Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Fabulous Captain Jack Sparrow Is Invited to Ruin With Bronwen Evans

JACK: Welcome to a new season of Fabulous Interviews with the Fabulous Captain Jack Sparrow. *Orbitz tooth smile at camera* As you can tell behind me we are docked in the beautiful and incomparable New Zealand, where it is not hot as blazes. *camera zooms to find Bo’sun wearing three scarves and heating herself with a space heater* Today we’re here—not just because we’re all hobbits fans—


HELLIE: Jack, you do know Middle Earth is not actually located here.


JACK: And J.R.R. Tolkien is the best fantasy writer ever, but New Zealand is also the location of another writer, who writes about my favorite topics in real life: rogues, scandal and ruin. And my favorite of all of these: easily persuaded women. Please welcome Bronwen Evans to the ship! *applause*


BRONWEN: *Smile cautiously. Think to myself – I hope I’m not that easy! Besides I like a man that has to work at seduction.*


Hello Captain Jack, thanks for welcoming me aboard. As New Zealand consists of two main islands, surrounded by sea, I’m used to dealing with sailors and of course cheeky Pirates. So watch yourself.


JACK: Lady Bronwen, it’s a pleasure to meet you finally. Come please sit here on my lap. It will be slightly scandalous, but I promise not to lead you to ruin. *gives come hither smile and looks up through his lashes, his promises clearly bunk* And while you’re here, you can tell me all about your book, Invitation to Ruin. *pats his knee invitingly*


BRONWEN: *Sigh – don’t look at his ‘come to bed eyes’, you’ve got an interview to get through.*


INVIATION TO RUIN is the story of the Lord of Wicked, Anthony James Craven, the Earl of Wickham, who is a notorious rake, with a reputation as a bad boy. He lives for pleasure, namely to block the horror of his upbringing. He has no intention of marrying and settling down like a good heir should, because he thinks bad blood flows in his veins.  He’s determined to see his angelic looking twin brother, Richard, provide the family heir. Richard, feeling guilty for escaping his father’s hedonistic attentions is equally determined to see his older brother happy, and he thinks he knows how to make that happen.  A little trickery and a wicked bet find the Lord of the Wicked betrothed.


Up to now, Miss Melissa Goodly has led a lonely and thankless life. So, when her brother propels her into the marriage shark pool, she’s determined on one outcome – to marry for love. But any hope of that dissolves one wild night, when she loses herself in the arms of the most irresistible-and unobtainable-man in all of England - Anthony. For when they are discovered in a position as compromising as it is pleasurable, she has no choice but to accept his proposal.


Anthony decides it will be a marriage of duty and nothing more until the vows are spoken and they are left alone-and his new bride reveals a streak just as brazen and unrestrained as his own...


JACK:  *winks at the audience* Didn’t I tell you this place has the best authors? Come now, Bronwen, I would love it if you’d ruin me. Why don’t you tell me how you do that? Slowly and with lots of detail. *a hardback book flies through the air and clips Jack in the back of the head* Ouch! What—oh, um, I mean, why don’t you tell us more about your hero? *deadpan voice* We’re all dying to hear about him.


BRONWEN: Anthony is a wounded and deeply tortured alpha male, who’s as sexy as hell. Women are, equally scared, and titillated by him, and he has no trouble finding willing partners to share his bed. There is no doubt that Invitation to Ruin is a dark romance. My hero, Anthony, has had a terrible childhood and is not going to be a cheerful, happy rake. But that is what makes the book so appealing. He has such a struggle to come to terms with his past, but he has the biggest heart imaginable, and rises above his background to overcome the emotional torture of his early life.


JACK: Yes, yes, he sounds perfect. Moving on. Let’s hear more about your heroine. Persuasive actually? Do you think she might fantasize about pirates? Because I’d be more than willing to make her--*book hitting Jack* Ufff. Yes, the heroine?


BRONWEN: Melissa is an ahead of her time, intelligent and determined woman. She thinks about the Society she lives in, and tries to change it for the better. She is head of the Woman’s Freedom League – women who buy slaves their freedom. She understands that ownership of a human being is wrong, and that ‘marriage’ for most women is a form of slavery. She has no rights of her own, has no way of supporting herself on her own, and she is trapped in a life she has little ability to change. Her self-awareness is what makes her who she is. She fights against Society’s bindings however she can, and then, when she has no choice, she decides to make her life over to one she wants – a life of love.


