The Riskies Welcome Robyn De Hart!

Riskies: Welcome to the blog, Robyn! Tell us about Seduce Me and The Legend Hunters series! (new this month from Grand Central Publishing)

Robyn: Seduce Me starts my new Legend Hunters series, and I’m so excited about it! It’s about Esme Worthington, a spinster who fancies herself a scholar of Pandora’s Box, and Fielding Grey, a treasure hunter for hire. The quest for Pandora’s Box brings them together, then causes them all kinds of trouble in the form of curses and a criminal mastermind. It’s action-packed and sexy, and was a hoot to write. And so far I think most of the reviews have commented that it’s similar to Indiana Jones, which is exactly the feel I was going for.

Riskies: And what was the inspiration behind this story?

Robyn: Archaeology was quite popular among the aristocracy in Victorian England, and I wanted to write a series about these guys who chased myths and treasures. And I wanted to do so in the vein of Indiana Jones, you know that action-adventure romantic feel. The best way I can describe it is to use the blurb I used in my proposal for the series:

“There is a gentleman’s club near St. James Street, a luxurious one with all the accoutrements one would expect from such a fine establishment: fine liquors, exotic cigars, gaming, and a comfortable chair in which to read the daily papers. Solomon’s is by invitation only, and those invitations are not extended without exceedingly careful consideration. Because in this club is a secret room where secret meetings occur. And in those secret meetings some of London’s finest gentlemen gather to discuss their passions: their obsessions. Some are scholars, some collectors, some treasure hunters, but each of them are after the find of the century. Meet the Legend Hunters…”
Riskies: Did you find any interesting research tidbits while planning these stories?
Robyn: When I was brainstorming my list of legends, Pandora’s Box was the first one that came to mind. When we think about the forbidden, and ancient treasures that are intriguing and full of mystery, it seemed the perfect place to start. And it certainly helps that Pandora’s Box has sexy connotations which worked well for a romance, because it created built-in sexual tension, a crucial element to a romance novel. The legend itself was intriguing where you have Pandora being given a box by the gods and inside they put all these curses and terrible things. When Pandora sucumbed to her curiosity and opened the box, she unleashed all these terrors and then slammed the door shut, leaving hope inside. It was this tidbit that shaped my version of the legend with the curses bracelets.
Riskies: I see you have a For Writers page on your website with lots of good advice! What are some of your favorite writing tips?
Robyn: There’s not a lot of magic to writing, it’s mostly just hard work! That’s not to say it’s not fun and cool. But it’s really about making it a priority. If you really want to write, make the time to write. And stick with it. I know with a lot of beginning writers when things become challenging or scary or boring, they tend to quit and start on a new project. But the fact of the matter is that all books become boring or difficult at some point. All writers (no matter how seasoned) struggle with fear–fear that it won’t be good enough, that it’s terrible and your writing sucks, fear that you’ll be so awesome no one will like you anymore (okay, that’s probably less common…) You just have to work through it. The other tip I’d suggest is to find your joy in writing and hold onto it. The business side of writing can be very challenging, and if you’re not careful it can bring you down. Remember what it is about–creating stories that you love, and guard that, keep it close to you. Oh, and of course join RWA!

Riskies: LOL! Very wise words. And what’s next for you?
Robyn: I just turned in book 2 of the Legend Hunters series, and it’s about Atlantis. I’m really pleased with how it turned out–I love the adventure those characters find themselves in. It’s exciting and pulse-pounding and full of danger. It’s schedule to be out in June 2010, but doesn’t have an official title yet. And I’m in the brainstorming process right now for book 3, and so far I’m loving how it’s shaping up, too!

Be sure and visit Robyn’s site for more background on the Legend Hunters! And comment on this post for a chance to win a copy of Seduce Me!

About Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

Writer (as Amanda McCabe, Laurel McKee, Amanda Carmack), history geek, yoga enthusiast, pet owner!
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