Another fortnight, another interview! This week’s interview is with Minerva Spencer, an American author of historical novels. Known for her first books in the Outcasts series, the only one published so far in Portugal.
First, thank you for the opportunity to talk with you. When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer?
I never really set out to be a writer, I just had a story in my mind that I felt compelled to put down on paper. This was about 7 years ago, in 2013. At the time my husband worked in another state and I drove him to the airport, which is a 6 hour round trip from our house. I just started to compose the story in my head during the drive.
When I got home, I began to write it down. The story just came barreling out of me and by the time about 6 weeks had passed I had my first book.
That book was BARBAROUS, which is part of THE OUTCAST SERIES.
What is your favourite book you’ve read over the last 12 months?
I loved Roan Parrish’s IN THE MIDDLE OF SOMEWHER
In Portugal, unfortunately, only the The Outcasts series are translated. How was it for you to write this series?
This was my very first series—the first 3 books I wrote—and they really were very easy to write and the stories came quickly, because they are somewhat interconnected.
What kind of research did you do for these books?
As a retired history teacher I was aware of the general history of the era, but I read a lot about the Barbary States and British politics, especially Britain’s involvement in the Napoleonic Wars. I also had to get familiar with a lot of the clothing and food for the period.
Can we expect any more books in this series?
The books in my newest series, REBELS OF THE TON, feature some of the same characters and these three books are about the children of the heroes and heroines in THE OUTCASTS. Book 1 of this series, NOTORIOUS is about Gabriel, the adult son of the heroine in DANGEROUS.
Are your characters based on real people, or do they come from your imagination?
I don’t write about anyone I know—at least not intentionally. I suspect that I often take “pieces” of people I’ve met or know and incorporate them into my characters.
Did you ever think that your books would be translated into several languages?
No, actually—that came as a wonderful surprise! As of right now I have books in Japanese, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, French, and German.
How important is the reader’s opinion to you?
I like to give my readers a story they enjoy, but ultimately I write for myself. If I didn’t write stories that made me happy, I’d probably stop writing.
If you had a dinner party and could invite 3 personalities from any period in history who would they be and why?
I’d pick people from the past, present, and future. I’d invite Jesus Christ, Barak Obama, and from the future I would pick the very last human to inhabit the earth, so that I find out what happens at the very end!
Can you give us any insights into any future books or projects that you’re working on?
I’m usually working on 3 or 4 books at a time. I write historical mystery under the pen name S.M. Goodwin and erotic romance under the name SM LaViolette, so I have a lot of hats that I wear. I write science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance, so maybe I’ll put one of those out into the world, one day.
Finally, what would you like to say to Portuguese readers?
I’m delighted to know that people in Portugal are reading my books! I think it takes an open, curious mind to read things written by foreign authors, as the cultural perspectives are often quite different and challenging. That makes me think that my Portuguese readers are some of the best romance readers (and smartest!) to have. Thank you all so much for your support!