JACK: *looking around for possible book missiles* Excellent, excellent. She sounds…very heroine-y. It sounds like you’re fond of characters with flaws—and while I wouldn’t know about that since I am without flaws—I thought maybe you could talk about your favorite flaws to write about? How do you come up with flaws to make your characters well-rounded?


BRONWEN: Flaws are fascinating because most people don’t always recognize their flaws – a bit like you Jack! Anthony’s flaw is that he thinks he’s unlovable and unworthy. I love characters who have to dig deep to understand themselves. I love a big strong alpha male hero with hidden insecurities that a strong heroine brings to the surface. It’s the love between them that helps conquer and makes them accept themselves – flaws and all.


JACK: What is next for the lovely Lady Bronwen? What will be out on shelves next?


BRONWEN: The second book INVITATION TO SCANDAL of the five books ‘INVITATION TO’ series will be out early next year. It’s Rufus Knight, Viscount Strathmore’s story – Anthony’s friend in book one. Book three, INVITATION TO DESIRE, is Richard’s story and he ends up with Rufus’s sister Madeline.


JACK: The favorite question on this ship is the Call—what is your Call story, and what bit of advice would you give to struggling pirate writers?


BRONWEN: Hmmm – I started writing in June 2006, when I joined Romance Writers of New Zealand and RWA. I spent three years learning my craft and taking as many online romance writing courses that I could find. I also fell into the beginners’ trap of starting loads of stories (that’s easy) for contests and not finishing them. My critique partner told me, ‘you can’t sell what you haven’t finished.’ So in 2009 I sat down and finally finished INVITATION TO RUIN in November 2009. I submitted a query at beginning of December to several editors and agents (Melissa Jeglinski at The Knight Agency signed me – I meet her and pitched the book to her at the RWNZ 2009 conference). The query resulted in full and partial requests. On December 18th I got a call from Megan Records in New York saying she loved the first three chapters and could I send her the rest as she ‘might like to buy it’. I was so excited. I don’t think I slept properly until the 7th January 2010 when I sold it in a two book deal to Kensington. My first completed book. Do I love my critique partners advice or what?


My advice to fellow writers is to learn your craft. If you are struggling with one aspect of writing, don’t be scared to INVEST in learning. Keep writing. Also get yourself a great critique/support group. I’m lucky to have found that from a group of writers within RWNZ. Join your local RWA chapter, meet other writers.


But most importantly, keep writing and when you think you are ready, SUBMIT. Most editors buy from submissions, not from contest wins.


JACK: Lady Bronwen, it’s been a pleasure to have you in my lap this afternoon. Do feel free to come by the ship and sit in my lap anytime you like. Do you have any questions or comments for the crew?


BRONWEN: *Wiggles and notices just how much Captain Jack’s enjoying it – ooooh!*


If you were captured by a Pirate what flaw would you like them to have and how would you help them overcome it?


Let me know and two lucky commenter’s will win a signed copy of INVITATION TO RUIN. (open worldwide).


2nd Chance said...

Flaw? Pirates have flaws?

Hmmm...well, fer a pirate a flaw might consist a' actually wooin' a prisoner afore pressin' them against the railin'. And I could go fer 'is offerin' 'er treasure... Direct deposit ta me account in the Caymens, please.

Though, bein' the bartender on the Revenge, and a reader who 'opes ta visit the Shire in New Zealand one a' these biggest flaw involves a willin'ness ta get any prisoner drunk. Aye, I actually do...share me rum.

Donna said...

Welcome, Bronwen, and congrats on your publishing success. It sounds like an intriguing series.

I like when characters still have the ability to be happy, and have decent lives, despite their flaws. They know they need to make changes, but they still manage to keep moving forward, not letting their past dictate their future.

So if I were captured by a pirate with a flaw, I'd want him to still be able to entertain me while we were locked in his cabin working out the steps to his recovery. :) It would take time, of course, plenty of it -- but it would be worth it. LOL

Na said...

I would want him to be prickly and gruff, a little rough around the edges when it comes to social situations. Being a pirate he's used to being around sailors and the sea and doesn't know how to treat a lady. I would have fun "taming" him and teaching him about manners. He may be gruff but he does have a heart. I can teach him how to dance and eat with grace :)

Bosun said...

