Mia Marlowe talks about A Knack For Trouble

Today I’m giving up my Monday for a special guest! Mia Marlowe. Mia was a classically trained soprano, who learned storytelling from performing operatic roles. Now she’s an award winning author. Her work was even featured in the Best of 2010 issue of PEOPLE Magazine. Today, Mia is here to talk about A Knack for Trouble, her novella in IMPROPER GENTLEMEN.

“Suspense abounds in Marlowe’s Victorican A Knack for Trouble! The stories all will appeal to fans of antiheroes and historical romance.” — Publishers Weekly
“A sizzling tale, Mia Marlowe’s A Knack for Trouble is a delightfully humorous and suspense-filled read that will keep you guessing.” — Romance Junkies
First of all, thanks for having me here at Risky Regencies, Diane! I love this site.

Tell us about A Knack for Trouble, your novella in IMPROPER GENTLEMEN.

A Knack for Trouble is the story of Aidan Danaher. Against all odds, he’s become Lord Stonemere and the English side of his family is scandalized by an Irish baron in Wiltshire! Of course, the fact that he also spent time in the penal colony on Bermuda doesn’t help. However, Aidan’s real gift for trouble is related to his “Knack”–a Celtic ability of being able to implant an idea in another person’s mind. Think of it as a Jedi Mind Trick, but delivered with buckets of Irish charm!

What was the inspiration for A Knack for Trouble?

My DH and took a cruise to Bermuda last year and had a chance to tour Royal Dock and the Commissioner’s House, which was built by Irish convict labor in 1827. The place had built in conflict and the idea of the commissioner’s daughter having an illicit affair with the leader of the Irish prisoners took shape in my mind.

What is risky about the story?

Forbidden love is always risky. The tale opens with Aidan sneaking out of the airless ship at the dock that held the prisoners and scaling the outside of Commissioners House to join Rosalinde in a secret tryst. If you’d like to read that scene, here’s a SECRET LINK to the excerpt!

Another reason this story is risky is that while Aidan confessed to murder to protect someone else, now he wants to clear his name. To do that, he and Rosalinde have to uncover the real killer, who obviously doesn’t want anyone poking into the past.

Oh! if you’re collecting Romance Trading Cards, I’d love to send you set of my heroes. Visit my website for details on how you can receive Aidan Danaher and friends in your mailbox!

Did you come across any interesting research while writing A Knack for Trouble?

Part of the story takes place on Aidan’s estate in Wiltshire, a lovely part of England famous for its Chalk Horses carved into the hillside turf. And part of the tale takes place on Bermuda, one of the few British outposts that didn’t have an indigenous population to displace when the first shipwrecked settlers straggled ashore. The Brits always recreated their culture wherever they went and as you can see from this photo, Commissioners House is a jewel of late Regency architecture. If you’d like to see more pics of this lovely place, please visit my blog about this special setting.

Did you and your fellow anthology mates collaborate on the stories?

No, we didn’t, but we all had the same mandate–that our heroes needed to be outside the box. I didn’t think I could get much further beyond the Regency pale than a hero who spent time as a convicted felon.

What is next for you?

Thanks for asking! I’m so excited about my next release–SINS OF THE HIGHLANDER! Speaking of collaborations, this is my first novel written with romance legend Connie Mason. Since Connie’s readers are used to globetrotting, the tale is set in 16th century Scotland. If a slightly mad hero and a heroine who has the Sight sounds like your kind of story, I hope you’ll put SINS OF THE HIGHLANDER on your list. I’ll be updating my website soon with an excerpt from this story, so if you’d like to be notified when it’s available, please sign up for my newsletter.

Since my co-author Maggie Robinson was just here and probably offered a copy of IMPROPER GENTLEMEN, I’d love to offer Risky Regency readers a chance to win a copy of TOUCH OF A THIEF.

This is one of my backlist titles that recently earned a rare starred review from Publishers Weekly. It’s the story of Greydon Quinn, who wants to intercept a rare red diamond on its way to the Royal Collection. He needs the help of the Mayfair Jewel Thief, so he sets a trap for the burglar. Quinn never expected the thief to be a woman who’d steal his heart as well.

I love this story. Plus I think the cover deserves an award for sheer beauty of composition, don’t you?

Leave a comment or question for me to be entered in the random drawing and be sure to check back tomorrow to see if you’re a winner! To get the ball rolling, I’ll start with a question for YOU: What’s your favorite name for a hero and why does it appeal to you?

