lack the humorous wit they display, which I very much appreciate.

    Reply
  47. Being of an age of these older characters, I love having them in the stories. I love their perspective, one I can understand as I sometimes view my family in the same way. My only regret is that I lack the humorous wit they display, which I very much appreciate.

    Reply
  48. Being of an age of these older characters, I love having them in the stories. I love their perspective, one I can understand as I sometimes view my family in the same way. My only regret is that I lack the humorous wit they display, which I very much appreciate.

    Reply
  49. Being of an age of these older characters, I love having them in the stories. I love their perspective, one I can understand as I sometimes view my family in the same way. My only regret is that I lack the humorous wit they display, which I very much appreciate.

    Reply
  50. Being of an age of these older characters, I love having them in the stories. I love their perspective, one I can understand as I sometimes view my family in the same way. My only regret is that I lack the humorous wit they display, which I very much appreciate.

    Reply
  51. I preordered Rogue Spy as soon as it was available, and it should download in the wee hours so I can read it tomorrow. I can’t wait.
    I too am a fan of older characters, both the somewhat older ones like Lauren Willig’s Miss Gwen, who is wonderful, and the characters who are generations older than the H/H. Anne Gracie has created some of my favorites–from Lady Cahill in Gallant Waif to Lady Beatrice in the current Chance Sisters series. I can’t forget Great-uncle Oswald in the Perfect books. I wonder why gentlemen are rarer in such roles.

    Reply
  52. I preordered Rogue Spy as soon as it was available, and it should download in the wee hours so I can read it tomorrow. I can’t wait.
    I too am a fan of older characters, both the somewhat older ones like Lauren Willig’s Miss Gwen, who is wonderful, and the characters who are generations older than the H/H. Anne Gracie has created some of my favorites–from Lady Cahill in Gallant Waif to Lady Beatrice in the current Chance Sisters series. I can’t forget Great-uncle Oswald in the Perfect books. I wonder why gentlemen are rarer in such roles.

    Reply
  53. I preordered Rogue Spy as soon as it was available, and it should download in the wee hours so I can read it tomorrow. I can’t wait.
    I too am a fan of older characters, both the somewhat older ones like Lauren Willig’s Miss Gwen, who is wonderful, and the characters who are generations older than the H/H. Anne Gracie has created some of my favorites–from Lady Cahill in Gallant Waif to Lady Beatrice in the current Chance Sisters series. I can’t forget Great-uncle Oswald in the Perfect books. I wonder why gentlemen are rarer in such roles.

    Reply
  54. I preordered Rogue Spy as soon as it was available, and it should download in the wee hours so I can read it tomorrow. I can’t wait.
    I too am a fan of older characters, both the somewhat older ones like Lauren Willig’s Miss Gwen, who is wonderful, and the characters who are generations older than the H/H. Anne Gracie has created some of my favorites–from Lady Cahill in Gallant Waif to Lady Beatrice in the current Chance Sisters series. I can’t forget Great-uncle Oswald in the Perfect books. I wonder why gentlemen are rarer in such roles.

    Reply
  55. I preordered Rogue Spy as soon as it was available, and it should download in the wee hours so I can read it tomorrow. I can’t wait.
    I too am a fan of older characters, both the somewhat older ones like Lauren Willig’s Miss Gwen, who is wonderful, and the characters who are generations older than the H/H. Anne Gracie has created some of my favorites–from Lady Cahill in Gallant Waif to Lady Beatrice in the current Chance Sisters series. I can’t forget Great-uncle Oswald in the Perfect books. I wonder why gentlemen are rarer in such roles.

    Reply
  56. Wonderful interview, Joanna and Mary Jo. A new Bourne (NOT Jason!)book is always cause for celebration!
    Love your reference to High Noon as an influence. can’t wait to read it and see the ending. Hmmm, maybe you will share the variations if we ask VERY nicely. Or maybe you will make us just guess!