What a fun interview! And we'll try not to hold that "sold my FIRST completed MS" thing against you. LOL! Oh that we all had such natural talent. And that all our craft courses sunk in so well.

I do love these kinds of stories. Straight up Alphas I can take or leave, but these tortured ones who have so far to go before they can really embrace the HEA are nearly impossible to resist.

If I were to meet a pirate, I'd want his flaw to be that he's not a very good pirate. Meaning, he bathes regularly, is well-mannered, and treats his prisoners more like guests. And I, as his guest, would show my appreciation for his hospitality.


Hellion said...

fer a pirate a flaw might consist a’ actually wooin’ a prisoner afore pressin’ them against the railin’. And I could go fer ‘is offerin’ ‘er treasure… Direct deposit ta me account in the Caymens, please.

Those would be big pirate flaws, Mo. *LOL* And I especially love the direct deposit in the Caymens. *LOL* And we all appreciate your flaw to share all your rum. :)

Hellion said...

Donna, it sounds like your pirate's flaw is that he wants to be liked--so that's why he entertains you. I've known pirates that way. *LOL*

I do love that about books, what they teach us about recognizing and accepting our flaws and thriving (in a good way) despite them--and also not to wallow in our past mistakes. There are worse things books could teach us... :)

Hellion said...

Na, your fantasy pirate sounds like a line from RED (the movie with Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren), and Helen tells Bruce that he's like a toasted marshmallow. Crusty on the outside but in the middle, GOOEY. *LOL*

It also reminds me a bit of that montage in Beauty and the Beast, when Belle is teaching Beast how to have table manners. *sighs* Such a sweet movie.

Hellion said...

If I were to meet a pirate, I’d want his flaw to be that he’s not a very good pirate. Meaning, he bathes regularly, is well-mannered, and treats his prisoners more like guests. And I, as his guest, would show my appreciation for his hospitality.

LOL. Right, like we all don't want to meet this pirate! Of course we all want a regular bather!

Hellion said...

Favorite pirate flaw? That he has a fondness of booty--especially mine! :) And he's always trying to get it, ALL THE TIME.

Marnee said...

Welcome aboard, Bronwen!

If I were kidnapped by a pirate, I hope his fatal flaw is that he's forgetful. Or slow. So either he forgets he kidnapped me or I can run away. But he'd have to be awfully slow because I'm certainly not speedy.

Barring all that, I'd like a regular bather as well. Icky. :)

2nd Chance said...

I love this fixation on hygeine... ;-)

Bronwen Evans said...

Good morning, from NZ - it's 5.00am here, so I've only just woken up on Tuesday morning.

Thanks for all the kind words on my frst book. Let's hope it's not my last.

I love all your ideas on pirate flaws - I'd love to help Captain Jack with a few of his flaws. Hands on help of course.

Bosun said...

Good morning to you! Wow, that's really early. How is Tuesday looking so far? Should I bother getting out of bed tomorrow?

If this book is half as good as it sounds, I highly doubt it will be your last.

Hellion said...

2nd, considering you like Hector, we know hygiene isn't real important to you in your men. *LOL* But to most of us, it's REAL important.

Hellion said...

Marn, an amnesiac pirate who kidnaps--now that is a cliche that has been twisted into something different! You should get on writing that!

And since he's got amnesia, he's forgotten he's not supposed to bathe, so the heroine can help him that.

Hellion said...

Good plan, Bo'sun. Yes, Bronwen, if you can let us know the Day Forecast for Tuesday, that would be great. My last several Tuesdays have been rather crappy and I'd rather skip it if it's going to continue on this bent.

Hellion said...

Bronwen, there's a 5 am? I had no idea. I'm asleep at that time. :)

And I'd love to help Jack with many of his flaws as well. God love him.

Bronwen Evans said...

Well it's winter here in NZ, so it's starting with a nice cold frost, about 4C but warming up to a sunny 13C - sorry no idea what that is in F. No doubt it will be much warmer in summery USA.

All I know is that I've got loads of work on my WIP to finish! And no Captain Jack in sight - not a good start to the day.

Bosun said...

