Today we’re going to find out a little about author Luanna Stewart. March’s theme is ‘Heroes’ so Luanna will be talking about heroes. She’ll also tell us a little about herself and her writing, and answer some fun questions.Luanna Stewart has been creating adventures for her imaginary friends since childhood. As soon as she discovered her grandmother's stash of romance novels, all plots had to lead to a happily-ever-after.
Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Luanna now lives in Maine with her dear husband, two college boys, and two cats. When she's not torturing her heroes and heroines, she’s in her kitchen baking something delicious.
Writing under the pen name Grace Hood, she has two novellas published with The Wild Rose Press.
And don’t forget to read right to the end of the Q&A and make a comment – because Luanna’s doing a surprise give-away. :)
Beverley: What do you think makes a hero, either in real life or in books?Luanna: A hero needs to be morally strong and ethically sound. He must have a sense of humour, especially about himself. And he must be willing to give his heart while not expecting anything in return. He should be self-aware enough to know he’s not perfect. Physical beauty isn’t required, or even reasonable, but he should be attractive to the heroine, even if it’s only one aspect of his appearance. Like his brilliant blue eyes that make her knees go weak.
Beverley: Is it important to have strong conflicts? If yes, inner or outer conflicts, or both?
Luanna: Conflict makes the world go round in pretty much all fiction. Otherwise, what would be the point? I certainly wouldn’t bother reading a story in which the heroine and/or hero goes about their business in their own perfect world, tra la la. I feel there should be both outer and inner conflict. The heroine has a mission to complete or a bad guy to foil, and at the same time has to overcome her feelings of inadequacy caused by her early life experiences. And those feelings of inadequacy had better get in the way of completing her mission or catching the bad guy.
Beverley: Who are your favorite heroes, and why?
Luanna: My all-time favourite hero is Sebastian, Lord Dain, from Loretta Chase’s Lord of Scoundrels. He is so wounded and fragile on the inside, and yet is a big brute on the outside. He is far from the perfect gentleman, a real scoundrel, but that’s part of his charm.
Beverley: Tell me about the heroes in your book/s.
Luanna: The hero in If Wishes Were Earls, Edward, Lord Claverlock, is thrice widowed and feels undeserving of happiness. He’s tied to the earldom and allows his responsibilities to govern his actions. He’s given up on finding love and is resigned to a lonely life with only his books for company. The heroine, Miranda, is a twenty-seven-year-old spinster who is determined to wed a wealthy man with a title because then all her troubles will be over and her life will be perfect, her days filled with teas and visiting and her evenings taken up with parties and balls. A titled bachelor is hard to come by though so she is resigned to a life of keeping house for her father.
Beverley: How do you develop the characteristics for your hero?
Luanna: After I’ve found my character I learn everything I can about her/him through a series of 54 question that attempt to discover her/his past, beliefs, likes, hates, etc. I pick away at the character’s shell until I discover what really bothers him/her and what holds him/her back from true happiness.
Beverley: How long have you been writing?
Luanna: I’ve been writing with an eye toward publication for ten years. The first couple of those years were filled with discovering that I had a ton to learn about fiction writing, and also about the publishing business.
Beverley: What genre do you write in and why?
Luanna: I write romance and am published in contemporary, romantic suspense, and historical. I also have a couple paranormal manuscripts waiting in the wings and hope to either get those with a publisher or get them self-published this year. Apart from romance I’m dabbling in figuring out how to write a cosy mystery.
Beverley: Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
Luanna: I’m not sure anyone influenced me to become a writer. I fell into the rabbit hole all on my own.
Beverley: What obstacles did you have to overcome to begin creating your work?
Luanna: I’m not sure I’d use the word obstacles. This book, being an historical romance, required a fair amount of research. I love research. Perhaps my love of research could be called an obstacle because I could happily spend all my writing time delving into the past.
Beverley: What gets your creative juices flowing?
