Who doesn’t love a good wedding? For romance fans in particular, seeing that HEA down the aisle is especially satisfying. This summer, four of our favorite historical romance authors take the wedding trope to a whole new level, setting an anthology At the Duke’s Wedding. We had to know the particulars.
Maya Rodale on "That Rogue Jack”
How difficult is it to work on an anthology focused on one party with interacting characters, written by four different authors?
Creating this anthology was a delightful experience from start to finish, thanks to my fabulous fellow authoresses and the magic of Google Docs. You should see the spreadsheet we created to keep track of everything from each couple's first kiss to when all the gents were enjoying a rendezvous with Hippolyta. (It’s not what you think!)
Your heroine is a companion to one of the quirkiest characters in the book, Sophronia. Is she based on someone you know? Can we expect to see her again?
Sophronia was the invention of four romance authors and a bottle of champagne. She is not based on anyone in particular, but I think she’s the old woman we all want to be when we grow up. It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if she made many more appearances.
Miranda Neville on "P.S. I Love You"
Your story is a retelling of the classic Cyrano de Bergerac tale. This leads to some interesting interactions, including a secret kiss. Christian is such a honorable man, how did you reconcile his personality with the situations he finds himself in?
Interesting question! Christian's conflict between honor and desire is central to the story (as it was to the original) and his own instincts are constantly at war with each other. I admire honor, but I believe that sometimes it is ill-placed. One reason I wanted to rewrite Cyrano was that it always frustrated me how Cyrano never tells Roxanne the truth, thus depriving her of power over her own fate. I let my Rosanne guess the truth and cut through all of Christian's masculine angst to the real point: that he has been arrogantly making the decision for both of them.
Can we expect to see the inarticulate cousin Frank’s story in the future?
Lately we were joking around about putting Frank in a time travel and bringing him to the present where he'd take to Twitter, 140 characters being about his limit in conversation. As a hero, Frank would be a challenge for me, since I like to write smart characters who have a lot to say. On the other hand, I do enjoy a challenge …
Caroline Linden on "When I Met My Duchess"
This story is about the couple but also focuses a lot on the relationship between sisters. Is this based on real-life experience for you?
My sister is much younger (which she used to hate, but now, she seems almost happy about … ) and we have some brothers, so we didn't share the same just-the-two-of-us bond that Cleo and her sister, Helen, have. But as an older sister, yeah, I did draw on how I would act if my sister were dreading her wedding. Thankfully my sister was blissfully happy at her wedding, and no intervention on my part was required, except a little help managing her dress!
Cleo is such a strong character and doesn’t fit into society's rules about women during this time period. If you lived in this time period, would you have been a rule breaker?
Cleo isn't actually so much a rule breaker; she just defies her parents' expectations and hopes by making her own judgments about what will make her happy, even if it means taking a step down the social ladder. In that regard, I'm very much like Cleo — my parents were very astonished by many of my choices, from where I went to college to my career. Thankfully my parents took it better than Cleo's did.
Katharine Ashe on "How Angela Got Her Rogue Back"
Why did you decide to make your story a time travelling one?
Serendipity. I had an idea for a straight historical story but it wasn’t coming into focus in my imagination like my stories usually do. Then I heard A-ha’s “Take On Me” on the radio and rushed home to watch the video that I’d adored in the 1980s. It’s so romantic! Within minutes of watching the video I came up with “How Angela Got her Rogue Back.”
In general I love time-travel stories. The fish-out-of-water challenge is always so much fun. The ultimate decision — whether to go home or stay with the lover — always tears me apart and, in the end, utterly satisfies. I will definitely be writing more.
If you were able to travel to any time period which would it be and why?
If I could time travel as a wealthy, socially elite person, I’d travel anywhere and everywhere! I’m insatiably curious about most every era and place in history. If I traveled like Angela did, however, unconnected to anyone and without any funds, there are very few places and eras I’d happily visit. Everyday life in the past was often brutal for those without social connections and wealth — just like today.
My favorite historical periods and places are Regency-era Britain, medieval Europe, ancient Egypt, tsarist Russia and the Roaring 20s.
Are you a fan of weddings, or do you prefer just mailing in a gift? Either way, romance fans are sure to enjoy the anthology, At the Duke’s Wedding, out now. For additional romance genre news and coverage, be sure to visit our Everything Romance Page.