Beneath the Covers Past

Anne Stuart & Gayle Wilson's Interview

Review: Night and Day

Writing With A Deeper Meaning
An Interview with Anne Stuart & Gayle Wilson
By Suzie Housley
January 2002

Suzie Housley:  How did both of you come together to create NIGHT AND DAY?

Anne Stuart: Harlequin Intrigue lured me in with the chance to work with Gayle. I'd first read her as a Rita judge, and I was absolutely blown away by her writing. I devoured everything I could find, and I've never been
disappointed. So the idea of working with her was irresistible.

Gayle Wilson: My Intrigue editor called and asked me if I'd be interested in doing a book with Anne Stuart.  You can imagine my reaction.  I was thrilled--and terrified.  Writing with someone like Krissie is pretty rarefied atmosphere for me. <G>


Suzie Housley: I found it unusual that DAY was a more darker story than NIGHT.  Did the two of you plan it this way?

Anne Stuart: Nope, it was funny that NIGHT ended up the lighter of the two. I'm usually a fairly dark writer, as is Gayle, but NIGHT was about a member of the cat burglar family of Blackheart, Inc., and those books have a sort of high adventure rompish feel to them. You just can't get too serious when you've got a hunky British cat burglar.

Gayle Wilson: No, and we laughed about it when we read one another's stories.  I write dark, but Krissie has the reputation for that.  Hers turned out to be in tone very much like the original CATSPAW books.  They, and this story, are more capers than dark, deep mysteries.


Suzie Housley:  Will we be seeing the two of your teamed up again to produce another award winning novel?

Anne Stuart: I would really love to. We ended up being crazy and rush (well, I ended up being crazy and rushed) and didn't get the time to really work together. I was dealing with deaths in my family and health crises, so we ended up writing them pretty much on our own after we'd done some extensive brainstorming via telephone and e-mail. I'd really love to spend the time doing something substantial with Gayle.

Gayle Wilson: Oh, gosh, I hope so! <G>


Suzie Housley: The love scenes in both of your portions were very hot and steamy.  Do you find it difficult creating scenes like these?

Anne Stuart: Hell, no. I'm a healthy writer with healthy characters who are strongly attracted to each other. Getting them in bed (or in this case I think it was the floor of a truck) is half the fun.

Gayle Wilson: For me, the love scenes evolve from the characters and their relationship/background.  I did enjoy writing that shower scene.  Some reader once told me I have a water fetish since so many of my love scenes take place in baths or showers.  Hmm. . .


Suzie Housley: Both of you have an outstanding writing style although, like the name of the book it tends to be as different as "Night and Day".  Do you find it difficult creating scenes like these?

Gayle Wilson: Writing can be as easy as falling off a log some days and like pulling teeth on others.  It takes enormous self-discipline because there is no one standing over your shoulder checking to see what you're doing that day.  I'm of the "write something every day" school.  If I skip days, then it's very hard for me to get back to the story.


Suzie Housley: How long did it take to write and publish NIGHT AND DAY?  Were their any obstacles in which you met?

Anne Stuart: I write quickly, though as I said I had all sorts of family issues going on. I think I ended up taking about three weeks (novellas take me 10 days to three weeks usually) on it. Obstacles? Well, it would have been adorable of Harlequin to put us up at the Plaza in NYC for a week to brainstorm and write the novellas, but for some reason they didn't offer <g>.

Gayle Wilson: I can't remember exactly, but I think I wrote "Day" in a couple of months. We both had other commitments at the time, so we were working these novellas into our schedules.  We discussed the stories and then, because of timing with other projects, I wrote mine first, although it's the second story.  Krissie wrote hers later, due to her schedule, and there were surprisingly few changes in what we'd talked about.  She read mine and suggested a few things to make it fit better with hers.  It was a wonderful experience for me--no obstacles.


Suzie Housley: Will we see any if the characters involved in NIGHT AND DAY appear in future novels?

Anne Stuart: Oh, I expect so. Gayle and I both used ongoing characters. Patrick Blackheart and Ferris have already shown up in two older books (CATSPAW and CATSPAW II) and I think I'd like a daughter to follow in the family's larcenous footsteps.

Gayle Wilson: Duncan's story is referred to in my November 2002 Intrigue RAFE SINCLAIR'S REVENGE.  What happened to Duncan at the hands of the terrorists had a major impact on a fellow agent, Rafe Sinclair.  As a result, he goes after another of the bad guys, so to answer your question, Duncan appears indirectly in this one.  However, all the Men of Mystery have a habit of reappearing, so Duncan will probably show up in person in a future story.


Suzie Housley: The characters in your book had a connection to similar novels you had published.  Did you find it difficult to revisit the past?

Anne Stuart: I found it surprisingly easy. I had to double check physical details, but Blackheart and his wife were such strong characters that a part of them had stayed with me.

Gayle Wilson: I love "revisiting" the agents who have been part of the Men of Mystery series.  I hope readers do, too, since I'd love to keep writing them! <G>


Suzie Housley: There were many obstacles that were thrown in the paths of all characters involved.  How do you determine how many is appropriate for one book?

Anne Stuart: Hey, whatever works.

Gayle Wilson: I think that depends on length, so novellas are tougher in terms of the number of crises one can put characters through.  However, as you noted, there certainly isn't a dearth of them in these stories. <G>


Suzie Housley: Research is imperative to the success of any novel.  NIGHT AND DAY dealt with the issue of the Holocaust and its survivors, how did the two of you conduct this research?

