The Long and the Short of It is very excited to have Lucy Gordon, multi-RITA winner and finalist and Harlequin author, with us this week. Lucy has had an exciting life which filters through into her writing. She told me she got interested in writing while she was in school. “Way back at school I always did well in ‘composition’ class,” she said. “I used to get invited to read my compositions out loud, and it went to my head. I decided that I’d go in for a career where my creations would continue to be ‘read aloud’. I was that conceited. People who know me would tell you that, in some ways, I still am!!!!!”
If she’s conceited about her writing, it’s with good cause. She’s been writing romance novels for over twenty years and now has a backlist of almost eighty books. Before she became a novelist, she was a featured writer on a woman’s magazine. She told me, “I interviewed lots of stars, Roger Moore, Warren Beatty, George Segal. And I had lots of unusual experiences, like going out with the flying ambulance service in Scotland, that I was later able to use in books.”
She’s also learned a lot about herself through her writing. She told me, “I’ve discovered that I’m two people. One is intensely organized and can carry a plot in her head for months without needing to write it down. The other one is vague and dithering and can never remember where she’s put anything.”
She and her husband make their home in the English midlands, along with a dog (Toby, a Springer spaniel) and cat (Bertie). The romance she shares with her husband, a painter, could have come out of one of her own books and is, in her words, “the most romantic love story I have ever known.” He likes to cook and she loves anything he makes. He’s an early bird, while she’s a night owl. She told me, “He gets up at 6.30, takes the dog out for a run on the common, and gets home about nine, opening the front door very quietly, so as not to wake me.” Now, isn’t that one of the most romantic things you’ve heard of? No wonder she’s kept him for twenty years ;-) She said that even though her family and friends were aghast at the idea of her accepting a proposal from a man she’d met less than twenty-four hours later, “we are still married, still happy and in love.” They enjoy traveling and their destinations often work their way into her stories. She told me they recently took a trip to China for the first time, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a new setting appear in an upcoming novel. They also take yearly (at least) trips back to Venice where they met and fell in love.
Describing her writing space, she says, “I’ve taken over the second bedroom as my office, where I have endless bookshelves and my computer on a very large desk. It has to be large because my cat, Bertie, lives there and jumps up onto it to be fed. No matter what stage of the book I’m at I have to stop and put him first, otherwise I’m trying to type through his legs. Sometimes he goes to sleep on top of the computer, or the printer. He’s wonderful company.”
I asked her to tell us a little about her upcoming books.
I’ve just finished writing THE ITALIAN’S CINDERELLA BRIDE, about a young woman who’s lost part of her memory, and who travels to Italy, to find the man she once loved, hoping he can tell her about herself. She’s discovered wandering in the rain by his friend, a count who lives alone in a deserted palace in Venice. He’s a troubled man, haunted by a tragic past. Together they find strength, but will their love be enough to banish the ghosts that still torment them both?
I love writing about Venice, the magic little city on the water, where no cars are allowed, and the silence speaks… Now, like any true Venetian, I think of it as ‘my’ city, the best place in the world.
Her latest books released have been the last two about the Rinucci brothers. She loves writing about Italian heroes, and it shows in the main characters of these books. Ruggiero, from The Mediterranean Rebel’s Bride (October 2007) is haunted by the memory of Sapphire, a glamorous woman he loved for two weeks before she vanished. Then Polly comes to find him in Naples, to tell him that Sapphire, her cousin, is dead and has left him a son. The last in the Rinucci series is The Millionaire Tycoon’s English Rose, (December 2007) about Francesco, who falls in love with Celia, and wants to shield her from every wind that blows, because she’s blind. But Celia is feisty and independent and won’t be protected. They have to separate before they can find each other.
Be sure and visit Lucy at her website, and read more about her very own real-life romantic fairy tale.