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by Barbara Sheridan
Leslie Tramposch: Managing Editor - Sara Reyes: Marketing and Publicity
To submit articles of interest to our readers Email Barbara.

November 2000 Issue

Dial "O" for Other-worldly Assistance!

NEW! PNR Poll: We Want More............Secondary Characters!

Lynn Bailey
A.ka. Cynthia Pratt

Lynn Bailey has written 18 books for Berkley, starting with her first Regency romance in 1991. She lives in Maryland, with one husband, one child, one dog and one cat. (Yes, the cat should come first but he can't read and we won't tell him!)

An Interview with Lynn Bailey

Barb S: Lynn, you've written several other paranormal novels for the Jove Magical Love line. Do you have a preference for fantasy/magical elements within this romance sub-genre?

Lynn B: Absolutely. When I was little, I loved to read *anything* with a Magical element -- Nesbitt, Eager, Lewis, all the big names in children's Fantasy fiction. This was the world I wanted to escape into -- with talking lions, magical knights, wonderful blending of the fantastic with the mundane. So when I had the chance to start writing this kind of book, I jumped on it. My first one, FLOWERS BY MOONLIGHT, integrated quite a few elements from my early reading, many of which were referenced more or less subtly in the book.

Barb S: This month's topic is romantic interference, i.e. love relationships that need a little push. The matchmaker in your recent release, SPLENDID YOU, is a rather interesting character.

Lynn B: Every romantic relationship needs a little push -- most people are too busy with their own lives to reach out and take that risk. But a pushy grandmother, uncle, or enchanted spirit can make a big difference.

Barb S: The discovery of An-ket and her artifacts is a major coupe for the hero, British Egyptologist Simon Archer, is it not? How does this come about?

Lynn B: An-ket's tomb was discovered by Simon Archer when he was looking for a lost goat in Egypt. Unbeknownst to him (not that he'd believe it anyway) he carries her spirit back to England with her grave goods. This discovery really makes his name. When An-Ket's spirit is released, she has an important role to play in Simon's future. But Simon isn't going to risk believing in a revenant spirit, not when he's already going head-to-head against a fraudulent medium.

Barb S: What does Simon think of Julia's assertions about talking to An-ket?

Lynn B: When Julia Hanson, who has upset many of his notions as it is, claims to be speaking with a long-dead spirit, he naturally assumes that her 'learning hath made her mad.' Not as mad as his attitude has!

Barb S: Simon is a man of his era. He rather envisions women as charming but utterly in need of a man's wisdom and protection. He has a mother and several sisters but seems to be a bit of a loner. It seems rather contradictory that he feels a rather soul deep connection with one Julia Hanson, a self taught and gifted translator of hieroglyphics, with whom he has had a correspondence, How does he reconcile these conflicting feelings?

Lynn B: Quite a few people have objected to Simon's apparent misogyny, but the Answer lies in the first sentence of your question. He is a man of his time, The early Victorian period. By putting women on a pedestal, the men of that era believed that they were protecting and glorifying woman-kind. They can't be blamed if they were actually making it impossible for a woman to be anything but decorative. But plenty of women did break free of that expected pattern. Julia is just going to take Simon along as she shatters stereotypes. His sisters and mother are completely the opposite of Julia. They have been content to let Simon make the decisions, influencing him in a very passive way. He isn't prepared for Julia's 'take-no-prisoners' behavior yet in some deep-seated way he admires and respects her for it. He struggles, but cannot help but succumb.

Barb S: Perhaps Simon can be excused for his opinions, Julia, after all is a rather unique woman.

Lynn B: I envisioned Julia as a natural force, a tidal wave That sweeps him off his feet, instead of the usual male-female dynamic.

Barb S: With a ghost running interference, and several colorful secondary characters, how did you manage to keep the story so focused on Simon and Julia and their growing feelings for each other?

Lynn B: It's vital in a romance to keep the story focused on the two leads. After 17 books (SPLENDID YOU is #18 for me) it does get easier to do this, but it's always tempting to stray. It's important never to stray too far and helps if you can pull the lead characters into the activities that resolve the secondary character relationships. Also, try your best to stay in the two lead characters' heads. Using other characters' POV can be useful but does distance the reader from the main storyline. No matter what else is going on in a story, the writer must remember that it is for the romance that the readers have picked up the book. When the writer forgets it, the reader grows frustrated -- I certainly do!

