I am very excited to welcome back Callie Hutton, a very talented multi-published author and a member of my Soul Mate sisterhood. Callie has written a new book entitled MISS MERRY’S CHRISTMAS, and has graciously agreed to let me interview her. Thank you, Callie, for joining us today.
Please tell us something about you the person not the writer.
I am an ‘always glass half-full’ person. No matter what happens, I can generally see the silver lining. Annoys the heck out of my pessimistic daughter. Now that I think about it, annoyed the heck out of my parents, too. If they punished me, I usually took it quite well, and went on to do other things. I always have a Plan B, so if something doesn’t work out, I move on. Annoys the heck out of my husband. I guess you could say I’m an annoying person, lol. But happy.
It’s admirable that you are an optimistic person. Anyone who can generally see the silver lining in situations definitely has it together. Where do you write and what type of setting do you like to write in?
I work at a local cleaners, where I’m the only person from seven AM until noon when my relief comes in. We don’t get a whole lot of traffic, so I write almost the entire time I’m there. I try to write at home, but with someone always ‘needing’ something, and the dogs parade in and out the back door (which is next to my desk), I don’t get a heck of a lot done.
How wonderful to be able to write in solitude while working. What are some of the challenges you face as a published writer?
Getting readers to find my books. But I think that’s a challenge all authors face right now. The idea of the publisher doing all the marketing for you is an old one. Even the big houses are cutting back, and expecting the author to be more involved. I do the typical Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, etc. But it’s hard to get noticed with so many books out there.
Marketing is an issue that all writers seem to find challenging. The time it takes to keep up with social media is time taken away from writing. What genre do you write in and why?
Romance. Mostly historical, but I do have two contemporary novellas. I love history, and was a history major in college. I’m fascinated with how people lived in the past. How they dressed, what they ate, what their everyday lives were like.
History is one of my favorite subjects also, and I’ve found your historical romances fascinating. Can you tell us a little bit about Miss Merry’s Christmas?
THE DUKE OF PENROSE is not happy with MISS MEREDITH CHAMBERS, the American governess his new wards have arrived with. He quickly replaces her, happy to have his unwanted attraction to the unsuitable woman behind him. Until his mother hires her as a companion…
England, 1817. David Worthington, Duke of Penrose dislikes Miss Meredith Chambers, the American governess who accompanied his new wards. He especially detests his attraction to the insufferable woman, and is anxious for her replacement to arrive.
Merry is thrilled when the Dowager Duchess Penrose hires her as a companion. Now she can stay with her beloved charges. But can she ignore how her heart thumps when the pompous duke gets close?
Two people determined to ignore each other, despite the pull between them, and the sparks that fly whenever they're together.
Your book sounds fascinating and one in which our readers will want to read. If your book was ever made into a movie who would you like to play the hero and the heroine?
Amy Adams as Merry, and Matthew Goode as The Duke of Penrose. I loved them together in Leap Year.
Terrific choices. They had great chemistry when they made that movie together. We’d love a peek at your book. Will you share an excerpt with us?
Penrose couldn’t believe his eyes. The termagant sat crossed-legged on the floor, her skirts halfway up her limbs, practically to her knees. The hair that had begun its descent earlier now fell in clumps around her shoulders. Miss Chambers hadn’t changed from her travelling gown and as one stocking foot peeked out at him, she’d removed her shoes. A total disgrace, and completely unacceptable as an influence on his wards.
“Now you’ve gone and frightened the girls again.” She regarded him from her position on the floor, not making the effort to stand and re-arrange herself.
Penrose drew in a deep breath through his nostrils and attempted to soften his expression. It wouldn’t do for the young girls to fear him, or he’d never be rid of Miss Chambers. “I apologize, ladies, I did not mean to startle you.” His eyes shifted in the direction of the governess. “May I have a word with you, Miss Chambers? Outside.” He turned on his heel and left the room.
He paced the corridor waiting for her to join him. Hands behind his back, he tried to calm himself. She was an American, the land of savages. It would bode him well to remember that in his dealings with the woman. Why his friend, and of all people, Lady Eleanor, had seen fit to allow Miss Chambers anywhere near their daughters was a mystery.
Finally, she stepped from the doorway, her hair pinned up, and his quick glance at her feet showed she’d put on her shoes as well. At least the woman had a smidgen of dignity.
“Is there a problem, Your Grace?” She stiffened her shoulders and regarded him.
“The problem, madam, is I instructed you to join my family tonight for dinner. At exactly eight o’clock.” He withdrew his pocket watch. “It is now eleven minutes past eight. And my maid tells me you informed her you already took your dinner with the young ladies.”
“Correct. They’re trying to get used to their new environment. I felt it would be in their best interests for me to forego a formal dinner with your family tonight, and spend the time with the girls.”
“Whether that was a good decision or not is irrelevant since I requested you join us.”
“Ah, Your Grace. That is where the problem lies. You see, you did not request that I join your family. As you stated a few moments ago, you ordered me to join you.”
His eyebrows rose. “What is the difference?”
Miss Chambers sighed. “Exactly.”
“What the devil does that mean? You’re speaking in riddles.” He bent close to peer directly into her eyes. “I will allow this one bit of defiance, as it might have been wiser for you to share their dinner tonight.” He rose to his full height. “However, in the future, I will decide what will be done with the young ladies, and you, Miss Chambers, will abide by my wishes as long as you are under my roof.”
By God, it actually looked as though she fought to keep from smiling. The woman had managed to rile him up more than anyone else in his life thus far. Not wishing to give her any more time to further vex him, he pivoted and strode down the corridor.
What an intriguing excerpt. I’m sure our readers are very interested in finding out if Meredith can get the Duke of Penrose to loosen up. Where can we buy Miss Merry's Christmas?
We’d love to hear more about you. What do you do when you’re not writing?
This question stumped me because it appears writing has consumed my life. I do, however, read a lot. I’m not a TV watcher, so I can rarely discuss any of the latest shows. I do watch a few news programs. Gee, I can’t think of anything else. Isn’t that sad??
I think it’s great that you spend your time doing what you love to do, reading and writing. I know it’s lucky for us that you do. If you could have any wish you wanted granted, what would it be?
To travel back in time. That is, if I could bring my toiletries and penicillin with me. But, truly, if it were possible, I would be the first in line.
Traveling back in time would be an adventure. What are you currently working on and when can we expect your next book?
I’m doing NaNo, for the first time. That’s a time travel story. Since I had three books come out in the last two months, I need a breather for a while. Next year I have plans to re-write the very first novel I ever wrote, and maybe delve into a suspense.
I have a couple of things subbed, so one never knows what the future will bring.
Seems like you’re branching out in genres. A time travel story must be interesting to write. We know you are a multi-published and very talented author. What other books have you written and where can we buy them?
Oklahoma Lovers Series
A Run for Love
A Wife By Christmas
A Prescription for Love
An Angel in the Mail
To be released November 19, 2012
by Crimson Romance
You have been very busy writing. Each of your books are terrific reads. Where can we learn more about you?
Five fun facts:
Favorite dessert – Sugar free ice cream or gluten free carrot cake
Favorite author – Eeek. Can’t pick one. My most admired is Sandra Brown
Shoes – comfortable or sexy – Both, depends on the outfit.
Something you love about yourself – My upbeat attitude.
Tall, dark & handsome or blonde & gorgeous – TDH, definitely. My daughter loves to watch Bollywood movies, and I’m in love with most of the actors. Yum.