I have long awaited the day I could celebrate the release of the first book in The Rosewood Trilogy with my dear friend and fabulous critique partner, Laura Moore. She's crafted a beautifully written romance in Remember Me (Ballantine, January 26, 2010)--a novel with characters who linger with the reader long after the book is closed. And I know this for a fact since I had the privilege of reading this story a couple of years ago, while in draft form, and I still find myself smiling at certain scenes that featured Margot and Travis. Sigh. But I'm not the only one who thinks so... While I'm not allowed to give away any plot secrets, I can share this snippet from the 4 1/2 star review RT gave this book:
"Brava! What a delicious read. Moore's heartfelt tale will resound with fans of Diana Palmer and Judith McNaught. The characters are vivid, the settings stunning and the emotional conflict between Margot and Travis will stay with the reader long after the last page. This reviewer cannot wait for the next installation in the Rosewood Trilogy."
Brava, indeed!! Laura, it's SUCH a treat to have you here today. Welcome :).
Q: Can you tell us the basic premise of this story?
A: Remember Me is the first book in a trilogy--The Rosewood Trilogy—that I’m writing. The trilogy is about three sisters who come together after a tragedy to save Rosewood, the grand old home and horse farm that have belonged to their family for generations.
Remember Me is Margot Radcliffe’s story. She’s the middle sister, and when we meet her she’s an unhappy and impetuous teen, flooded with hormones and the craziness of her first serious crush. Unfortunately, the person she’s fallen for isn’t just some callow youth but her father’s horse trainer: Travis Maher.
At a family party, Margot suffers in short order devastating rejections from the two most important men in her life: Travis and her father. Hurt and convinced there’s no place for her at Rosewood, she runs away.
Eight years later Margot has forged a successful career as a fashion model. But when she receives a call from her older sister Jordan with the news that her father and stepmother have been critically injured in a plane crash, she returns to Rosewood, a place she never expected to see again. Once there, Margot discovers that in order to save her family’s horse breeding farm she’ll need the help of Travis Maher, the one man she’s never been able to forget.
Q: What’s one scene from this book that you loved writing and why?
A: I really loved writing a scene that comes early on in Remember Me. It’s when Margot attempts to seduce Travis in a tack room. She’s been dreaming of him for months, and on the night she attempts to dazzle Travis and make him see her as a woman, she’s made herself as sexy and alluring as she can. She’s even gone so far as to memorize a come-on line from Cosmo.
The scene is one of those cringe-worthy moments that happen in adolescence and I think it captures what Margot was like then: lovely but spoiled and self-centered--basically a confused mess of a girl. Whatever polish and poise she has is about an eighth of an inch thick. Underneath, she’s just a lonely, motherless kid, desperate for affection. Unfortunately, when it comes to Travis, her teenage desire blinds her to the reality of the situation.
Q: Name 3-4 of your favorite musical artists or groups. Did you use any musical references in your novel? If so, do they play a significant role?
A: I don’t know whether I can only name three or four! I’m a big rock and roll fan. I grew up listening to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, then the Grateful Dead, Hot Tuna, Allman Brothers, Janis Joplin, Bonnie Raitt, Springsteen, Elvis Costello, REM, U2, and the list goes on and on. Music often makes its way into my books (sometimes as titles, too, as in the case of Night Swimming and In Your Eyes). In Remember Me, I have Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born to Run’ playing on a boombox when we first meet Travis. It’s definitely a song that suits him, with his hard-scrabble background and bad boy attitude. (I *love* that song!!!)
A lot of my characters are in this small sense like me: they work to music. I don’t know whether a lot of other writers feel this way, but I actually believe my words flow better when I have my favorite radio station playing or streaming.
Q: What’s your writer fantasy--i.e. to see your book made into a feature film, to be on the New York Times’ bestseller list for forty consecutive weeks, etc?
A: I have a very, very active fantasy life, so I’d say all of those things, plus having Nora Roberts come up and tell me how much she loves my books and how pleased she’d be to write a book blurb for my next release, and having my publisher tell me that none of my titles will ever go out of print! And by the way, Olivier Martinez, who starred in The Horseman on the Roof , will of course be playing the role of Travis Maher (and because it’s a fantasy, Olivier Martinez will look just as he did in 1995). For those who haven’t seen The Horseman on the Roof, it’s a great romantic adventure and beautifully filmed.
Q: Writers are usually big readers, too. How do you make time for reading and what are you reading at the moment?
A: I love to read. Unfortunately, between writing and teaching, I now have far less time to curl up with a book and get lost for hours. I do most of my reading for pleasure at night for about an hour before I fall asleep. I just finished reading Alice Munroe’s Too Much Happiness and Anne Stuart’s The Devil’s Waltz. Now I’m on A Truth Universally Acknowledged: 33 Great Writers on Why We Read Jane Austen, edited by Susannah Carson. Next on my docket is Olive Kitteredge by Elizabeth Strout.
Q: Do you pay attention to book reviews? If so has there been any particular review that made your heart dance?
A: I do pay attention to reviews—and by the way, Marilyn, I thought your blog entitled On Criticism and Writing (Dec. 31) was spot on, so good and smart. (Thanks, Laura! :) Probably the review that gave me that incredible lift of joy was for my first novel, Ride A Dark Horse. It was a Romantic Times review, and it was wonderfully generous and positive in tone. It made me think I might actually have done something right. But to tell you the truth, these days what really sends me floating on a cloud of happiness is the mail I receive from readers. Nothing beats having readers write to say how much the story meant to them or ask whether the characters I’ve created in one novel will go on and star in their own book.
Q: What’s next for you? Is there a new book in the pipeline?
A: I’ve finished the second book in The Rosewood Trilogy, which is entitled, Believe in Me. It’s coming out in late 2010. Presently I’m writing the third installment, Trouble Me, which I believe will be out in 2011. After that, I think I’d like to write about a couple of the characters from my earlier novels that readers keep saying they want to hear more about!
Laura, I can't wait to get my hands on the full version of Believe in Me! The segment I got to read of Jordan's story was fabulous. And you know I've been looking forward to Jade's tale for a long time now... Thank you for being here...and for giving away 2 autographed copies of Remember Me to commenters! (Much as I love to give away prizes on Friday mornings (!!), this week the winning names will be drawn on Wednesday afternoon. ;)
So, I should tell those visiting today--one thing Laura does incredibly well is to explain how horses are cared for and the life on a horse farm. Aside from going horseback riding with a college friend (just once), I don't have much experience with horses. What about you? I'd love to hear some stories!