Does a girl ever really learn from her mistakes?
Detective Sergeant Megan Taylor thinks so. She once lost her heart to a man who was too charming and she isn’t about to make the same mistake again – especially not with sexy defence lawyer, Scott Armstrong. Aside from being far too sure of himself for his own good, Scott’s major flaw is he defends the very people she works so hard to imprison.
But when Scott wants something he goes for it. And he wants Megan. One day she’ll see him not as a lawyer, but as a man ... and that’s when she’ll fall for him.
Yet just as Scott seems to be making inroads, a case presents itself that’s far too close to home, throwing his life into chaos.
As Megan helps him pick up the pieces, can he persuade her he isn’t the careless charmer she thinks he is? Isn’t a man innocent until proven guilty?
Too Charming has just been published as a paperback, can you tell us a little bit about it?
I could tell you lots about it - it’s keeping it to a little I find hard! Let me see, it’s girl (no-nonsense police detective and single mother, Megan Taylor) meets boy (smooth defence barrister, Scott Armstrong). More than that, it’s the story of a woman who fights her attraction to a man who is everything she doesn’t like, but is then forced to re-evaluate both him and what he does when she starts to investigate a murder case. One Scott is uncomfortably close to.
How much research did you have to do about policing and the legal process to enable you to write this book?
A fair amount. Unfortunately I didn’t know any lawyers so I had to do a lot of research on the internet, though I did have a good excuse to watch Law and Order UK. A kind reviewer from the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme also pointed me in the right direction. In addition a friend of a friend in the police force read through it to make sure it made sense from her experience. I must say it worried me though, which is why my next book (see later) was set in the pharmaceutical industry – a place where I’d worked for twenty years so at least knew something about!
Scott and Megan were always going to clash being on opposite sides of the law process, was that part of the appeal as opposed to having them both working on the same side?
Most definitely. I thought it would add some spice to their interactions. Scott can be overly confident at times, so putting him in a role Megan has no time for ensured he really had to work hard to get her to like him. And likewise Megan can be a bit judgemental, so finding herself attracted to a defence lawyer makes her step back and think about whether life really is so black and white.
If you had to pick a favourite character, which would it be? Cruel I know ;)
I fell for Scott, and I enjoyed the way Megan made him work hard for her attention, but my favourite part to write was actually Sally, Megan’s six-year-old daughter. Maybe it’s because I don’t have daughters (two lovely sons though, I hasten to add) but I thought she was pretty cool ☺
Describe Megan and Scott in up to three words each?
Megan: prickly, tough, loving
Scott: funny, smooth, vulnerable
What can we expect from you next?
I’ve just finished the edits on Search for Truth, a romance set in the pharmaceutical industry. As I mentioned, I worked in the industry for over twenty years though sadly I never met a man quite as dynamic or magnetic as my hero, Jim Knight. I nicknamed him the pharmaceutical industry’s answer to George Clooney. Think George but taller, broader and without the smile. As one of my characters says, ‘we’re all a little afraid of him, and a little in lust with him.’
How did your writing journey start?
It started by my husband telling me to stop banging on about writing a book and flipping well get on with doing it. I don’t often do what he tells me, but on this occasion I made it a New Year resolution to write that book. Three years later I left the pharmaceutical industry to go self-employed so I could devote more time to writing. One year after that, Choc Lit were kind enough to offer me my first and second book contracts, both on the same day! One of them was for Too Charming, the other for Do Opposites Attract?
What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
Get someone who really knows what they’re talking about to critique your manuscript. It’s easy to write and write (which is still absolutely critical) but it’s not until you get an expert to review your work that you can really start to see where you’re going wrong … and what you’re doing right. I received that expert view from the RNA New Writers’ Scheme and can thoroughly recommend it.
Do you set yourself a writing target?
No! But I am disciplined. I juggle medical writing with writing romance, and on the romance days I sit at my desk and work through just like I do on the other days. The only difference is it’s a lot more fun!
If you could write in a collaboration with another author, who would you like to write with?
My first thought would be Nora Roberts, because I’m so in awe of her work. I’d be far too star struck to be any good, but it would be worth it for the tips I hope she could give me. I’ve had experience of writing round robin short stories with my fellow Choc Lit authors but again, they’re such a clever bunch I’ve had to take several deep breaths before adding to the story they’ve carefully crafted.
Do you treat yourself to anything nice when you publish your books?
To be honest, just receiving some advance copies of the book, and holding them in my hand, is all the treat I need. It’s so special. I’ve likened it to holding my children in my arms for the first time, only the gestation period was more akin to that of an elephant. And the books give me a lot less trouble once they are ‘born.’
Finally where would your perfect writing retreat be?
Give me white sands, turquoise sea and a gentle breeze ruffling the palm trees. Mind you, I probably wouldn’t get much writing actually done, what with the glare of the sun on the screen and the sand in the keyboard, so maybe my study at the top of my house isn’t such a bad place to work. I’ll save the beach for reading and inspiration.
Thank you so much for having me on Shaz’s Book Blog. I loved your questions (and am now dreaming of that beach…).
A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero.
With two teenage boys and a husband who huffs at buying a Valentine’s Day card, any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn't always about hearts and flowers - and heroes come in many disguises.
Too Charming is now available in paperback as well as ebook format.
Amazon UK: http://goo.gl/LxotB8
Amazon US: http://goo.gl/xuXD4K