Interviewing Historical Author Shirlee Busbee
Author of The Tiger Lily
Today I’m thrilled to have historical romance author Shirlee Busbee author of The Tiger Lily with me in the Blue Rose Writing Room.
So, do you use a pen name/pseudo name? If so, why. If not, why did you decide to write under your own name?
I’ve always used my own name. My theory? I wrote it, why wouldn’t I want my name on it?
Can you tell us how long you have been writing?
Let’s see…Gypsy Lady was published in 1977, took publisher more than year to publish and it took me 18 months to write, so by my count that’s about 40 years! Yikes! I must have been writing before I cut my first tooth J
What’s the funniest thing anyone has ever said to you about your writing? Or the unkindest? Or the oddest?
It stung a little, but it made me laugh and at the time (1970’s) it was probably true. My Aunt Rachel referred to my books as “Polite Porn”.
Why did you choose to write in this genre? Have you ever written any other genre? Do you plan on doing so in the future?
My mom loved historical novels (they were called historical ‘novels’ in the day, no such thing as historical ‘romance’ although many were just that). I started reading her books at a young age. Remember reading Forever Amber and wondering what all the fuss was about because the good parts (for adults) went over my head. By the time I was twelve my mom would send me to the corner drugstore to buy her books. As she said, “You know what I like.” When I decided to write, historical romances seemed a nice fit and of course, I love researching history, so that made it even better.
Yes, I wrote two contemporary novels, part of a series, some years ago. One day I hope to go back and add to the series.
Is there any genre you won’t read? Write? Can you tell us why?
Not fond of Horror, although I do read a few. I don’t think there really is a specific genre I won’t read, but if it doesn’t have a murder, an adventure, a ghost, romance, or a mystery, I’m outta there.
How do you respond to negative reviews?
They hurt, but you can’t take all of them to heart. Plain ole mean, ugly or vicious reviews you ignore, but some reviews have validity and, if you’re smart, you can learn from them. Remember, it’s only someone else’s opinion and as long as you’re satisfied with what you wrote and the majority of readers like your work, shrug it off. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Yeah, I do. I have several favorites but this is probably my favorite-favorite J
“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” Gene Fowler
Tell us something unusual, quirky, or odd about yourself.
Always want the ‘gunfighter’ chair at a table when eating out. Howard and I fight over it.
Okay, now for the quickie questions: Answer in three words or less. Ready? Go!
Favorite Disney Character? Bambi
Favorite Fruit? Apple or Banana
Favorite Hero? My husband, Howard J
Favorite Eye Color? Hazel or Green
Best Vacation Destination? The mountains
Food you can’t stand? Oysters, Eggplant, Persimmons
What annoys you? Rudeness, inconsideration, cruelty
Coffee, tea, or something else? Coffee, Tea & Scotch
Nightgown or Jammies? Jammies
Prefer dogs or cats?
A bit about Shirlee
Born in San Jose, Ca. Graduated High School in Kentria, Morocco. Attended Burbank Business College in Santa Rosa, Ca. Married Howard Busbee in 1963. Decided to be favorite aunt and uncle instead of parents. Worked in Title Company and as a Draftsman for Solano County. Encouraged by Howard, Rosemary Rogers and Jennifer Wilde (Tom Huff) wrote first book, Gypsy Lady, published in 1977. Lives in Northern Ca with husband, schnauzers and American Shetland Ponies.
The Tiger Lily
The exciting story of a beautiful young heiress, torn between the conflicting emotions of defiance, suspicion and wild passion aroused by the handsome, strong Southerner who controls her destiny.
ENJOY AN EXCERPT
Surprised by the question, Sabrina stared at him. “A… a…a… great d… deal,” she got out almost on a whisper, wishing frantically that she knew what he was thinking.
“Only a great deal? It doesn’t chafe at you? Infuriate you? Madden you to know that I have complete control over you—and your much-prized fortune?”
There was a note in his voice when he mentioned her fortune that made her frown. A note of contempt and distaste. Now why…?
Brett’s voice broke into her thoughts. “Doesn’t it?” he demanded grimly.
A little angry at the whole conversation, Sabrina replied fiercely, “Yes, yes, it does. Sometimes it is intolerable!”
“Only sometimes?” he jeered.
“All the time!” Sabrina snapped, and carried away by frustration and the heat of the moment, she said rashly, “I would give anything to be free of you!”
Something unpleasantly like satisfaction crossed his lean features, but he only said, “You always surprise me, Sabrina.”
Her puzzlement showing on her face, she demanded, “What do you mean? Surely you knew that sooner or later I would fight against your restrictions.”
“But what restrictions have I put in your way?”
“None! But that doesn’t change anything—I don’t want to live here in your home, and if you force me to, I shall seek to have my father’s will thrown out in a court of law.”
“Ah, I see,” Brett murmured. “I can remain your guardian as long as I let you do as you wish.” His voice hard, he added, “And that’s been your trouble from the beginning—your father indulged you, spoiled you beyond belief, and made you into one of the most self-centered individuals I have ever had the misfortune to meet.”
Deeply hurt and mortified, Sabrina turned her head, blinking back an unexpected sting of tears. It was unjust. She had been indulged, even she would admit it, but she had never taken advantage of that fact. Before she could betray how badly his words hurt, however, pride came to her rescue, and stiffly she said, “You have no right to sit in judgment upon me—you don’t even know me!”
“Thank God for that!” he growled, and rising up, he walked over to where she stood with her back against the door. “But I can sit in judgment upon you—your father gave me that right, and in the future I intend to exercise it to the fullest.”
Tears gone, her face set, she glared at him. “I hate you, Brett Dangermond! And I will do anything to overset this despicable guardianship.”
He smiled cynically. “You know, sweetheart, I thought it would take us months to reach this state.” His hand sliding possessively down her throat, he continued carelessly, “Of course, I was certain I would have to play the heavy guardian a few times first—really enrage you and make you so angry by my actions that anything I suggested would find instant favor with you.” Mockery in his eyes, his voice a velvet purr, he asked, “You did say anything, didn’t you?”
Suffocatingly aware of his tall body so near hers, the heat of his hand upon her throat scorching her flesh, and feeling as if some just-noticed deadly trap was opening up beneath her feet, Sabrina nodded. Driven to hide any weakening on her part, she declared, “Yes! Anything!”
The jade-green eyes moved over her, deliberately lingering on the full mouth and then sliding appreciatively down her slender form. Huskily he muttered. “Then I think we can come to a satisfactory arrangement.”
His mouth touched the corner of hers, and helplessly Sabrina responded. She couldn’t think sensibly with him this close, with his hand caressing her shoulder, his mouth tantalizingly brushing hers, and on a shamed whisper she got out, “What sort of arrangement?”
He lifted his head, and she was chilled by what she saw in his face. “A simple arrangement, tiger lily,” he said thickly. “You become my mistress for six months, and at the end of that time, I sign all rights to your damned fortune over to you.” Cynically he added, “I think that’s a fair enough price to pay for six months’ use of that delectable body of yours, don’t you?”
Here’s how you can contact Shirlee
Thanks again, Shirlee, for joining me here today!