Tracy Anne Warren is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen historical romance novels and novellas, including the Byrons of Braebourne series, the Mistress trilogy, and the Trap trilogy. She currently lives in Maryland.
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What inspired you to write romances–in particular, historical regency romances?
From my earliest days, I’ve made up stories, ones that generally involved some sort of romantic relationship, so when I decided I wanted to write novels, it was only natural that I chose romance. As for why Regency historical? I’ve loved the era since I read my first Regency historical romance as a teenager. Additionally, I have always adored the Georgian, Colonial and Regency periods, gravitating in my study of history to the British Isles, the English kings, queens and nobility, so choosing the Regency seemed a natural fit. There is something very special about this time period with its careful manners and elegant style, the glamour of the Ton and the gritty heroism of the Peninsular Wars. For me, the Regency has an almost modern sophistication while still retaining all the gentle grace and slower style of the old world. Plus, the clothes are wonderful, especially the men’s. Who doesn’t love a handsome man in a tailcoat and breeches with sexy chapeau bras tucked beneath his arm?
On average, how long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
Well, it definitely depends on the book since no two novels are the same. Generally, however, it takes four to five months for me to draft a novel, then come the revisions, copy edits and page proofs, which add additional time.
This is your second trilogy that’s being published in three consecutive months. How hard was it to write three back-to-back books?
Writing a back-to-back trilogy is very intense, I won’t kid you, but it is also extremely rewarding. The first book is probably the most straightforward since initially it’s the only one on which I’m actively working. But once that book is done, it’s a race to get the next two completed while also dealing with revisions, copy edits and page proofs on the earlier books. They all overlap until the last book is in the galley stage and finally they are finished.
Your last trilogy, The “Trap” trilogy, focused on characters that found themselves trapped into marriage. Now, this new series is about mistresses. Is there any particular reason why you chose these themes of marriage traps and mistresses? Which one was more fun to explore and write about?
I loved writing both trilogies. Each one was a unique and exciting journey that was both fun and challenging. I didn’t deliberately set out to write about the themes of marriage traps and mistresses before I began the books. The initial story ideas for The Husband Trap and My Fair Mistress came to me as stand-alone books that later formed the inspiration for the other novels in both trilogies. The Trap books are tied together by family high jinks, duty and deceptions, with lots of fun and laughter added in, while the Mistress trilogy is linked by the bonds of friendship, instant, irresistible desire, and an exploration of the lengths people will go to protect and cherish those they love. I had a great time writing both trilogies, so please don’t ask me to choose which one I enjoyed more, since each is special in its own way.
How are your characters in the “Mistress” trilogy different from your last one?
I think my Mistress Trilogy characters have a slightly darker edge to them than the folks in the Trap books. That’s not to say my new characters don’t know how to have a good time—because they certainly do––and all my heroes are incredibly sexy and debonair, but their backgrounds are fraught with more personal pain and loss, while their present circumstances put more than just their hearts at risk.
I hate to ask you—I know that all your books are like your babies and should be equally loved—but which is your favorite Mistress book? Who are your favorite characters in this new series?
You’re right, I do love them all and it’s very naughty of you to make me choose. All kidding aside, I would have to say that Rafe and Julianna in My Fair Mistress are my favorite couple because they both risk and sacrifice so much in order to be together and find lasting love.
In My Fair Mistress, Rafe Pendragon (I truly love that name) is a rich financier but not a member of the Ton. How fun was it to write about a non-Ton member?
It was fun and presented some interesting opportunities as well as challenges since his character stretches the usual boundaries of Regency romance. Rafe is a resilient man for whom life has not always been easy. As the illegitimate son of a nobleman, he’s been both poor and rich, learning that his intelligence and cunning are his strongest weapons. He knows a man is more than his family name and lineage and he is proud of what he has accomplished with his own determination and skill. Rafe was a great character to write because he is a maverick and a real self-made man.
All three books in your Mistress trilogy are deliciously passionate and sexy, do you find it hard to write such incredibly intense scenes?
No, I wouldn’t describe writing love scenes as hard. Intense––yes. Challenging at times––definitely. But not hard. My characters relationships and passion for each other is equally intense and naturally flood the pages. When my characters let loose, I find the words do, too.
Last month, I asked our dear readers to tell me what their favorite fall dates ideas are. I’ve gotten some really great ones, so I have to ask you, what’s yours?
Fall is such a beautiful time of year with the leaves turning color and the temperatures growing cooler. A great date outing would be to go apple picking at a local orchard. Being outside among all the leafy trees, reaching for that same sweet piece of fruit, is sure to be a fun frolic. Maybe lunch afterward at an intimate, romantic restaurant, then home for a snuggle on the sofa in front of a roaring fire while the two of us sip on hot mulled cider, or warm spiced wine, and each other, of course.
Any ideas on what your next book (or hopefully books!) will be about?
Of course I have ideas! I can’t share many details yet, but I believe the books will be the start of a new series, rather than a trilogy this time. They will be Regency-set and will feature a new family I’m hoping my readers will adore. I’m eager to get started on these new novels. I’ll be sharing details on my website as I know them, so please visit me at www.tracyannewarren.com.
Thanks so much for inviting me to chat with you and all the Pillowtalk readers. I’ve had a truly wonderful time!