The (nearly) Naughty Nine with Marguerite Kaye, Mills and Boon and Harlequin best selling author
So today, we welcome Marguerite to Nine for the Weekend,
This week’s naughty nine, has a historical twist.
Welcome Marguerite to Raven's Nine for the Weekend. Glad you could drop by.
Q We'll get this one over first, tell us a little bit about yourself.
A That’s my least favourite question! Well, I used to be in computing but I’m all right now. I write full-time, I live right by the sea on the beautiful but very wet west coast of Scotland with my dearly beloved, where I wage war with the climate and the wildlife to grow things in the garden. When I’m not writing I’m thinking about writing or reading – I read lots and lots and lots. My other less well-known talents – I can open oysters and champagne (not at the same time), do the splits, and have medals for ballroom and Latin American dancing.
Q Thanks, now we can probe a bit more. What are you writing at the moment? Going to share any of it with us? (I know that’s really two questions, but hey we will call it a and b)
A Right now I’m working on a series for Harlequin Mills&Boon with seven (yes, seven) other authors. It’s a sort of Regency Downton Abbey (or Upstairs, Downstairs for anyone old enough to remember that), based around the family of a duke with estates in Derbyshire struggling to come to terms with the impact of war and social change in the aftermath of Waterloo. While each story can be read stand alone, the house and servants are the same in each one, and there’s a mystery running through the series which isn’t resolved until the end. The stories are quite different, with a great scandalous mix of romances between floors, so to speak. My story is book three, with the eldest daughter of the house as the heroine, and a freed third generation African slave as the hero, so definitely something a bit different and very scandalous. I’m really excited about it, and working with seven other such fabulous authors is a fantastic experience. The series is going to be released in the UK next autumn, with a North America date still to be confirmed.
Raven: wow that sounds great, can't wait to read them all. So,
Q How long have you been writing?
A Pretty much ever since I could pick up a pen! Seriously, I won a national poetry competition in primary school, and have always been a diary addict, but I first started writing to be published about five years ago. I began with a column in my local newspaper, progressing to writing lots of non-fiction, history, humour and travel, then short stories. My first romance was accepted by Mills & Boon in 2008 and I’ve been writing Historicals for them ever since.
Q What is your favorite genre? To write or read.
A History for both. I am fascinated by history – mostly modern – and in particular the impact of war on people and society. My current obsession is the Crimean War and the late Victorian period which I haven’t actually written about yet. I’m reading Orlando Figes’ book Crimea, and just finished a brilliant novel by Kate Macmahon called The Rose of Sebastepol. Another couple of recent favourites, Bella Pollen’s Summer of the Bear, and Kate Morton’s Forgotten Garden. I always have at least two books on the go, and I’ve just started Heartstone, the latest Shardlake book – I think he’s a brilliant character. I do read just about anything and everything mind you, I think TV book club recommendations are great for getting you to try new authors, and I always look at those lists when I’m buying or in the library.
Q Where do you prefer to write? What do you wear? And eat? (OK, I know this is cheating as well, but we need all the gen in our naughty nine)
A I sit in my living room, which has a spectacular view out over the water so there’s lots of ferries and liners and submarines and warships and fishing boats to distract me. I prefer not to sit at a desk, but have my laptop on my knees on a tray – very bad for the posture, but I try and do pilates a few times a week to compensate. I’m very much a comfy clothes writer, so I confess it’s either pjs or baggy sweats, and since I also feel the cold (I think I was born in the wrong country) I favour big fleecy socks too – really attractive. I don’t eat when I’m writing, and I need total silence too, so I never listen to music. I drink water, and though I do need to keep my caffeine topped up, when I have that I stop for a break and a potter on-line.
Q So three things you love
A The obvious one and the most important – my man. Vodka martinis with an olive and a twist of lime. And music - I would hate to be without music.
Q Three you don't
A Self-service check outs at the supermarket. I hate the way that my bag never seems to be the right sort of bag. I hate the supercilious voice that keeps repeating the same thing over and over. I hate that whatever I buy seems to require an assistant. I hate that you can’t use more than one bag. I hate, I hate, I really hate those things.
Does that just count as one? Okay then, I hate it that on the very rare days when I get my hair perfect there’s a gale force wind blowing outside. And I hate it when my nail polish chips.
Q Three things you would like to happen in the next three years? Feel free to add to the three things you don't,
A To go on writing is the most obvious one. It goes without saying that I’d like to write that special book that makes me a household name in Romanceland. I’d also like to go on a nice long holiday. And I’d like to see Alison Krauss perform live with her band in Nashville.
That's it painless eh? Thanks for dropping by and giving us a peek into your busy life.
I'd like to thank Marguerite again for sparing the time to do this. She's mega busy at the moment being a mentor in the Harlequin, Mills and Boon New Voices Competition.