Interview with Erica Ridley, Author of Dukes, Actually
29 Oct 2019
What can you tell us about your new release, Dukes, Actually?
The 12 Dukes of Christmas is a series of heartwarming Regency romps nestled in a picturesque snow-covered village. Most people flock to Christmas, England to celebrate the season in a winter wonderland. The Duke of Azureford, on the other hand, intends to use his holiday as a training ground. When he returns to London for the “real” Season—also known as the Marriage Mart—he’ll be socially awkward no more, and ready to court the perfect duchess. Once he enlists the help of the young lady next door in his endeavors, nothing goes to plan!
What or who inspired you to become an author?
I wanted to be a writer ever since I could read. I was told it wasn’t a very practical idea, so I ended up going to university to study International Business. I managed to stay in the corporate world for about ten years, before I decided that I absolutely had to try to become a writer, come what may, and I’m so glad I did! Throughout my life, my biggest champion was my grandmother, who was a librarian and a fellow lover of books.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
Oh, man. It’s always impossible for me to pick my favorite anything. A few of the authors without whom I might never be where I am today are: Johanna Lindsey (the first historical romance I ever read!) and Julie Garwood, whose historical romances I read over and over until the spines cracked. I loved the mix of historical romance and humor.
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
I think for my first show, I’d interview librarians from all over the word. I lived in libraries as a child, and credit them with helping to foster my love of books. It would be fascinating to hear librarians talk about how they’ve matched books to readers, and what changes they’ve seen over the years in fiction and in readers.
What is a typical day like for you?
I love writing romance because it gives me the freedom to put complex characters in impossible situations and help them find love anyway. I also love the freedom of being able to work anywhere in the world I happen to be. I love to travel, for research and otherwise, and I love being able to take my characters with me.
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
I live in Costa Rica, which means either the sun or the parrots in the palm trees outside have me awake around dawn. I’m a morning person, so I like to write first thing. In the afternoons my husband and I might go for a walk in the rainforest, or take coffee on our balcony to watch the sunset.
What scene in Dukes, Actually was your favorite to write?
Hmm, that might be a toss-up between the opening sequence when the Duke of Azureford first comes to town and his carefully laid plans immediately go awry, and a little later in the story when he’s practicing his best flirtation techniques on Carole, resulting in more face-palms than fluttery bosoms. They have great chemistry together in all their scenes. Any scene with Azureford’s butler or Carole’s lady’s maid was also a blast to write.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
“Try.” Everything I’ve ever achieved boils down to that one simple step. And then another. And then another. If there’s something you want to have, want to do, want to know; try. It just might come true!
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