"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
June 2002 Issue
The Hot and the Humorous!
PNR Poll: We Want More...Hot and Humorous Romance!
Katherine Deauxville is the author of 25 published novels including A Christmas Romance (writing as Maggie Daniels), which was featured in Good Housekeeping magazine and aired as a top-rated CBS Sunday Night Movie in 1994. Other best-selling romances written as Katherine Deauxville include Blood Red Roses, Daggers of Gold, The Amethyst Crown, The Crystal Heart, and Eyes of Love.
Davis is a former feature writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
copywriter for Young & Rubicam, NY, and research assistant to
the chairman of the department of psychology, Yale University. She
taught three non-credit writing courses at Yale, and was guest writer/artist
at the International Cultural Center, Hammamet, Tunisia. In addition
she has written articles and short stories in the Georgia Review,
Cosmopolitan, Ladies Home Journal, Good House-keeping, Holiday,
and Venture magazines. She is winner of four Reviewers' Choice
Awards from Romantic Times magazine and one Lifetime Achievement Award,
and the Silver Pen Award from Affaire de Coeur magazine.
An Interview with Katherine Deauxville
Maggie, you've had a prestigious career. All in
all you've written twenty five published novels. In your Katherine
Deauxville persona you are best known for writing historical romances
both single titles and novellas for several anthologies. What inspired
you not only to write a contemporary romance, but a
Katherine D.: Well, actually, I've written about as many contemporary books under "Maggie Davis" as I have historicals. Just to name a few: the two Christmas books A CHRISTMAS ROMANCE and MOONLIGHT AND MISTLETOE (written as Maggie Daniels). Then a lot of people remember STAIN DOLL, SATIN DREAMS, MIAMI MIDNIGHT, WILD MIDNIGHT and my horror/gothic FORBIDDEN OBJECTS all written as Maggie Davis. For a full list of my books, both paperback and hardcover, you can go to my web site www.maggiedavis.com.
PNR: I understand that one of your novels, was made into a television movie. Tell us about that.
Katherine D.: Yes, that was A CHRISTMAS ROMANCE starring Olivia Newton-John and Gregory Harrison, which was a top-five rated CBS Sunday Night Movie in 1964. It now plays on cable Lifetime TV during the Christmas season. Last year it was played on Christmas Eve! This is how the TV movie came about: my agent was talking to a Hollywood agent on the telephone who was just "shopping around" looking for something interesting, and finally they came to my book due out in a few months. The agent liked the idea a lot, and I sent him an outline - which is called in Hollywood a "story treatment." A Hollywood TV producer optioned it but it was three years and several people like Dolly Parton, Barbara Mandrell, Amy Grant and Clint Eastwood's former girlfriend, Sondra Locke, later who read it and turned it down before Olivia Newton-John read it and liked it. I went out to visit the set in Vancouver while they were shooting, and took some pictures of the filming that you can see on my web site.
PNR: Okay, lets talk about your new release, OUT OF THE BLUE. The story is set in New York City. The heroine Maryellen Caswell is essentially the average woman. Give us a little background on her.
Katherine D.: Well, she's a pretty interesting person, she's a freelance commercial artist whoworks for Manhattan advertising agencies. She has a beautiful ex-model sister who's married to practically the richest man in the world, Stephen Crump, owner of the Crump Tower.
PNR: The hero is Sub-commander Ur Targon, who is clearly out of this world. Their meeting is rather extraordinary, no? Tell us about their close encounter? How did each of them respond to it?
Katherine D.: Well Maryellen wakes up in bed and finds a space-traveling alien who has landed on "Styrex Three" (Earth) by mistake. He's outraged and annoyed. She seriously thinks she's going crazy. Wouldn't you?
PNR: Maryellen position is definitely between a rock and a hard place. Shes either crazy and needs help, or he's real and needs a new body, fast! She is forced to explore both paths, and each gets them into hot water. Her psychiatrist and his therapy group are even nuttier than she is. They believe in aliens?
Katherine D.: I found out doing research for this book there are a LOT of people who believe in aliens. There are even societies devoted to the belief and study. They take it very seriously.
PNR: Ur is able to separate from Maryellen and manifest himself for short periods. Why exactly does he need a host body if he has one of us own that is clearly humanoid in nature?
Katherine D. He explains that he can't stay materialized for too long, he will convert to pure energy (which is what he did when he was mistakenly transported to Earth). To stay on earth for any time he needs a host body.
PNR: What does Maryellen think of him?
Katherine D.: Gad, she thinks a lot of things when she's not worrying about being crazy! He's a hunk.
PNR: Of course <g>! From time to time Ur needs to rejuvenate himself with liquid sunshine?. Why does he need to ingest massive amounts of O.J.?
Katherine D.: The book explains that for Targon orange juice has a "chelating" effect. He reacts to the pollution on Earth, and the orange juice filters it out of his system. He belches to expel it. The polution, of course, not the orange juice. Yuk.
PNR: While at the psychiatrist's office, Ur has decided that he actually might have a mission on Styrex Three? after all. What would that be?
Katherine D.: Well since Targon is a famed investigator of corrupt bueaucracies on his planet, he's intrigued by an article in TIME magazine that he reads in the psychiatrist's office which he mistakenly interprets as exposing the FBI and CIA as subversive departments plotting to overthrow the US govt. He decides this measly, miserable planet Styrex Three he detests, really does need him to save it. So he decides to stay for a while.
