Friday, May 22, 2015

Nancy Lee Badger Interviews Author Lorraine Heath

It is Memorial Day weekend, here in the states, when we take a moment to remember friends or relatives who gave the ultimate sacrifice during times of war.

Lorraine Heath has taken a moment out of her busy life to answer intimate questions and tell us about her latest book. The Duke and the Lady in Red is an historical romance and was released on April 28. Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.  

Lorraine- My heroine, Rose, is a con artist, looking for one last swindle with a big pay off. Enter the Duke of Avendale, wealthy beyond measure and interested only in pleasure. Unfortunately for Rose, he figures her out and makes her a proposition: she can have all the money she needs for one week in his bed. There is a lot of sexual chemistry between these two, and Rose knows being with him will be no hardship—the hard part will be preventing herself from falling in love with a man who could never marry her.

But then Avendale discovers why Rose survives by swindling others, learns about her past and the family she has hobbled together, and the story takes an unexpected turn. I won’t give away any spoilers.

Nancy- Describe the genre of this particular title, and is it the only genre you write in?

Lorraine- I write Victorian-set romances. When I need a darker setting, I go to an earlier Victorian period (1850’s) and when I’m looking for something a little more modern, I’ll go to the later Victorian period (1880’s). This era lasted from 1837-1901 and heralded in the industrial age so there was so much change during these years that I can always find a year that will provide me with what I need for my story.

I also write young adult contemporary and paranormal as Rachel Hawthorne, and I wrote a vampire dystopian series with my son under the name J. A. London.

Nancy- When did you start writing toward publication?

Lorraine- I started writing seriously in 1990, after I read a romance novel—Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer. I fell in love with the genre. I’d always wanted to write and I felt as though I’d finally found a home for all the stories that circled around in my head. I sold my first book in 1993. Sweet Lullaby came out in 1994.

Nancy- Why have you become a published author?

Lorraine- I’ve always been a writer. Growing up I wrote long letters to any relative who gave me an address, kept a journal, and started stories I never finished. But I loved the writing process. I think part of my motivation to write was inspired by all the stories I heard growing up. My mother was British. She met my American father when she attended a USO dance. Their meeting always sounded so romantic. Although I grew up in Texas, I was always very much aware of World War II history. My mother was a young girl who grew up rushing to bomb shelters in the middle of the night. She made certain that we were always cognizant of sacrifices made by so many in wartime. She had so many stories, first-hand accounts that I now wish I had documented. I remember when we watched A Bridge Too Far, at one point during a scene with Anthony Hopkins on
Memorial Day memories
one of the bridges, she said, “Uncle Pete’s brother died on that bridge.” It changed the whole tone of watching the movie. It made it real. My dad survived WWII (he was a bit older than my mom) but his name is on a Panola County Texas memorial that was erected a few years back honoring all those from Panola County who served during the war. Memorial Day always makes me reflect on the many sacrifices made by so many in so many wars and the freedoms I enjoy because of those willing to give all.

Nancy- Shivers! I got the same feeling seeing my great-great+ Uncle's name on the New York monument at Gettysburg. He survived that battle, but not the war. Do you have any rejection stories to share?

Lorraine- When I was searching for an agent, I received a rejection from an agent who wrote: “You’re writing lacks a vivid touch.”

Another agent loved the same manuscript, took me on as a client, and sold it to the first editor she sent it to. It was a RITA finalist in the short historical category.

Nancy- Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?    

Lorraine- Hearing from readers. They serve as my inspiration. It brings me such joy when my characters touch them in some way. I love sitting around with readers and talking books, not my books necessarily, but books in general, other authors’ books. Romance readers, especially, are so passionate about books, about reading. It’s infectious.

Nancy- I host authors, here, to help inspiring writers. Will you share some encouraging words for authors still struggling for that first contract?

Lorraine- Keep in mind that this is an extremely subjective business. (See my rejection story above.) If your story doesn’t appeal to one editor, it might appeal to another. Sometimes a publisher has just bought a story similar to ours. Sometimes they’ve just offered a contract to an author with a voice similar to ours. I believe getting any contract is a matter of having the right story on the right editor’s desk at the right time. If you don’t keep writing, you’ll never have the right story. If you don’t keep sending out, you’ll never hit the right editor at the right time.
Please Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.
1) I love carousels. Never pass up a chance to ride one.
2) I have dual citizenship (British/American).
3) My dad was a sergeant in the air force.

Nancy- We appreciate your Dad's service. My husband and I have ancestors that have fought in every war on American soil since the French & Indian war. Our son, Eric, served in Iraq. Getting back to books, What’s next for you?

Lorraine- Falling Into Bed With a Duke will be out in November. It’s the first book in the Hellions of Havisham series.

BOOK BLURB of The Duke and the Lady in Red
Book 3 in the Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James Series

When Rosalind Sharpe gains the attention of the deliciously wicked Duke of Avendale, she’s torn between her distracting attraction to the notorious rogue and the knowledge that he—rich as Croesus—is the perfect target for a deception that will put her swindling days behind her.

However Avendale is no fool. After he discovers the tantalizing lady packing up to leave London with his coins in tow, he confronts her with a scandalous proposition: she can have all the money she requires…for a week in his bed.

Desperate for the funds, Rose agrees, but on one condition: he must never question her motives. Avendale quickly sees beneath her mask and discovers she is more than passion and pleasure—she is everything he has ever desired. But claiming her requires he unveil her secrets and lose her forever. Unless he can put his own dark past aside and risk everything for a chance at love.

Excerpt Link HERE  

How can my readers buy your book?
Readers can go to the publisher’s home page HERE  

When Lorraine Heath received her BA degree in psychology from the University of Texas, she had no idea she had gained a foundation that would help her to create believable characters—characters that are often described as “real people.” She began her career writing training manuals and computer code for the IRS, but something was always missing. When she read a romance novel, she became not only hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She's been writing about them ever since. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards including RWA's RITA®. Her novels have appeared on bestseller lists, including USA Today and the New York Times

You can find more information about 
Lorraine Heath here:


Twitter  @Lorraine_Heath

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