    Reply
  57. Wonderful interview, Joanna and Mary Jo. A new Bourne (NOT Jason!)book is always cause for celebration!
    Love your reference to High Noon as an influence. can’t wait to read it and see the ending. Hmmm, maybe you will share the variations if we ask VERY nicely. Or maybe you will make us just guess!

    Reply
  58. Wonderful interview, Joanna and Mary Jo. A new Bourne (NOT Jason!)book is always cause for celebration!
    Love your reference to High Noon as an influence. can’t wait to read it and see the ending. Hmmm, maybe you will share the variations if we ask VERY nicely. Or maybe you will make us just guess!

    Reply
  59. Wonderful interview, Joanna and Mary Jo. A new Bourne (NOT Jason!)book is always cause for celebration!
    Love your reference to High Noon as an influence. can’t wait to read it and see the ending. Hmmm, maybe you will share the variations if we ask VERY nicely. Or maybe you will make us just guess!

    Reply
  60. Wonderful interview, Joanna and Mary Jo. A new Bourne (NOT Jason!)book is always cause for celebration!
    Love your reference to High Noon as an influence. can’t wait to read it and see the ending. Hmmm, maybe you will share the variations if we ask VERY nicely. Or maybe you will make us just guess!

    Reply
  61. I think I need to reread the whole series before starting “Rogue Spy” to refresh my mind on where Pax fits in. Lady Beatrice in the Chance Sisters series is a great character. But the one that really sticks in my mind is the gallant and stubborn Dowager Lady Bushnell, from Carla Kelly’s “The Lady’s Companion”. In case you don’t recall the story, the heroine works as her companion and the hero, David, is her bailiff. But it’s Lady Bushnell who makes their HEA possible.

    Reply
  62. I think I need to reread the whole series before starting “Rogue Spy” to refresh my mind on where Pax fits in. Lady Beatrice in the Chance Sisters series is a great character. But the one that really sticks in my mind is the gallant and stubborn Dowager Lady Bushnell, from Carla Kelly’s “The Lady’s Companion”. In case you don’t recall the story, the heroine works as her companion and the hero, David, is her bailiff. But it’s Lady Bushnell who makes their HEA possible.

    Reply
  63. I think I need to reread the whole series before starting “Rogue Spy” to refresh my mind on where Pax fits in. Lady Beatrice in the Chance Sisters series is a great character. But the one that really sticks in my mind is the gallant and stubborn Dowager Lady Bushnell, from Carla Kelly’s “The Lady’s Companion”. In case you don’t recall the story, the heroine works as her companion and the hero, David, is her bailiff. But it’s Lady Bushnell who makes their HEA possible.

    Reply
  64. I think I need to reread the whole series before starting “Rogue Spy” to refresh my mind on where Pax fits in. Lady Beatrice in the Chance Sisters series is a great character. But the one that really sticks in my mind is the gallant and stubborn Dowager Lady Bushnell, from Carla Kelly’s “The Lady’s Companion”. In case you don’t recall the story, the heroine works as her companion and the hero, David, is her bailiff. But it’s Lady Bushnell who makes their HEA possible.

    Reply
  65. I think I need to reread the whole series before starting “Rogue Spy” to refresh my mind on where Pax fits in. Lady Beatrice in the Chance Sisters series is a great character. But the one that really sticks in my mind is the gallant and stubborn Dowager Lady Bushnell, from Carla Kelly’s “The Lady’s Companion”. In case you don’t recall the story, the heroine works as her companion and the hero, David, is her bailiff. But it’s Lady Bushnell who makes their HEA possible.

    Reply
  66. Karen Hawkins’ Old Woman Nora, grandmother to Caitlyn and Catriona Hurst. She’s wise and smart and sharp. Can’t help but get a kick out of her shoot-from-the-hip honesty!

    Reply
  67. Karen Hawkins’ Old Woman Nora, grandmother to Caitlyn and Catriona Hurst. She’s wise and smart and sharp. Can’t help but get a kick out of her shoot-from-the-hip honesty!