Luanna: The idea for a character sparks a “what if” question which leads to a “why?” and another “why?” and another and another. Pretty soon I’ve created a real person. Well, real to me. And I can’t wait to tell his/her story.
Beverley: What will stop your creative muse the quickest?
Luanna: There’s nothing worse than getting stuck, not knowing how to move the story forward. For me it’s usually because I’ve veered off script, so to speak. I’ve allowed a subplot to distract me, or a secondary character has taken over. Revisiting my pre-writing work is often enough to get me heading in the right direction.
Beverley: What do you have for breakfast?
Luanna: I usually have a small bowl of spoon-sized shredded wheat with skim milk. A couple times a week I splurge on a slice of toast (home-made bread) spread with peanut butter. I drink a glass of orange juice to wake up my taste buds, and at least one cup of coffee to wake up my brain.
Beverley: What do you wear when you are writing?
Luanna: I’ll be totally honest here and confess to wearing my pyjamas for most of the morning, which is my prime writing time.
Beverley: Where do you do most of your writing?
Luanna: My writing spot varies depending on where I am in the process. The first draft happens with me seated at my desk tapping on the keyboard. When that’s done, I print the manuscript, fill my fountain pen with purple ink, and sit in my easy chair, along with a yellow pad and a few stacks of sticky notes. I’m better able to edit and revise on hard copy and I’ve even cut (with scissors) and pasted (with tape) when I need to move scenes around.
Beverley: Do you have a favorite cartoon character? Why?
Luanna: Golly, I’ve not watched cartoon in eons! I would choose the old Warner Bros. cartoons – Bugs Bunny, Foghorn Leghorn, Tweety & Sylvester.
Beverley: Who would you love most to meet 'in person' and why?
Luanna: I would dearly love to meet Queen Elizabeth II. I’m Canadian and have always watched/enjoyed/appreciated the British monarchy. I think Her Majesty would be charming, would have interesting tales to tell, and I suspect she has a sharp sense of humour.
Beverley: If you had an unexpected free day what would you do with it?
Luanna: Good heavens, the mere thought of a free day is mindboggling. There is always something to do in the writing business. But if I were forced from the house, I’d go for a hike and pack a picnic that included a bottle of wine, some spicy sausage, and something decadent and chocolate for dessert.
Beverley: What are you working on now?
Luanna: Right now, I’m working on the second book in a new historical series, the first of which is with one of my publishers. I’m super excited about this new series which follows a group of women as they each find their place in a society very different from the one they’re used to, very much a fish-out-of-water story.
Luanna: And now I’ll turn the questions back on the readers. If you had an unexpected free day what would YOU do with it?One commenter will receive a hand-knitted (by me) washcloth and a bar of handcrafted soap. (USA and Canada only.)
Blurb from If Wishes Were Earls
A mysterious letter and an enchanted keepsake promise to lead Miranda to her heart's desire. Or does her heart secretly yearn for more than a sexy earl?
When a mysterious note directs Miss Miranda Large to a tiny village in Cornwall to find her heart's desire, she has no choice but to go. An enchanted keepsake heightens her curiosity. A snowstorm forces her to accept the hospitality of a sullen, albeit sexy and handsome, earl and Miranda's wish doesn't seem so out of reach.
Edward Penhallion, the 12th Earl of Claverlock, is not in the mood to start his search for a new wife. He wants to be left alone with his books and his dreams of revenge. But the arrival of a headstrong, sharp-tongued spinster forces him to play the charming host. Not a difficult task, given her intelligence and beauty. Suddenly, he’s not terribly eager for her to leave.
But as the snow falls and the winds blow, Edward discovers there’s more to Miranda than a lively wit and a lovely face. And Miranda wonders if the trappings of wealth are enough for true happiness.
All other retailers:https://www.draft2digital.com/book/209375
You can find Luanna at:
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/luanna_stewart
Don’t forget to check back next week for another author interview on Heroes.