Oh, good question, Mia! And great information. Thank you so much for being our guest on my Monday!

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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Kim in Hawaii
11 years ago

Aloha! Fun interview! I like every day names, such as John or William, even for historical romances. It makes the hero “real”. Of course, a title of historcal significant, such as the Duke of Dartmoor, makes it a little more fun!

Maggie Robinson/Margaret Rowe

Good morning, Mia! I feel like we are roommates, LOL. I wrote a Sebastian, and I think he’s my favorite character. Love the name, although as I was typing it I wished it were shorter. 😉

MIa Marlowe
11 years ago

Kim–Good to know. So often we writers feel we have to come up with something out of the ordinary.

Mia Marlowe
11 years ago

Maggie-Great minds think alike. Sebastian Blake is my hero in my upcoming enovella A DUKE FOR ALL SEASONS. I love the name!

The Romance Dish
11 years ago

This comment has been removed by the author.

Diane Gaston
11 years ago

Ha ha. And I had a character named Blake in one of my books.

Welcome Mia! Look how fancy your interview is formated!! Glad to have you here.

My first book The Mysterious Miss M started with a hero named Damien St. Claire, but a “google” investigation revealed about a brazillion Damiens and St. Claires in Romance. I changed the name to Devlin Steele.

Off subject, my pet peeve are heroines (usually in contemporaries) who have masculine names. I find it sooo confusing.

PJ
PJ
11 years ago

Hi Mia! I like strong names like James, William, John, etc. but I also like others such as Tristan, Jamie, Connor and the like. If I fall in love with the hero then I tend to fall in love with his name as well. After reading “A Knack for Trouble,” the name Aidan shot straight to the top of my name list. I loved this character! Thank you so much for creating him and for being inspired on your trip to Bermuda to tell his story.

Tracy Smith
11 years ago

Good morning. I like strong names too for these heroes. Just something like Blake, or Christian, or even just Michael. I guess I never really stopped to think about it much before. Thank you for asking and making me think a little bit.

Have a wonderful day!

ClaudiaGC
11 years ago

The one thing most important to me is that I know how to pronounce the name! I hate it when either hero or heroine have a name I stumble upon every time. It can be very distracting. It’s strange but I think this happens more with the heroine’s name than the hero’s.
I have a thing for the name Colin but I also like the names Jack(-son), James, Alexander and John (and many more, of course).

Mia Marlowe
11 years ago

Diane–Whoa! The post didn’t show up with all those fancy boxes when I was playing with it on blogspot. Must be the faery dust of Risky Regencies!

Agreed on the gender non-specific names. Of course if we want to be historically accurate, we could have heroes named Evelyn or Beverly, which were both originally male names.

Mia Marlowe
11 years ago

PJ–My mom didn’t like my hero’s name in one of my books written as Emily Bryan–Stroke of Genius (Crispin Hawke). His last name was strong enough, but Crispin was too unusual for her. Personally, I like giving saint names to unsaintly characters. 😉

Mia Marlowe
11 years ago

Tracey– I used Ian Michael for another of my upcoming enovellas. I think I may need to form a heroes data base to keep track of what names I’ve used.

Mia Marlowe
11 years ago

Claudia–I think I have trouble not being able to pronounce the name when I ready fantasies or Celtic set stories. I know Sinead is pronounced Shihnaid, but it still trips me up.

Eli Yanti
11 years ago

This comment has been removed by the author.

Eli Yanti
11 years ago

This comment has been removed by the author.

Eli Yanti
11 years ago

Hi Mia and Diane,

Wow, i really like your question Mia, because after so many HR’s book i read, i have made a list of the hero’s name i love like as : Anthony Malory (tender rebel – johanna Lindsey) , Devlin Wrothston (Man of My Dreams – Johanna Lindsey), Camden Serrard (duchess in love – Eloisa James), Clayton Westmoreland (Whitnye, My love – Judith McNaught), Blake Ravenscroft (To catch an Heiress – Julia Quinn and the last is Sebastian St. Vincent (The Devil in Winter – Lisa Kleypas). And i have choice one name from those name to be my son’s name ^^.

I love all that name maybe because is match with the character in novel

Virginia
11 years ago

I like the more common names, such as Thomas, Joseph, Mike, names like that. I hate names I can’t pronounce.

