Wordy Wednesday's author interview with Maxine Barry

Today on the blog, I'm taking part in a blog tour for a new book by Maxine Barry, Imposters in Paradise

Imposters in Paradise by Maxine Barry
When Imogen Dacres’ brother, Robbie, dies in mysterious circumstances, she travels to Bermuda in search of the truth. From the minute she sets out on her journey, Imogen is plunged into a web of secrets, lies and mistaken identity. She soon realises that beneath the glamour of Bermuda, there are unseen forces intent on doing her harm. When she meets Morgan Dax, her brother’s boss, and one of the richest men on the island, there is a powerful attraction between them. But did Dax have a hand in Robbie’s death, and can Imogen trust him with her own life?

This standalone, gripping romantic adventure is the first in the Romantic, Passionate, Thrilling Escapes series. Fast-paced plots with strong heroines, sexy heroes and sinister villains in exotic locations – they’re the perfect escape!
Maxine is a full time author and lives in Oxford. As usual I asked her a few probing and a few silly questions, and she kindly answered them all.

Maxine Barry author

What made you more nervous, knowing a book was finally published and everyone could read and critique it, or your family reading it?
I wasn’t so worried about my family reading it (my dad actually helped me proof read the copy of my very first romance novel that they sent me for editing) but I did worry that people (readers in general) wouldn’t like it. But rationally, I realised that you can’t please all the people all the time. Books, like art, are purely subjective. So whilst some might read a novel of mine and love it, other’s wouldn’t. (That didn’t stop me from feeling ridiculously pleased by my first ‘fan’ letter though! And every other ‘fan’ letter that I’ve ever had for that matter.)

Which are your 2 favourite romance novels by other authors?
I grew up reading Mills and Boon as a teenager, and loved Anne Hampson’s books. And in the 80s and 90s of course, the big reads were by the Americans – novels like Princess Daisy, and Lace. Most recently, though, I’ve been writing and reading crime novels!

What 3 things are guaranteed to make you smile?
A sunny day that’s not too hot. A chocolate pudding of any description. And a visit to the library.

Do you have any pets?
I have a Yorkie/Maltese dog, now aged 14 and going a little deaf, called Nero. (I often call him Toad, though, because he can often act like one! He wasn’t named after a bonkers Roman Emperor for nothing.) And he has made one or two cameo appearances in my novels over the years.

Which book(s) are you reading at the moment?
I've just been re-visiting Wuthering Heights (I haven't read it since my school days!) and am once again impressed by Emily Bronte. All that brooding and heightened passion! For me, Heathcliffe is still my favourite romance hero (or should that be anti-hero?)

Where do you do most of your writing?
I have a desk in my living room, facing a bookshelf with a copy of every novel I’ve had published so far (45 so far and still counting.) It faces a wall so that I won’t get distracted by what’s going on outside. Also, it means that my past books stare back at me as reproach to get cracking on whatever it is I’m working on at the moment, and act as a salient reminder that novels won’t write themselves. Though, if I could have a choice of super-powers, that would be it!

Do you every write your friends and family into books without them realising...?
I don’t write about real people that I know when creating my characters (I could get into a load of trouble that way!) Besides, part of the fun of writing a novel is creating your own world, and making up people to fit into them. If you have a real person in mind when doing this, they won’t always be ‘moulded’ as you want them in order to help the story line progress!

Tell us about the character that you've written that you like the most - no spoilers!
I wouldn’t mind being any of the heroines in any of my romance novels – since they are invariably beautiful (I’m not) intelligent (ditto) and very often are to be found having a great time in lovely locations with very sexy men (ditto and ditto. Alas and alas!)

Why did you choose your particular genre?
I started my career writing romance, because, as a teenager, that’s what I mostly read – along with classic whodunit-style crime novels. Which is why I now write in both genres. And, let’s face it, writing romances, set in lovely exotic locations, with thrilling storylines and handsome heroes were as fun to write as they are to read.

If you had to write in a different genre, which would you choose?
As well as writing whodunits under the name of Joyce Cato, I also created DI Hillary Greene, and the police procedural ‘Narrow’ series, under the name of Faith Martin. So there isn’t really another genre I’d want to write (Besides, I think 3 is enough for anyone!)

What do you think is the best thing about social media?
I’m a near-Luddite when it comes to modern technology and have only just started to learn to Twitter. Sorry, tweet. So, what I know about social media could be written in one word. Nothing!
And the worst?
Again – I don’t feel qualified to comment. I don't even have a Facebook page!

What is your favourite biscuit?
Any biscuit with chocolate on it has my attention.

Alcohol or a nice cup of tea?
I’m tee-total and always have been, and only ever drink coffee.

Who would you pick to star in the film of your life?
My fantasy choice would probably be Diana Rigg (I loved her as Emma Peel in the old Avenger’s series!!!) In reality – probably the wonderful actress Brenda Blethyn, who plays ‘Vera’ so well in the Anne Cleeves BBC series.

If you could genetically cross an animal and a vegetable, what would you pick and why? I'm thinking a sort of salad butterfly, lettucey wings...
Now that’s not a question I’m asked very often! Let me think ... my brain isn’t liking this question for some reason … I keep thinking of otters and carrots for no damned good reason that I can explain.

Thanks to Maxine for answering my questions. Don't forget to check out Imposters in Paradise on Amazon, and her other books too of course. And follow the blog tour to find out more about Maxine and her books.

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