Thursday, December 14, 2017


"The storyteller in me was born that way, but the writer in me came from learning how to work hard and follow through."

Happy Thursday, Everyone!

I am thrilled to introduce you to a debut author who just join our Crimson Romance family, Erin Kane Spock. 

Erin's first novel, Courtly Pleasures is out for all of us to enjoy! And can I say, the reviews so far are wonderful: 
  • "A real pleasure to read."
  • " Engaging characters, real struggles and a bit of intrigue makes for a satisfying romance"
  • "Full of great imagery, entertaining dialogue, a touch of humor, and a whole lot of sexy."

Erin, I would love to start off this interview with you telling us a little about yourself--the real Erin behind the writer. How did you come to write Courtly Pleasures? 

I majored in history partly because of my love of historical costuming. My costuming brought me to Renaissance Faire and I became part of a living history group portraying the court of Queen Elizabeth. 

Here is a glimpse of costumes modeled by my girls ... So adorable ... RIGHT!

My character was a real person from history, Frances Pierrepont. In researching her I found very little so I created details. The character, as I chose to portray her at that point, was a flibbertigibbet and a lot of fun. Years later, after the birth of my second daughter, I took a second look at Frances from the perspective of a young mother. I thought about how life would have been, how she would have dealt with the infant deaths recorded in her history, and this became the starting point of the story that would eventually be Courtly Pleasures. After the first draft (written entirely in dialect!), I changed her name to Frances LeSieur and modified her genealogy so I could call her a truly fictitious character.

That is a wonderful way to begin your career as a writer. Completing a book is an enormous challenge. What was your biggest obstacle and how did you overcome it? In other words, what do you think drove you to complete this enormous project?

I wrote the book in stages and kept putting off the end (and the sex scenes). The Elizabethan world grew and grew but the story stagnated. My first challenge was ending the book. The next was streamlining the actual story and pruning out the fluff. I think I probably cut about 75,000 words. 
Writing the next books was smoother. I had a direction and an understanding of the process. By then I’d also started to research the Romance industry. After writing three more books, I came back to Courtly Pleasures and rewrote it with a focus on the romantic elements and brought it to the place it’s at now.

You're very brave to admit that you cut 75,000 words. I cut about 40,000 words on my novel, In the Shadow of Greed. FYI Readers: One of the hardest things for a writer is hitting that delete key and erasing parts of the story that's become a part of us. But it's an necessary evil.
So, I have an interesting question I like to ask new authors. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I always liked to write – journaling, poetry, short stories, plays… nothing I ever took seriously and never with the intention of making them public. Courtly Pleasures started out just for me as well. It wasn’t until I finished the first draft that I realized I had a real book and could think about publishing.

Erin, I write first for myself. That ideal keeps me grounded. Since we have mentioned Courtly Pleasures often in the last few minutes, lets give everyone a peek at your first novel: 
Drum roll.....

What’s a neglected wife to do when her husband doesn’t know she exists? Create a scandal, of course, in this delightful Elizabethan romp.

After ten years of marriage, Frances LeSieur has faded into her role as a lady wife and mother. She has no idea who she is as a woman. So Frances joins Queen Elizabeth’s glittering court and discovers a part of herself she never knew existed—and one she’s sure her neglectful husband would never notice.

Henry has always done his duty to family and crown despite his own desires. When Frances asks for a separation then transforms into a confident and vibrant courtier, he’s floored—and finds himself desperate to learn what makes her tick, both in and out of the bedroom. After years of silent alienation, can he woo her back, or will he lose this intoxicating woman to one of the rakes hell-bent on having her?

As Frances and Henry come to realize that living is not merely surviving, can they create a second chance at love before it’s too late?

Such a sweet moment, right? You can read an excerpt here. Courtly Pleasures's Excerpt.

On with the interview. Here's another question I love to ask new authors? Do you believe writers are born or made?