We have triple digits until Friday. I don't know what that is in C so let's go with HOT AS HADES and leave it at that.

Sounds better your way. Hope you don't mind an entire crew of pirates moving in for the week. We can help you brainstorm on the WIP!

Bosun said...

BTW - Can you tell us the top one or two courses you took that made the biggest impact on your writing? I've taken countless courses but rarely retain the information to actually apply it. I think I'm at the "overwhelmed" phase.

2nd Chance said...

Hey, I hot Hector ta brush his teeth and get a chemical peal...bathin' might just be pushin' 'im a bit too far!

Oooh! It's tomorra in NZ? So, will I gets me edits done today?

Bronwen Evans said...

The best course for me was Patricia Kay's scene and sequel and her novel writing courses I-III.

Once how I knew how to construct powerful scenes and emotional sequels my stories flowed.

BUT once I'd finished a book - how to edit was the next question. I have taken all of Margie Lawson's editing courses (in fact I have taken all her courses).

Those are my top two teachers.

Bosun said...

I've taken a couple of Margie's classes, but I made the mistake of taking them before I was ready. Thankfully, I have all the lessons in a binder for review. Off to look up Patricia Kay.


Di R said...

I think if I were kidnapped by a pirate, I'd hope his flaw was that he needed help laundering all of his purloined loot. I think I'd be good at spending his dubloons and wearing jewels.

I have heard really good things about Margie's classes. I'll have to look into Patricia Kay's. Right now I'm taking the Deep Story Techniques class and loving it. Also, saturday I attended a Deb Dixon workshop-she was fabulous!

Off to find a copy of Invitation to Ruin.


2nd Chance said...

Di R - Great minds think alike! ;-)

I signed up for one day Deb Dixon workshop next month! Glad to hear she was fabulous!

Bronwen Evans said...

Deb's book on GMC is fabulous. One that has to be read.

Vonnie said...

I'm sitting on the Gold Coast looking out across the Broadwater and there right in front of me is a black pirate ship - no kidding. It anchors here sometimes and then travels back and forth along the Broadwater beaches, presumably to avoid anchorage fees! A couple of the sails are tattered but to tell the truth, the pirate uses his inboard motor more than the sails. Our family calls it Capt Jack's ship.

My unfavourite pirate is Bully Hayes who was a blackbirder who travelled to the South Pacific Islands and captured the natives and sold them to the sugar cane farmers in Queensland. Creep. We had a motel in the far north of New Zealand (near Whangaroa) for some years and the Hayes family there swore black and blue they were not his descdants. But history says otherwise!

Kris Pearson said...

Hi Bron - you're right about our weather. (Says she who's just a few miles away.)

Great interview - real fun. And I'm glad you noticed how much Captain Jack was enjoying himself.

My heroine Sammie had exactly the same problem with her boss, Nick, last night. Naughty man shouldn't have hauled his PA onto his knee!


Hellion said...

BULLY HAYES was a real person? I only know him as a Tommy Lee Jones character from Nate & Hayes (I thought he was cute!) I thought the Pease character was the real bad guy?

I swear you learn something new every day.

Hellion said...

Kris, men find it hard to resist dandling naughty girls on their knee. :) You can't blame him.

Di R said...

Chance~ Be prepared to take a lot of notes. I had 27 pages of them and ideas to make my story stronger and better.

I finally got my own copy of her GMC at the workshop.


Bronwen Evans said...

Thanks for having me Captain Jack - or not if you get my drift. I'm a bit disappointed to learn you'll pretty soon have another wench on your knee. Why isn't one woman enough? Men! Pirates! I could scream.

2nd Chance said...

Oh, Bronwen...Jack has many a lass ta perch on his knee. And only the Cap'n gets ta put a ring on 'im... She won't say where...

Bosun said...

LOL! I actually just cringed at the "She won't say where..." bit.

Thanks again for being with us, Bronwen. Here's hoping the books fly off the shelves and feel free to stop by again anytime. For the next book, or just because.

I had the pleasure of spending a lot of time with Ms. Dixon a few years ago when she was the speaker at a one day conference I coordinated. Not only is she brilliant, she's entertaining, funny, and a total sweetheart.

Oh, and I promise Jack's next guest doesn't sit on his knee. I made sure they each had their own chairs. You really must take a heavy hand with that man at times.