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Patricia Rice Author Interview
Patricia Rice: I am excited about my return to Regency England, but I am also a perverse creature. I love being given an excuse to cause all my heroes grief and give all my heroines fortunes. At the moment, the heroes are all younger sons who have no land or expectations and must make their own way in the world. And the heroines inherit modest fortunes so they can have their hearts’ desires without needing to marry. It was a nice form of torture in this book. I’ll have to see where it leads me in the next ones!
WS: In The Wicked Wyckerly, your heroine Abigail has assumed responsibility for her four half-siblings. Did you use any of your own experiences as reference for Abigail's method of caring for her siblings?
PR: What makes you think my children wouldn’t be perfect models of good behavior? But yes, I incorporate experience with my own children, nieces, nephews, and those of my friends. One friend truly did use Fitz’s reverse psychology on her son. I thought it was quite brilliant and wished I’d thought to use it on my kid when he was young.
WS: The Wicked Wyckerly has two female characters who are determined to take care of their dependents. How did you navigate the relationship between the headstrong Abigail and her benefactress the Marchioness of Belden so that neither woman appears weak-willed?
PR: I think it happens because they are such different people. The marchioness has learned to be indifferent and sophisticated and pretend she’s unconcerned, while Abby throws her whole heart out there for everyone to see. But underneath, they both understand that they care about the people around them and want to help in whatever way they are able. Just that modicum of understanding allows one or the other of them to back down as necessary.
WS: Wyckerly and Abigail try to resist their attraction because they will be unable to meet the others' needs in a future-spouse. What would be your number one practical reason to not marry someone?
PR: Hating his guts? But assuming we were otherwise in sync, I guess I’d have to say that I wouldn’t marry someone who would interfere with my career or my kids. No matter what they may think, men aren’t the be all and end all of existence!
WS: Wyckerly and his daughter Penny are living in such poor conditions that he is dodging creditors and named Penny the official spider killer of the household. What compelled you to write about a family in such dire financial straights?
PR: I get tired of wealthy heroes who’ve had the earth handed to them and still aren’t happy. Fitz doesn’t need money to be happy, but he needs it to take care of his daughter and his neglected estate and tenants and the creditors who depend on his family for a living. I doubt that I gave it much consideration when I dreamed up Fitz, but he does reflect my philosophy that money can’t buy happiness, and it’s love that makes the world go around.
WS: Lady Belden and Lord Quentin have considerable chemistry, can you give fans a sneak peek into the pair's future?
PR: They need to be knocked out of their smug worlds, don’t they?
WS: What is something you know about one of the characters in The Wicked Wyckerly that didn't make it into the story yet?
PR: Oh wow, even though the next book is about Blake — whose family fears he’ll die before he’s thirty — keep an eye on Nick. He hides secrets beneath that devil-may-care façade.
WS: Wyckerly calls Abigail Miss Merry or Rhubarb Girl. What is a nickname you wish someone had for you?
PR: Smart Pat? Pretty Pat? Nope, all I can come up with are really bad names like Rice Patty.
WS: You recently returned from a trip to Europe. Will any of your experiences (or what you saw there) make it into an upcoming story?
PR: I wish I could say they would, but my Odyssey was about me and not my books. Now, if publishers would allow me to write about the dawn of civilization — have I got a book for them!
WS: What can readers expect from you next?
PR: Oh, I have a thumb in every pie. The Devilish Montague is my 2011 historical release. Sourcebooks is producing a wonderful reissue of my historical Magic books — the first is scheduled to come out in March 2011. To accompany them, I’m writing a contemporary Malcolm/Ives story for Sourcebooks — think siren magic in Hollywood! The Magic books are also in e-book format with lovely new covers on bookviewcafe.com, and when I have time, I’ll try to put them out on Kindle. I’m slowly issuing my contemporary romances as e-books on AWritersWork.com. I’m also going back to writing short stories and novellas since e-books are making them popular again, so expect to see those popping up hither and yon.