Welcome, I would like to thank author, Charissa Ruechel for taking the time to answer these questions for Coffee Time Romance. Ms. Ruechel’s new release from Triskelion Publishing, The Viper Queen is a historical romance with a ‘take no prisoners’ heroine and a hero that will have you begging for more.
Charissa, first, tell us a little bit about yourself. What are some of the things you do when you’re not writing: Do you like to fish, hike, yell at the television while nubile men run around in tight spandex pants all while wearing a yellow foam rubber hat perhaps?
Just what are your favorite colors on the playing field?
Hmm, I’m blissfully married to the best guy in the world and I have two kids who can say without hesitation their mother wears combat boots. Yes, I am a professed Cheesehead. I never make it a secret that I am a long suffering fan of the Green Bay Packers and this season I can stress the long suffering part. I love making my husband a weekend sports widower each fall and making my family snicker when I play arm chair quarterback. Other things I like to do when I’m not writing are cooking and making jewelry. With whatever free time I have left after that, I work on whittling down my ever growing to-be-read pile of books.
What sort of thing do you do to get into the mood to write? Besides, looking at half-dressed men, that is.
The first thing I do is put on coffee. *groans* Must have the coffee. For certain scenes, I crank up the mood music. My writing is usually a bit on the darker side so the music is loud and hard. Looking at half dressed men is always a nice motivation, but I have faces for characters in each manuscript, so that would just count as eye candy fun.
When you set out to write, what were the words you said to your critique partners on the genre you would never write? And why did you write this particular genre?
When I started this particular book, I swore to the ladies in my writing group I would never do an historical. I am particular enough about the ones I read that I thought I would never create one. Then I sat down and in less than a month had the first draft finished. I chose the era and the year to write after all the battles had been fought and what certain characters lives would be like when peace hit. After that, Scottish hunks are just plain delicious.
There is a serious lack of kilts in The Viper Queen. Why aren’t there any?
Very good question. Braveheart, the movie did a lot to stir up that fallacy. The kilts that we have come to know didn’t come into existence for another few centuries. The clothing of the era that I wrote in was more long tunics and pants of sorts. But, can any of us complain about the flashing of flesh in Braveheart?
What made you choose this particular time period to write about? Is this going to be the beginning of a series?
I fell in love with Angus MacFadyen’s performance of Robert the Bruce in Braveheart. He’s got this chubby cheeked, quirky smile and I thought it would be fun to have the King of Scotland deal with slightly trivial matters like playing a meddling matchmaker. Couple that with two characters wondering what to do with their lives after the fall out battling for Scotland’s independence and it just seemed perfect. As for a series, I wasn’t planning to do it with these characters, but another of the Four Horsemen has been whispering in my ear lately to tell his story, so perhaps I’ll work on the other three Horsemen soon, telling how their lives wrapped up like Raden’s.
What is it your favorite thing about the Raden, the hero in this book? Lisandra, the heroine?
I think the best part about both is they were both the same mindset. They would lay down their lives to protect what mattered most to them. I enjoy the fact Raden always handled Lisandra perfectly. He would egg her on until she came around to the right logic without breaking her spirit. She was stubborn and so was he. Lisandra was just simply a treat to write. Consequences damn her or not, she had one goal and that was to keep that which she cared about safe. In that era, it could cost her everything, but she did it anyways. That was always my favorite characteristic about her.
What is your favorite genre to read? To write?
I prefer contemporaries when it comes to romance, but I am a rather eclectic reader. I don’t settle for one genre. If the book is good, I’ll read it in a single sitting. Writing them, contemporaries are the easiest for me, but I’m finding myself in the situation if I say I’ll never write a certain genre, the next day, I’ll have written the first few chapters of a new story.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
I’ve said when I grow up I want to be Jennifer Crusie. I love her books. There are so many other writers I enjoy. Katie McAllister, Angela Knight for romances, Tom Clancy and Clive Cussler for the action/adventure. I could go on for hours and that would be just talking about new authors I’ve discovered.
Is there a genre you’d love to try to write but haven’t yet?
I want to write a suspense novel. I like darker, more dangerous types of stories, so that would be a great genre to try.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Scotland, hands down. I even have the town and the house picked out after visiting there. So, if I ever win the lottery, you can catch me there.
How long have you been writing? Do you see yourself doing it in ten or even twenty years from now?
I’ve been writing in some form or fashion since I was nine. Writing seriously, concentrating on publication, it’s been about 2 years now. I would love to see myself in ten or twenty years still being published, but I’ll be writing in general until the day I die. My imagination will never let me stop.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions. I loved reading about Lisandra and Raden’s battle of the sexes so much that I didn’t even mind the lack of kilt. In fact, on a man like Raden, no kilt is a very nice thing, indeed.
Please give us your site and any upcoming appearances, chats and any other events.
Thanks so much for having me and yes, no kilt on Raden was enjoyable indeed. *LOL* Everyone can keep up with my goings on by checking out my website or my blog which I am working on being faithful with, or over on the Yahoo Group I share with two fellow writers called Designing Writers Blues.
Thank you so much Charissa for joining us today, also Coffee Time Romance wants to take this time to thank you , Thank you.
An absolutely wonderful interview