Barb S: There is quite a bit of humor in this story as one might expect. Do you feel humor is an important element in a romance?

Lynn B: Humor is vital, in my opinion. It gives the reader an 'in' and helps her identify the motivations and personal style of the character. I prefer characters who face their problems with humor and determination, rather than moaning and letting the world run them into the ground. All my characters, esp. the females, have problems that they must overcome before becoming fully happy. In SPLENDID YOU, Julia's problem is a biggie. She was born too soon, into a time that won't let her become the fully rounded person she was meant to be. If she can't overcome this prejudice (as personified in the hero) she realizes that she is going to end up bitter, twisted, and lonely.

Barb S: What is next for Lynn Bailey?

Lynn B: My next book is a straight historical, an Irish Eyes called THE IRISH BRIDE, out in February. It's strongly influenced by THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, which, to my mind, left a lot of unanswered questions and if there's one thing I hate in a story, it's unanswered questions! I moved the plot to the West of Ireland, 1816, and let the characters run. I had a lot of fun doing it. I hope to continue writing paranormal romance from time to time -- because I just love it! In the meantime, my first three fantasies, FLOWERS BY MOONLIGHT, KISSED BY STARLIGHT, MAGIC BY DAYLIGHT, are still available. If you prefer Tolkien-type fairies over Disney's, the Mag Mell trilogy might be what you'd like. They remain very dear to my heart. (FLOWERS was nominated here for Favorite Overall Paranormal last year and I'd like to say a big 'Thank you -- mwaaah! --- to everybody!)

Novels by Cynthia Pratt

Writing as Lydia Browne for Jove Homespun Romance

Heart Strings - September 1993 (ISBN: 1557739412)
Wedding Bells - January 1994 (ISBN: 1557739714)
Passing Fancy - Book 4 - A Town Called Harmony; October 1994 (ISBN: 0786500468)
Heart's Desire
- Love Potion Anthology February 1995 - (ISBN: 0515115495)
Summer Lightning - July 1995 (ISBN: 0515116572)
Honeysuckle Song - January 1996 (ISBN: 0515117862)
Autumn Fires - August 1996 (ISBN: 0515119288)
Spring Dreams - May 1997 (ISBN: 0515120685)
Snowflake Wishes - November 1997 (ISBN: 0515121819)

Writing as Cynthia Bailey-Pratt for Jove Regency Romance

The Temporary Bride - September 1991 (ISBN: 0515106658)
Gentleman's Folly - December 1991 (ISBN: 0515107166)
Queen of Hearts - August 1992 (ISBN: 0515108995)
A Lady in Love - February 1993 (ISBN: 0515110418)
A Lady in Disguise - July 1993 (ISBN: 051511135X)
Lady Fair - Summertime Splendor Collection; July 1993 (ISBN: 0515108774)

Cynthia Pratt



Buy it now!

Jove Books
June, 2000
304 pages
ISBN: 0515128686

London, England, 1848. Egyptology has always fascinated Julia Hanson. A self-taught hieroglypics expert, she is unable to pursue her occupation because of the societal prejudice agains her gender. Her only hope is to attract the attention of Dr. Simon Archer, the famed Egyptologist who discovered the tomb or Twelfth Dynasty Princess An-ket, and offer her services.

Simon is appalled at Julia's interest in "many pursuits," and quickly dismisses her, to her outrage and disappointment. Overnight, she locks herself in the museum exhibiting Simon's artifacts to expand her Egyptian knowledge. But a flash of lightning awakens the spririt of An-ket, who decides to help Julia win not only Simon's confidence byt his heart as well...

More Paranormal Romance

Buy it now!

Jove Books
Dec., 1999
336 pages
ISBN: 0515127019

Buy it now!

Jove Books
May, 1999
320 pages
ISBN: 0515125059

Buy it now!

Jove Books
Feb., 1999
ISBN: 0515124486


Featured in this Issue:

Interviews with :
Holly Fuhrmann

Kathleen Nance

Lynn Bailey
Romance News:
Photos from RT Houston

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