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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the next book and when is it in stores?

The second book in the Scandalous Summerfields series tells how Edmund Summerfield almost has a dream come true—marriage to Amelie Grenville. But he should have known better. After all, how can a bastard son marry a viscount’s daughter?

Release date to be announced!

Why do your paperback books come out two weeks before the copyright date and the ebooks are released on that date?

The short answer is... that’s the way Harlequin does things.

Harlequin needs to release several of their series lines and it would overwhelm bookstores to have to shelve them all on the first of the month, I imagine. So they stagger what week which lines are released. Ebooks don’t have that problem.

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Why did you choose to write in the Regency time period?

I actually started out writing Contemporary romance even though I always loved to read historical romance. I was trying to break into Harlequin or Silhouette, but then a friend introduced me to wonderful books by Mary Jo Putney, Laura Kinsale, and Mary Balogh, as well as traditional Regencies (I devoured them like candy) and the master of them all, Georgette Heyer. I adored Regency romances with their London seasons, country houses, lords and ladies, their former soldiers, and vicar’s daughters. At one of the Romance Writers of America conferences I learned that all the major publishers bought Regency historicals. So I decided to get over my fear of historical research and write what I loved to read. Ironically, my first sale was to Harlequin— Mills and Boon, the UK branch of Harlequin. That book became The Mysterious Miss M.

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Don’t you have to do a lot of research to write Historicals?

Yes, but I discovered that I love the research. I love learning about the Regency time period. I love buying research books and if you read my blogs, you know I buy a lot of them. Even more, I love research trips to the UK! I’ve been on two tours of England and Scotland that were designed for writers and every day was a joy of discovery. I’ve been to Bath, Brighton, London, Edinburgh, and countless country estates, like Stratfield Saye, Bowood, Chatsworth. I plan to return to the UK for more research trips. Stay tuned. You’ll hear of them on my website.

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What is The Wet Noodle Posse?

The Wet Noodle Posse is a group of writers who were all Golden Heart finalists for 2003. Each year the finalists for the Golden Heart, Romance Writers of America’s highest prize for unpublished writers, band together on an online loop to share the experience. The GH finalists for 2003 were no different except after the awards were made, they didn’t drift apart. Instead they became even closer, bonding together and supporting each other throughout each other’s journey in the romance writing world. The name Wet Noodle Posse came from a tendency to beat each other with wet noodles if any of us wavered in our confidence to succeed in writing. It is difficult to describe the bonds that tie this group together, but they are strong and caring and unwaveringly supportive. The Wet Noodle Posse also has a blog and you will find me posting there at least once a month, as well as commenting more often. Our motto is “Be Good to Yourself....Or Else.”

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In your bio you mention having reaped a world of friendships. What did you mean by that?

Writing romance has opened up a word of friendships for me, friends who are near and dear to my heart and who have enriched my life in indescribable ways. I hesitate to list them because there are so many, and I am bound to leave someone out. Of the Waxcreative authors, I credit Kathryn Caskie, Sophia Nash, Hope Tarr, and Pam Palmer as great friends of mine among my many friends in Washington Romance Writers, but I also know Julia Quinn, whom I’ve met often because we share a mutual friend, and I met Eloisa James years ago through Jessica Benson. Jane Porter and I both write for Mills & Boon. I met Nicole Burnham at my first Romantic Times conference and I know Candice Hern from Beau Monde, RWA’s Regency writers’ chapter. I have wonderful critique partners who have been with me from the beginning, my dear friends Julie, Helen, and Virginia. And my other critique group and dear friends, Darlene Gardner, Karen Anders, Elizabeth Holcombe, and Lisa Dyson. Even though they are not “official” critique partners, I must mention friends Mary Blayney and Lavinia Klein also of Washington Romance Writers. Of course I must include Amanda McCabe and the other authors at Risky Regencies, all my friends at The Beau Monde, and the incomparable Wet Noodle Posse. And then there is All Of Us. When I first started writing and connecting with other writers online, I met Marg Riseley, an Australian writer. We shared the same birthday and a lot more. Through Marg, I became a part of an international email loop, All Of Us, that includes close friends, some of whom I have never met face-to-face. I have met Australian Melissa James who writes Mills and Boon and Harlequin Romance. I’m in contact with Melissa daily! Gee, there are so many more I could mention. All the ladies who went on the two England tours with me. Other friends from RWA. Readers who have become friends like Mary K, Judy T, Keira Soleore, Kim L and Melissa L. Booksellers. Reviewers. The Romance Vagabonds. The Grand Central authors (formerly Warner). The Harlequin Historical authors. The Mills and Boon authors. You can see what I mean. I could go on and on....

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Do you ever miss working as a mental health social worker?

I loved my profession and I am intensely proud of my service as a mental health social worker and psychotherapist. I loved helping people, and I still miss my clients. They taught me so much about life and about people and have helped make me into the person I am now. I would not trade a minute of the years I devoted to county service, but it was time for me to move on to my new venture of writing romance. The helping professions can be very stressful and stress can wear out a person. I wanted to leave knowing I had not slipped in my ability to be helpful. And I think I did leave before that could happen. I know I left my clients in the hands of very talented, committed, and caring colleagues. They are still receiving the best of care.

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Why did you write under two names and what is happening with Diane Perkins?

A few years ago, when I first sold to two publishers, I decided to write under two different names, a practice more common among romance authors years ago than it is now. Some authors choose two different author names when they write two different kinds of books, such as historical and contemporary. For me, it was simply that I wrote for two publishers. I quickly learned, though, that promoting my work became more difficult. I had to constantly work to connect my two names, and I’m sure I’ve lost some readers who never realized that Diane Gaston and Diane Perkins were one and the same.

Because my books are all Regency historicals, it dawned on me that it would be much more appropriate (not to mention easier for readers) to promote only one author name: Diane Gaston. Now that my contracts with the Diane Perkins name have ended, I’ve decided to drop the Perkins name — not because I didn’t love all the Perkins characters, but rather just because it makes sense. Unfortunately, this means that my hero’s friends from The Marriage Bargain, Blake and Wolfe, may never see their stories in print.

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