I think writers are born creative, raised in a place that fosters imagination, and shaped by experiences into men and women of determination with the ability finish what they start. I’ve heard many people say they have great ideas for a book, but they’re not writers if they don’t write. I’m not necessarily more creative or skilled in writing than the person next to me, but the difference is that I actually sit down and write. The storyteller in me was born that way, but the writer in me came from learning how to work hard and follow through.

That's the best explanation to date. You're so right. Writers write. How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for a writing career?

I’ve always believed that creative endeavors were worth the time and effort (and I owe a thank you to the Kane family for this). The writing itself hasn’t been the main challenge for me – it’s the industry, the business element, I struggled with. I approached conferences and pitching with a research based mindset. I am using every resource to familiarize myself with this next step. I’ll do okay because I know I am capable of learning and adapting, but I admit I’m well out of my comfort zone.
You will live out of your comfort zone for some time to come. I published my debut novel in 2013. I still feel green behind the ears. What is your ideal writing space? 

My current “office” is my laptop set up on the dining room table. We eat in the kitchen 363 days a year, so the table just gathers clutter… and my computer/research/notes/mess. Not a great space, but it made a lot of sense when my kids were little and I could still work AND watch them play in the back yard. Now I’m in the center of the house and have the pleasure of listening to clarinet, viola, and Irish dance practice. And the puppy barking, then our old-lady dog barking because she doesn’t know what’s going on. The table is an antique and has fold-out sides that are questionably stable and chairs that may have a maximum weight limit that I have exceeded.
My ideal writing space would involve a much better chair, a table-top I could actually lean on, a protective and soundproof bubble around me that says, “Yes, I’m actually working right now,” and a ninja nanny for our new puppy who can catch the accidents before they happen. I may spend my first royalty check on a chair. I have a feeling the nanny is a fantasy, but a girl can dream. 

Oh, Erin, that was perfect. I will be keeping my fingers cross for that ninja nanny. What moment in this journey are you most proud of?

At this moment, I am proudest of the fact that I didn’t give up. It would have been easy to accept the rejections as proof that I didn’t have a viable product. Each rejection left me doubting if I had the taste to tell the difference between good writing and bad (maybe I’m that person auditioning on American Idol that CANNOT sing but doesn’t seem to know it). I persevered and was successful.

It's an amazing achievement. My mother often said that adversity builds character. That was never so true until I began submitting my manuscripts. Great Job, and Congrats!

Now for a few giggles. 
There is someone you will never meet but whom you desperately need for them to know who you are. The only way to communicate with them is to send them a box with three items. What would those three ideas be?

Item 1: The best representation of myself is one of the many spiral notebooks I bring to staff meetings that are filled cover to cover with my messy scrip and drawings. It is equal parts best teaching practices, a variety of writing projects (complete with notes to myself), and sketches of Irish step dancing dress designs/Celtic knotwork patterns.
Item 2: My CD set of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline as read by Wil Wheaton. I think this is a good indication of my general geekiness.
Item 3: As a friendly introvert, I would say THIS SHIRT

Awesome answer.  So...what is up next for you?

I have two more Elizabethan historical romances already completed (received the contract offer today!). I’m working on finishing an existing work in progress (a modern day supernatural romance - nothing like Courtly Pleasures). After that, I’ll take my queue from sales as to whether I should write more Elizabethan historicals or work on finishing a contemporary series I’ve shelved.

Congratulations on the new contract. That's awesome! I have no doubt that your readers will wait anxiously for your next novel and the ones that will follow. Where can readers find out more about your book and yourself? 

The best place to keep up with me is my website, Spocktastic .

Purchase links for Courtly Pleasure 

Erin, it was such pleasure getting to know you better. I wish you fantastic sales and an amazing new career. You reached for a dream that was beyond your touch and made it a reality. Be Proud! If any of my readers have any questions for Erin or me, please don't be shy. We love interacting with you. It's the best part about being a writer. To leave a comment, clink on the pencil below or email me at and I'll post your comment for you. 

Hugs to all,
Nancy C. Weeks


  1. Thank you for taking the time to interview me. I had a lot of fun with the questions. It's an honor to be featured here.

    1. It was my pleasure. Please come back for your next release, or drop in anytime.