Charlotte Marigold writes passionate stories, set in glamorous locations, where hot romance and seduction always lead to love. Her own whirlwind romance with a hot-blooded Italian, eventually lead to cosy domesticity back in Melbourne, Australia. But memories of romantic nights in Italy, those first flutters of blossoming love and the exhilarating ride to happily ever after are far from forgotten and continue to inspire Charlotte’s emotionally driven stories.
Your new book, ONLY FOR SHOW (Only You Book 2) was released by Escape Publishing (Harlequin Australia) on Feb 4. What was the inspiration for the story?
Chocolate! Several years ago, I was footloose and fancy free in Turin, a romantic chocolate lover’s heaven. Surrounded by exquisite Italian architecture, delectable sweet delicacies and sexy European men, writing inspiration was everywhere. I didn’t actually begin writing my Only You series until I was back in Australia on maternity leave (creating a chocolate infused fantasy world was the perfect panacea for early motherhood!).
Book two in the series, Only for Show, has just been released and features spirited Sofia and playboy Roberto as enemies to chocolate lovers. They must work together, overcome their family rivalry and resist their scorching chemistry to present the world’s finest chocolate at an exclusive Valentine’s Day gala in Florence…
What are the most important magazines/blogs/podcasts for writers to subscribe to?
I love to listen to podcasts on my daily walks and I’m always on the lookout for entertaining writing shows for inspiration and information on the publishing world. Current favourites include:
So you want to be a writer with Valerie Khoo and Allison Tait (of the Australian Writers’ Centre)
Writer On the Road with Melinda Hammond
The Prolific Writer Podcast with Ryan J. Pelton
The Bestseller Seller Experiment with Mark Stay and Desvaux
I also spend far too much time reading blogs… I find the following particularly useful:
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I’m a master procrastinator so I spend far too long ‘researching’ when I really should get stuck into the writing… However, to get started I like to have a solid sense of the setting and any defining aspects of the main characters (this research often sparks plot ideas which is useful!). For settings, I draw from personal experience as a starting point and then go online for deeper knowledge (Googlemaps is very useful!). If there’s something particularly unique about a character, I’ll also research that. For example, the heroine in my latest release, ONLY FOR SHOW (Only You Book 2), has anosmia (after a car accident she lost her ability to taste and smell). She’s a chocolatier so obviously being anosmic had a massive impact on her career and the way she experiences life, so it was necessary for me to learn more about anosmia before I wrote her character.
Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
I think of writing more like a natural high than a spiritual practice. When you have a great idea and you’re in a state of ‘flow’, the words pour from your fingers and you can’t type fast enough. For me, this experience is rare and often fleeting, but when it happens, few things in life can match the thrill!
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
I guess trying to view a situation from a male perspective can be tricky. My heroes are often emotionally reserved (the opposite of me!) and trying to convey their inner turmoil without deviating from their alpha character is a skill. Expressing physical experiences during sex scenes from the male POV also requires a bit of guesswork!
Blurb for ONLY FOR SHOW (Only You Book 2)
Enemies to chocolate lovers.
Sofia Beaumont and Roberto Conti’s relationship is only for show – a twisted fairytale manufactured for the Italian tabloids. But when the reclusive chocolatier unites with her family’s CEO playboy nemesis their sizzling chemistry is blatantly real. To Sofia’s alarm, her faux boyfriend is a seductive wolf in smoking hot sheep’s clothing; in Roberto’s embrace she’s in danger of losing all her senses.
Neither Roberto nor Sofia are prepared for the intense sexual awakening and emotional roller coaster as family loyalty collides with personal desire. Bound by their messy past, love of chocolate and forbidden attraction, the lines between fantasy and reality blur. But as the power of sensory memory unlocks devastating secrets to the past, will their chance at love be forsaken?