Welcome to RWA/NYC’s Heroine Blog Tour.
This week, we are interviewing Heroines from New York’s Leading Romance Authors. Some are candid, some are funny, all are wonderful. We know you’ll fall in love with each and every one of them.
(Psst--watch for their Hero’s interview next month!)
Q: First impressions count so what are you wearing? What do you look like?
I look a lot like my screen idol, Audrey Hepburn—at least as much as I am able. Like Audrey, I’m 5’6, petite and slim, with large brown eyes rimmed in black liquid eyeliner and rich caramel-colored brown hair. I wear the latter upswept with a short “gamine” fringe of bangs as Audrey did in my all-time favorite film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Trolling vintage clothing shops in Gramercy and elsewhere has helped me assemble an impressive wardrobe of vintage couture dresses, hats, and other accessories. Turned out in my favorite LBD (Little Black Dress), double rope of pearls, and elbow-high evening gloves, I’m not only dressing as Audrey. I am channeling her!
Q: Are you a girly girl or a tomboy?
Girly girl—most definitely!
Q: What do you do for a living? Do you like it?
My previous…employer was an um…escort agency, but I left all that behind when I met Drew—or so I thought. After six years as his dirty little secret, his mistress, I see that what started as so romantic, so glamorous, is anything but. Meeting sexy ER doctor, Marc Sandler, has me seeing not only my life, but myself, in a new light. With Marc, I can be me—the real me. Once I find a way to get away from Drew and support myself—with an “honest” job this time—I’m hopeful Marc and I can become more than “just friends.” ((sigh))
Q: Tell us your story.
There’s no getting around it—I’m a runaway. Born Hortense Gustafson, I left Omaha, Nebraska and my brutal stepfather behind for the bright lights and big city of New York. Unfortunately without a high school diploma, I wasn’t trained for anything behind flipping burgers. As a short-term solution, I answered an online ad for an escort agency. The…recruiter told me I could make a mint by dressing up in pretty clothes and going on “dates” with rich, powerful men. She made it all sound so glamorous, so thrilling. Once I realized what those “dates” involved, it was too late. Meeting Drew Winterthur, a wildly successful private equity manager, seemed like the answer to my prayer. When Drew offered to be my “exclusive,” to set me up in my very own apartment on Park Avenue, I was certain I’d found my Happily Ever After. Now, six years later, that dream has soured along with so many others. Drew never did leave his wife as he promised and his drinking and temper have really escalated these last few years. Until recently it was only a bruise here and there, all easily camouflaged with cosmetics and by wearing long sleeves. I never thought he would actually harm me, let alone land me in the emergency room! But in the spirit of seeing silver linings, if I hadn’t gone to the hospital, I never would have met Marc—I mean Dr. Sandler. Patient, gentle, kind and oh so handsome and hot, Marc really is my Dream Man. I hate having a tawdry past I have to keep secret from him. Even more, I hate that I still haven’t worked out a way to break ties with Drew for good. But I’m working on it, secretly studying for my GED. Afterward, my goal is to find a job—this time I’ll flip burgers if I need to—and a way to go to college at least part-time. I want to be the kind of independent, take charge woman that a man like Marc can be proud to call his girlfriend. But mostly I want to be able to look myself in the mirror again and feel proud of myself.
Q: Describe the Hero of your story. Is he a Mr. Darcy or a Christian Grey?
Marc is so honorable—he definitely falls on the Mr. Darcy side of the spectrum despite his horrid clothes (sweats and jeans and torn tee-shirts, usually) though there was that one notable (and swoon-worthy) slip up in the darkened IFC theatre. I persuaded him to take me to see Blue Is the Warmest Color and…things got a bit out of hand, deliciously so.
Q: Just between us, what do you like best about your Hero?
Marc always listens to me, and he never ever tries to control me as the previous men in my life have. If you don’t count Drew—and really, darlings, I’d rather not—Marc is my first real “almost” boyfriend.
Q: Do you prefer the bedroom door open or closed?
Darling, who says we do “It” in the bedroom. ((wink))
Q: What TV show best describes your relationship with the Hero – Scandal or Game of Thrones?
Scandal definitely though unlike the previous men in my life, Marc isn’t married. He doesn’t even have a girlfriend. He is totally free to be with me. I only wish I were free and clear to come to him. Someday soon I swear I will be. ((sigh))
Q: If your story is made into a movie, what actress do you want to play you?
Well, I suppose Audrey isn’t an option since she’s long passed. ((sigh)). I think Jennifer Love Hewitt. She played Audrey in the 2000 television biopic, The Audrey Hepburn Story, and while there is only one Audrey, she really was rather good.
Q: Tell us about your author.
I’m thrilled to have been created by Hope Tarr, a writer who adores Audrey almost as much as I do—not only as an actor and style icon but also as a humanitarian through her wonderful work for Unicef. Like me, Hope values vintage clothes and antiques, cats, good manners—and Old Hollywood glamour. She is the author of twenty-five books including HONEY (Book #2 in Hope’s sexy new FATE Series with Jenna Jameson out in June 2014 from Skyhorse), as well as a cofounder and current curator of Lady Jane’s Salon®, NYC’s first—and still only—monthly romance reading series, now in its sixth year. (The Salon donates all its net proceeds to Win, formerly Women in Need). Hope is also the editor and publisher of Scribbling Women & the Real-Life Romance Heroes Who Love Them, a Chocolate for a Woman’s Soul styled anthology; all net sales are donated to Win. You can find her online at www.HopeTarr.com, www.Facebook.com/HopeC.Tarr and www.Twitter.com/HopeTarr.