Message From The Author
How the heck did Brooklyn-based Judy O'Brien come to interview the glamorous, New York Times best-selling author Brenda Joyce? No, it wasn't through an 'interview your favorite author' contest, nor was it a prank dreamed up by those wily Romantic Times pixies.
We met four years ago, both as first-time attendees of the RWA/New York City Chapter meeting. I was nervous, never having met a real published author before. Then I saw Brenda across the room, looking as if she had stepped off the jacket of one of her own books, and suddenly I was no longer nervous. I was terrified.
But real friendship blossomed between us. I discovered that ultra-glamorous Brenda has a little boy named Adam (I have a 7-year-old son), that she is a good listener to my round-about conversations, and that when I have needed her most, she has provided generous support.
I asked Brenda to tell us a little about Splendor, her 17th novel, published by St. Martin's Press.
Brenda Joyce: Prince Nicholas Sverayov arrives in London in the summer of 1812 to negotiate a treaty for the Tsar. He becomes a target for the quill of Charles Copperville, a witty social satirist. Charles is the pseudonym for a bookseller's daughter, Carolyn Browne. Carolyn decides to investigate the tall, golden Russian prince more thoroughly, and when he catches her spying on him, the pair are off and running in an epic love story.
Carolyn is a remarkable heroine, with the courage of a pride of lions. And the hero is attracted to her because she is so extraordinarily intelligent and witty. In most of my novels, the heroine goes through hell twice before winning the hero. In SPLENDOR, Carolyn is beaten down three times. The tragedy she endures makes her triumph at the end far greater.
Judith O'brien: What inspires you? And is it getting easier to write now that you are a "seasoned" author, so to speak?
BJ: Real life inspires me. Real life drama, mostly mine, becomes the angst and ecstasy in my books. The various men I have loved in my life, who have loved me, are in my heroes. Being a mother adds a new dimension to my writing. But I don't know how I find my hero and heroine, they just appear in my mind. Nicholas, a sexy and powerful Russian prince, a man of great honor, obviously would fall for a brilliant and unusual woman-his complete opposite in every way, including class.
Every book is harder to write than the one before. It's scary. My plots are getting more complicated, my characters more multi-dimensional, and of course, having a real life to live means I am always distracted.
JO: What is a typical day in the life of Brenda Joyce?
BJ: I get up early, send my son off to school with a hug and kiss, and sit down to write my 15-20 pages for the day. Then I lunch and power nap. Then I train. I run and box six hours a week-I'm addicted to endorphins! I spend three evenings a week with my son, the rest of the week I put on those spikes and minis and head over to a hotel like the Carlisle or the Four Seasons for drinks, then dinner at a fabulous restaurant, with good friends, business associates or, of course, the man in my life. I believe that life should be exciting, fun and filled with joy-I feel very blessed in having such a wonderful life-but I must say, while the highs are really high, the lows can be pretty brutal.
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