With Love Q&A: Mandy Baxter
When did you first fall in love with romance as a genre? When I was sixteen. I picked Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss out of my mom’s bookcase. I fell in love from page one.
Who are some of your authorly inspirations? I have so many! I love Tiffany Reiz, Kresley Cole, Patricia Briggs, Bernard Cornwell, Julie Walker, Amanda Carlson, Darynda Jones, Anne Rice, Lilith Saintcrow, J.R. Ward—I could go on for hours!
Fill in the blank: romance is a vital part of conveying the human experience.
What makes a good romance novel, hero or heroine? For me, a good romance novel has the perfect balance of action and heat. As for a good romance hero, I definitely like a character that’s a little stubborn and takes a while to come around. I like my romance heroines tough, a little snarky, and independent. If she can’t give the hero a run for his money, there’s no point.
Tell us about your newest book? My most recent romantic suspense release is Locked and Loaded, the fifth book in my U.S. Marshal Series. It’s my favorite of all the books and follows undercover marshal-hopeful Mason Decker and U.S. Attorney Charlie Cahill as they go undercover in the high stakes world of diamond smuggling to infiltrate an up-and-coming crime syndicate.
What’s your all-time favourite fictional love story (it doesn’t need to be a book!)? Oh, hands down Shakespeare in Love. It’s my all-time favorite movie and totally gets me in the feels.
What are you reading now? I just finished Borrowed Souls, Chelsea Mueller’s debut urban fantasy, and I loved it!
What are some common misconceptions people have about romance readers or writers? I think a common misconception is that romance writers and readers are superficial and banal. Romance has intellect, depth, poetry, and originality. There are so many dimensions to romance fiction and likewise to its readers and writers. We’re an awesome, intelligent, and adventurous community!
Describe your dream date (and your dream date partner). I’m super low-maintenance so my dream date is pretty simple. A picnic near any body of water, be it lake, river, ocean, or hot springs. As long as the sun is shining and I can hear the sound of water, I’m content.
Speaking of dates, if you could choose anyone, living or dead to have a coffee with, who would you choose? Oh wow! I don’t know if I could choose just one person! From the living, I’d choose Bernard Cornwell, only so I could fangirl over his historical fiction. From the dead, I’d choose William Shakespeare in the hopes he’d recite a few sonnets to me.