Loretta Chase is one of romance’s best-loved authors. Her sensuous, brilliantly researched historical romance novels have earned her dozens of accolades—including New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner. She’s one of my all-time favorite authors and I’m beyond pleased to welcome her here today. Welcome, Loretta!
LC: Thank you! I’m delighted to be here.
1. On your website, you mention that your husband encouraged you to start writing novels. Could you tell us a bit more about what made you switch from writing corporate video scripts to romance novels? Even though they’re both forms of writing, it seems like a big shift and a big risk to take.
LC: I’d always wanted to write a book and had attempted to, but it was like On the Road, in the sense that it spooled on endlessly and should have been written on a big roll of paper, too. This was because, despite all the mountains of books I’d read and courses in English literature I’d taken, I didn’t know how to structure a story.
But a few years’ writing video scripts gave me useful skills, like how to tell a story within given boundaries, how to find the message and stay focused on it, and so on. I had to make boring topics (diamond drill bits, safety-equipment fit testing) interesting. Dialogue I already had a handle on, but video challenged me to pack a lot into a few words. Finally, working for corporate clients gave me a sense of how a company operates, which cured my “I’m an artiste” mind set. In a nutshell, I learned professionalism.
So the dream was always there, but video provided experience and discipline and confidence—and my husband, who had more faith in me than I had in myself, urged me to follow my dream.
2. That’s so sweet—and I know we’re all glad he did that! In 1995, your novel Lord of Scoundrels was published, and it’s regularly topped lists of best-loved romance novels ever since. It’s one of the books I recommend to people who are curious about romance. Could you tell that it would be a special book as you were writing it? How do you feel about it now?
LC: I knew it was a strong book when I wrote it. Both Dain and Jessica took hold of my imagination with extreme ferocity, and that made it feel as though the story was there—in my brain and my heart—just needing to be written. It was a rare situation, for me, of seeing the movie running in my head, every single day as I sat down to work. Every book is a different experience, and some flow more smoothly or swiftly than others, but that one had an unusually powerful engine. I still think it’s a strong book and I’m proud of it. But I will admit, I never expected it to last so long and continue to be received with so much affection.