Thursday, February 26, 2009
The Rogue and the Rival by Maya Rodale (An Interview)
Thank You Maya for taking the time today to do this interview!
Thank you Terry for inviting me and for providing original and interesting questions that are a treat to answer!
Terra: What was your inspiration behind having our hero, a very well known scoundrel, to be dropped off at an abbey after being found seriously wounded?
Maya: At first, I thought a rake in an abbey would be funny. But then as I considered it further, I thought it would be a perfect place for a rake's reformation. All those women, and none of them are open to seduction (well, one of them is). Plus, such a sparse setting with limited options for activities leant itself to a really deep exploration of the emotional lives of these characters and I could place the interaction between the heroine is front and center.
Terra: Is it just me or is Lord Frost really so delusional as to not even consider how our heroine might feel about him since he is the one who ruined her in the eyes of the ton and her family?
Maya: You read it right, Lucas Frost is absolutely delusional. Because of the trauma he experienced--his loss of Angela, and then the loss of his wife (and that one other spoiler-thing I dare not mention!)--he goes a bit insane.
Terra: Having our hero be an identical twin, was it harder to form the storyline scenes around the two of them? Also, did you find yourself at any time during these scenes getting confused with their identities?
Maya: Yes! It's why Phillip has a broken nose. Because I got annoyed at the difficulties of keeping them straight because of their identical appearance, I gave Phillip a broken nose (Well, his twin, Devon, did). After that, they no longer looked exactly alike.
Keeping track of the twins was much more difficult in The Heir And The Spare (the first book) because they were both courting the same woman so I was more confused than with The Rogue And The Rival when Phillip was the only man around.
Terra: Do you think that there is a man out there that would go to the lengths that our hero does to show the woman he loves that what he is offering her is real and not just a empty words?
Maya: I do! Even if he doesn't go on a grand expedition to apologize to his past lovers the way Phillip did, just being there for a girl day after day is showing her real love. Without all the bells and whistles, that is what Phillip did for Angela--he showed up for her and stayed with her (even if he got smacked with a bouquet of roses).
Terra: Do you have any plans to write a story about any of Angela’s siblings? Most especially her brother possibly getting caught up in their matchmaking aunt’s web?
Maya: I definitely considered it, but it's not on the agenda at the moment.
Terra: I do think the two scenes I had the most fun reading about were 1. When the chapel roof caught fire and 2. When Angela decided to take out her frustrations on Phillip with the roses. Those were truly hysterical moments. Was your inspiration behind them something you just thought of or were they possibly personal experiences from your past?
Maya: No personal experiences there, just my sense of humor :) How many times do we read that a rake was so wicked that he can't go to Church lest it catch on fire? I read that in a few different novels over the years, and when writing The Rogue And The Rival, I knew it had to happen.
As for the scene with the roses--that was one of my favorites! Again, it was just something I thought would be funny. Phillip shows up after breaking Angela's heart, and flowers are supposed to mend everything!?!
Terra: Lady Katherine is the head of the abbey so why is it that everyone still refers to her as Lady instead of the more traditional Sister or Mother? Has she or hasn’t she taken her orders?
Maya: Lady Katherine was the Abbess, so she had definitely taken her vows. When closely acquainted with people, as Lady Katherine was with the main female characters in the abbey, it was acceptable to give the liberty to use a given name. She was, however, high ranking and in a position of authority, which is why I had the characters address her as Lady Katherine. It shows their deference and respect while acknowledging a familiarity.
Terra: Our hero Phillip and our heroine Angela have been away from their families for quite a long time for very different reasons, do you think that real people of that time period would have been welcomed them back into the family fold with open arms such as they have considering the circumstances?
Maya: In all of my research, I'm often struck by how much things haven't changed between today and "days of yore". Yes, we've had technological innovations, but people seem pretty much the same. So I'd imagine that for the most part, people would welcome back their long long family members. At least, I hope they would.
Terra: If you were transported back to this particular time period, what type of character could you picture yourself ending up as and why?
Maya: Oooh, this is a great question! And a tough one. I like to think that I would still be myself--writing romance novels, alternating between pants and pretty dresses, and chatting with with my friends over tea--so I would a bit of an eccentric if I lived during the Regency era.
Terra: What are your future plans as a romance author?
Maya: I'm working on a new book now--it'll launch a new series. It's still too early to chat about it, but as soon as I'm ready I'll post the details on my website, www.mayarodale.com!
Terra: I have to say that after having read The Rogue and the Rival that you my dear are a very talented writer and I do hope to read many more novels from you.
Maya: Thank you so much, Terry! These questions were fantastic!
Leave a question or comment about the interview for Maya along with your email addy and be entered to win a signed copy of The Rogue And The Rival.
The original title was Love Among The Ruined. My editor was wary of a negative word like “ruined” in the title, so we agreed on The Rogue And The Rival, which you must admit goes very well with it’s companion book, The Heir And The Spare.
I’ve said before that I put a little bit of myself in my characters. Angela is described as always making a racket with everything she does, particularly in the kitchen. According to my mother, this is one of my habits. She says the house gets so much noisier when I am home.
The scene where Lady Palmerston and Phillip meet again in her drawing room (page 200) was one of the first that I wrote for this book. I was struck by a burst of inspiration during class, and hoped everyone thought I was taking copious notes while I was handwriting it.
For the record: The heroine’s name is Angela Sullivan not Angela Palmerston, as many sources are reporting. Lord only knows how that happened! I now expect that my heroine will forever be known as Angela Palmerston. That’s fine. Has a ring to it. But in case you were wondering, I decided on Angela’s original last name while reading the People magazine article on Patrick Dempsey’s twins. They are named Darby and Sullivan and I thought that the latter fit my heroine nicely.
Readers of both books featuring Phillip Kensington, Marquis Huntley may notice that he frequently drinks to excess, and is never without a flask. But no hero of mine was going to be stinking of brandy or forgetting tender moments with the heroine because he was sloshed. So Lord Huntley had to sober up. If you or someone you know needs help with an alcohol problem, you don’t have to do it alone like Phillip. Alcoholics Anonymous can help. You can always call 1-800-662-HELP for information about treatment options in your community.
Some songs were on heavy rotation during the writing of this book: Green Eyes, by Coldplay. Just Might (Make Me Believe) by Sugarland, and This Is Not The End by The Bravery.