The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Interview with Cherie Le Clare - Romance and WWII

Welcome, Cherie! I am so looking forward to reading your interview because WWII is one of my favourite and fascinating eras...I give you the floor...

1) What is your writing routine? I try to keep to a schedule of writing at least something every day, but I must confess that I don’t always stick to this unless I have a deadline to meet.
2) Which author/s inspire you to write? I will always be grateful to Australian author Anne Gracie for inspiring me with her witty series of Regency Historicals. Studying her writing helped me to improve, and sell, my first published novel: French Kiss.
3) Which is your favorite romance subgenre to read? To write? I like to read anything and everything! I’ve written, and published, historical, erotica and contemporary – I can’t pick a favorite – I like to mix it up and keep up the variety and challenge.
4) How do you deal with criticism/rejection? It’s always a struggle to be brave about it and take it on the chin – first I’m a little miffed, then I’m hurt, then I’m defensive, but once I’ve calmed down I can usually learn from it. But ignoring it works too – it’s easier than it was in the beginning because I have developed a lot more trust in my own judgment. I go by the ‘three’ rule – if at least 3 people criticize the same thing, then it’s something I must change. Rejection from a publisher with only a form letter, and no explanation, is the most frustrating thing for me. How can you change something if you don’t know what needs changing?
5) What do you expect from an editor? Professional, polite guidance and advice, and the willingness to respect my choices. This works both ways, of course. It’s essential to work as a team to make the book the best it can be.
6) Tell me about your latest release. FRENCH KISS is a novel set in Normandy, France, during World War Two. It is a fast-paced story, with the hero, Joe, a spitfire pilot, and the heroine, Louisa, an agent working with the Maquis/Resistance, trying to stay alive, and falling in love.
7) Tease us with a blurb or short excerpt. When Louisa, undercover agent for the British Secret Service, parachutes into war-torn France in 1944, she doesn’t expect to fall, literally, into the arms of fugitive Royal Air Force pilot, Joseph Fisher. Seeking a safe sanctuary, Louisa and Joe battle constant danger from enemy forces and soon form a strong friendship. Joe, quickly realizing that he can’t bear to leave France without her, rejects an opportunity to be smuggled onto the escape line, thus forcing Louisa to find the courage to face her biggest fear: What will it take for her to risk falling in love?
8) Which is your favorite character in the book? Why? The hero – he’s very sexy, knows what he wants, sacrifices his personal safety for love, understands and provides for the heroine’s emotional needs, is considerate of the heroine and yet stands up to her/puts his foot down when necessary. He’s also vulnerable.
9) What is next for you? I’m mentoring two other writing friends, and am a judge for 2 contests in April.
10) What are you working on right now? I’m working on another World War Two novel, set in New Zealand this time, with the romance between an American sailor and a kiwi girl.
11) Your biggest piece of advice to aspiring novelists? Attach yourself to a writer you trust or admire, and learn from them, study how they phrase sentences, practice, practice, practice writing visceral feelings/emotion – I believe writing powerful emotion is the key to success in the romance genre – oh yeah and DON”T GIVE UP.
12) Where can readers find you? Please visit me at and leave me a message. I’d love to hear from you.

Mmmm...think I need to visit The Wild Rose Press website later - your hero sounds good enough to eat, Cherie! Oooh, nothing like a man in uniform...


  1. Hi Cherie,
    Sounds like a wonderful read. TWRP published by WW2 romance too - The Trouble With Playboys. I have actually met Anne Gracie at conferences here in Australia. She is not only a talented writer but a really friendly lady.



  2. Thanks for your comment, Margaret.
    I agree Anne is friendly - I had breakfast with her at a New Zealand writers' conference and was thrilled to meet her. I found her workshop useful. 'Give your hero a sad childhood' she suggested.
    A wave to you across the Tasman from here in New Zealand.
    Cherie Le Clare

  3. I love a strong, sexy hero that is also vulnerable.

    Nice Interview Rachel and Cherie!

  4. Thank you Karen!
    All best,
    Cherie Le Clare.

  5. Hi Rachel,

    Thanks very much for giving me the opportunity to join your blog, and for your lovely introduction.

    Cherie Le Clare.

  6. You're welcome, Cherie! It was lovely having you here and learning more about French Kiss - I wish you loads and loads of sales! x

  7. Hi Cherie
    I was very interested to read about your choice of favourite character in 'French Kiss'. Although most romances are written from the heroine's POV, it's a fantastic hero who keeps us reading. I'm hoping to read 'French Kiss' before too long and I'll certainly let you know if I fall in love with him too!

    Thanks, Rachel, for the opportunity to read some of Cherie's thoughts on writing.

  8. Hi Cherie

    It sounds like an exciting read. I can't wait to see where Joseph and Louisa's adventure takes the reader.