Interview with Tessa Dare

Reading Romances:What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve ever had?

Tessa Dare: I think the werestag would have to take those honors.  I wrote a short novella about Regency characters who become intrigued by the legend of a creature haunting the woods, half-man, half-stag.  The werestag, as the overimaginative Portia decides to call him. (Psst, he wasn’t real.)

What makes you toss a book aside in frustration?

I’m a librarian, so flinging books around goes against my nature!  And honestly, I’m not one to get angry with a book, per se.  But if a story fails to engage me, I’ll set it aside and move on to the next book.  Every reader’s different, and we all have our own tastes.  Life’s too short to slog through a book that’s just not working for you.

What was the most challenging thing you’ve done in the name of research that might have been out of our comfort zone?

Well, when I was in Sussex researching locations for Spindle Cove, I took a walk on a so-called “public footpath” from one town to another, and it led me through sheep pastures, barley fields, and a field with grazing bulls.  It was a little more rustic than I’d planned, but it was a hoot.

How do you like your heroes and heroines?

I like heroes and heroines to be complementary—to meet each others’ unique needs.  Sometimes that means they’re opposite personalities.  In this book, however, Bram and Susanna are quite similar – “two examples of the same rare breed”, I think Bram puts it.  They’re both strong natural leaders with hidden weaknesses, so they’re able to challenge and understand each other on a deeper level.

What do you think that will make readers fall in love with Victor Bramwell?
Bram is a true leader:  strong, honorable and dedicated.  But he’s also vulnerable, in ways he’d rather not admit, both physically and emotionally.  He likes smart women, freckles, and romantic moonlit liaisons on the beach.  And he can steam up even the coolest inlet. 

Could you describe, without giving too much away, your favorite scene or moment from A NIGHT TO SURRENDER? Why is it your favorite?
One scene I had great fun writing was the scene where Bram’s neer-do-well rakish cousin, Colin, drills the militia recruits in the ways of seduction.  I let him riff on the Old Spice Guy commercials a bit and generally just had a blast.

What’s your best line of dialogue?

From this book?  Gah!  It’s so hard to pick something that sounds right, when taken out of context.  I mean, I’m could say I’m particularly fond of a scene where Bram says, “No.”  But that line’s not especially impressive when removed from the rest of the scene!

I will cop out and say I always love the “I love you”s. In every book, whether it’s mine or one I’m reading.  Those declarations of love are what make the book for me.

Please tell us five fun facts about A NIGHT TO SURRENDER, that readers would love to know!

In the course of the book:
Sheep are bombed.
Cows attack.
Men assert their manliness.
Women reach for their guns.
Love conquers all. 

How would you define “romance”?
My personal theory of romance, which often comes out in my novels, is that we’re all looking for the person who accepts us for our worst selves, but empowers us to be our best selves. 

For you, what makes a romance novel a great love story?
Oh, gosh.  I think the characters are what make a romance for me.  If the characters are so well-rounded and realistic that I find myself thinking about them long after I turn the last page… that, to me, is a great romance.

A Night to Surrender

(Spindle Cove, #1)
by Tessa Dare

August 30th 2011 by HarperCollins Publishers

Welcome to Spindle Cove, where the ladies with delicate constitutions come for the sea air, and men in their prime are . . . nowhere to be found.

Or are they?

Spindle Cove is the destination of choice for certain types of well-bred young ladies: the painfully shy, young wives disenchanted with matrimony, and young girls too enchanted with the wrong men; it is a haven for those who live there.

Victor Bramwell, the new Earl of Rycliff, knows he doesn’t belong here. So far as he can tell, there’s nothing in this place but spinsters . . . and sheep. But he has no choice, he has orders to gather a militia. It’s a simple mission, made complicated by the spirited, exquisite Susanna Finch—a woman who is determined to save her personal utopia from the invasion of Bram’s makeshift army.

Susanna has no use for aggravating men; Bram has sworn off interfering women. The scene is set for an epic battle…but who can be named the winner when both have so much to lose?

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book and others (up to $25,000) will be donated to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Tessa and Harper Collins will be giving away a $25 gift certificate to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. So go check the other stops! The more you comment, the better your chances of winning!

Goddess Fish PartnerPrevious/Next TOUR STOPS:

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23 thoughts on “Interview with Tessa Dare

  1. “Life’s too short to slog through a book that’s just not working for you.” So very true, you should see my reading list. I don’t need to waste time on books that are so/so. A NIGHT TO SURRENDER will not fall into that category. It looks wonderful.



  2. I finished A Night to Surrender last night and loved it! I think you’ve made Spindle Cove a wonderful place for the women who don’t really fit into Society. I absolutely love it when Colin was doing his drills. It was funny and made me want to get to the next page just to what was going to happen. (Actually the whole book was like that) I am so glad that you gave Colin his own story, can’t wait to read next year.
    I love Bram and Susanna. I love the instant connection between them and that it wasn’t denied.


  3. Great interview! Enjoyed it and especially how you defined your theory of romance, Tessa! I couldn’t agree more and am going to save the quote!



  4. I’ve only read a few of Tessa’s books, but I love what I have read. I’m looking forward to her latest release. I absolutely have to get this book NOW!

    Kareninnc at gmail dot com


  5. Great interview Tessa! Now that I FINALLY have the book, can’t wait to dive in. 🙂 Your stories are always such fun and engagine (and sexy and senual of course) that I’m sure I’ll love it!

    I’ll echo the previous commenters and say that I couldn’t agree more with your definition of romance, and that life’s too short to force yourself to finish a book that’s not working for you.
    And from what little I’ve “seen” of Colin, I can already tell I’m going to love A Week to Be Wicked, lol. 🙂


  6. I usually put a books aside if I don’t like it but usually end up going back to it eventually because sometimes it’s just the mood I’m in at the moment that doesn’t make the book fwork for me but yeah…life is too short and if just dosn’t work for you it’s best to put it aside…Can’t wait to read my copy of this:)



  7. Totally agree with not slogging through a book if it isn’t working for you. Enjoyed your interview and look forward to reading this book.

    skpetal (at) hotmail (dot) com


  8. Your interviews really come across with your sense of humor (Sheep are bombed & Cowa Attack?!) – great word pictures!

    sallans d at yahoo dot com


  9. Unfortunately, I have been known to force myself to continue to read a book that just wasn’t doing it for me. Anymore, that won’t happen. If it is not interesting me, I will set it aside and read something else and either come back to it at another time or pass it on to someone who might enjoy it more.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com


  10. Wow – that actually sounds like an interesting book. I don’t have much time to read anymore now that I have kids (I prefer to spend my spare time sleeping), but this one sounds like it’s right up my alley!


  11. Tessa,
    I love your stories because you always make the reader feel like they are in the same room as the characters! I totally agree that the characters you write make their romance believable by approaching their personalities, action and beliefs realistic and that’s what make your books such good romance stories. I often go back later to re-read my favoirte scenes especially that aha moment when they realize how true their love is.

    I already know that A Night to Surrender is going to be another of your books that I won’t want to put down once I read that very first sentence!

    jeannemiro (@) yahoo(dot)com


  12. I like what you said about being opposed to flinging books around!! I agree that I will give a book a chance, but with SO many great books out there, if I’m not engaged by at least 1/3 of the way through, I will gently place it aside and pick up another one 🙂
    Awesome interview, Tessa 😀


  13. When I read 5 Fun Facts about A Night to Surrender I burst out laughing! Wow, that alone makes me want to pick up this book!
    Hope your book does well for you, it is helping support a great cause! (Love the cover too!)


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