Lord Midnight author Donna Cummings was nice enough to join us for a little interview! Thanks, Donna!
1. I’ve read multiple romances set in similar time periods, but this is the first one I’ve read that dealt with highwaymen. Was that your catalyst for writing the book or an interesting element you came across while researching?
When I first started reading romances, a zillion years ago, highwaymen were a little more prevalent in romances. They captured my fancy pretty quickly, probably because they are witty and charming, even though they are essentially robbers. So when I started this book, I knew I wanted a highwayman, but when I needed a reason for my hero being a highwayman, the idea came to me from some research. The funny thing is it wasn’t research about the time period or highwaymen. I was reading an article about how the U.S. Vice President’s political fortunes depend on something horrible happening to the President, so that person could move up. It made me wonder what would happen if somebody wasn’t willing to wait their turn! And that’s when I decided my highwayman was in that profession because his uncle believed the title and estates belonged to him, and he was willing to kill for them. So the hero has to rob carriages in order to survive, and it gives him a chance to plot his revenge.
2. Marisa is a fantastic character, strong-willed, determined, and best of all, smart. Your enjoyment in writing her comes out in her scenes. Did you have a favorite of hers to write?
I’m so glad you enjoyed Marisa. I really did enjoy writing her, although she was the last of the bunch to really define herself clearly in my mind, causing some frustrating moments. My favorite scenes were the ones she had with Gabriel. She could be herself during those times, so she was spirited and funny and determined to experience life, even though she was a virtual prisoner. I really enjoyed the scene when she’s hiding the highwayman in her bed. And I’m particularly fond of wedding scenes, but I don’t want to give too much away!
3. Gabriel is certainly swoon-worthy, though also crafty and deceptive like his uncle. Did that give you trouble while writing him or was that something that added extra excitement?
I always fall in love with my heroes when I’m writing them, so I’m glad when I hear them described as swoon-worthy! You’re right about him being crafty and deceptive, but I’m a little lenient with him about those traits, since it’s a result of him being forced into the life of a criminal, and he has to be that way in order to survive. It does make him a bit reckless at times, and that definitely made him fun to write. Since I’m the type who always weighs and considers all the risks in life, I’m envious of my characters just jumping in and worrying about the fallout later!
4. The budding romance between Marisa’s aunt and Jaime was kind of a surprise. Did that surprise you as well?
It did catch me by surprise! I guess that’s bound to happen when they’re off-camera, spending time with each other while I’m busy working out the problems between Marisa and Gabriel. I have to admit, I want everyone to have a happily-ever-after, so it made me glad that they got a chance to escape the heartbreaks in their life. I guess I’m a matchmaker at heart.
5. Can you tell us anything about future projects?
I have a few things in the works. I’m working on The Curse of True Love series, where the goddess Aphrodite tries to play matchmaker in Regency times, with disastrous results. The first story is Lord Rakehell, about a rake who is late to his own wedding, and I hope to have that novella available soon. I’m also finishing edits on a contemporary novella coming out from Samhain in April. It’s part of a series called Strangers on a Train, with individual stories about couples falling in love on different trains — there are five authors involved, and it came about because of a conversation on Twitter!
Thanks so much for the fun interview. Your questions made me think about my book in some new ways, which I really enjoyed. I had a great time!