Q&A with Joy

Why do you write about romance?

I have had a secret love affair with romance novels my entire life, always enjoying the chance to escape into a world of happily ever afters.

But when my son was born weighing a little over a pound, my world changed.

He fought for his life in the ICU for six months before coming home. When he came home, he was on oxygen and a feeding tube and we ran a mini-hospital of sorts out of our home. Our life was full of worry and fear for our child. I decided if I ever crawled out of that, I would bust out of the closet as an aspiring romance novelist.

And now here I am.

My little guy is 4 years old and I’m out of the romance writing closet.

I understand now more than ever how precious the opportunity is to believe in happily ever afters, even when just for an hour or so waiting bedside at a hospital watching over a loved one.

How do you pronounce your last name?

Adare.

You can say it like a-dare, I dare you to….

Or, in Ireland it is more like uh-daaaar, sounds like darling.

Adare Manor is a 19th century manor house located on the banks of the River Maigue in the village of Adare, County Limerick, Ireland, the former seat of the Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl, now a luxury resort hotel – the Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort.

Are your books a series?

Nope.

They share characters, settings, and themes, but what unites them is that the fabric of each novel creates a close-knit community.

In Strictly Passion, the hero is Hungarian Immigrant turned corporate raider — Stefano Marek.

In Reckless Passion, the heroine is his sister, single mother and corporate raider herself — Daniella Marek.

I hope to write my third book about secondary characters introduced in Strictly Passion, namely Emma Warwick’s brother Andrew Warwick and Emma’s best friend — Sophie.

How did you write your first book?

Even with my son graduating from special needs school and gradually dropping the need for different intervention specialists, there wasn’t much time for writing.

I wrote my book in 30 minutes a day and without breaking the chain.My husband (a software engineer) saved the day when he sent me a link to an extraordinary story about how Jerry Seinfeld became a good comedic writer.

Jerry Seinfeld.

Really!

I did what Jerry said to do with his tried and true method – “Don’t break the Chain.

I wrote my book in 30 minutes a day and without breaking the chain.

At right is what my wall calendar looked like with this method (my little girl drew the smiling faces for me each day I accomplished my goal).

You seem to write a lot about tea…

Mariage FreresI adore tea.

My favorite tea in the whole world is a Mariage Freres tea inspired by a place where my husband and I honeymooned — Mauritius.

The tea in Mauritius had this scrumptious and aromatic vanilla flavor that I crave.

Fortunately, Mariage Freres makes something similar that tastes amazing — a vanilla black tea called French Breakfast.

Here are my favorite places to get afternoon tea:

What is your writing process?

Remember that guy I talked about who gave me the “Don’t break the chain strategy” from Seinfeld? The romantic man who I honeymooned with in Mauritius? My best friend who totally supports my romance writing dreams?

Well, he is not my critique partner.

If he were my critique partner, our marriage would not work.

When I have asked him for feedback about a scene, it goes something like this:

Me: “What do you think of the sexual tension between the hero and heroine? Do you think it is happening too early?”

Him: “Hmmm… Have you ever thought about having a villain enter the plot here? He or she could be an evil spy who plants Uranium under the heroine’s tea plantation fields?”

Me: “What are you talking about? Please stay focused. I’m talking about my ROMANCE novel here and the rising romantic tension in my scene.”

Him: “Right. Okay. But wouldn’t it be interesting if the hero was a secret agent of some sort? Maybe from the Mossad?”

Me: “Get out of my office. Please.”

So, since my husband is not a romance novel genre fan and seems only interested in Cold War era spy novels, I rely on my fabulous ladies:

Kira Brady and Marni Folsom

And lots of helpful friends and family: Annie Leys, Krystin Drake, Ilene Silver, Heidi Skiles, Peter Gibb, Bill Drake and Miriam Silver.

Ideas for Strictly Passion

Warwick Tea has been on the same street in Greenwich Village since the late 1800’s like this
Warwick Tea has been on the same street in Greenwich Village since the late 1800’s like this.Emma and Stefano’s steamy rooftop scene could have happened at a roof top garden in NYC like this one.
Emma and Stefano’s steamy rooftop scene could have happened at a roof top garden in NYC like this one.
Emma lives in Greenwich Village at a place like this.
Emma lives in Greenwich Village at a place like this.