    Reply
  68. Karen Hawkins’ Old Woman Nora, grandmother to Caitlyn and Catriona Hurst. She’s wise and smart and sharp. Can’t help but get a kick out of her shoot-from-the-hip honesty!

    Reply
  69. Karen Hawkins’ Old Woman Nora, grandmother to Caitlyn and Catriona Hurst. She’s wise and smart and sharp. Can’t help but get a kick out of her shoot-from-the-hip honesty!

    Reply
  70. Karen Hawkins’ Old Woman Nora, grandmother to Caitlyn and Catriona Hurst. She’s wise and smart and sharp. Can’t help but get a kick out of her shoot-from-the-hip honesty!

    Reply
  71. Aly–if well written, they’re woven seamlessly into the fabric of the story. Essential. My last year’s book, SOMETIMES A ROGUE, had a cranky dowager who turned out to be nicer than she seemed at first. *G*

    Reply
  72. Aly–if well written, they’re woven seamlessly into the fabric of the story. Essential. My last year’s book, SOMETIMES A ROGUE, had a cranky dowager who turned out to be nicer than she seemed at first. *G*

    Reply
  73. Aly–if well written, they’re woven seamlessly into the fabric of the story. Essential. My last year’s book, SOMETIMES A ROGUE, had a cranky dowager who turned out to be nicer than she seemed at first. *G*

    Reply
  74. Aly–if well written, they’re woven seamlessly into the fabric of the story. Essential. My last year’s book, SOMETIMES A ROGUE, had a cranky dowager who turned out to be nicer than she seemed at first. *G*

    Reply
  75. Aly–if well written, they’re woven seamlessly into the fabric of the story. Essential. My last year’s book, SOMETIMES A ROGUE, had a cranky dowager who turned out to be nicer than she seemed at first. *G*

    Reply
  76. Janga–
    Anne is the Word Wench specialist in little old ladies, but Joanna gives Anne a run for her money in Rogue Spy. *G*
    An interesting thought that such characters are generally female. Maybe because older males are usually associated with power and control, and since females have less power, they’re about wisdom and insight?

    Reply
  77. Janga–
    Anne is the Word Wench specialist in little old ladies, but Joanna gives Anne a run for her money in Rogue Spy. *G*
    An interesting thought that such characters are generally female. Maybe because older males are usually associated with power and control, and since females have less power, they’re about wisdom and insight?

    Reply
  78. Janga–
    Anne is the Word Wench specialist in little old ladies, but Joanna gives Anne a run for her money in Rogue Spy. *G*
    An interesting thought that such characters are generally female. Maybe because older males are usually associated with power and control, and since females have less power, they’re about wisdom and insight?

    Reply
  79. Janga–
    Anne is the Word Wench specialist in little old ladies, but Joanna gives Anne a run for her money in Rogue Spy. *G*
    An interesting thought that such characters are generally female. Maybe because older males are usually associated with power and control, and since females have less power, they’re about wisdom and insight?

    Reply
  80. Janga–
    Anne is the Word Wench specialist in little old ladies, but Joanna gives Anne a run for her money in Rogue Spy. *G*
    An interesting thought that such characters are generally female. Maybe because older males are usually associated with power and control, and since females have less power, they’re about wisdom and insight?

    Reply
  81. I do love the older, wiser, more mischievous characters especially when they are key to the plot (or at least side plots). I’m not as fond of them when they are just tossed in as comic relief.

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  82. I do love the older, wiser, more mischievous characters especially when they are key to the plot (or at least side plots). I’m not as fond of them when they are just tossed in as comic relief.

    Reply
  83. I do love the older, wiser, more mischievous characters especially when they are key to the plot (or at least side plots). I’m not as fond of them when they are just tossed in as comic relief.

    Reply
  84. I do love the older, wiser, more mischievous characters especially when they are key to the plot (or at least side plots). I’m not as fond of them when they are just tossed in as comic relief.

