Risky Regencies

Chat and contest with Tracy Anne Warren!

We’re thrilled to welcome national bestselling, RITA-Award winning Tracy Anne Warren, author of six Regency historical novels published by Ballantine Books. Her debut novel, The Husband Trap, is the winner of numerous awards including the RITA, the National Readers’ Choice Award, the New Jersey Golden Leaf, and the Golden Quill. All three of her Trap Trilogy novels appeared on the USA Today Bestsellers’ List. The Wedding Trap also appeared on The New York Times Bestsellers Extended List and the Borders’ Group List of Bestselling Single Title Romance Paperbacks. She’s here to talk about her October release, My Fair Mistress, the first in The Mistress Trilogy, and your relevant question or comment will enter you into a drawing for a signed copy of the book. The usual rules apply–no masquerading under different handles–we shall give you the cut direct.

Tracy, welcome to the Riskies. Tell us about My Fair Mistress.
It would be my pleasure. My Fair Mistress is set in 1812 London and tells the story of young, aristocratic widow, Julianna Hawthorne, and darkly handsome Rafe Pendragon, the financier to whom her brother is deeply in debt. Julianna seeks out Rafe, intending the ask the dangerous, sexy businessman, known as ‘The Dragon,’ to accept an alternate form of payment, hoping he will be satisfied with jewelry and paintings. Instead, he tells her the only thing of value he wants is her as his mistress for six months. He never expects her to accept, but to both their surprise, she says “yes.”

Tell us about the next two books in the series.
The second two books feature Ethan and Tony, best friends of Rafe Pendragon’s, the hero in My Fair Mistress.

In The Accidental Mistress (November 2007), the heroine, Lily Bainbridge stages her own death in order to flee an arranged marriage, then takes the guise of an independent London widow. But when dangerously attractive rake, Ethan Andarton, Marquis of Vessey, decides to make her his mistress, her passion for him just may prove impossible to resist.

And in His Favorite Mistress (December 2007), debonair bachelor Tony Black, Duke of Wyvern, finds himself entangled in a sensual battle of wills with vivacious Gabriella St. George, the daughter of Rafe’s most hated enemy. Soon Gabriella wants Tony’s love, but will passion be enough to melt his icy heart or will he make the biggest mistake of his life and let her go?

What sort of research did you do?
For My Fair Mistress I researched the various neighborhoods in London during the Regency, referencing both The A to Z of Regency London and The London Encyclopedia. I wanted to give my hero a respectable, though not tony address somewhere away from my heroine’s Mayfair townhouse. I decided Bloomsbury fit the requirements rather nicely. I also needed another location where Rafe and Julianna could meet for their clandestine rendezvouses without anyone else being the wiser. And then I am always researching various other details from whether men had buttons on their shirt sleeves––they did––and what the most popular dress colors were in 1812 and 1813–jonquil, Princess Elizabeth lilac, Devonshire brown, Pomona green and willow green were a few.

The Risky question–is there anything in the book you consider risky or that surprised you (or your editor)?
I think the premise itself is rather risky––deliciously so since Julianna decides to barter her virtue to Rafe and become his temporary mistress, rather than see her family in ruin. She would rather give herself to a man for a few months than sell herself into a loveless marriage, as most ladies would have done.

What are your influences / what do you like to read?
I read a variety of books, mostly fiction, and my favorite remains romance. Right now, I have been enjoying a lot of paranormal romance. I also recently caught up with the rest of the world and finished all seven books in the Harry Potter series. Wow, what great books.

What’s next for you?
I just completed the proposal for the first book in my next Regency romance trilogy––a lush, vivid tale that takes place in 1810. Once all the details of my new contract are complete, I will let my readers know. Please visit my website at www.tracyannewarren.com for the latest news and updates!

Tracy will pop in during the day to answer questions and chat and you’ll have the chance to win a signed copy of her book–come on in and join the fun! We’ll announce the winner on Monday night.