PNR: Ah so it has nothing to do with his gorgeous host <g>. Searching for a new body to fit Ur's exacting specifications goes no better. Before long they have the local police, the FBI, the CDC, and an alien obsessed therapy group on their tail. Ur for his part is a definite alpha male, even when he doesn't know what he's doing, he knows what he is doing. This drives Maryellen crazy. Yet when the chips are down she opts to protect him, when all she had wanted was to be rid of him. What turns the tide for her?
Katherine D. Hey, what woman can resist a golden-haired hunk who gives off sparks when he kisses her? This is romance with whole new parameters!
PNR: One aspect of this month's topic is heat. Clearly these two have that between them. Things get pretty steamy while they're on the lam. Do you think the demand is increasing for hotter romances, or do you think the publishers are finally catching up with the it?
Katherine D.: Well we've had HOT romances for a long time, since the 80's, actually. And now we have a whole new genre, "erotica." What makes Targon and Maryellyn's romance "hot" is, I think, that it gets right down to the sensuous basics. Sort of interstellar sensuousness - it's pretty good, too.
PNR: Clearly this scenario is fraught with humor. Was it fun to write?
Katherine D. It was A LOT of fun to write. A lot of it was really off-the-wall, not having been done before that I know of, and it kept me on my toes. Besides, I loved Targon.
PNR: Do you think humor is important in a romance?
Katherine D.: I once had an editor tell me, "Women readers do NOT think sex is funny!" Obviously she had never made love laughing and giggling - one of the best kinds of sex. But yes, I think sex can be funny. And romance. Romantic comedy is still a great field, even though it gets its best exposure these days in movies.
PNR: I understand you have another humorous romance, THE LAST MALE VIRGIN, in the works. Tell us a little bit about it.
Katherine D.: THE LAST MALE VIRGIN is another screwball comedy. I have three now, OUT OF THE BLUE, THE LAST MALE VIRGIN upcoming in September, and one published ten years ago, HUSTLE, SWEET LOVE, which apparently is something of a classic. Oh yes, I forgot DREAMBOAT, Harlequin #272.
In THE LAST MALE VIRGIN, Leslie, who works as a coordinator for the lecturing guests of her wealthy family's Wimberly Foundation, is having a terrible time with Dr. Peter Havistock, a hunk who survived a plane crash as a teen ager, spentnearly fourteen years living with a Stone Age-tribe in the wilds of Papua New Guinea, and returned to write a bestelling book about it. But on his tour of colleges Peter has the Yalies yowling for more and the girls of Brown going berserk. While his ceremonial G-string is ...authentic...Leslie feels she really doesn't need him to go flaunting his perfect body on every TV screen across the nation. And then he announces on Harry King Live that he's a virgin - and that he's looking for a wife. In fact, that he wants to marry her!
PNR: While we are talking about humor and I wanted to ask about the parodies. Maryellen's sister is married to possibly the worlds wealthiest man, Stephen Crump, who owns Crump Tower, the most exclusive and expensive hotel in NYC. In THE LAST MALE VIRGIN the hero goes on the Harry King Live Show to make his startling announcement. Is this your way of getting us to laugh at ourselves?
Katherine D.: Well, yes. Maybe it's time for a good-natured laugh about as much as possible. Since last September the world has become a place hard to find much to smile about. Screwball comedy is farce, but it lets us laugh at a lot of things. And laughter is the best medicine - and makes us strong.
PNR: I couldn't agree more. What is next for Katherine Deauxville?
Katherine D.: I'd like to bring HUSTLE, SWEET LOVE back into print next year. It has a great following. And believe it or not, fans are asking when I'm going to write another historical. (ENRAPTURED, my Regency, was romantic comedy and the medievals have a lot of humor in them.) I have an idea for another comedy romance, plus maybe another historical, so I'll stay busy.
Novels by Maggie Davis
Writing as Katherine Deauxville
Red Roses (1992)
Featured in this Issue:
OUT OF THE BLUE - The Closest Encounter of Any Kind...
When she woke up that morning, Maryellen wasn't sure whether to call the Men in Black of the men in the white coats - all she knew was that she was gaving an incredibly alien experience. the voice that came out of her mouth wasn't hers (she ceatainly wouldn't swear like that, or in an extraterrestrial tongue!) and though the hand exploring her breast was her own, she'd never had the urge to do that before...
Her sister said she was working to hard, that Manhatten was finally getting to her. She claimed that all this talk of Sub-commander Ur Targon was silly, that the man's supposed quest her one a "Styrex Three" was simply the last alarm bell of Mary ellen's biological clock. But how could either of them deny what was inside of her? (especially when it was a golden god who promised to make her see stars?) Maryellen had to get targon out of her body and heart...If he needed her enough, her could find his own way back in.
A contemporary comedy romance
THE LAST MALE VIRGIN - It had never happened before, but the man was more than Leslie could handle. She'd expected a great deal of publicity for Dr. Peter Havistock - heck, the hunk had survived a plane crash as a teen ager, spent nearly fourteen years living with a Stone Age tribe in the wilds of Papua New Guinea and returned to write a bestselling book about it. But his tour of colleges was too wild. Frankly, Leslie had never seen a doctor of anthropology dress the way he did. And while his ceremonal G-string was...authentic... she didn't see the need for him to go flaunting his perfect body on every TV screen across the nation. And then he announced on Harry King Live that he was a virgin! And that he'd like to marry her!
Well, she decided, there was a first time for everything!
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