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Friday, January 4, 2013

Maisey Yates brings the Romance

....by Olivia Kelly

Today we have USA Today best selling author Maisey Yates with us! She is one of my favorite people to follow on Twitter, being funny, irreverent and always interesting, and one of the Harlequin authors I read the most. Since she has something like five million books coming out this year, I asked her to drop by and tell us about it! 

Hi Maisey! Welcome to Lady Scribes!

How did you decide to be a writer? Was it a deliberate choice, or more like a calling? How did you break into publishing? 

I've always enjoyed writing, but I was really directionless in terms of what I wanted to write. But then I picked up a Harlequin Presents and I read about…ten of them and I thought, this is it. This is what I want. I probably read 300 Presents in that first year (no joke) and then I discovered Harlequin was doing a writing contest via their iheartpresents website. I entered, but I didn't final. Still, after that I decided I had to submit to them. So I sent a partial manuscript to their slush pile, and after 20 months and three rounds of revisions, I sold to them!

A little birdie told me that you have several books coming out this year. Can you tell us what's on the schedule? What's up first? 

Oh boy, the little birdie did not lie. First in 2013 is At His Majesty's Request. Followed by Heir to a Desert Legacy in April, Heir to a Dark Inheritance in May, in June a novella in an anthology for HQN with Lori Foster, Heidi Betts and Jules Bennet, and my first silver book, Unbuttoned (also novella length) in July, another Presents, The Couple Who Fooled the World and in August my first full length Silver Creek book Unexpected. There are more, but I'll stop there! LOL.

Can you give us a quick rundown on At His Majesty's Request?

How about a sneak peek? 

 “Come in,” he said.

         She shot him a look and walked into the room, wiping her hand on the tulle skirt of her gown, trying to get rid of the heated feeling that his touch had left behind. She crossed her arms beneath her breasts, pushed her cleavage up into prominence, then thought better of it when she realized just how prominent it was.

         She put her hands on her hips. “What’s up?”

         “None of them were acceptable,” he said.



         “But...but...” she sputtered. “What about Dominique? You touched her arm.”

         He shrugged. “I know how to flirt.”

         “Well, yeah, I know, I yelled at you for it the other day. But why flirt if you aren’t going to follow up?”

         He frowned. “Did you just imply that I am a...tease?”

         “Yeah. A marriage tease. Why feign interest if you don’t feel any?”

         “I’m not seeking to hurt anyone’s feelings,” he said dryly. “I could hardly stand there and act bored. And anyway, that begs the question why you would send me such dull women.”

         “Dull? Dominique is a beauty queen, Corinthia is a doctor for heaven’s sake and Samantha...”

         “Had the most annoying laugh.”

         “All right. Yes, her laugh is kind of annoying. But it’s sort of endearing.”

         “No. It’s not.”

         “You’re being unkind.”

         “Maybe. But I don’t have forever to find a wife, and you were supposed to be the best.”

         “I am,” she said. “I can find you a wife. Anyway, I didn’t think your personal preferences came into it.”

         “I don’t want to be...irritated into an early grave by a woman who laughs at all my jokes, even when they aren’t funny, or by one who can’t seem to make conversation about anything other than the weather.”

         “That’s called small talk. It’s how people get to know each other,” she said.

         “Boring.” He waved a hand as if dismissing the concept. “Talk about world events. Something other than the ‘balmy evening’.”

         “So marriage is more to you than you said. Glad to hear it.”

         “I am not glad that you presented me with unacceptable candidates. This is not about...meaning, or emotions. This is about...I have to be able to stand the woman I marry.”

         “You really are being ridiculous. They weren’t unacceptable. What’s the problem? You didn’t find them attractive?”

         “They were attractive. But I was not attracted to any of them.”

         “You say that like it’s my fault.”

         “It is,” he said, whirling around to face her. His dark gaze slid down to her breasts and her own followed.

         She looked back up at him. “Elaborate,” she said, teeth gritted.

         “You expect that you can show up in that dress, and I can focus on other women?”

         “What’s wrong with my dress?” She gripped the full, tulle skirt reflexively.

