Isabel Cooper lives in Boston, MA, with her boyfriend and a houseplant she's managed to keep alive for over a year now--a personal best. By day, she's a mild-mannered editor at a legal publishing company. By night, she's really quite a geek: polyhedral dice, video games, and everything. She only travels through time the normal direction, and has never fought any kind of demon, unless you count younger sisters. She can waltz, though.
What is your book about? Please provide a description.
It’s “Terminator” meets “My Fair Lady” in this fascinating debut of black magic and brilliant ball gowns, martial arts and mysticism.
England, 1888. The trees are green, the birds are singing, and no one has any idea that in a few hundred years, demons will destroy it all. Joan plans to keep it that way. All she has to do is take out the dark magician responsible—before he summons the demons in the first place. But as a rough-around-the-edges assassin from that bleak future, she’ll have to learn how to fit into polite Victorian society to get close to her target.
Simon Grenville has his own reasons for wanting to destroy Alex Reynell. The man used to be his best friend—until his practice of the dark arts almost killed Simon’s sister. The beautiful half-naked stranger Simon meets in the woods may be the perfect instrument for his revenge. It will just take a little time to teach her the necessary etiquette and assemble a proper wardrobe. But as each day passes, Simon is less sure he wants Joan anywhere near Reynell. Because no spell in the world will save his future if she isn’t in it.
How long have you been at work on this book?
About four years now! I wrote the first draft in 2007.
How did the idea originate?
I'd read romance since I was a kid, but hadn't written it: my writing at the time had been mostly high fantasy. I'd started having some ideas about a romance novel with a time-travelling heroine, though--I like the fish-out-of-water aspects of the genre--and was talking it over with a friend. I mentioned that I wanted to have my heroine come back through time for a reason, not just by accident, and one of us said something like "sent from the future to change the past." After that, it was just a matter of establishing some details.
Did the book entail any unusual writing habits or places?
Well, I wrote it at work. I do most of my writing that way--during lunch hour, of course.
Because my workplace was fairly noisy, I also listened to music when I was writing, so No Proper Lady has something of a soundtrack, if a weird one.