    Reply
  85. I do love the older, wiser, more mischievous characters especially when they are key to the plot (or at least side plots). I’m not as fond of them when they are just tossed in as comic relief.

    Reply
  86. Yes, I do love older characters, usually Aunts or Grandmothers. They can get away with anything and it is so fun to watch them give their relatives a run for their money!

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  87. Yes, I do love older characters, usually Aunts or Grandmothers. They can get away with anything and it is so fun to watch them give their relatives a run for their money!

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  88. Yes, I do love older characters, usually Aunts or Grandmothers. They can get away with anything and it is so fun to watch them give their relatives a run for their money!

    Reply
  89. Yes, I do love older characters, usually Aunts or Grandmothers. They can get away with anything and it is so fun to watch them give their relatives a run for their money!

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  90. Yes, I do love older characters, usually Aunts or Grandmothers. They can get away with anything and it is so fun to watch them give their relatives a run for their money!

    Reply
  91. One character I can mention must be Lady Danbury, created by Julia Quinn. She’s young enough to do what the heck she wants, including maim people with a cane, but old enough to get away with it. 🙂
    Very excited for Rogue Spy! I must read all of the books in your series 2 or 3 times just to catch all the meaning. Love it.

    Reply
  92. One character I can mention must be Lady Danbury, created by Julia Quinn. She’s young enough to do what the heck she wants, including maim people with a cane, but old enough to get away with it. 🙂
    Very excited for Rogue Spy! I must read all of the books in your series 2 or 3 times just to catch all the meaning. Love it.

    Reply
  93. One character I can mention must be Lady Danbury, created by Julia Quinn. She’s young enough to do what the heck she wants, including maim people with a cane, but old enough to get away with it. 🙂
    Very excited for Rogue Spy! I must read all of the books in your series 2 or 3 times just to catch all the meaning. Love it.

    Reply
  94. One character I can mention must be Lady Danbury, created by Julia Quinn. She’s young enough to do what the heck she wants, including maim people with a cane, but old enough to get away with it. 🙂
    Very excited for Rogue Spy! I must read all of the books in your series 2 or 3 times just to catch all the meaning. Love it.

    Reply
  95. One character I can mention must be Lady Danbury, created by Julia Quinn. She’s young enough to do what the heck she wants, including maim people with a cane, but old enough to get away with it. 🙂
    Very excited for Rogue Spy! I must read all of the books in your series 2 or 3 times just to catch all the meaning. Love it.

    Reply
  96. I am looking forward to reading Rogue Spy. I love the eccentric relatives that dot these stories. They lend depth to the main characters.

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  97. I am looking forward to reading Rogue Spy. I love the eccentric relatives that dot these stories. They lend depth to the main characters.

    Reply
  98. I am looking forward to reading Rogue Spy. I love the eccentric relatives that dot these stories. They lend depth to the main characters.

    Reply
  99. I am looking forward to reading Rogue Spy. I love the eccentric relatives that dot these stories. They lend depth to the main characters.

    Reply
  100. I am looking forward to reading Rogue Spy. I love the eccentric relatives that dot these stories. They lend depth to the main characters.

    Reply
  101. *g*
    I am working diligently on the next book, which is Severine’s story. Don’t quite know how this is going to play out exactly …

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  102. *g*
    I am working diligently on the next book, which is Severine’s story. Don’t quite know how this is going to play out exactly …

    Reply
  103. *g*
    I am working diligently on the next book, which is Severine’s story. Don’t quite know how this is going to play out exactly …

    Reply
  104. *g*
    I am working diligently on the next book, which is Severine’s story. Don’t quite know how this is going to play out exactly …

    Reply
  105. *g*
    I am working diligently on the next book, which is Severine’s story. Don’t quite know how this is going to play out exactly …

    Reply
  106. I remember them. Maybe … Maybe … way at the back of my mind figures like these helped create the Fluffy Aunts.
    (You’ll find the Fluffy Aunts in Rogue Spy.)

