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Author Interview: Harper Alibeck

I’m going to do things a little different today and host an Author Interview. Normally I’m on the other side of these interviews, but I thought it’d be fun to try it this way. So without any further ado, let’s begin.
Today I’m talking to Harper Alibeck, the author of Legs.  So the first thing we want to know is how did you come up with your story idea?

I was a history professor for nearly two decades, and my specialty is Latin American history. I’ve always thought that Latin America needs to be featured more in romance novels, so I decided to add a bit of Chile to this one! I liked the idea of a contemporary novel, but one that also touches on history, so I blended the two and added a paranormal element.

The two main characters, Seth and Jill, are professional historians doing research for their dissertations. They discover, through their research, that they are reliving a romance from about 100 years ago between two people each is researching. I like the light reincarnation element, and the history.

You make a good point. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a Latin American Historical before.  As a Latin American history professor, I imagine you traveled to Latin America at least once, is any of your story based mainly off your personal experience while down there?
The section where Jill is in Chile definitely is — running around Santiago with horrible Spanish skills, trying to understand how the archives and ministry libraries work, and getting cheated by a cabbie!

Otherwise, no.

Let’s talk about your writing a little. What’s your writing schedule like?

I have three boys, ages 12, 9 and almost 2. I write when I can! I have no set schedule, but I drool at the thought.

Wow! Three boys. I can definitely understand why you don’t have a schedule. Goodness. So when you were able to write, what was your favorite part of writing Legs?

Trying to figure out how to make Seth not answer Jill’s emails and phone calls. Having a historian so absorbed in documents that he falls down a staircase and breaks his leg seemed like a great plot device. Add in his heart issue and anesthesia reaction, and boom — problem solved.

Second favorite — the scenes with Felipe. I remember the street kids in Santiago and I wanted to help them all. You can’t. There are just too many. But you can, like Seth, help the ones you can help.

All right, now we’re all friends here–or so we pretend–what was your least favorite part of writing Legs?

Making Jill’s reason for not saying anything to Seth as plausible as possible. “The Big Misunderstanding” as a plot device in romance is HARD to write. It wasn’t enough to have Miles say it (I am trying not to write a spoiler here!). Someone Jill trusts had to reinforce what Miles said, so I had to do a huge rewrite to make that work.

Oh, those big misunderstandings are hard to write, aren’t they? It looks like you got it all figured out though. For this book anyway! Which leads me to ask, what’s next?

The prequel to Legs, which explains the 1910s love affair between Lilith and James from Legs. It is a novella and definitely a strong piece of historical fiction. I can’t call it “romance” because it doesn’t have a happy ending. You get the happy ending in Legs!

I’m also writing a trilogy of regency historicals! I went to the Romance Writers of America convention in New York a few weeks ago and fell in love with the regency format. My books are set in England and New Granada, right in 1810 as the Latin American colonial revolution begins. An English Earl has to marry a creole heiress in New Granada (what is now Venezuela) to reinforce his family’s fortune…but he falls in love with the wrong sister. And there are pirates. How can you resist? 😉

And, finally, I am slowly working on Arms, the next book in my A Romance of the Body series. Sarah Wilton, who has a minor role in Legs, is the major character.

Well, thank you for answering my questions today, Harper. Her book Legs is a steamy contemporary romance and can be found at Amazon and Barnes and Noble

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