Keira: Why do the St. Claires hate the Huntingtons? Is it mutual – like in Romeo and Juliet? Montagues vs Capulets?
Laurel McKee: I have totally loved “Romeo and Juliet” ever since I saw a Shakespeare in the Park production when I was about 8! Who doesn’t love the idea that love can overcome hatred? Or the thrill of falling for the wrong person?? With the St. Claires and the Huntingtons it’s a bit more one-sided than with the Capulets and Montagues. The St. Claires have long blamed the Huntingtons for ruining their family’s fortunes (through an ill-advised marriage 200 years ago!), but the Huntingtons, being a lofty ducal family, don’t even remember this little tidbit of history. They’ve crushed so many of the little people, after all. But when they find out and the two families finally have a confrontation, it should be quite explosive!
Keira: A heroine who gambles? What is she willing to wager for love?
Laurel: What a great question! At the beginning of this story—not much. She wagered on love once and eloped, only to have it all end in disaster. She thinks she is done with love, but as we know love isn’t done with her…
Keira: He’s a cad – but we love him! Dominic plans on eloping-and then abandoning his bride, Lady Sophia. But does he have the heart?
Laurel: LOL! Much like Sophia, Dominic isn’t nearly as bad or hard-hearted as he thinks he is. In fact, I think he is secretly a great romantic (though he would never agree). He has just never met a woman who can match him like Sophia can, and make his see his true self. I did love Dominic so much!
Keira: What would you be willing to wager on love? Could you ever fall in love with your fiercest enemy?
Laurel: I’m not sure I’ve ever had a fierce enemy! Though I have definitely met people who annoyed me. I think it would be great fun to see a different side to them and realize that we could understand, even love, each other. But I just got married last month to a man I liked from the very moment I met him, so I guess I will never find out! (It’s fun to read about though, isn’t it?)
Keira: What is next on your plate? What inspired you to start the project?
Laurel: I have a lot going on right now! The most exciting project is a whole new project in a whole new genre. “Murder at Hatfield House,” the first of the Kate Haywood Elizabethan Mysteries, will be out in October 2013. And I am thinking about what might happen to the St. Claires next…