In Conversation with Stacy Reid
by Donna Soluri
Donna Soluri (DS): Hi Stacy, and thanks for taking time out to chat with us today. First off, I must tell you I absolutely adored Nicolas and Maryann in your upcoming book, Her Wicked Marquess. Wicked, indeed! (The second book of the Sinful Wallflowers series releases on December 29. While it is the second book in the series, it easily reads as a standalone.)
Let’s kick things off by talking a little about you. How did you get your start in the wild world of romance writing? Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
Stacy Reid (SR): Hey Donna, thank you for having me. I am so glad you enjoyed Maryann and Nicolas’s journey to happy ever after! I started reading romance at age 12, and something clicked in my soul. Since then, I knew I wanted to write, but I did not seriously pursue it until I graduated from university and found I was desperately unhappy in the business world. Totally had a bawl fest, and after a conversation with my husband, I decided to direct all my efforts into doing what I love. The gritty, wild, and rewarding journey started seven years ago when I responded to a call for Historical Romance by Entangled Publishing. They loved the novella I submitted, The Duke’s Shotgun Wedding, and offered me a contract for a four-book series.
DS: You have quite a few books under your belt now. How has your definition of success changed over the years?
SR: It is still the same. I had big dreams/goals when I started writing, even before I was published. One of the main goals was to earn a living from my craft without relying on other jobs. Especially because I endure chronic pain from PCOS and Endometriosis and would often have weeks of sick leave. After my third book, Sins of a Duke, I achieved this, and the freedom it brought is wonderful. I still have my very worn paper from 2013 with all the dreams written down and my warrior way outline at the top. Some of them have been achieved like having awesome fans, seeing my book in the bookstore, and becoming a USA Today bestselling author, and many more are still on the list to be realized.
DS: You write both historical romance and paranormal (PNR) romance. I’d never asked you to pick a favorite—that’s just cruel—but do you find one easier to write than the other? Historical has “history” right there in its name, that means not only can you fact check, your readers can fact check you as well, and I could see how that might prove challenging at times. Paranormal allows a certain amount of creative license as you can create your own fantastical scenarios that can defy the fact checking goddesses! What’s your take?
SR: Ah, I love them both, but I do have a weakness for PNR. My first books were PNR, and my last probably will be. I absolutely love writing historical romance and find fact-checking an amazing part of the whole process. Like most, if not all, HistRom authors, I still give myself the freedom to be creative because I am writing fiction. So the world I create actually belongs to my imagination and not actual history. I love that I can give readers a peek into actual history and be authentic to the setting, but it can be frustrating if it curbs my creativity and enjoyment of the story I am building.
I have received a few emails asking me about Maryann and Nicolas talking about raccoons when they are not natives of England, with one reader demanding I change all mention of raccoons to another animal or else her review will not be flattering. Think about that for a minute. LOL. I had to point out that many historical romance books mention tigers/lions/elephants and so many other animals and scenarios not native to England. However, how we shape and educate our characters allows them certain knowledge that is more than believable. Raccoons were known of in England since colonization and their furs were sold in England.
I find with PNR, my writing process is remarkably similar. I do a lot of research and use the knowledge gleaned to shape my world so that it is not totally alien to readers. There is a sense of familiarity and also wonder at discovering somewhere different. I do have more fun writing Paranormal Romance because my creativity is allowed such freedom it normally soars.
“I started reading romance at age 12, and something clicked in my soul.”
DS: Full disclosure, I cut my Romancelandia teeth on paranormal and slowly found my way to other sub-genres. PNR will forever have a soft spot in my heart, and let’s face it, PNR bodies are way more durable, especially when it comes to sex and danger. Do you find you have to get into a different mindset, or have a different ritual or rhythm when you go from writing historical to PNR?
SR: Absolutely! If I am coming off from writing a PNR and then doing a HistRom, my editors will have many comments on how rough or brutal my current hero is. I am normally like, What? No, he is not! But when I re-read, I am like, Ahhh, yeah, this is not a historical romance hero but a paranormal one. I have to give myself time to shift direction, and I do this by watching historical movies/series.
DS: Let’s look at our couple, Nicolas and Maryann. Ladies first, of course! Maryann is classified as a wallflower within the ton. While she is whip smart and technically getting a bit long in the tooth, so to speak, she is not your standard, quiet, shy, unassuming wallflower. She’s made a wallflower by a group of Mean Girls who are desperate to make fetch happen. Maryann is my favorite type of wallflower: a smart and clever one that knows her agency and desires a love match, or nothing at all. What is your favorite Maryann characteristic? If the three of us were going out for drinks today, in a post-Covid world, where would Maryann take us and what would her drink of choice be?
SR: I absolutely love how Maryann is not easily intimidated and rallies quickly when thrown off balance. Maryann would probably take us to a pub and have a dirty banana.
My Darling Duke
Sinful Wallflowers #1
DS: It’s safe to say, Nicolas has a bit of a wicked reputation. He is also out for revenge for the best possible reasons. (PS – revenge plots are my new catnip BTW!) His reasons for revenge clearly demonstrate Nicolas isn’t as dastardly as he’d like us to believe; he’s actually a really good guy. And he also has a protective streak ten miles wide. What was your favorite scene to write for Nicolas? I also know you, much like myself, are a big ice cream fan, which flavor would be Nicolas’ fave?
SR: Oh man, I loved them all so much. I really loved that scene in the rain on her balcony when she bit his lower lip, tasting the rain, and then said, ‘Racoons do that’. Ha. I loved how it shook him and revealed she was the kind of girl he didn’t know he was looking/longing for.
I am eating ice-cream while I type this. I think he would like something tart but sweet. Cherry Bordeaux or Strawberry cheesecake.
DS: If a new reader were coming to you and Her Wicked Marquess is their first book, what is the one takeaway you’d want to leave them with when they finish reading Maryann and Nicolas’ story?
SR: That they should go and read more Stacy Reid books right away. Seriously.
About Stacy Reid
Stacy Reid is a USA Today bestselling author who writes sensual Historical and Paranormal Romances and is the published author of over twenty books. Her debut novella The Duke’s Shotgun Wedding was a 2015 HOLT Award of Merit recipient in the Romance Novella category, and her bestselling Wedded by Scandal series is recommended as Top picks at Night Owl Reviews, Fresh Fiction Reviews, and The Romance Reviews.
Visit her website at www.stacyreid.com.
Donna should be an empty nester, but she’s not, thanks COVID-19. She’s a voracious reader of all books; she can’t pick just one sub-genre. A staunch supporter of seasoned romance and a lover of cupcakes, you’ll often find her with a cup of tea and a mountainous TBR pile close at hand. Follow her @DonnaSoluri on B+M Bites.
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