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  107. I remember them. Maybe … Maybe … way at the back of my mind figures like these helped create the Fluffy Aunts.
    (You’ll find the Fluffy Aunts in Rogue Spy.)

    Reply
  108. I remember them. Maybe … Maybe … way at the back of my mind figures like these helped create the Fluffy Aunts.
    (You’ll find the Fluffy Aunts in Rogue Spy.)

    Reply
  109. I remember them. Maybe … Maybe … way at the back of my mind figures like these helped create the Fluffy Aunts.
    (You’ll find the Fluffy Aunts in Rogue Spy.)

    Reply
  110. I remember them. Maybe … Maybe … way at the back of my mind figures like these helped create the Fluffy Aunts.
    (You’ll find the Fluffy Aunts in Rogue Spy.)

    Reply
  111. This is where a writer has to walk a very fine line, writing secondary and minor characters.
    Is the character believable? Has he or she descended into caricature? Does our minor and fascinating person steal the scene?

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  112. This is where a writer has to walk a very fine line, writing secondary and minor characters.
    Is the character believable? Has he or she descended into caricature? Does our minor and fascinating person steal the scene?

    Reply
  113. This is where a writer has to walk a very fine line, writing secondary and minor characters.
    Is the character believable? Has he or she descended into caricature? Does our minor and fascinating person steal the scene?

    Reply
  114. This is where a writer has to walk a very fine line, writing secondary and minor characters.
    Is the character believable? Has he or she descended into caricature? Does our minor and fascinating person steal the scene?

    Reply
  115. This is where a writer has to walk a very fine line, writing secondary and minor characters.
    Is the character believable? Has he or she descended into caricature? Does our minor and fascinating person steal the scene?

    Reply
  116. That’s the trick.
    Romance is supposed to be feelgood and optimistic. So I don’t want to write only the adventure parts where everybody is under a lot of tension.
    It’s hard to add the lighter moments, but I think my kind of work really needs them.

    Reply
  117. That’s the trick.
    Romance is supposed to be feelgood and optimistic. So I don’t want to write only the adventure parts where everybody is under a lot of tension.
    It’s hard to add the lighter moments, but I think my kind of work really needs them.

    Reply
  118. That’s the trick.
    Romance is supposed to be feelgood and optimistic. So I don’t want to write only the adventure parts where everybody is under a lot of tension.
    It’s hard to add the lighter moments, but I think my kind of work really needs them.

    Reply
  119. That’s the trick.
    Romance is supposed to be feelgood and optimistic. So I don’t want to write only the adventure parts where everybody is under a lot of tension.
    It’s hard to add the lighter moments, but I think my kind of work really needs them.

    Reply
  120. That’s the trick.
    Romance is supposed to be feelgood and optimistic. So I don’t want to write only the adventure parts where everybody is under a lot of tension.
    It’s hard to add the lighter moments, but I think my kind of work really needs them.

    Reply
  121. I will hope Cami earns your regard. She is not especially kind to Pax at their first meeting, but maybe you will forgive her later … (Pax did.)

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  122. I will hope Cami earns your regard. She is not especially kind to Pax at their first meeting, but maybe you will forgive her later … (Pax did.)

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  123. I will hope Cami earns your regard. She is not especially kind to Pax at their first meeting, but maybe you will forgive her later … (Pax did.)

    Reply
  124. I will hope Cami earns your regard. She is not especially kind to Pax at their first meeting, but maybe you will forgive her later … (Pax did.)

    Reply
  125. I will hope Cami earns your regard. She is not especially kind to Pax at their first meeting, but maybe you will forgive her later … (Pax did.)

    Reply
  126. That’s the ideal. Every character in the story has to contribute his or her bit … or else get chucked out.
    I am very fond of elderly relatives who have some ooomph to them.

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  127. That’s the ideal. Every character in the story has to contribute his or her bit … or else get chucked out.
    I am very fond of elderly relatives who have some ooomph to them.

    Reply
  128. That’s the ideal. Every character in the story has to contribute his or her bit … or else get chucked out.
    I am very fond of elderly relatives who have some ooomph to them.

    Reply
  129. That’s the ideal. Every character in the story has to contribute his or her bit … or else get chucked out.
    I am very fond of elderly relatives who have some ooomph to them.

    Reply
  130. That’s the ideal. Every character in the story has to contribute his or her bit … or else get chucked out.
    I am very fond of elderly relatives who have some ooomph to them.

    Reply
  131. Blast. I read Burn for Me and now I’m trying to sort the characters out in my mind. It was just too long ago.
    Time for a re-read.

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  132. Blast. I read Burn for Me and now I’m trying to sort the characters out in my mind. It was just too long ago.
    Time for a re-read.

    Reply
  133. Blast. I read Burn for Me and now I’m trying to sort the characters out in my mind. It was just too long ago.
    Time for a re-read.

    Reply
  134. Blast. I read Burn for Me and now I’m trying to sort the characters out in my mind. It was just too long ago.
    Time for a re-read.

    Reply
  135. Blast. I read Burn for Me and now I’m trying to sort the characters out in my mind. It was just too long ago.
    Time for a re-read.

    Reply
  136. It has occurred to me from time to time that not everyone reading Historical Romance is in their twenties.
    One reason to add characters from a whole spectrum of ages is readers are all ages too.

    Reply
  137. It has occurred to me from time to time that not everyone reading Historical Romance is in their twenties.
    One reason to add characters from a whole spectrum of ages is readers are all ages too.

    Reply
  138. It has occurred to me from time to time that not everyone reading Historical Romance is in their twenties.
    One reason to add characters from a whole spectrum of ages is readers are all ages too.

    Reply
  139. It has occurred to me from time to time that not everyone reading Historical Romance is in their twenties.
    One reason to add characters from a whole spectrum of ages is readers are all ages too.

    Reply
  140. It has occurred to me from time to time that not everyone reading Historical Romance is in their twenties.
    One reason to add characters from a whole spectrum of ages is readers are all ages too.

    Reply
  141. Me too. I remember the roles they played in their books, but often the major characters stick in my mind.
    I’m thinking though of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. Wonderful character. Loved her in the TV serieses as well.

    Reply
  142. Me too. I remember the roles they played in their books, but often the major characters stick in my mind.
    I’m thinking though of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. Wonderful character. Loved her in the TV serieses as well.

    Reply
  143. Me too. I remember the roles they played in their books, but often the major characters stick in my mind.
    I’m thinking though of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. Wonderful character. Loved her in the TV serieses as well.

    Reply
  144. Me too. I remember the roles they played in their books, but often the major characters stick in my mind.
    I’m thinking though of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. Wonderful character. Loved her in the TV serieses as well.

    Reply
  145. Me too. I remember the roles they played in their books, but often the major characters stick in my mind.
    I’m thinking though of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. Wonderful character. Loved her in the TV serieses as well.

    Reply
  146. You get to a certain age and you have seen it all. You are just not impressed by all the fiddledede and rumpsnurfle.
    Any you’re apt to say so.

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  147. You get to a certain age and you have seen it all. You are just not impressed by all the fiddledede and rumpsnurfle.
    Any you’re apt to say so.

    Reply
  148. You get to a certain age and you have seen it all. You are just not impressed by all the fiddledede and rumpsnurfle.
    Any you’re apt to say so.

    Reply
  149. You get to a certain age and you have seen it all. You are just not impressed by all the fiddledede and rumpsnurfle.
    Any you’re apt to say so.

    Reply
  150. You get to a certain age and you have seen it all. You are just not impressed by all the fiddledede and rumpsnurfle.
    Any you’re apt to say so.

    Reply
  151. That’s true right across the board. Minor Characters have to ‘do something’ in the plot, not just stand about being light relief.

