Connie Brockway: For years, readers have been asking me to write sequels to two of their favorite books, As You Desire and All Through the Night. Happily, they happen to be two of my favorites also, so the idea of revisiting the characters and settings has always been particularly appealing and always something I intended to do. After spending the last five years doing Regency romances, I’ve been starving to write something set outside the British Isles, something that would be both familiar and exotic. Turn-of-the-century Egypt fit the bill. Not only is it historically and culturally rich, but a treasure trove of fun and fascinating minutiae (and I do love my minutiae). Bonus points for being peopled with intriguing historical figures from all over the world. And finally, that sort of milieu provides the opportunity to write a love story outside the mainstream of Polite Society, where the rules are different, the stakes are higher, the romance more exquisite.
Question: Since this is, as you mentioned, a departure from your Regency romances, what research did you do while writing the book to help you create the setting and your characters?
Connie Brockway: Books. Dozens of nonfiction books. I read about Thomas Cook’s ship tours and the advent of all-inclusive cruising, Mark Twain’s journals about his trip to Egypt, histories of ancient Egypt and the Sudan, books about the French Foreign Legion and the life of Sir Eldon Gorst and books about the birth of archeology and the establishment of Arabian horse bloodlines. And then there were the websites and the hyperlinks, and...
Question: Is there any character you most identify with? Why?
Connie Brockway: Well, since I just finished cleaning up the house after the Easter extravaganza, I’d have to say the housemaid.
Question: How does The Other Guy’s Bride compare to your previous titles? What can readers expect?
Connie Brockway: I expect readers will find all the elements they’ve enjoyed in the past: engaging characters, irreverent humor, and sigh-provoking romance. But it will have a freshness and spark that comes out of my feeling less of a need to follow a proscribed romance blueprint.
Question: What other authors or books have influenced your writing?
Connie Brockway: Such a hard question! I read constantly in all sorts of genres and it’s hard to pin-point specific titles but as far as romances go, I started out being drawn to the rich, detailed narrative styles of Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart. Dorothy Cannell’s mysteries, starting with The Thin Woman, gave me my first inkling that romance could be downright hilarious and still breathtaking. The unique, fully-fleshed characters created by authors as Pat Gaffney, Laura Kinsale, and the wonderful late Edith Layton have certainly inspired me to be equally conscientious in creating my own characterizations.
Question: Have you considered trying your hand at other genres?
Connie Brockway: I’ve already authored two books that crossed from contemporary romance into contemporary women’s fiction. I’m very intrigued about relationships outside of a strictly romantic one, how those bonds morph and develop throughout a lifetime, as well as community and family dynamics. Those books gave me the chance to indulge my curiosity. As for the future, I’m almost always in the middle of reading a mystery and hope to some day try my hand at historical mystery.
Connie Brockway website
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