“I WILL NOT MAKE A GOOD HUSBAND FOR YOU.”
Such was the warning of Lady Catheryn’s husband-to-be, the powerful warrior who dispatched her dishonorable guardian, unknowingly answering both her prayers and nocturnal visions. And he seemed right. His past was too bleak, his nature too violent. But Baron Gerard also promised to never beat her, to be kind, to care for Brezden Keep and her people, and the spark in his eye was not kindled by bloodlust alone. His strong hands could be gentle and build fires in her. So perhaps the witch and her magic sachet had the right of it. Perhaps Gerard of Reveur was not only a protector but a better husband and a truer love than either of their tortured souls could ever imagine.
Thank you, Mrs. Denise Lynn
How important is for you and for the story to respect and use the proper characteristics of the era in which the action takes place?
Since I’ve been in love with the middle-ages for as long as I can remember, to me it’s very important to try to recreate the era as best I can. Besides, I’ve been known to scream at the screen in a crowded movie theatre when “wrong” is just sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo wrong.
Many of our day romance readers ask for witty dialogues and/or more intimate scenes. How do you solve these aspects and observe in the same time the social rules of medieval times? How important are they for a romance?
Thankfully, I don’t think human nature has changed all that much through the ages. I think the search for companionship, love and the sense of belonging has been around just about forever. And since we’re here, as in, we exist – I feel fairly safe in believing that sex isn’t a new invention. If you go back and read some of the Church’s rules through history – church being the Roman Catholic one in my writing world – obviously they didn’t just pull some of their “sins” out of the air. I’ve always viewed them like I do the “don’t use this hair blower in the shower” warning – someone did it at some point in time, hence the warning. As for witty dialogues...I view witty like I do sex and love, it’s been around a long time. Some of the troubadours’ stories were quite...entertaining. I’m willing to wager the writers were a hoot. A vivid imagination has existed a long, long time – Chrétien de Troyes in the 1100s and Thomas Malory in the 1400s wrote stories of King Arthur and while they were based on folklore, they knew how to spin a tale. Granted, I’m not going to use old English since I am writing for the 21st century reader, but I really do try NOT to use slang. If a word or two slip through the editing process, it was a mistake and not intentional.
What makes a great husband, in general, and how is Gerard?
A great husband is honorable and trustworthy; he has a decent sense of humor because sometimes you really have to laugh at the crap life dishes out. He has to know when to be strong and when to bend. He needs to know when to pick up a weapon, how to use it and when to walk away. Basically, he needs to be human—a ball of contradictions and a romantic at heart. Gerard is a good husband – he’s at Brezden to defend his dead wife’s honor and to avenge her murder. He’s a leader of men and his people, so he has to be strong, but he’s gentle/soft enough to rescue a kitten from a fire in the stable. While he hasn’t known Catheryn very long, he’s intuitive enough to know when to humor her out of being afraid or upset.
I saw the reason why you write romance, but why do you think it is such a read (and loved) genre?
Traditional Romance novels appeal to women because in a Romance the heroine holds the power. This is where the tried and true saying “Romance is about women, for women, by women” comes into play. The ending is known – whether it’s HEA or HEA for now – it’s a given. And sometimes knowing that provides enough comfort that anything bad that might happen in the middle is okay.
In your opinion, what makes the difference between a great romance story and a trashy one?
If there’s anything I remember from the story, it was a great Romance. If I laughed, or cried, or got mad or sad, it was a great Romance. There are some Romances that I’ll never forget -- When Lyonene took the arrow meant for Ranulf my heart stopped and I cried along with him – and I read The Black Lyon when it first came out in 1980.
About the author:
While I physically live in NW Ohio, my heart and soul resides in the Great Smoky Mountains. Someday I'll step out of the door of my house and see a view something like the one below.
For now, it's enough to know that refilling my soul's well is a quick seven hour trip south.
For our 25th wedding anniversary, my husband surprised me with a ceremony renewing our vows in...where else, but the mountains. There's nothing like being driven to a chapel in the mountains after hiking streams all morning! But when the other half of your heart gets down on one knee and proposes, the dirt and grime surprisingly fade away.
That, my friend, is why I write romance novels. It's a chance to share my love of love and romance with others. My greatest hope is that I give at least one reader a moment or two of romance, or memories, or even a chance to dream.
The road to this day hasn't been easy, but wonderful things aren't always a piece of cake. Sometimes they’re like a hike up to the Chimney Tops, but always worth the effort. Along the way on this writing journey, I filled boxes with rejection letters and manuscripts that until recently, I didn't think I'd be able to fix -- never say never.
The whirlwind roller coaster ride began with the first call from Harlequin Historicals and hasn't stopped yet. Having an excuse to talk to myself and provide answers is wonderful. It's nice to have a legit excuse for my odd insanity. I'm happy to have the chance to share my stories with readers.