We each answer the same 4 questions, and then tap 3 additional authors. (The three ladies are linked at the bottom of this post.) Here goes!
1. What am I working on now?
I am working on a Renaissance-era trilogy sparked by the 1519 gathering of the “Order of the Golden Fleece” in Barcelona Cathedral. Members of the Order included sovereigns and nobles from across Europe – including England’s Henry VIII, and Christian II of Denmark and Norway.
That’s where my Hansens come in. Because these powerful kings did not actually travel to Spain and sit in Barcelona Cathedral working out their issues – they sent their knights. And since the identity of those knights is not documented, I’m making the man representing King Christian II one of my Hansen heroes.
2. How does my work differ from other books in its genre?
In the historical romance genre, kilted warriors are the powerhouse, followed by regency-era stories of English nobility. I made a decision to go another direction: all of my heroes (and one heroine, so far) are members of the fictional Hansen family out of Arendal, Norway. Different centuries, continents, and generations – same bloodline.
Then, I ferret out obscure – but interesting – bits of history and take my characters through them.
I also have crimes in most of my stories, which sparked a five-book series featuring a deaf private investigator in 1700s Norway. I think these components makes my books rather unique, don’t you?
3. Why do I write what I do?
First, I love reading historical romance – if the history is correct.
Second, I like long stories which follow the same characters for an extended time. For that reason, I usually write connected trios or actual trilogies.
Third, once I got going, I found a wealth of opportunities with my Norsemen. I’m having a blast!
4. How does my writing process work?
The pieces come to me in this order:
1st Situations/Settings: What happened and where?
2nd Characters: What Hansen was there? Whom did he meet?
3rd Characters Deepen: What trauma made the hero and heroine the damaged people that they are when we meet them? What are they looking for? What stands in their way?
4th Subplot: How can other characters and situations flesh out the story?
5th The End: How does the story resolve?
With this basic structure in place, I write the story in a straight line from beginning to end. And, yes, my characters do surprise me along the way!
Rhonda Plumhoff – Literary Chocolate – Recipes based on current book characters.