         “Other than the fact that you’re showing off much more of your breasts than any straight man could be expected to ignore? It also shows your legs. This was a formal wedding. Every other woman, including the ones I was speaking to, had on long gowns. You...you...”

         “This dress comes to my knees. And I didn’t realize you were a fourteen-year-old boy masquerading as a prince.”

Ha! What was your favorite part about writing this book? Your least favorite part?

My favorite part was the banter between Stavros and Jessica. She was more than capable of holding her own with them. In terms of least favorite…her conflict was hard. It was sad. But at the end of it all, it's one of the things I'm happiest with. Painful to write, but worth it.

Out of all your novels so far, do you have a favorite one? Why or why not?

I have books that are favorites for different reasons. The Highest Price to Pay because Blaise was a hero I felt needed to be written. I thought it was past time for there to be a black Presents hero, and I was proud to get to be the one to write him. A Royal World Apart because I loved the virgin hero aspect. Actually, I could probably come up with a reason to say they were all a favorite for some reason, either because of a subject I got to explore or because I felt they improved my writing. :)

Can you tell us something about the hero and heroine that we won't know by reading the book? Maybe a secret fear or passion, weird talent or funny childhood moment? 

Jessica was always organized. Always. I think to the point of being a bit annoying and odd as a child! And Stavros…I touch on it in the book but I don't go into it. I think he was very hard on his older brother for a mistake he made. Enough that he drove him away. I think Stavros expects a lot from himself and others, and he doesn't forgive easily.

How do you come up with your story ideas? Do you find that writing for the two different publishing houses, with two very different types of books, has drastically changed your approach to storytelling? Or has it stayed the same? 

I think every book is different, but the process for me, regardless of story length is mainly the same. For me, the focus begins on character and conflict, regardless of publisher or book type. The big thing is slipping into the right tone. My Presents heroes, being royalty or men who often speak English as a second language, don't sound the same as my cowboys. So I listen to specific music that gets me in the feel for each book.

Do you have any funny, scary, exciting or just plain bizarre stories (that you can share in public) that happened to you since you published your first book? 

I did have someone scream at me in a store. She had no idea who I was, or what my books were, but I was buying things for a gift basket for a reader event, and I told her I wrote romance for Harlequin when she asked. And she SCREAMED. And said "Oh my gosh! You're FAMOUS." I didn't know what to say!

That is so funny! Since I follow you on Twitter, I know your dad recently commissioned a promotion video for your novels. Would you share that with our readers, pretty please? It's hilarious! 

Yes! And please do enjoy!

Now for some of Olivia's Super Speed Questions. Be honest...<evil laugh>

1) Mountains or Beach? TOO HARD. I'm an Oregonian, I can have both at the same time #scenerywhore

2) France or Italy? France

3) Sugar or Salt? Sugar

4) Vikings or Knights? Vikings

5) Chocolate or Coffee? Coffee

6) Virgin Widow or Secret Baby? Virgin widow (I've written a virgin widower…)

7) Blue or Green? Blue

8) Roses or Violets? Roses

9) Teenagers or Toddlers? Toddlers (I can pick them up and put them in their room)
10) Sexy Businessman Billionaire or Sexy Rakish Duke? <--- this is unfair. I write sexy businessman billionaires, and I wouldn't have it any other way. But what do I read? Dukes, baby.

You can follow Maisey on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. Also, you can catch up with her on her website!

Wasn't that video such an awesome gift? What's the funniest, strangest, most romantic or most random present you have ever gotten?


  1. LoL - I love the reason for preferring toddlers to teens. Having two toddlers m'self, there is definitely a certain appeal to that.

    OMG - the video's hilarious.

    I think the sweetest (sorry, that's the only category I can come up with that has something uber "something" about it) gift I ever got was just this past Christmas. My 6 y/o boy got me a set of 16 or so nail polishes.

    His reason? "I wanted something beautiful because you're so beautiful."

    Some lucky little hussy's gonna get my baby boy. ::grumble:: Already 6 and trying to steal hearts (primarily mine at the moment).

    1. Tory, I have a boy that age. On Christmas he handed me his toy Minecraft sword and told me solemnly that he was a zombie and I had to kill him. That passes as love in our house...