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  152. That’s true right across the board. Minor Characters have to ‘do something’ in the plot, not just stand about being light relief.

    Reply
  153. That’s true right across the board. Minor Characters have to ‘do something’ in the plot, not just stand about being light relief.

    Reply
  154. That’s true right across the board. Minor Characters have to ‘do something’ in the plot, not just stand about being light relief.

    Reply
  155. That’s true right across the board. Minor Characters have to ‘do something’ in the plot, not just stand about being light relief.

    Reply
  156. They make a complete family, don’t they?
    I’m sometimes worried about all these orphaned heroines I write. I actually like big, bustling extended families.

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  157. They make a complete family, don’t they?
    I’m sometimes worried about all these orphaned heroines I write. I actually like big, bustling extended families.

    Reply
  158. They make a complete family, don’t they?
    I’m sometimes worried about all these orphaned heroines I write. I actually like big, bustling extended families.

    Reply
  159. They make a complete family, don’t they?
    I’m sometimes worried about all these orphaned heroines I write. I actually like big, bustling extended families.

    Reply
  160. They make a complete family, don’t they?
    I’m sometimes worried about all these orphaned heroines I write. I actually like big, bustling extended families.

    Reply
  161. Now Lady Danbury is a specific character I can call to mind. One of Julia Quinn’s great creations. (I rather like her cane. It’s almost a character in its own right.)

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  162. Now Lady Danbury is a specific character I can call to mind. One of Julia Quinn’s great creations. (I rather like her cane. It’s almost a character in its own right.)

    Reply
  163. Now Lady Danbury is a specific character I can call to mind. One of Julia Quinn’s great creations. (I rather like her cane. It’s almost a character in its own right.)

    Reply
  164. Now Lady Danbury is a specific character I can call to mind. One of Julia Quinn’s great creations. (I rather like her cane. It’s almost a character in its own right.)

    Reply
  165. Now Lady Danbury is a specific character I can call to mind. One of Julia Quinn’s great creations. (I rather like her cane. It’s almost a character in its own right.)

    Reply
  166. One of my writing maxims (of which I have any number) is that a ‘stuck’ scene can be freed up by having somebody say a piece of truth. That gets everything moving.
    Older folks serve this purpose very nicely.

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  167. One of my writing maxims (of which I have any number) is that a ‘stuck’ scene can be freed up by having somebody say a piece of truth. That gets everything moving.
    Older folks serve this purpose very nicely.

    Reply
  168. One of my writing maxims (of which I have any number) is that a ‘stuck’ scene can be freed up by having somebody say a piece of truth. That gets everything moving.
    Older folks serve this purpose very nicely.

    Reply
  169. One of my writing maxims (of which I have any number) is that a ‘stuck’ scene can be freed up by having somebody say a piece of truth. That gets everything moving.
    Older folks serve this purpose very nicely.

    Reply
  170. One of my writing maxims (of which I have any number) is that a ‘stuck’ scene can be freed up by having somebody say a piece of truth. That gets everything moving.
    Older folks serve this purpose very nicely.

    Reply
  171. Life experiences do change your point of view and interpretation of events – which is where older characters come in to play. So yes I do like to have older characters sprinkled. After all, life isn’t just for the young!

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  172. Life experiences do change your point of view and interpretation of events – which is where older characters come in to play. So yes I do like to have older characters sprinkled. After all, life isn’t just for the young!

    Reply
  173. Life experiences do change your point of view and interpretation of events – which is where older characters come in to play. So yes I do like to have older characters sprinkled. After all, life isn’t just for the young!

    Reply
  174. Life experiences do change your point of view and interpretation of events – which is where older characters come in to play. So yes I do like to have older characters sprinkled. After all, life isn’t just for the young!

    Reply
  175. Life experiences do change your point of view and interpretation of events – which is where older characters come in to play. So yes I do like to have older characters sprinkled. After all, life isn’t just for the young!

