Keira: One of the things I liked best about your rivals romance One Mad Night was that the hero and heroine played fair and it was still fun! Was fair play important to you and why was it important to the romance?
Julia London: To a point, yes. The novella is short, so if the hero did something unfair (and it would be the hero, right?), there is not really enough time to redeem him. And honestly, I think rivals can play fair. It’s healthy competition that makes for healthy relationship. I sound like a psychologist.
Keira: What made you decide they were competing over a car ad?
Julia: I thought that sort of ad would be a good and natural tension, because car ads seem to slanted toward men or women. I noticed minivan ads are all about mom and the kids, and then the luxury cars are all about hip, handsome men. Figures!
Keira: What is your favorite part about snowed-in / isolated / desert / intimate (this subgenre goes by a lot of names!) romances?
Julia: That no one can escape. The characters have to deal. No one can run away and talk to friends or think, or pull any of that. They are stuck. Delicious!
Keira: What do you love best about writing historical/contemporary romances?
Julia: Well, I love to read good love stories. I love to watch them on the big screen. So I guess I am naturally drawn to them. I love establishing the male and female leads and their first real notice of each other. It’s always fun to see where it will go after that.
Keira: Your characters always have such lovely chemistry with each other. What to you makes two characters rub along and create sparks?
Julia: Thank you! That’s a wonderful compliment. In high school, we did this play about a couple on a train. I can’t remember the name of it, but what I remember is that it was my first conscious comprehension of the emotional differences between men and women. Men want everything to be uncomplicated and unemotional, and women are incapable of leaving everything black and white. It’s fun to push and pull those two dynamics.
Keira: How do you define love? How do you recognize your true love? What makes it last in the long run and not fizzle out?
Julia: In books or in real life? Mutual respect and admiration is love. What makes it last in the long run is appreciation and listening. I think men and women can put up with a lot if they feel they are heard and appreciated by the ones they love.
Keira: What makes a steamy and sexy sex scene?
Julia: For me, the anticipation and sexual tension is steamier than the actual sex scene. It’s a problem for me as a writer. Some readers really like graphic sex. I really like the build up to the actual depiction. I have to straddle those and find a happy medium.
Keira: If not for writing, what would be your dream job? “Big business” job?
Julia: Writing is my dream job! I’ve had the big business jobs before. I would love to learn how to write screen plays, but there is only so much time, you know?
Keira: What is the hardest part and the most fun part of writing?
Julia: The hardest part of writing is actually writing. I want each book to be better than the last, so I keep raising the bar for myself. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But I have to challenge myself to try new things and execute them well. The most fun part of writing is meeting fans. I work alone and I don’t know how my books may or may not speak to a reader. So when I meet them in person and they are so complimentary and sometimes even moved my meeting me, it makes every moment spent alone with a stinky dog, tossing out everything I wrote the day before and trying again very much worth it!
Keira: What are you working on for us next?
Julia: I have the next two books in my historical Cabot Sisters series (The Devil Takes a Bride and The Scoundrel and the Debutante) coming out in late January and late April, respectively. The Perfect Homecoming, the third book in my contemporary Pine River series, is coming out in February. I am currently writing a book about rich summer people and the inevitable conflicts with the year round residents at a lake resort. I just started it, but you know some worlds are going to collide!
One Mad Night Anthology
By Julia London
Two Romantic Adventures…One Mad Night
Two delightful contemporary romance novellas in one book from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia London.
One winter’s night a blizzard sweeps across the country, demonstrating that fate can change the course of lives in an instant…and fate has got a sense of humor.
One Mad Night
Chelsea Crawford and Ian Rafferty are high profile ad execs in cutthroat competition for a client. When a major winter storm puts New York City on lockdown, the two rivals have to make it through the night together—oh, the many ways in which opposites attract…
The Bridesmaid – Bonus Novella
RITA Award Nominee for Best Romance Novella of 2013
Kate Preston has just moved to New York. Joe Firretti is contemplating a move to Seattle. When the weather wreaks havoc with transportation systems, Kate and Joe meet as they are both trying to rent the last car available… As Kate races to make her best friend’s wedding, and Joe races to a life-altering job interview, it looks like together is the only way they’ll make it at all.
Praise for Julia London:
“London knows how to keep pages turning…winningly fresh and funny.” —Publishers Weekly, on RITA Award nominee The Bridesmaid
About the Author
Julia London is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including the Homecoming Ranch contemporary series, the Secrets of Hadley Green historical romance series, and numerous other works. She is a four-time finalist for the prestigious RITA Award for excellence in romantic fiction, and RT Bookclub award recipient for Best Historical Romance. She lives in Austin, Texas.