DANI HARPER
11 years ago

Hi Mia – great blog! My great grandparents were from Wiltshire. After reading so much about Improper Gentlemen, I HAD to have it – just downloaded it to my Kindle and looking forward to indulging in a good read later today! Wishing you all the best.

Brooklyn Ann
11 years ago

I prefer unusual names for characters. That’s part of what made me love Mary Balogh’s Bedwyn series. 🙂

Na
Na
11 years ago

Mia, I really like the touches of magic in both “A Knack for Trouble and “Touch of a Thief. It’s sure to make things interesting in an already lively setting. Also, I have always wanted to visit historical sites and always get the best ideas from stories. I have lots of plants to visit sites like the ones you have visited.

I don’t have a favourite name that jumps out to me but I prefer names that are suited to the hero’s personality and time period. A strong and noble name are interesting.

Kat
Kat
11 years ago

I like the names of heroes in the books I read to be somewhat historically accurate and pronounceable.

Cathy P
Cathy P
11 years ago

Hi, Mia and welcome! Loved your blog interview. I am a big fan and love all your books. I like names like Christian, Tristan, Steven, Michael, William, and Daniel.

Mia Marlowe
11 years ago

Eli–How fun that you named your son for a hero!

Mia Marlowe
11 years ago

Thanks, Virginia. I’ll keep that in mind. Those simple names have been around a long time and work well for historicals.

Mia Marlowe
11 years ago

Thanks, Virginia. I’ll keep that in mind. Those simple names have been around a long time and work well for historicals.

Mia Marlowe
11 years ago

Dani–Thank you so much for plunking down your hard earned money for my story. I’m honored and humbled. Hope you love it!

Mia Marlowe
11 years ago

Brooklyn–Jo Beverley also uses unusual names for her characters, even for the time period in which the stories are set. Her Mallorens have more medieval names though their world is Georgian. Don’t worry though. She explains why!

Mia Marlowe
11 years ago

Na–I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the sparkle of paranormal I’ve added to my writing. It’s been great fun for me.

Mia Marlowe
11 years ago

Kat–I’m always mindful of the historical accuracy of the name, always bearing in mind that names fall in and out of fashion. It helps add a taste of the era if the name was popular during the time period of my story.

Mia Marlowe
11 years ago

Cathy–Thanks so much for your kind words!

Barbara E.
11 years ago

My favorite name for a hero is Michael, because Michael is my favorite name in real life.
I’m looking forward to reading Improper Gentlemen, as well as Sins of the Highlander. I’d love a copy of Touch of a Thief, since I haven’t had a chance to get my hands on that great sounding story yet.

Linda
11 years ago

I don’t really have a favourite; there a few I’m partial to (Justin, Sebastian, Christian) & a few I violently dislike: Harry and George somehow have never appealed.

Louisa Cornell
11 years ago

Hello, Mia! My fellow soprano! I DO love the sound of you newest novella! Intriguing and risky indeed!

I’m rather fond of the name Sebastian as well. Although I’ve never written one. The hero of my first novel was Marcus Aurelius Sherringdon. Next came Tristan, and then Cain and now Dylan. So, I guess I tend to go for the rather odd names at that!

librarypat
librarypat
11 years ago

I don’t know that I have a favorite name for a hero. The name needs to fit the character and since I have many heroes I have liked, there are many names.

How was it collaborating with another author for a story? I can see working with other authors to coordinate stories for an anthology like you did for CHRISTMAS BALL, but that was different. You still did your individual stories. How do you work a collaboration on a story?

I hope the release of your books goes well.

Mia Marlowe
11 years ago

Barbara–I have to confess I dated a string of Michael’s before I met my DH. It took my grandmother a couple years to keep from calling my DH “Mike” out of habit. Fortunately, I only called him “Mike” once!

Mia Marlowe
11 years ago

Linda–Harry is my dog’s name, so I doubt I could ever use it for a hero! LOL!

Mia Marlowe
11 years ago

Louisa– I like the name Marcus, but I try to avoid names that end in s. It makes possessives such trouble. I feel like I’m hissing all the time, but sometimes a character refuses to change his name.

Mia Marlowe
11 years ago

Pat–Every collaborative team works differently. I’ve spoken with some Harlequin continuity authors who adhere to a strict story “Bible.” Some authors trade off POVs, one writing from the female, one from the male viewpoint. It helped that my writing style and voice meshed well with Connie Mason’s.

Alison
11 years ago

I like Norman names – Guy, Raymond, Richard, Ralph, Geoffrey…

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