Eilean Donan Castle by DRW Photography

Monday, February 27, 2017

Cecelia Mecca The Thief’s Countess

Bio: Cecelia Mecca is the author of medieval romance and co-owner of iConnect, an influencer marketing agency. She loves in Northeast, Pennsylvania with her husband and two young children and launched her first historical romance this month.

Tell us about yourself

I am a curriculum specialist by day, influencer marketing agency co-owner by night, and romance author when most sane people are sleeping. It’s always busy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Tell us about your new book?

The Thief’s Countess which comes out March 1st is the first book in the Border Series. The prequel novella was released in February. Set in 13th century Northumbria along the Anglo-Scottish border, it tells the story of an English border reiver who is forced into a life of stealing after losing his home and inheritance. Sent to protect a wealthy countess, Sir Geoffrey immediately clashes, and is attracted to, Lady Sara. But with a betrothed coming to claim her hand in marriage, their budding relationship encounters more than a few obstacles.

When you write, does your real life spill over into your book at any time?

Of course! I think all writers bring elements of their life into their books. The heronie has a bit of me in her as most characters are modeled at least in part after people I know. It is much easier to tweak existing personalities than to create a character completely from my imagination since humans have more traits and idiosyncrasies than at first glance. On the other hand, most people I know aren’t running around with chainmail and swords, so a bit of invention is necessary.

Do you think about a book of yours, being made into a movie, or not when writing?

I do not. Historical romance is a tough sell in the movie industry, but that truly would be a dream come true...to see your own characters come alive. I can hardly imagine what that must be like.

When naming your characters, do you give any thought to the actual meaning?

I do. The name is extremely important to me, although sometimes the meaning takes a back seat to other considerations since as historical accuracy, other characters in the novel, and even how the name sounds with the hero/heroine. I had a perfect name for my current work in progress that I had to scrap when it rhymed with the hero’s name. It just did not flow.

What made you want to write and also what made you want to write the genre you are writing?

I’ve always loved both medieval times and the romance genre, so historical romance is a perfect fit. As an English major, I’d always dreamed of penning my own book one day, but unfortunately it took twenty years to turn that dream into a reality. Better late than never!

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

It would be hard to top the one who started it all for me, Johanna Lindsey.

Do you have to travel much concerning your books?

I am excited to head on a cruise around the British Isles this summer. I plan to take my iPhone, a notebook and healthy excitement for all things English and castles to combine the family vacation into a research one.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Writing was fine, publishing not so much. I thought once I had written “The End” it would be smooth sailing; boy was I wrong. I finished The Thief’s Countess in 2015 and am finally able to see it in print this month. But I’ve learned so much about the industry since I’ve started and I’m happy to say book two will only be a few months behind Thief’s Countess.

When you start writing your book, do your H/H ever talk to you?

In my head, yes! Luckily, I don’t talk back. But I do imagine what they say, how they say it and am constantly thinking about both until I feel like they are actually a part of my life.

Do you ever experience writer’s block?

Luckily writer’s block is rare for me. A bit of research normally sparks a story idea, and from there the outline typically flows. I’ve yet to struggle with what to write next, but I do not preclude the fact that it will likely happen someday.

Do you have any tips for our readers that might dream of writing?

If you want to write romance, join RWA and lurk on the forums. Read and listen to writing and publishing podcasts. Learn as much as you can. And of course, get that butt in your seat and write every day. Worry about editing it later. You can work with a finished manuscript but it’s impossible to do anything with a blank page. Join author groups on Facebook, attend writing conferences and immerse yourself deeply into the world of writing and publishing. Eventually, you will get there as long as you keep plugging away.

A thief turned reluctant protector… A countess who resents but can’t resist him…

The Reiver
Sir Geoffrey has dedicated his life to exacting revenge on the men who killed his parents and stole his birthright. The son of a baron, he has been reduced to stealing the resources he needs to reclaim his family legacy. Just when he’s on the verge of success, his uncle asks him to put his plans on hold to help protect a wealthy countess. It’s a distraction Geoffrey resents, even more so when he meets Lady Sara. The gorgeous, complicated and alluring lady is everything he’d want in a woman—and everything he can’t have.

The Countess
With her betrothed coming to claim her hand in marriage and a distant cousin intent on usurping her earldom, Lady Sara Caiser feels beset by controlling men including two lawless border reivers who serve as her protectors. Despite her misgivings, an undeniable attraction pulls her into Sir Geoffrey’s arms. The man is more dangerous than she believed, for he’s noble, caring and sinfully attractive. As the threats against her continue to mount, Sara must decide what’s more important—her duty or her heart.