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beverley
15 years ago

Hi Tracy,
Glad you’re blogging today. I have the entire Trap series and I’m going to pick up My Fair Mistress once it hits the stores this week (if I don’t win a signed copy of course :)) Will you be doing all of your books like this for Ballantine–a trilogy, released in succession like this?

Nathalie
15 years ago

Hi Tracy,

I have enjoyed your Trap series… and I am thrilled that you have more series to give us!! I enjoy these suites of books where I get attached to the characters.

Maggie Robinson
15 years ago

Oh, yikes, I just started a wip where the hero makes the heroine his mistress for 6 months to forgive the family’s debts! Back to the drawing board, LOL. Seriously, I think I have significant differences.

I loved the Trap books, and was amazed you could redeem the “bad” twin so well. I’ve lived through home renovations and I could identify. Sounds like your new series is a winner.

Gillian Layne
15 years ago

So what other reference books do you find invaluable?

I loved The Husband Trap. It was such a pleasure, beginning to end. Did the characters occur to you first, or the plot?

I’m very much looking forward to your newest works. 🙂

doglady
15 years ago

Hello Tracy! I absolutely loved your “Trap” series and I am definitely looking forward to this next one. Your books are just so much fun to read! How hard is it to put out these trilogies. Do you work on one book at a time or multi-task? What kind of time span do they give you to get them done? Is it easier to write multiple books like this and are they easier to sell to a publisher when they know you have three great books instead of just one? I just know that I love to find a book and know that at least two more will be coming out in quick succession. I touted the “Trap” series to everyone I know and the owner of the little local bookstore here in backwater Alabama carries them now because I told her she would be nuts not to. I know she plans to carry the next series as well. Okay, I’ll shut up now and give someone else a chance.

Lily
Lily
15 years ago

I think everyone is unanimous… we loved your trap series and I have been waiting for month to read another trilogy (whcih was announced on your website) and now the wait will soon be over!

CrystalG
15 years ago

Hi Tracy. I loved your Trap series too. I am excited that you will have a new trilogy.

Diane Gaston
15 years ago

Welcome, Tracy! It is great to have you visiting the Riskies.

I have to say, I love your titles! Using movie titles as the base was very brilliant.

What do you think are the advantages/disadvantages to releasing a full series so close together? I can see by the comments that the readers love it.

Charlie Horse
15 years ago

Hi Tracy,

I just put the Trap books on my to buy list after seeing all these comments. What is it about Regency England that attracts you?

Tracy Anne Warren
15 years ago

Hi Beverley,

Thanks for the welcome! Glad you’re looking forward to My Fair Mistress and the rest of the new trilogy. I’m in discussions now about my next series with Ballantine. I’m not sure yet whether I will be doing another back-to-back trilogy, since it’s up to my publisher how they want to schedule my releases. That said, if they want another back-to-back, I’m happy to give them one.

Tracy

Tracy Anne Warren
15 years ago

Hi Nathalie,

Thanks for stopping by today. I love connected series, too, both as an author and as a reader! It’s fun being able to follow familiar characters to see what they’re doing even after they’ve found their own happily-ever-after. I love all my characters, but I have to say that the chemistry between Rafe and Julianna in My Fair Mistress really sizzles!

Happy Reading,
Tracy

Tracy Anne Warren
15 years ago

Hi Maggie,

LOL is right! Just goes to show that great minds think alike (vbg). It really is amazing though how different writers can come up with similar ideas out of the blue and with absolutely no prior contact. Synchronicity is an amazing thing. I’m sure our two books are nothing alike, since we’re two different writers. Have fun finishing your wip and good luck with it.

And yes, redeeming Jeannette wasn’t easy, but it was fun watching her change and grow as a person. I think I feel about her the way Darragh does–she was a lot of work but well worth it in the end.

Tracy

Keira Soleore
15 years ago

Yay, Tracy’s in da house. I’m going to be boring and echo others here in saying your Trap series were fabulous. So, I’m really looking forward to diving into the Mistress series.

I love connected books, because then I know that the characters I’ve fallen in love with are not going to go poof when I close the book. I’ll get to visit with them again.

