What is the title of your book?
I'm currently calling it Indecent Proposal, however, that could change.
Where did the idea for the book come from?
The book began as a romance, but there were several suspenseful plot points in it that I felt it would be a better story if written as a romantic suspense, so I'm rewriting early chapters to inject more suspense and drop in a few clues while still adhering to the building romance between the protagonists. The original idea was conceived after I had written a wine country story and enjoyed the research so much that I decided to set another wine country story in my own backyard. (The Santa Cruz mountains host a number of wineries since the micro-climates here are conducive to viticulture.
When genre does your book fall under?
Indecent Proposal is my first venture into the area of romantic suspense. It's a sub-genre I enjoy reading. My goal is to capture both the suspense and danger of a suspense novel while keeping the love interest between my diamond-in-the-rough wine consolidator and a sheltered young French American woman who is thrust into managing her family's small mountain winery.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
That's a difficult question for me since I watch few films. Paul Brandon, the hero, comes from a Midwestern steel town and he's had a hard-scrabble life. He's not used to the finer things, but he very much hungers for them. Julia Marchant, on the other hand is the only daughter of French immigrants. She's had a sheltered life and a convent education. Her world is art—restoring European frescoes—until her father suddenly dies and she's called home to take over the family winery.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of the book:
Swiss-educated heiress inherits California winery and clashes with handsome, business-savvy partner bent on making his fortune, that is, if he can keep them both alive.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agent?
I am currently writing for an amazing small press—Turquoise Morning Press. They have published the last eight of my books plus a Christmas novella. I have been represented by an agent, however for these books I am unagented.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I'm still working on the first draft. This story has undergone quite a change since its initial concept, so more study into what makes a romantic suspense work is required. Generally, a rough draft takes me about five months.
What other books would you compare this to within your genre?
I'm not sure I have a book in mind that Indecent Proposal could be compared to, however, I very much admire the writing of Sharon Sala and Brenda Novak, and I hope my story will be reminiscent of stories by those two talented ladies.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I've always been attracted to the courageous heroine who also has humility. A heroine who must overcome huge obstacles to reach her HEA. Julia is such a person. I felt I wanted to tell her story and show the push pull of her traditional ideas against Paul's drive to modernize the winery for bulk, blended wine. Both have much to gain and lose, and they also need to gain the cooperation and respect of one another to succeed. They have to learn to work together both for the winery to succeed and to outwit a villain who wants the winery at whatever cost.
What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
I think the setting—my own backyard—is fascinating, almost a character in itself. I hope the reader will relish the blue-collar Paul as he struggles to cope in a world with which he is unfamiliar. The Old World culture of the cadre of vintners on the mountain are as foreign to Paul as a trip through the Louvre.