Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Meet Author Lucy King - Debut Harlequin Presents Author

Lucy King Bio:

I'm a newly signed Mills & Boon Modern Heat author.

In September 2008 my entry A Bid for Love won the Harlequin Mills & Boon 'Feel the Heat' Competition. It's out now in the US as Bought: Damsel in Distress.
Lucy's Website


I would like to welcome Lucy King, Harlequin Presents debut author of Bought: Damsel in Distress which will be released January 2010. Lucy, can you tell us a little about the book?

Lucy:  Thank you for the warm welcome - it’s great to be here! And it’s very exciting to see the release of my first Harlequin Presents.

Bought: Damsel in Distress tells the story of Emily and Luke, who meet when Emily’s sister puts her up for auction on the internet and Luke ‘wins’ her. Although they are wildly attracted to each other from the start, Emily doesn’t need rescuing and she certainly doesn’t need a man, and as a result of his wife’s death, Luke has no intention of ever falling in love again. Or so they think...

Is there a back story for Damsel in Distress? How did you come up with Luke and Emily’s characters?

Lucy:  The initial spark for the story came from watching an episode of the BBC’s Top Gear in which their ‘Star in a Reasonably Priced Car’ segment featured the singer James Blunt. During the interview he happened to mention that he’d once put his sister up on eBay  as a damsel in distress and that she’d ended up marrying the man who bid for her. When I heard it, I thought how romantic is that? Possibly a bit odd, but definitely romantic.

Anyway, a lightbulb went off in my head and after some frantic scribbling I had what I hoped would be an original and fun setup. So then I had to think about what sort of characters would find themselves that situation and why. I ended up working backwards, asking my characters a lot of questions, and generally trying to think of ways to make their lives as difficult and emotionally challenging as possible.

Since you’re a new author, would you please share your call story?

Lucy:  With pleasure! After winning the ‘Feel the Heat’ contest in September 2008, I sent in my first three chapters, and following a discussion with my editor which led to six manic weeks of writing, submitted the rest just before Christmas.

I didn’t expect to hear anything for months, so you could have knocked me down with a feather when the phone rang in the evening of Jan 8th 2009 and there on the other end was Kim from Mills & Boon. In fact, I initally thought she was a telemarketer and nearly hung up. Thank goodness I didn’t! She said she loved my story, wanted to buy it and offered me a two-book contract. I didn’t come down off the ceiling for days.

What are you working on at the moment?

Lucy:  I’m working on my third book. It’s part of the ‘Young, Hot and Royal’ mini-series. I’m having great fun creating a fictional Mediterranean kingdom, a hot recently-crowned king and the girl who falls in love with him.

Do you plot your stories or let your characters lead you?

Lucy:  I don’t have a huge amount of experience yet, but I like to let my characters lead the story. In Book 2 I tried to make the characters fit the plot and it was a disaster! I find I tend to flit back and forth. I’ll start with the characters, who reveal the plot, and then often I’ll have to go back and alter something so that the story makes sense and their behaviour stays consistent.

What is the best thing about your job as an author?  What is the hardest thing?

Lucy:  There are so many good things it’s hard to identify the best. I guess one of the things I love is creating characters that seem so real to me I can’t believe they don’t exist. And when the story’s going well and the words are flowing there’s no better feeling.

On the other hand I find organising my time quite hard. Where do the hours go? Ok, so I have a part-time day job which occupies my mornings but surely email, Facebook and blogging can’t take up the entire rest of the day???

As the coming months bring two book deadlines, building a house and a new baby, I need to come up with a time-management strategy fast! Any tips would be greatly welcome.

What is something you definitely want readers to know about you?

Lucy:  Just how much I appreciate them. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without them.

When the day comes for you to retire from writing, what would you like your readers to remember the most about you and your writing?

Lucy:  I hope that day doesn’t come for many years - in fact, the thought of not writing makes me feel rather sad. But when it does, I think I’d like my readers to remember my characters and their banter. I love writing dialogue more than anything.

What are your currently reading?

Lucy:  I’ve just finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows and am in the middle of The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. It’s a ghost story set just after the Second World War, and I’m gripped! Both are quite different from the chicklit I natually veer towards, but am thoroughly enjoying broadening my book-reading horizons.

Who is your favorite author?

Lucy:  Hmm, that’s tricky. It depends on my mood. All the Modern Heat girls, of course. I love Jennifer Crusie and Jill Mansell, and, for complete wackiness, Jasper Fforde. His imagination is truly extraordinary.

Before I let you go is there anything I forgot to ask that you want the readers and fans to know?

Lucy:  This might be a bit cheeky, but I’d love them to know that Propositioned by the Billionaire, my second Modern Heat/Presents, which features a high-achieving PR exec, an untrusting venture capitalist and the occasional exploding handbag, will be out in July 2010.

Lucy, thanks so much for joining us at Marilyn’s Romance Reviews and sharing a little bit about yourself.

Lucy:  Thanks for having me. It’s been lovely. Sorry if I’ve gone on a bit much...


Rachael Johns said...

Love the sound of the exploding handbag!! Can't wait!

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Lucy, here's a message from Susan:

Hi Marilyn - I tried to post a comment for you and my gmail password keeps failing for some reason - can you publish for me? Apologies :(

Hi Lucy - I'm so thrilled to welcome you especially as I also have a Heat coming out in the Young, Hot and Royal series. I couldn't agree with you more that writing for Heat is a total blast-
I wish you every success in everything you do and many many happy years of writing ahead of you.
All Best
Sue :)


Sharon said...

Hey, Lucy - hello and WELCOME!
Your new book looks fab and it's a great "call" story.
You want a time-management tip? Easy-peasy.
Turn off the internet!
Look forward to meeting you soon,

Annie West said...

Hi Lucy,

I saw that interview with James Blunt too, and was fascinated by his approach to the problem. What a great way to start a story idea! Congratulations on your book.


Robyn Grady said...

Thanks for the great interview, Marilyn!

Hey Lucy! Another big welcome from me to the Modern Heat/Presents family. Loved your first and can't wait to read more of your stories. That ghost story you mentioned sounds interesting too =)


Abby Green said...

Lucy - congrats and looking forward to your second book. Your first was a brilliant debut - hope you're getting sorted with the baby on the way...
x Abby

Lucy King said...

Thanks for the warm welcomes! And the top tip :)

anna cleary said...

Hi there Lucy,
Lovely to see you in the Modern Heat gang.
Adored your first book, and I'm looking forward to your Young, Hot and Royal. Sounds like a blast!

Say hello to Marilyn for me!



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