Patricia Barletta - A Dangerous Duke and a Spy's Message
Patricia Barletta is an award-winning author of historical and paranormal romance fiction. After a fulfilling career teaching English Literature in high school, she decided to go back to school and obtained a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Stonecoast (University of Southern Maine). When she’s not at a yoga class doing her best downward dog, Patricia is usually tending her hydrangeas or hosting a brunch for her writing group. Patricia loves to travel and often finds the inspiration for her dark heroes, strong heroines, and romantic settings while on a research trip. At the end of each journey, she loves going home to her cozy, historical old house outside of Boston where she weaves her romantic and magical tales. As our Author of the Day, Barletta tells us about her latest book, The Duke's Dangerous Kiss.
Please give us a short introduction to what The Duke's Dangerous Kiss is about.
Jillian St. Clare has made many, many mistakes during her first season in London. When she overhears a clandestine conversation and a secret message falls into her shoe, what does she do? She hides the note, of course, so she can read it later. She doesn't think one more mistake will make a difference. But when the owner of the note, the gorgeous, debonair, most sought-after bachelor, Adrian, Duke of Dunbary, comes looking for it and asks her to dance the scandalous waltz without permission, she checks off another mistake. Or is it? Why does he want the note? Is he a spy? For England or against? Then there's that dangerous kiss. And when she tries to bargain with him, the devilish duke is a step ahead of her. Or is it two steps? Or three? Mistrust and misunderstandings ensue, and many more kisses (among other things) where that first one came from, until...Well, you'll have to read it to find out.
What inspired you to write about a notorious Duke and a spy's secret message?
The story takes place in 1812, just before the outbreak of the War of 1812. England had spies in America as well as France and the Continent. I thought it would be fun to have one of those spies' messages wind up in the hands of someone who had no idea what to do with it.
Tell us more about Jillian St. Clare. What makes her tick?
Jillian is impetuous, and she breaks the rules because she doesn't see the point of following them. She's naive, but smart, and a bit mischievous. Her mother, her only relative, has been dead a year, so Jillian is the ward of the cold Earl of Rystoke, whom she despises. As an orphan, she wants a family more than anything.
Why do you enjoy creating dark, dangerous heroes?
Oh, gosh, is there a woman alive who doesn't dream about getting swept off her feet by a dark, dangerous, alpha hero? We may not want to marry one, but it sure is fun to fantasize.
How did you conceive of the unique way the story is told?
I thought it would be interesting to show what was going on in England before the United States declared war in 1812. England was already in conflict with France, so her resources were all going towards supporting that war. Many members of Parliament thought that the young United States wouldn't dare declare war. They were surprised!
Is there something that compels you to write? And do you find that writing helps you achieve a clarity about yourself or ideas you've been struggling with?
There's nothing specific that compels me to write. I want to tell stories that people want to read. I find that after a writing session, I feel calmer and more in tune with the world. Besides, with all the craziness in the news, writing about my characters meeting and falling in love helps me escape.
How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
My books are on the longish side, so with all the research I do, it takes me about nine months to complete a book. That doesn't include taking care of all the revisions from my editor.
When you start on a new book, what is the first thing you do?
I usually decide on a time period and general setting, first, then I create my main characters. Who are these people? Where do they come from? What was their childhood like? And then I figure out how they're going to meet. Or sometimes, the scene where my main characters meet shows up in my head first, and then I have to figure out who they are and why they met. The rest of the story flows from there.
Where do you get your best ideas?
If I'm stuck, I usually figure out the answer to the problem in the shower. Isn't that where everyone does their best thinking?
Have changes in your own life affected any of your characters?
Since fictional characters come from a writer's psyche, any changes in a writer's life have to be reflected in the characters that writer creates. Sometimes a writer will consciously create a character or situation to work out a problem, but I think a lot of the time the characters a writer creates are a subconscious reflection of the events going on in that writer's life. When I look back at my older books, I can see how certain events or situations were reflected in my writing.
What are you working on right now?
I'm working on Book 3 of the series, CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS DUKE. Cameron West, Duke of Lythmore, has been a spy for years, but this time, it's personal, for he's searching for the person responsible for destroying his younger brother. And there are strange messages being sent to France. Arianne de Vouvret appears to be merely a modiste, but she's caught in a deadly web of danger and deceit. And she's hiding many secrets. When the two meet, passion erupts, but suspicion creates a battle of wits and dance of deception.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
My books are available on Amazon, and I welcome reviews. I love getting emails from readers. I can be reached through my website:
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