I’m really curious how you work the plot where Julianna decides to become the mistress of a wealthy cit instead of a wealthy peer. How does Julianna’s family and brother feel about it?

Other than researching Bloomsbury, what other type of research did you have to do in order to make a non-peer hero come alive on the pages?

Thanks for being here and giving us the opportunity to ask you questions.

rugosa
15 years ago

You are a new author to me. I will look for your Trap series as so many people recommend it. They sound delightful and my kind of series.

Michelle
Michelle
15 years ago

Hello,
When you plan a trilogy do you have all 3 books completely plotted out or is it a more fluid process with details changing as you write? I know some people prefer stand alones but I do enjoy series where we get to revisit characters.

Tracy Anne Warren
15 years ago

Hi Gillian,

You asked about reference books. A few more that I really love are: A Regency Reference Book by Emily Hendrickson. I use this book constantly since she provides all sorts of small details, such as a fabric glossary, list of cosmetics and fragrances, London amusements, the Clubs, so on and so forth. This book is available on CD-Rom from the author and is a fabulous resource for anyone wanting to write (or just know more) about the Regency.

I also often use English Women’s Clothing in the 19th Century by C. Willett Cunnington; British Food: An Extraordinary Thousand Years of History by Colin Spencer; and The Illustrated Dictionary of Antiques and Collectibles by Judith Miller. This last one isn’t Regency period specific, but it’s a very useful reference for furniture and china etc.

You also asked about The Husband Trap and which came first–the characters or the plot. The plot is what inspired me first. I heard a story about modern-day identical twin brothers who traded places for the day to play a prank on their wives. The ‘prank’ did NOT go over so well, btw (g). However, hearing that got my imagination running and I found myself wondering what would happen if identical twin sisters switched places at the wedding altar. Violet and Jeannette were instantly in my head, along with gorgeous Adrian, who had no idea what he was in for (g).

Enjoy reading the new trilogy!
Tracy

Tracy Anne Warren
15 years ago

Hi Doglady,

I assume you’re a dog lover! I love all animals, but as you probably know, I’m a cat person myself. My kitty Georgianna is sitting on my desk with me right now. And Violetta is in the office window seat. 🙂

Glad you had such fun reading my Trap books, and that you’re looking forward to my new trilogy. Thanks so much for telling everyone about my books, including your local bookstore owner. I really appreciate the support!

You asked about trilogies. I won’t lie–they are A LOT of hard work and tend to get very intense, especially toward the end when revisions, copy edits and page proofs for books #1, 2, and 3 all start to overlap time-wise. But they are also very gratifying and a lot of fun to write.

I wouldn’t say they are easier to sell than stand alone titles, especially for a new author. In fact, I originally wrote the The Husband Trap as a stand-alone book. Once my agent and editor read it, however, they suggested I turn it into a trilogy. Of course, I said “yes!”

In the case of the Mistress Trilogy, the manuscript for My Fair Mistress was complete when my agent submitted it as my option book. However, we offered it as the first book of a new trilogy. I had the plots and characters already outlined for the second two books, so those were in place when I began.

As for the writing, I tackle all my books in a rather linear fashion, although I know elements of each book that tie in to the others beforehand, and of course, I know the characters. Once I start, I write each manuscript in order and submit them to my editor that way–#1,#2,#3. As for how long my publisher gives me for the books, my editor and I discuss that upfront before I start a trilogy so that I have a series of deadlines and so my publisher can go ahead and add me to their publication schedule, which often runs 2 years ahead or more–even I’m not sure how far out they schedule books.

I hope that answers everything. Thanks so much for asking and have fun reading the new series!

Tracy

Gillian Layne
15 years ago

Tracy, thanks so much for the information!

I have Emily’s book, in fact it’s by my desk. I ran off the CD and stuck everything in a notebook. And yes it is wonderful!

What a neat way to “discover” a plot. There really are ideas everywhere–
And I checked the A to Z of Regency London on Amazon and did a great big gulp–they need to re-print that thing!

Thanks again, and best of luck!