  2. Loved the video!

    Maisey ~ Welcome to LadyScribes. The dialogue was great. I couldn't keep from giggling. :)

    Soon after I started dating my boyfriend - The Scientist - we were frequenting a lot of restaurants, and that was eating up a lot of our time before we had to get home to either my son or his daughter. So I thought if we ate at home, we'd have more time to ourselves. Anyway - I told him I'd make dinner the next night so we wouldn't have to go out.

    I made dinner as planned. And waited. He didn't show up and he was always punctual back then. About 10 minutes after he was supposed to arrive, he called and wondered where I was. "Dinner was ready."

    I kind of stared at the phone for a minute and then said. "Did YOU make dinner?"

    He said he had. When I reiterated that *I* had made dinner, that I said I would make dinner, he said, "But you don't cook." And I don't, not usually. English is not his native tongue, so it was one of our few miscommunications due to language.

    He ended up packing up his meal, coming to my house, and we had bits of both dinners. I was touched that he went to the effort to cook for me, and slightly mortified that he thought I'd TOLD him to do so. I would never do that. But even though he thought I had, he made a delicious three course meal without complaint. (Side note... if someone told me to cook for them, I'd tell them to go take a flying leap.) He's such a sweet man.

    1. Deb, I thought the same thing! Lol! He's a late slacker now, Ava?

    2. That's so sweet!! :) I love it.

  3. LOL. Love the excerpt! I think all men are 14 year old boys masquerading as grown ups. :)

    Thanks so much for being with us today at Lady Scribes. Your books sound hilarious!

    1. Thanks, Samantha. I agree with you. It does make it easy to win arguments with ones SO when one realizes they are in fact still large hormones though!

  4. Thanks for joining us today, Maisey! I think I'm like you in terms of wanting both mountains and beaches. That's part of what I loved so much about Juneau, Alaska...and Oregon and Washington state are very similar, only not quite as cold. :) Sounds like you're going to be a busy girl this year!

    1. Catherine, yes, that good old Pac NW feel.

      I am busy! I'm trying not to ponder my schedule too deeply....

  5. Wow, 2013 is going to be a whirlwind for you, Maisy! I love the sound of this book...such fun! And that video? I'm sorry--best gift EVER!

    Thanks so much for joining us at LadyScribes!

    1. Deb, it basically was the best gift ever!! I couldn't believe my eyes.

      2013 is going to be crazy. Lucky I'm a little crazy myself...

      And thanks for having me!!

  6. WOW! You sure are one busy lady, Maisy! Congrats on all of your upcoming releases!
    And Welcome to Lady Scribes! :)

    1. Thanks, Marquita! I like it here...

      And thanks re the releases! We'll see how I weather the year. I have a feeling midway through I'm going to start ignoring the releases entirely and focus only on writing new books. LOL

  7. Sweet merciful Jesus, Maisey, that is one hell of a video! I daresay it's the best I've seen all year! Love it! ;}
    Welcome to Lady Scribes and thank you for brightening my day, you busy thing, you. Congrats with all your releases!

    1. LOL! Thanks, Andris. It was quite a gift...It definitely brightened my day.

  8. The most romantic gift I was ever given was when my husband said "I Do." He's my biggest treasure. Sorry, don't mean to be sappy, but you asked! :-)

    Looking forward to reading your new novels, Maisy! Glad to see you here on Lady Scribes. These gals are all so nice!

    1. Connie, awwwwww

      My husband is also the deliverer of my favorite gift memory. He brought me roses at my very first pre-natal appointment for our first child.

  9. Every time I hear Ava's story, it makes me laugh! And Connie, that's so sweet. Thanks for visiting today, Maisey! It's great to have you here.
    I think the most USEFUL gift I've ever gotten was my Kitchen Aide mixer. Lord, I love that thing. It was a wedding present from my parents, and much to my new husband's chagrin, it is a delicate pale pink. It came with two matching mixing bowls, pink rubber spatulas and pink and white striped dish towels, haha! He was so thrilled. ;D

    1. I love my Kitchen Aid! And pink sounds divine...heheh!