Connect with Julia London:
Excerpt from One Mad Night by Julia London
It took a moment for Chelsea to notice him, which gave Ian a moment to admire her. He was going to crush her tomorrow, but that didn’t stop him from appreciating a figure that guys like him dreamed about. Chelsea was wearing a skirt today. It hit about mid-thigh and was tight enough to show off all her curves. She looked a bit taller today too. He glanced at her feet and noticed the shoes. Chelsea was walking on stilts, and her legs, good God, her legs. She was smoking hot in that dress and those shoes.
“Hey!” she said sharply, her voice full of accusation.
Ian’s head snapped up. “Hey,” he said con-genially. “Practicing your pitch?” He settled one hip onto the conference table.
“Do you mind?” She gestured to the door in a be-off-with-you way.
“If you want, I could listen and give you some feedback.”
Chelsea’s mouth dropped open. And then her green eyes narrowed into little slits. “You have got to be the most arrogant man I’ve ever met.”
Ian smiled and shrugged.
“You can go, Ian,” she said, marching around the conference table to usher him out. “I think I’ve got it.”
“So hostile,” he said with a wink as he stood up. “I’m just trying to help. It never hurts for someone to hear the pitch, right? You’ve had someone listen to you go through it, right?”
“Yes, I’ve had—Hey, hey,” she said, poking him in the chest. “Are you trying to play me?” she demanded. “Because it won’t work. I’m not some junior account person, you know. You can’t intimidate me.”
“Well, obviously,” Ian said and poked her back. “You wouldn’t be pitching at all if you were a junior account person. I know I can’t intimidate you. It wasn’t a declaration of war, you know; it was an offer to help.”
“It wasn’t a let-me-help, best-friends-forever offer, either. I’m not playing games with you. This account means a lot to me—”
“Oh yeah?” she said, shifting closer. “Well, don’t get too attached to the idea. I’ve got seniority, you know.”
“So why are you so afraid to show me what you’ve got?”
“Because it’s none of your business.”
“On the eve of the championship, it’s okay to go out and shoot some hoops with your competitor. It’s not going to affect tomorrow’s big game. It’s not like I can go out and change weeks of work overnight if I see you’ve got something better.”
She laughed. “Good try, Rafferty, but I think maybe the reason you want to see my pitch is because you’re worried about the strength of your pitch. Is it a little rough? Maybe I should listen to you.” She winked, and her green eyes shone with pleasure at her comeback.
“I’m definitely not worried about my pitch.”
“No? Seems to me if you’re presenting three,” she said, holding up three fingers and wiggling them at him, “then you must be uncertain which one is the winner.” Her smile broadened into sheer triumph, as if she thought she’d really zinged him.
She hadn’t zinged him, but Ian did wonder how she knew what he had…Zach. Of course. That rat bastard. “Have you been talking to Zimmerman?” he asked accusingly.
She shrugged and studied her manicure. “Maybe. Does it matter? I thought we were doing the let’s-help-each-other thing. But if we’re not, would you mind toddling off? I have a lot of work I need to do before tomorrow. I plan to hit the ground running with this account on Monday.”
She was amazingly and annoyingly confident. Ian was generally a confident guy, but she was making him a teensy bit nervous. “You really think you’re going to get this, don’t you?”
“I don’t think, I know,” she said, looking up.
He tilted his head to one side to study her. “Isn’t it obvious to you why they brought me in?”
“I don’t know—I haven’t given it the slightest bit of thought.” She lifted her chin, and Ian realized she lied about as well as she engaged in verbal volleyball. “I’ve been promised that this account is as good as mine. Didn’t they tell you that when they brought you in?”
A bit more of Ian’s confidence leaked out of him. He’d been in New York advertising long enough to know that the industry was full of snakes. He wouldn’t put it past anyone to feed him a bunch of half-baked promises to get him to commit. “Who told you?”
She grinned. “None of your beeswax.”
“Come on, tell me—” His phone rang, distracting him momentarily. He fished it out of his pocket and noticed the number was the Grabber-Paulson main number. That was weird. “Listen, I’ll just say this,” he said, clicking off the phone. “Don’t be so sure of things. People say things they don’t mean, especially in this industry.” He started for the door.
“Uh-huh, I know. And I would offer you the same advice, Mr. Rafferty,” she said in a singsong voice, and she flashed a dazzling smile, full of straight white teeth.
“Cocky too. I like that about you,” he said. “I’ll keep it in mind when I make partner.” He winked at her, smiled as if he was completely unbothered, and went out of the conference room.