Hello, Deb! Tell us about your new book.
First, let me thank you Risky Ladies for having me here! Your books may be risky, but you have created a safe and welcoming corner of cyberspace for lovers of historical romance. You’ve built a lovely community here, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. Thank you!
Now, to answer your question…
Charles Alden, Viscount Dayle, is a rake who has already reformed. The days of his misspent youth ended with the deaths of his brother and father. He has worked hard in pursuit of a political career, but someone seems determined to hold his former life against him. He decides that the only way to live down the wickedness of his past is to secure the dullness of his future and take a properly respectable bride.
Miss Sophia Westby is not the sort of woman he had in mind. His childhood friend is as spirited and unconventional as ever. She’s come to London determined to do something with her skills in design. Reunited with Charles after years of separation, she scorns his new demeanor and longs for the rake’s return.
I know this is a debut book! What was your “path to publication” like?
A long and winding road? Hee hee! Truthfully, being a writer was always a dream, and I always knew if I had the chance, I would want to write Romance. Books and history were my youthful passions, but circumstances required a more practical career path. I reached a crossroads when my son was born with multiple health problems. Once we got him all straightened out and my younger child headed to preschool, all my family and friends expected me to go back to my career. All I wanted was to write! It was my chance to chase my dream. My husband was amazingly supportive, so that’s when I really started to concentrate on my writing. I love Romance. I love the message that it sends out to the world. I couldn’t be happier to be beginning a career as a historical romance novelist.
We couldn’t be happier, either!
Were there any challenges you encountered in researching for this book? Any new or surprising historical information you discovered?
I don’t know that it was new or surprising, but I did thoroughly enjoy learning about Regency design. Advancements in technology began to make interior decorating accessible to many different sorts of homeowners. And I thought it was so interesting to see the famous people and events of the time show up in furniture and decor.
Poor Charles is bedeviled by the press in this book, and made the topic of caricatures and broadsheets. I enjoyed learning about that aspect of the Regency, as well.
Did the Splendors of the Regency tour a few years ago (where Diane and Amanda first met Deb!) help you in any way?
In so many ways! Not the least of which was meeting Diane and Amanda. đź™‚ It was a little daunting to go alone on a trip like that, but nothing beats first-hand experience of the places we write about. Even better was experiencing it with a group who shares the same obsession. I will never forget the crowd of us, scribbling like mad in our notebooks and peppering the docents with question after detailed question. I think they adored us for being so interested!
Tell us what’s “risky” about your book?
Hmmmm. I suppose that Sophie’s interest in design could be considered Risky for a Regency miss. There will always be someone who might dispute that if something “didn’t” happen it “wouldn’t” happen. But I say they never met a determined force like Sophie!
I’ve also been told a time or two that you need to write a rake to sell a Regency. Having a hero determined NOT to give in to his old ways might be risky.
Totally off-topic, but tell us about your sons’ fun Harry Potter appearances last year!
Oh, they were determined to go to the Harry Potter Party at the bookstore, celebrating the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! The oldest had been to one in the past, and the younger knew this was his last chance to get there. They dressed up, one was a Dementor and the other Harry, and we had a great time participating in all the festivities! They had live owl demonstrations, Magic Potions shows, fortune telling, the Sorting Hat, etc. They really liked the massive scroll everyone signed to thank JK Rowling for so many hours of reading pleasure. While we were there, a local magazine took our picture and we ended up in the publication. My youngest was especially pleased because he had been telling his elementary class that his mom was a famous author, and now he had his 15 minutes of fame!
Maybe new authors in the making???
What’s next for you?
In March comes the UK release of my second book, An Improper Aristocrat. This one is a rollicking story with plenty of action and intrigue. A deathbed pledge brings the adventurous Earl of Treyford back to England. Instead of the aging spinster he expects to find, Chione Latimer is a beautiful half-Egyptian girl caught in chaotic circumstances. Before long, Trey finds himself where he never wished to be: stuck in parson’s mousetrap, up to his armpits in eccentrics and in the midst of a villainous plot to recover an ancient Egyptian artifact.