A Most Improper Duchess is out this week! Alanna was kind enough to answer some questions for us.
You can get your copy of this delightful historical romance HERE!
When it’s difficult to physically travel, how do you find ways to escape?
I love to travel, to experience new places, and visit favorite places again. When travel is not possible, I simply look around my house at all the special mementos I’ve collected from my travels. They always bring back special memories from those holidays.
I got the knight (which is actually a wine bottle cover) at Edinburgh Castle and the pumpkin on a trip to Sleepy Hallow, New York with my daughter. So many wonderful memories!
The four plates are really special. My daughter and I were visiting family in Holland this past spring. My aunt passed away and we were all having a difficult time. I wanted to do something special with my cousins and decided on a girl’s day out. We went to the Royal Delft Factory, where we took a class and got to decorate a plate. These are the plates before they were fired. Mine is hanging in my kitchen <3
Where is your favorite place to write? Does it change depending on where you are in the process?
I should start this by stating, I don’t write the story in order. I write scenes as they come to me. When I’m in the creative journaling phase—getting to know characters, discovering the details of the story—I can write anywhere. Even once the story starts coming together, I continue to write scenes as the inspiration comes to me. However, once I start organizing the sequence and filling in holes, I have to be in my office. It’s a calm space, decorated in soft cremes and white with favorite mementos all around.
What is the most inspiring place you’ve visited and has it shown up in one of your books?
I have visited a lot of places! For me, I try and enjoy each and every day, finding inspiration not only in the obvious, but in the subtleties all around, and sharing those experiences with loved ones.
Just this past spring, my daughter and I spent six weeks in Europe (most of which was spent visiting family and making wonderful memories). While in Rome, once everything closed, we walked around the Eternal City, enjoying the magnificent architecture. There is a certain peace when the crowds dissipate and the monuments, churches, and ruins are illuminated against the night sky. I find it truly inspirational.
And yes, they always show up in my books, not necessarily the actual place, but the essence of what I experienced.
Does your writing process include any kind of ritual? Story specific playlists, tea, or candles, for example?
I don’t have a specific ritual when writing, but music does play a significant role in the creative process (I listen to a lot of different types of genres!). I will be listening to a song and all of sudden, an idea might come to me, and every time I hear that song, it reminds me of that story or character. It is really helpful, especially if I get stuck on a scene. When that happens, I listen to the song (usually on repeat), and the story starts to come to life again. For A Most Improper Duchess, book one in the Three Graces series, the most listened to song was Follow You by Imagine Dragons. I’m currently working on book two in the Three Graces series, and it’s all classical music. There’s no rhyme or reason to how my brain works at times—lol!