Interview with a Romance Writer
Meet… Joan Chandler
Welcome, Joan! I am so excited to have you as a guest today. You’ve got your first book coming out this month on the 24th with Siren BookStrand Publishing. Could you tell us the name of it, and what it is about?
Joan: First, thank you for having me. I appreciate the opportunity to share some tidbits about my book with you and your followers. It’s an erotic romance called Perfectly Imperfect, and my heroine is Alison Baker, a successful businesswoman living in Houston, TX. She’s a tall redhead with the proverbial “pretty face” who has struggled with weight her whole life. She has finally slimmed down but hits a plateau before reaching her goal weight. She’s determined to succeed, though, and decides a gym membership is the only way to shed those last lingering pounds. As she psyches herself up on the way into the fitness center to sign up, Ali literally bumps into gorgeous Brit, Daniel Wells, as he walks out. He’s tall, muscular, blue-eyed and speaks in that delicious British accent! In other words, he’s exactly the sort of guy Ali thinks would never even notice her.
Ali is surprised to discover Daniel not only works at the gym but has been assigned as her personal trainer. That gives them plenty of time to begin to get to know one another. When unforeseen circumstances later put Ali in a predicament, Daniel uses the situation to let her know in a most unconventional way that he’s totally into her. Ali thinks it’s too good to be true but can’t help falling for him. She is also 100% convinced her heart will only get broken in the end, yet she decides to enjoy the ride until it comes to a complete stop.
But when Ali finds herself in an embarrassing situation, it serves as a glaring reminder of what she has felt all along: He’s clearly out of her league.
Will Ali cut her losses and run? Or is Daniel the one addiction that proves harder to resist than chocolate?
Being a “curvy girl “myself, I can really relate to Alison. I think a lot of women will want to read a book where “Curvy Girl” gets “Gorgeous Guy”. Did you have someone in mind when you were writing about “Gorgeous Guy”?
Joan: Although I don’t base my main characters on any real people, I will confess that I often have a celebrity’s looks or voice in mind. It helps me visualize the story in my head while I’m writing it if I have someone real to imagine doing all the action! And if I had written a screenplay instead of a manuscript, I know exactly who I would cast in the role of Daniel Wells. He’s not a big name in the States yet, but that will change soon enough. There is a British actor named Richard Armitage who has inexplicably failed to crack into the international scene. But he has been in several BBC projects. Probably my favorite to date is North & South (which is nothing like the American mini-series of the same name starring Patrick Swayze). Richard Armitage is a very handsome man, and his voice is amazing. I had no trouble at all imagining Richard’s voice speaking Daniel’s dialogue! Oh, and that next project that Mr. Armitage has coming up just happens to be the role of Thorin Oakenshield, so I believe what little anonymity he has retained up to now will be a thing of the past as soon as The Hobbit is released in December.
I will DEFINITELY be purchasing this book now! Speaking of sexy Brits, what made you choose to have a Brit as the hero and not an American?
Joan: I have never been to the UK, but I have been around a lot of Brits. I’ve worked for two companies that were British owned and I worked side by side with quite a lot of ex-pats. Also, the father of one of my son’s best friends is a Londoner. I love to hear them speak, and I have picked up many of their expressions. When I decided to write a story about a woman (who might be judged by others as not quite measuring up to perfection) actually landing the quintessential perfect man, I could only imagine him as British.
Since your book involves a woman concerned about weight loss, are there some good tips or advice woven into the story?
Joan: Not really anything in detail, because it is predominantly just a love story. I would hope that the message comes across that first and foremost we must learn to love ourselves exactly as we are. And, in my opinion, until we can do that we can’t truly accept the love of someone else because we don’t trust it to last. That is one of the struggles Ali deals with: she thinks she isn’t “perfect” enough to keep Daniel, and he tries everything he can to prove to her he’s already all in. I would have to also say there is a focus on overall health, not looks. Daniel stresses this point to Ali throughout the entire book. He gets on his soapbox about having a sensible approach to fitness and encourages her to make sure she doesn’t try to starve herself to have quick results, but wants her to shoot for a more slow-but-steady approach.
What are you working on now, that we can be looking forward to after we read this one?
Joan: I have three other completed books, but I’m making edits to them before I pitch them to a publisher.
One is a mainstream romance. It’s about a woman who takes a temporary assignment in Germany where she meets the son of a business colleague. They quickly fall in love but realize going into the relationship that it’s temporal. It’s about the choices they have to make based on the fact they have a narrow window of time to be together, and how they deal with the inevitable separation when her assignment in Germany ends. The other two are Young Adult, or possibly New Adult. One is set on a farm in a very small town in southern Georgia and a girl who meets a mysterious stranger and falls in love with him despite the fact he warns her she shouldn’t. The second YA book is the only one I’ve ever written from a male perspective. It’s about a fictitious celebrity who has a narrow escape with a crazy stalker, and flees to a tiny town to try to hide out while he decides if a Tinseltown career is worth the risks that come with megafame. Of course, he meets a girl in this one-stop-sign town and eventually must choose between going back to Hollywood or giving it up for a chance to return to normalcy.
Thanks so much for popping by, Joan. I wish you much success with your new book.
Thank you for having me, Kate. It’s been fun.
Readers, remember to check out www.sirenbookstrand.com on January 24th to order your copy of Perfectly Imperfect. You can read more from Joan on her website at www.joanchandler.wordpress.com. And as Joan says…