    Reply
  176. I might have a thoughtful, wise old person say, “Old age does not necessarily bring wisdom, but it does give perspective …”

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  177. I might have a thoughtful, wise old person say, “Old age does not necessarily bring wisdom, but it does give perspective …”

    Reply
  178. I might have a thoughtful, wise old person say, “Old age does not necessarily bring wisdom, but it does give perspective …”

    Reply
  179. I might have a thoughtful, wise old person say, “Old age does not necessarily bring wisdom, but it does give perspective …”

    Reply
  180. I might have a thoughtful, wise old person say, “Old age does not necessarily bring wisdom, but it does give perspective …”

    Reply
  181. Older characters (sometimes colorful, sometimes not) are either representing past challenges and the things we want to flee, or they give the right advice at the right time to help the protagonist move forward. Right now, I’m thinking of Laura Kinsale’s Flowers from the Storm, where Christian’s mother is, shall we say, misguided, and Maddy’s father provided wise counsel and strength for both Maddie and Christian. But there are numerous older aunts or grandmothers saying shocking things doing pretty much what they wish and giving me plenty of chuckles in the process. What fun they are!

    Reply
  182. Older characters (sometimes colorful, sometimes not) are either representing past challenges and the things we want to flee, or they give the right advice at the right time to help the protagonist move forward. Right now, I’m thinking of Laura Kinsale’s Flowers from the Storm, where Christian’s mother is, shall we say, misguided, and Maddy’s father provided wise counsel and strength for both Maddie and Christian. But there are numerous older aunts or grandmothers saying shocking things doing pretty much what they wish and giving me plenty of chuckles in the process. What fun they are!

    Reply
  183. Older characters (sometimes colorful, sometimes not) are either representing past challenges and the things we want to flee, or they give the right advice at the right time to help the protagonist move forward. Right now, I’m thinking of Laura Kinsale’s Flowers from the Storm, where Christian’s mother is, shall we say, misguided, and Maddy’s father provided wise counsel and strength for both Maddie and Christian. But there are numerous older aunts or grandmothers saying shocking things doing pretty much what they wish and giving me plenty of chuckles in the process. What fun they are!

    Reply
  184. Older characters (sometimes colorful, sometimes not) are either representing past challenges and the things we want to flee, or they give the right advice at the right time to help the protagonist move forward. Right now, I’m thinking of Laura Kinsale’s Flowers from the Storm, where Christian’s mother is, shall we say, misguided, and Maddy’s father provided wise counsel and strength for both Maddie and Christian. But there are numerous older aunts or grandmothers saying shocking things doing pretty much what they wish and giving me plenty of chuckles in the process. What fun they are!

    Reply
  185. Older characters (sometimes colorful, sometimes not) are either representing past challenges and the things we want to flee, or they give the right advice at the right time to help the protagonist move forward. Right now, I’m thinking of Laura Kinsale’s Flowers from the Storm, where Christian’s mother is, shall we say, misguided, and Maddy’s father provided wise counsel and strength for both Maddie and Christian. But there are numerous older aunts or grandmothers saying shocking things doing pretty much what they wish and giving me plenty of chuckles in the process. What fun they are!

    Reply
  186. Very insightful view of the uses of older characters. They’re kinda the collective wisdom of the past and their experiences impinges upon the present. I like that idea.

    Reply
  187. Very insightful view of the uses of older characters. They’re kinda the collective wisdom of the past and their experiences impinges upon the present. I like that idea.

    Reply
  188. Very insightful view of the uses of older characters. They’re kinda the collective wisdom of the past and their experiences impinges upon the present. I like that idea.

    Reply
  189. Very insightful view of the uses of older characters. They’re kinda the collective wisdom of the past and their experiences impinges upon the present. I like that idea.

    Reply
  190. Very insightful view of the uses of older characters. They’re kinda the collective wisdom of the past and their experiences impinges upon the present. I like that idea.

    Reply

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