What Gentlemen Prefer… with Joan Kilby
Self-professed nerd Maddie Maloney is an expert on jewels. Jewel thieves are another matter entirely! So when a mysterious Englishman warns her that a thief known as The Chameleon is after the rare pink diamond on display in her aunt’s shop, she tells herself it’s just a joke. Even if she can’t get Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome out of her mind…
But Fabian Montgomery doesn’t give up easily. He’s everywhere she goes, convinced the thief will strike. And when the diamond does go missing—and Maddie is suspected of stealing it—he whisks her away from the police and together they pursue The Chameleon. Fabian plunges her into a glamorous world far from her humble workshop and transforms geeky Maddie into a sophisticated siren capable of espionage. Her mission: to seduce The Chameleon and steal back the diamond.
But Fabian isn’t telling her everything—like who he works for, and why he’s so interested in The Chameleon…
Thanks so much for joining us, Joan! Tell us about yourself…
Hi Shannon, Thanks for having me on your blog! I live on the outskirts of Melbourne with my husband and three grown children. I love to cook (and eat!), read, go to the gym and travel. I’ve published over twenty books with Harlequin, mostly Superromance. Gentlemen Prefer Nerds is my first single title.
Okay, first question – where did this title come from, it’s great!
Author Nancy Warren came up with the title. We were rooming together at the RWA conference in Dallas in 2007. I was about to pitch my book to an agent but I didn’t have a title. Nancy came up with Gentlemen Prefer Nerds off the top of her head. It fits the story perfectly. Thank you Nancy!
What made you want to write THIS story?
I wanted to write a bigger book. I wanted it to be a fun story and a bit of a fantasy, as in romance fantasy. My original plot evolved but the premise remained, an ordinary woman is plucked out of her ordinary life by an extraordinary man and taken on a wild adventure. In the process she becomes the smartest, bravest, sexiest version of herself she can possibly be.
Tell us about Fabian Montgomery – why is he so special?
Fabian is James Bond with a heart. He’s aristocratic, autocratic, intelligent, good-looking and sexy as hell. He’s a pretty sharp dresser, too.
And Maddie Maloney, your heroine; why is she so well-suited to your hero – or not?
Maddie is the perfect foil for Fabian. They come from completely different worlds. He’s from an aristocratic English family; she’s Australian and her father and brothers walk on the shady side of the law. Maddie’s nerdy, gawky and timid but she does have a strong sense of herself. She’s also really smart and like Fabian, family means everything to her.
You have a string of successful novels already in print… what attracted you to digital publishing?
I couldn’t find a home for Gentlemen Prefer Nerds in traditional publishing. Agents and editors I queried all said they loved the premise, the characters and the writing but there was no market for this kind of story. I submitted to Carina Press and was accepted very quickly. Digital publishing can take chances that print publishing can’t or won’t. My experience with Carina and my editor Deborah Nemeth has been wonderful. I’m hoping readers will prove those agents and print publishers wrong.
What draws you to writing in the contemporary romance genre?
I love to read contemporary romance. I like a level of realism with a touch of larger-than-life stories I can conceivably imagine myself starring in. Vampires and shape-shifters just aren’t my cup of tea. I enjoy reading historicals but the research involved seems like too much work!
With such an impressive backlist, and after writing so many books, how do you keep coming up with fresh material?
I wonder that every time I start a new book! Unique characters are the key to keeping it fresh. When I dig into my characters backstories and flesh out their goals and motivations they gradually become individuals to me and the story comes alive. I consciously try not to repeat myself in theme or plot.
What books/heroes did you like to read, growing up, and how have they inspired you in writing this story?
Growing up, I devoured everything from Narnia Chronicles to horse stories to Enid Blyton’s Famous Five to Harriet The Spy. As I got older I loved comic novels such as Nancy Mitford’s Love In A Cold Climate and also PG Wodehouse. One of my favourite books is I Capture The Castle, a coming of age novel set in England. There’s something about a transformation story that appeals to me.
What are you working on next?
I’m working on a Superromance which will be an October 2012 release, TO BE A FAMILY. I also have another single title on the go although I haven’t had time to work on it for many months. And one of these days I want to write the sequel to Gentlemen Prefer Nerds. It’s intended to be the first of a three or four book series.
I’m giving away a copy of Gentlemen Prefer Nerds to one lucky commenter. Just tell me, are you more of a nerd or a glamazon? If you’re a nerd, is there an inner glamazon just dying to come out?
You can find Joan’s book, Gentlemen Prefer Nerds, at these recommended sites:
If you’d like to contact Joan directly, she can be found lurking here: