Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Q&A with Becky Lower

Please welcome Becky Lower to the blog today.
Becky loves to write about two people finding each other and falling in love, amid the backdrop of a great setting, be it present day middle America or on a covered wagon headed west in the 1850s. Contemporary and historical romances are her specialty. Becky is a PAN member of RWA and is a member of the Contemporary and Historic RWA chapters. She has a degree in English and Journalism from Bowling Green State University, and lives in an eclectic college town in Ohio with her puppy-mill rescue dog, Mary.

Where so you get your inspiration for your characters and your plot? 

I was fortunate to have the Cotillion Ball mark its appearance in American society in the decade prior to the Civil War. This is such a rich period in American history, and my characters are living and reacting to the changes in society. So far, there’s been the struggle to integrate the American Indian, the abolitionist movement, the expansion of the railroad and the Gold Rush. There are plenty more events, big and small, in the years to come, including the Civil War. 

Do you write outlines before you begin or just start writing and let the story evolve…do you know the ending before it is written? 

I usually know the beginning and the end before I start, but I keep it vague in order to let the magic happen. I like to have my characters surprise me. I do follow Blake Snyder’s beat sheet to make certain I’m hitting on all cylinders, and lately, I’ve found that writing a synopsis first helps, too. Although my finished product seems to stray from the synopsis a bit. 

Favorite place to write? 

I love my office. I head there every morning with a cup of coffee and my little dog, Mary. On a good day, I write until noon or so, then spend time on Facebook, twitter, etc. I wish I could say this was a daily routine, but I’d be lying. 

How do you choose names for your characters? 

Names are the most fun thing for me. My Cotillion Ball series has nine children named for herbs and spices. I’ve also featured a family with children named for the virtues. And for my Irish hero in Book 4, I wanted an unusual Irish name. I had been playing with a different story line, and an Irish ghost named Parr, which means “from the stable.” It fit with my hero’s occupation, so I went with it.
Do you treat your writing like a 9 to 5 job and keep writing hours or are you moved to write in a less structured way? 

Ideally, I like to keep to a structure. I’m my most creative in the morning, so I try to work on the WIP while the house is quiet. Afternoons are spent on social media, or writing guest blogs, things like that.  
How do you research settings to make them believable? 

I love to travel within America, and am always up for a road trip. I’ve walked the historic cobblestone streets of St. Louis. I traveled the route of the Pony Express and the Oregon Trail. I’ve touched the ruts still visible from the thousands of wagons that traversed this country in the 1800s. I love this country and have the utmost respect for the men and women who fought to tame it. My writing gives me an excuse to immerse myself in the history of the country when this land was raw and rough. I may never be Laura Ingalls Wilder and be able to live on the edge of civilization, but I can write about it.

Becky's new book is The Duplicitous Debutante which is book 6 in her Cotillion Ball series.

In 1859, ladies of New York society were expected to do three things well: find a husband, organize a smooth-running household, and have children.

Rosemary Fitzpatrick’s agenda is very different. As the author of the popular Harry Hawk dime novels, she must hide her true identity from her new publisher, who assumes the person behind the F. P. Elliott pen name is male. She must pose as his secretary in order to ensure the continuation of her series. And in the midst of all this subterfuge, her mother is insisting that she become a debutante this year.

Henry Cooper is not the typical Boston Brahmin. Nor is he a typical publisher. He’s entranced by Mr. Elliott’s secretary the moment they meet, and wonders how his traditional-thinking father will react when he brings a working class woman into the family. Because his intentions are to marry her, regardless.

Rosemary’s deception begins to unravel at the Cotillion ball, when Henry recognizes her. The secretarial mask must come off, now that he knows she is a member of New York society. But she can’t yet confess who she truly is until she knows if Henry will accept her as F. P. Elliott.

The more time they spend together, the closer they become. But when Rosemary reveals her true identity to him, will Henry be able to forgive her or has her deceit cost her the man she loves?

Want a chance to win The Duplicitous Debutante? Check out the giveaway below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Duplicitous Debutante Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, October 7
Interview & Giveaway at Historical Romance Lover
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, October 8
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Thursday, October 9
Review at The Lit Bitch
Guest Post at Historical Tapestry

Friday, October 10
Review & Giveaway at Fic Central
Spotlight & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Monday, October 13

Tuesday, October 14
Review at SOS Aloha
Spotlight & Giveaway at Susan Heim on Writing

Thursday, October 16
Spotlight at Flashlight Commentary

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  1. Great interview, Becky! Love the era as well!

    1. Thanks, Linda, for joining me here today. It was a fascinating time.

  2. Lovely interview, Becky! I love picking out names as well. I use the census for the area to find common names during the period, which has the added bonus of allowing me to dig around in the family tree a bit. :)

  3. Thanks, Marin. I've used my family's tree to uncover suitable names, too, I'll admit.

  4. We followed part of the Oregon Trail on a vacation out west. Those wagon wheel ruts are really something! Best of luck with your books, Becky.

    1. Thanks, HiDee, for visiting today. It sounds as thought you're a woman after my own heart.

  5. I'm so very glad to "meet" you on this blog post, Becky! I just don't understand why I didn't "meet" you before and get familiarized with your writing. But better late than never I say! Historical romance is my fave reading genre and if it's about early America, so much the better since I don't come across it often. I believe there is much to write about in our not-so-old U.S. history, and I read it whenever I can. Thanks so much for your tour and this post so that I could go shopping on Amazon for a book of yours. :-) jdh2690@gmail.com

    1. You're right, Janice--better late than never. That's the beauty of digital books. They never get taken off the shelves. I'm glad you found me, and hope you enjoy my books.

  6. I look forward to reading your latest book, Becky. I'm intrigued with the "Penny Dreadful" novels, and this plot sounds fascinating and filled with conflict as a woman writer tries to find her way in a man's world. I believe I'm already in love with Rosemary! May you have many, many sales!

    1. Thanks for the visit, Deborah. Rosemary's a very relatable character for us writers. Hope you enjoy the book.

  7. Sounds great Becky, love your books!! Nice interview, I love to see how the author's mind works :)

    Dottie :)

    1. Thank you, Dottie. I love doing these type of interviews. Just supported your Thunderclap campaign. Let me know how it works for you.