Anne Stuart: Interlibrary loan is a boon. I had our librarian get me books on Sotheby's auction house, Lalique crystal, and the stolen art treasures of World War II. Plus, of course, the good old internet.

Gayle Wilson: I'm a former world history teacher, so other than verifying on the internet a date or two for events in Hungary, most of this was very familiar territory for me.


Suzie Housley: What advice would you offer aspiring authors?  In what gene of romance would you suggest they pursue?

Anne Stuart:  I'm sure Gayle will give the same advice. Read what you love and write what you love. Don't go for mysteries if you prefer comedies. Don't write historicals because you hear they're hot when you really want to write contemporaries.

Though personally I think the horrible events of September 11th will end up making readers want to be swept away by stories, rather than concentrating too much on gritty reality.

Gayle Wilson: Romantic suspense is still very popular right now, but the best advice I could give is to write what you love.  That's pretty easy to determine. Generally, you'll love writing the kind of stuff you love reading.  At least that seems to me to be the smartest place to start.


Suzie Housley: How has your fans reacted to the two of your coming together?

Anne Stuart:  They've been pretty much delighted. I think we have a large fan base in common, and as far as I've heard, everyone's really liked the book.

Gayle Wilson: My readers were as thrilled as I was when I told them about this book. Actually, I found out that a lot of my readers have been reading Anne Stuart for years, so they were doubly thrilled at the idea of a two-for-one Intrigue.


Suzie Housley: How can your fans contact you?

Anne Stuart:  I'm wicked about snail mail (part of my problem with procrastination) but e-mail gets answered immediately. Go to my web site and email me from there.

Gayle Wilson: Online at or by snail at: 
PO Box 3277,
Hueytown, AL 35023.




Anne Stuart has been writing romances and romantic suspense as soon as she learned to write.  Her first book came out in 1974, when she was a mere child, and since then she's written over 60 books for most of the major publishers.  She's won countless awards, including the Romance Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award, she's appeared on the USA Today bestseller list, Enteraintment Tonight, and been quoted in People, Vogue, USA Today, and countless other periodicals. And, she's adorable.


Gayle Wilson, winner of the Romance Writers of America’s RITA for Best Romantic Suspense, has written twenty-eight novels and two novellas for Harlequin-Silhouette.  Gayle writes historical fiction set in the English Regency period and contemporary romantic suspense.

Gayle has been a RITA finalist five times, starting with a Best First Book nomination for her historical, The Heart's Desire.  She was again a finalist in 1999, this time in Romantic Suspense, for Ransom My Heart.  In the 2000 RITA competition, she was a finalist in both the Short Historical category for Lady Sarah's Son and in Romantic Suspense for The Bride's Protector, the book that won the RITA.  In 2001, another of her Men of Mystery series, Renegade Heart, was a RITA finalist for the year’s Best Romantic Suspense.  In addition to her RITA nominations, Gayle has won or been nominated for over 40 awards as a published author.

While she was still a high school English and history teacher, Gayle decided that she enjoyed creating compelling characters and putting them into intriguing situations more than she enjoyed grading essays.  She has never looked back.  Gayle lives in Alabama with her husband and an ever-expanding menagerie of rescued pets.  She has one son, who is also a teacher. 

NIGHT AND DAY by Anne Stuart & Gayle Wilson
Harlequin Intrigue, No. 637
Harlequin - November 2001 -
ISBN: 0373226373 - Paperback - US $4.50

Reviewed by  Suzie Housley, MyShelf.Com
Buy a Copy


NIGHT by Anne Stuart:

World-renowned cat burglar Michael Blackheart was determined to retire early from his traditional family business of thievery after serving two years in a French prison.  When he learns the father he thought was dead is still very much alive and owns a very successful security firm that is currently in charge of guarding the world famous Norenheld Treasure.  Feeling his father abandoned him; he makes the decision to mastermind one last robbery.  His reward will be a hefty retirement fund and a way to seek revenge.

Isabel Linden thrives on bringing order to chaos.  Serving as an Executive Assistant, she is hostess to the presentation ceremony of the Norenheld Treasure.  Having scanned the guests’ registry she discovers a gate crasher, Michael Blackheart.  From the first moment she looks into his brown eyes his tantalizing gaze captures her.  As he asks her to dance and holds her in his strong arms, her last ounce of common sense vanishes.  She simply closed her eyes and gave into the strong vibrations which so readily consumed her.

DAY by Gayle Wilson:

It had been give years since Duncan Culhane had heard Andrea Sorrenson’s voice. . . Five years since he lived with the guilt which surrounded her husband’s death.  The former government agent was faced with the dilemma of finding Andrea’s grandmothers stolen jewelry box.  Will he be able to set aside the ghosts that haunt his consciousness to help Andrea find the treasure?

Andrea Sorrenson had fallen in love with Duncan Culhane ten years ago, unfortunately her love was never returned so she instead married Duncan’s best friend Paul.  Now a widower, she is in need of Duncan’s specialized services to recover her grandmother’s priceless jewelry box.  Upon seeing Duncan she notices the last five years have not been kind.  Surprisingly with all his changes she discovers her heart still craves his love.

In reading NIGHT AND DAY I found it was masterfully created.  Both authors have written past books that have provided me countless hours of joy.  Together they produce an exciting and breath taking Romantic Suspense that left me craving for more.  I hope to see their talents combined once again in future projects to produce another award winning novel.

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