Tracy Anne Warren
15 years ago

Hi Lily and Crystal G,

Thanks for chiming in, ladies! I appreciate your kind words. And you’re right, the wait is almost over for the Mistress Trilogy. October 30th is nearly upon us! Have a super time reading.

Tracy

Tracy Anne Warren
15 years ago

Hi Diane!

Thanks for the welcome to Riskies! It’s great to be here. I’m having such fun chatting with everyone.

Glad you love the new titles. And kudos to you for picking up on the fact that they’re plays on old movie titles!

The advantages/disadvantages of trilogies? Well, as you noticed, and I agree, readers really love back-to-backs since they don’t have to wait more than a month in between stories. I love them because my fans love them, plus it’s fun to write books with connected stories and characters.

The only reader downside, I suppose, is that once they’ve read all three books in the trilogy, they have to be patient waiting for the next one. And I SO VERY MUCH appreciate my readers being patient!! It takes time, and a great deal of energy and effort to write a trilogy. And believe me, I really do write as fast as I can. I often wish I could split myself in two, so one “me” could write and the other “me” could sleep (g).

Tracy

Cara King
15 years ago

Hi, Tracy! Lovely to have you here.

So, how did winning the Rita feel? I’d love to hear about your experience with it, if you wouldn’t mind sharing.

Thanks for hanging out with us!

Cara

tetewa
15 years ago

I must admit that you are a new author for me. The Trap series sounds great and The Mistress series sounds good too. Good luck on your new release and looking forward to reading the series.

catslady
15 years ago

I love historicals and especially regencies. I don’t know how I’ve missed your books but I’m looking forward to reading them!

KimW
15 years ago

I want to read more about Rafe, Tony and Ethan. I loved your first series and want to read this one, too. It sounds really good! Neat premise for My Fair Mistress. To be kept by The Dragon for six months. I like that!

Kathryn Caskie
15 years ago

Hi Tracy.

I LOVE that your books are being released back to back again, especially now that its starting to chilly again. Nothing is better than making a fire and settling down with a great book–and you ALWAYS deliver.

Big hugs.
Kathy

Tracy Anne Warren
15 years ago

Hello Charlie Horse, Rugosa, Tetewa, and Catslady,

It’s always wonderful to meet new readers! So glad you like the sound of my books. Thanks for giving them (and me) a try.

And Charlie, you asked what attracts me about the Regency. Since the day I picked up my first Regency romance many years ago (I won’t say how many (g)) I’ve loved this time period. There is a lovely elegance, glamour and romance that seems lacking in so many other eras. The Regency possesses an interesting kind of modern sophistication and gentility, yet retains vestiges of the old world. For me, it’s the last great era before the Industrial Age really took hold and radically changed the world into the one we now know. Plus, there are the fabulous clothes. Who wouldn’t love a man dressed to the nines in a tailcoat, cravat and breeches with a chapeau bras tucked under his strong arm? Images of Colin Firth are now dancing in my head (g).

Tracy

anne
15 years ago

Hi Tracy,
Your Trap series are so enjoyable and fascinating. I look forward to this new release. Best success on your newest novel. Sounds wonderful.

Tracy Anne Warren
15 years ago

Hi Keira,

I’m pleased you loved the Trap books and are looking forward to my new trilogy!

You asked about Rafe being a Cit and Julianna a noblewoman and how that could work? Well, it was tremendous fun to write and added great conflict to the story. And although Rafe is considered a Cit by Society, he is actually the illegitimate son of a peer.

How do her brother and sister feel about Rafe? Well, they don’t know about him–at least not for a while since Julianna gets Rafe to promise that their affair will remain a secret from Society (and her family) because she knows they won’t approve. I won’t tell you how it all gets resolved–you’ll have to read My Fair Mistress to find out 🙂

You asked about other research. Since Rafe is an incredibly wealthy and successful financier, I did research on Nathan Rothschild. He gave me quite a few ideas! I also did some research into money lending, even though Rafe is not a cent-per-center.

Tracy

janegeorge
15 years ago

Oooh, evidently I’ve been missing out. I’m not that widely read in romance and recommendations like this are gold. Must check out the Trap series!

