Harlequin Author Interview
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Could you please introduce yourself?
Hi, I'm Carole Mortimer and I've been writing for Harlequin Mills & Boon since 1978. I've written over two hundred books, in contemporary and Regency romance. I was the very proud recipient of the 2015 prestigious Romance Writers of America's Lifetime Achievement Award. I'm a USA TODAY bestselling author, Entertainment Weekly Top 10 romance author and the 2014 RT Book Reviews Pioneer of Romance. In 2012, I was recognized by Queen Elizabeth II for "outstanding service to literature." I'm married to my soul mate, Peter. We have six sons, and we live on the beautiful Isle of Man.
How did you become an author for Harlequin?
I've read romance novels since I was eleven years old. Several years later I decided I wanted to try writing one myself. It was rejected, but came back with some very helpful advice. My next book was accepted, and the rest, as they say, is history!
What made you want to become a writer? Have you always wanted to be one?
I had never even imagined that I would, or could, ever write a single love story that would be published. I had always wanted to be a nurse, but a fall down metal stairs ended that career before it had even begun. I worked in an office after that, and my imagination just soared, and I wrote my first romance novel.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have so many I couldn't even begin to name them all. I just love to read; I call myself a bookaholic-a-day. I read books in all genres, by hundreds of authors.
What's your favorite book?
"Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon.
Which of your books do you like most and why?
I don't have a favorite, except perhaps the one I happen to be writing at the time. My characters are all very real to me, in fact they tend to take over the story and I just end up writing it for them!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everywhere! Doesn't matter where I am or what I'm doing, I have a story line going through my head, along with dialogue I just have to write down before I forget it.
How do you choose your characters' names?
I sometimes think the characters choose those themselves, too. I will often start off writing a book, having named the hero and heroine, and partway through the book they will tell me that isn't their name at all, that it's something else.
Have you ever read one of your stories as a manga? If so, what did you think of it?
I have. I love and treasure the manga copies of my books.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It takes four to five weeks for me to write one of my books.
Do you have any advice to give aspiring authors?
Read, read and read even more. And study the market you want to write for, whatever it might be. Discipline is also a large part of being an author?setting aside a certain amount of hours a day to just sit down and write.
How do you spend an average day?
I write from nine in the morning until one o'clock, then have lunch with my husband. Afternoons I do something else entirely - housework, stuff like that. Then I cook dinner for the two of us. Watch TV with my husband for two or three hours. Then I work again for another two hours late at night.
Do you have any interests other than reading?
I love to cross-stitch - I have a Regency-style dolls' house that I have cross-stitched all the carpets for. I also like to travel. All of my children are grown up now, so my husband and I like to go away on long weekends together.
Do you have a favorite place to write?
It changes. For years I wrote in the cafe of the local airport. Then I wrote in my dining room. Nowadays I sit in the breakfast room and write.
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