What is a Liar and where do I find one of my own?

A Liar is a spy in Regency England who most likely came from a background of crime and now serves the Crown. Bad boys gone good. Of course, one of the things taught in the grand tradition of spying is seduction, so these guys are well-trained. But you can't find the Liars, you know. They're SECRET.

I'm thinking of writing a spy romance. Where do you get your information?

I read everything. And I make a lot of it up. I used to be a professional potter, so I know a little about chemistry from creating my own glazes. The privy bomb was a complete fabrication--but I bet it would work!

I'm thinking of writing a romance. Will you help me get published?

I can't help. No one can, because it's all about the story and that part is up to you. Just keep at it and if it's meant to be, it will be.

Do you get a lot of fan mail?

I don't know. What constitutes a lot? I still answer it all myself, so it probably isn't. Go ahead and write some more!

How does it feel when a reviewer hates your book?

Well, at first it makes me feel bad. Then I get mad. Then I get even--I comb through the nasty review to find the one fraction of a positive sentence in the whole thing. Then I post it on my website as a glowing comment! So there!

Where do you get your ideas?

I have a Muse of my very own. Edna--a sarcastic gravel-voiced barfly who occasionally disappears for weeks at a time with her Vin Diesel wannabe biker boyfriend. We have our good days and our bad days.

Do you like to read romance?

I used to. I don't really read fiction anymore. I don't have time to read for pleasure. And writing can sort of ruin reading for you. You spend half your time thinking you could have done it better, and the other half thinking the writer is waaay better than you are. Kind of makes it hard to get lost in a story.

What do you do for fun?

I write! Writing is like skiing, only warmer. Or roller coasters, only without other people screaming in your ear. Or driving really really fast--or so I hear. I never drive fast. Never, never, never. Ol' Speed Limit Celeste, that's what they call me!

Are there more Liar's Club/Royal Four/Fallen books coming?

You'll know as soon as I do! I can't exactly publicize a book until I sign a contract to write it. Just keep checking back, okay?

Are you friends with all the other writers I love to read?

I know a few to have lunch with and a few others to wave at. This is a pretty solitary business and Nora Roberts has friends of her own, okay?

Who is your favorite writer?

When I do get to read--usually while traveling (three hours of uninterrupted flight time? Heaven!)--I like Jennifer Weiner, Lois McMaster Bujold, Janet Evanovich, Jennifer Crusie, Teresa Medeiros, Orson Scott Card, Jo Clayton, Elizabeth Peters and Stephen King...don't make me choose, it isn't fair!

What do you hate in a book?

I hate feeling manipulated. I hate when the author has calculatedly put something in, just to try to make me cry. I also hate it when someone uses a word when they obviously have no idea what it means. When someone uses the word "penultimate", thinking that they are saying "beyond ultimate"--which doesn't exist, by the way--well, I just get spittin' mad. So I'm a snob, too.

What about those snarky posters on the message boards? How do you feel about them?

Hey, snark away! I believe in Freedom of Speech. Just don't use the wrong words, okay? Makes me crazy.

Are you ever going to write a book where Button finds love?

Only if Rainbow Press wants to buy it. Button is as gay as a Bourbon Street drag queen. I'm not even sure I am qualified to write that story...

What about Pearson?

If Pearson still has the moves, more power to him. I'm just not sure I'm qualified to write that story either.

What do you do when you can't think of anything to write?

I watch movies. When the Bi--uh, the Muse takes a vacay, I get a pile of DVD's and catch up on all the stuff I missed in the theaters. I'm a shameless borrower from Hollywood. Inside my head, the "high concept" sounds something like "The Fugitive-meets-Zorro-meets-You've Got Mail-meets-Double Indemnity..." Well, you get the picture.

Do you wish you lived in the past like in your books?

Nope. I like modern life. I like toothpaste and flush toilets and mail-order DVD service and pizza delivery and the Black-Eyed Peas and internet shopping at Old Navy. I do hate the mall, though. I really, really hate it...I think aliens run the mall. My brain waves always go flat there.

So why do you write historicals?

Ummm...well, that's the first thing that came out, I guess. I like history. I also like math and biology and astronomy. I'm very interested to see what comes out next.

Do you want have lunch sometime? I'll bet we could be best friends.

No, sorry. I don't think that's a good idea. Haven't you people ever seen Misery?