Tracy Anne Warren
15 years ago

Hi Michelle,

You asked about the plotting technique for my trilogies. When I write, I begin with a basic story premise, along with a good sense of who my hero and heroine are. I do this for all 3 books so I can incorporate main characters and essential story elements into the novels as they develop. I generally know the major scenes and turning points of the book, but very little of the actual detail–sort of like creating a skeleton, then working to flesh it out. When I am ready to begin the actual writing of each book, I like to do a rough outline, then use it as a guide as I work my way through the story. I find some of my best scenes emerge when I let my characters show me the way.

Tracy

Tracy Anne Warren
15 years ago

Gillian,

If you’re interested in getting a copy of The A to Z of Regency London, try the British Amazon site–Amazon.co.uk. That’s where I got the book and even with the exchange rate and overseas shipping, it’s still cheaper (at least it was when I bought my copy). Plus, you can buy it new!

Tracy

doglady
15 years ago

Tracy, thanks for the tip on the Amazon UK site. I zipped right over and you are right. Even with the exchange rate and shipping it is cheaper than 200 plus bucks!! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer everyone’s questions and for being so very gracious about it. I agree with you on the appeal of the Regency period. I guess it is just my silly Southern upbringing, but I admire that gentile approach to things. Good manners NEVER go out of style, do they?

Cherie J
15 years ago

Wow! I like the way this new trilogy sounds. You come up with some unusual plots. So refreshing!

Tracy Anne Warren
15 years ago

Hi Cara!

Thanks so much for the welcome. Like I told Diane, I’m having fun here at Riskies.

Since you asked, winning the RITA was an absolutely amazing experience–really thrilling and a complete honor. It was also a tremendous validation of all the years of hard work I’d put in struggling to get published.

I was in the middle of writing the last book in my Mistress trilogy when I got the call telling me I was a finalist. Until then, I had been planning to skip Dallas RWA and stay home and write, but everyone, including my agent and editor, told me I HAD to go! Obviously I’m glad now that I did.

RWA was great, then Saturday arrived, and along with it, the nerves. I honestly did feel it was “an honor just to be nominated,” and I was fully prepared to watch someone else walk on stage and accept the award. But then they called my name. Everyone around me screamed and I remember grinning like an idiot, thinking “Wow, I actually won!” Of course, then I had to get up on stage and make a speech–something I had been quietly dreading. But the speech went fine–or so I was told. The after party was great fun. Diane Perkins and Kathy Caskie were two of the authors there to give me hugs and congratulations! It was a wonderful time and an unforgettable experience, and I have my beautiful RITA statuette to reassure me it wasn’t a dream.

Tracy

Tracy Anne Warren
15 years ago

Hi Kathy!

I appreciate you stopping by to wish me well! And I agree that cool weather is the perfect time for reading. Big hugs back!!!

Tracy

Tracy Anne Warren
15 years ago

Hello Kim W. and Anne!

Thanks for dropping by the chat! Can’t wait for you to read the new trilogy. I hope you have as much fun reading the stories as I did writing them.

Tracy

Tracy Anne Warren
15 years ago

Hi Janegeorge and Cherie!

It’s great to have both of you here! Glad you like the sound of my stories and have decided to give my books a try. And Janegeorge, if you’re new to romance novels, you’ve got a lot of fun times ahead!!!

Tracy

Tracy Anne Warren
15 years ago

Hi again Doglady!

You’re very welcome for the Amazon UK tip! They often have great resource materials that you can’t get here in the US–and often for a lot less money, as you can tell. Ouch, $200. I didn’t know that book was going for that much now!

And here-here on your remark that good manners NEVER go out of style! You are so right!

Tracy

Keira Soleore
15 years ago

Tracy wrote, “Since Rafe is an incredibly wealthy and successful financier, I did research on Nathan Rothschild.”

Tracy thanks a bunch for answering my questions. This research tidbit was pure gold!!!

Gillian Layne
15 years ago

Oh, Tracy THANK YOU! So glad I found the time to stop back in here today! 🙂

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