‘The Noblewoman And The Irish Patriot’ It was a titled British lady’s perilous plan to disguise herself as a boy, to steal aboard a ship bound for the embattled shores of Ireland. From the moment orphaned Lady Alexandra Cummings arrived at besieged Inverary Castle, her life and her future were no longer her own. Captured by rugged Irish rebel Kevin Burke, the daring noblewoman became a pawn in a dangerous game of treachery, betrayal, and irresistible attraction. She lost her heart to the one man she dared not trust, and her passion for him could not be swayed by reason. Cruel fate tragically plunged Kevin into exile and Alexandra into a loveless marriage. Their forbidden liaison swept them across Queen Elizabeth’s divided realm, into a timeless love story that defied borders and boundaries and could not be denied.
Today I’m catching up again with Doreen Owens Malek about her book, ‘Lady Selby’s Lover’. Doreen it’s good to chat with you again. Now can you start off today by letting us know where this novel started?
I was always interested in the Elizabethan era and read extensively about the problems Queen Elizabeth I had with her rebellious Irish subjects. This interest formed the basis for telling a love story involving members of the two factions.
I thought about the rift that would exist between people occupying these two opposite positions, and how their interaction might bring them together despite their backgrounds.
Like your other work you’re going after writing out a very interesting dynamic between the characters that they almost need to overcome. Which characters were your favourites to write?
I would love to write about both of these characters (Alexandra and Kevin) in a sequel and have considered doing it for a while. It may still happen.
Never say never. Is there any character in your book that you would like to go on a date with or take out for a beer?
I wouldn’t mind bringing Kevin Burke to a pub for a Guinness.
Not a bad idea. Did you do any research to when you were writing this book? I imagine that being a historical fiction novel it would be more difficult to use any direct experiences that you’ve had as an influence.
I had already read quite a bit about Queen Elizabeth I because she had always fascinated me. It was easy to incorporate that knowledge into the stream of my story.
I have always been frustrated by the secondary role women play in society. Queen Elizabeth I is an example of a person whose circumstances forced her into a leading role in her country and the world. She rose to the occasion magnificently and made her place in history unique.
What did you find the most rewarding thing about writing this book?
I found the research rewarding because I learned a great deal about history during the time period and also have found that people who like historicals have embraced it.
Including research about how long did it take for you to write this book?
About one year.
I know you’ve been busy working on new projects, so can you let us know what is happening next for you?
The first of my new projects to be released will be The Seduction of Tallchief. This book is a stylish and sexy thrill ride, full of surprises, with a plot taken straight from today’s headlines and a Native American hero who defines the word “hot.” Tallchief is a proud and independent loner who doesn’t expect to be drawn to the spoiled heiress he meets while targeting her father. The villain is heinous, the intrigue is intriguing, and the love story is compellingly romantic. It will have you rooting for the bad guy to fall (hard) and for the desperate couple to overcome the obstacles separating them to find happiness. It’s a fabulous read you won’t soon forget and it will be available digitally shortly.
Late summer will see the digital release of Abra’s Arranged Marriage, a romance which concerns a Philadelphia lawyer, Abra Hamilton, who travels to Texas to locate her recently deceased stepfather’s long lost son, Linc Fraser. Through a series of legal complications she winds up marrying Fraser in order to keep him out of jail. She also experiences the shock of adjusting to Texas culture and to the rough hewn but startlingly sexy Fraser. She falls in love with both, and discovers a new life of sensuality and commitment with the semi-stranger she has wed. He proves to be a refreshing change from the “suits” she works with up north, but Abra wonders if she can follow through with their deal and divorce him once his freedom is achieved. This is the type of book which fueled my addiction to romances before I ever wrote one, and I know you’ll love it.
For all the many fans of A Marriage of Convenience, the long awaited Another Marriage of Convenience will be released digitally this fall. You’ll have the opportunity to meet some new Braddocks, as daughter Laura falls in love with a handsome stranger and finds heartbreak and fulfillment on the ranch in present day California. Tay and Sharon also survive a rocky patch in their enduring marriage to prove once again that love conquers all. I’d like to extend a special thanks for many kind notes I’ve received regarding the original A Marriage of Convenience. The book was a delight to write and has been my most enduringly successful contemporary (1989!) romance. It continues to make fans out of new readers and I have never lost interest in the first Braddocks, Tay and Sharon. So it was a pleasure to imagine what might be happening to them and their offspring today, a generation later, when Tay’s past returns to complicate the present for the whole family.
Something we didn’t get a chance to talk about last time was the writing to publishing process. As you’ve been involved in both physical and digital book publishing I’d really like to get to know your processes and stance. Starting with writing, what techniques do you use?
I write everyday in the sense that I always thinking about the story I am working on at the time. I may not actually type anything that day but I often carry notebooks around with me and jot down scenes or ideas as I think of them. I never have aimed for a daily word count, but I do tend to write in bursts and accomplish a lot in a short time after I have thought about it for a longer time.
And, how do you go about the editing process? Do you do a large amount of editing the books yourself?
I do a large amount of the editing myself. I always screen for mistakes of course, but I also wait some time and read the manuscripts over to make sure that they flow quickly and hold the readers’ attention.
Who or what service do you use for your book covers?
It was designed by the same artist who did the original cover when it was published by Harper Collins as the “Highwayman”.
Do you have any tips for self-publishing for other authors?
My only suggestion would be to write on subjects you are interested in, and it’s easy if you have a basis of knowledge to work from at the start. I write about teachers and lawyers for my contemporary books because I have been in both professions and am familiar with their daily routine. For historicals, I base the characters on research but select areas that have interested me all along. For example, I don’t write mysteries because I am not interested in them myself. I don’t care “who done it”.
What is your opinion on the future of reading/ writing and publishing?
I feel that online publishing gives the author more independence. I think it’s here to stay and will only expand in the future.
I think I’m a bit biased, but I totally agree with you there. How did you feel when you got your first book review?
I was elated to see that someone had read one of my books and took to time to express an opinion on it. I was lucky in that all my initial reviews were positive.
Do you have any philosophies that you live by?
When looking for an occupation try to incorporate what you really like to do.
That’s a good one. What is your favourite quote?
My favourite quote is ‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy…’ by William Shakespeare.
And finally, I’ve got some quick fire questions for you to answer. Just say the first thing that pops into your head. If you could breed two animals together to defy the laws of nature what new animal would you create?
I would pair my dog with a parrot to hear her talk.
Can you stand on your hands unassisted?
If you could steal one thing without consequence what would it be?
I would steal one of Shakespeare’s folios.
Can you curl your tongue?
I can curl it up.
Which are cooler? Dinosaurs or Dragons?
What’s the most unusual name you’ve ever come across?
Siobhan (pronounced She-vaughn)
Thank you very much for dedicating some of your time for myself and the audience at ItsWriteNow.com, we appreciate your efforts and I look forward to catching up with you later in the year when some of your new projects are completed.
Want to find out more about Doreen? Contact her at the following locations: