Welcome to the Author Spotlight, Elizabeth, and congratulations on the release of ‘Moonstone Obsession’ Can you tell us about ‘the call’?
I was feeling a little bit down because I had received a rejection e-mail from one publisher (I realise now, if I had understood why I had been rejected, it would have been an encouragement instead), so there was little crisis of confidence when I received the acceptance call from Etopia Press.
Funnily enough I received another qualified acceptance from another publisher a week later and that editor went into greater detail about some of the things she would like to see addressed before I resubmitted.
I’ve been very fortunate to have been assigned a top-notch editor and I’ve developed a better understanding of novel-writing craft.
What makes Moonstone Obsession different from other books?
Oh, that’s always a loaded question, isn’t it?
What makes Moonstone Obsession different is the introduction of an intriguing overarching subplot which gives the story some historical ‘meat’ as well as an appealing love story.
I spent a great deal of time researching the politics and social conventions of the era, as well as the gorgeous period clothing and furniture, so hopefully readers will feel immersed in the late Georgian/early Regency period.
Also, I like to see growth and development of the hero and heroine’s love story through the trials and tribulations they face together and through the team work that all successful couples need to have to make a relationship long lasting.
Where did the idea come from?
I had been reading a lot about Enlightenment socio-political philosophy and was amazed to learn that some of the things we believe about it aren’t quite as black and white as received wisdom would have it.
So I started a bit more exploration and started asking a few ‘what if’ questions which have been worked into Moonstone Obsession.
Is there a particular work or author that has influenced your writing above all others?
First and foremost it is the first historical romance I ever read as a teenager, Rose of Rapture by Rebecca Brandewyne. The level of historical accuracy and political intrigue she wove into the War of the Roses-era story was an utter revelation.
I had read a few contemporary series romances, which were fun, but the sweeping majesty of this book made it one I re-read every year for many years. I can still tell you all the major plot points. At the back of the book Rebecca outlined her case for exonerating Richard III of the murder of his nephews and I found her rationale compelling.
Ultimate historical romance hero and heroine material?
Sometimes there is what CS Lewis describes as ‘the snobbery of chronology’, in which some people think those who lived in the past were some how stupid because they didn’t have the same knowledge or access to technology we do today. Clearly that’s not true because history shows us that human nature doesn’t change.
Sometimes historical romance writers try to make up for that by introducing ideas and concepts to tickle the fancy of modern audiences but which people of that era would not have conceived.
So, long story short. What makes the ultimate historical romance hero and heroine is the same things that make any romance appealing – men and women who are intelligent and resourceful, navigating their way through life’s obstacles until they reach their happily ever after together.
Apart from writing, what are your other interests and hobbies?
Spending time with my gorgeous writer husband, antique hunting, exploring history, enjoying a good wine and learning more about the two things that no well-bred lady ever brings to a dinner party conversation – politics and religion.
Now that you’re published, do you look back and think of how you may have done anything differently? Any advice or suggestions for unpublished writers?
I wasn’t going to go down the route of seeking a publisher, I was looking to self-publish, but I’m so glad I didn’t. I learned so much through the editing process about POVs and head hopping.
I wish I understood those two things better at the start, so I could save myself some heart-break and long nights editing.
My main advice for unpublished writers is to persevere and if you get a rejection letter, rejoice! It means a publisher or editor took the time to read and if they give you pointers, then treat it like gold.
Lastly, read the very best in the genre you’re writing for. If you understand what makes a great story in that milieu, your writing is bound to improve.
What’s the next project you’re working on, and how many other manuscripts do you have in the pipeline?
I’m in the throes of revising my second manuscript Warrior’s Surrender which is set in 1077 in northern England. It’s an epic 100K plus and centres on the relationship between a dispossessed Saxon noblewoman and the Norman Baron who holds the lands that were once hers.
I have another eight two page story treatments – mostly historicals, including a follow up for Moonstone Obsession based on one of the supporting characters who finds herself in the middle of France’s Reign of Terror and plans for an action-packed, modern day romantic techno-thriller.
What is your favourite part of a book to write?
I love writing dialogue and if I can work a little humour in (even if it is black humour), all the better.
Can you give us an excerpt from Moonstone Obsession, please?
James was unable to hide his irritation.
“Are you dense, woman? I will not wed you under any circumstances.”
“I beg to disagree,” said Lady Abigail. She turned back and regarded him with a languorous smile. James had once thought that smile breathtakingly beautiful, but was now aware of the treachery it revealed.
“One word from me to the right ears in court,” she said, “and I can have your beloved’s brother so tied up in legal injunctions that he would be broke by winter. And another word could have him up on charges of treason.”
Abigail saw the sneer of disbelief on James’ face.
“You might scoff my love, but as mad as King George is, he knows there is gold missing from the Treasury and all it will take is the suggestion that Rosewall is in league with Charles Fox to defraud the Crown and he’ll be swinging from the gibbet.”
James was stunned. Not by the threat against Selina’s brother, which he would gamble would be an empty one, but by the fact that the missing gold was now court gossip.
Sir Percy needed to know of this and so did William. Selina’s face came to him briefly and he silently groaned. She would hate him if she knew any of this.
“How do you know of this matter?” he asked.
Abigail shrugged. “You’d be surprised by the things men will reveal to women between the sheets.”
She gave James a long, appreciative look.
“But then, perhaps not,” she added.
“So which of your many lovers has been blessed with such a vivid imagination?” James demanded, hoping to goad her into revealing how widespread knowledge of the missing gold had become.
“Not a word from my lips, but suffice to say that my source takes a very keen interest in the subject, and he is very heavily reliant on there being plenty of gold in the Exchequer.”
James inwardly groaned. That narrowed it down some—just most of the House of Lords, the House of Commons, and the members of the Royal Family…
Abigail stood and sashayed towards the hedge row corner before halting to look back.
“We have an understanding after all, don’t we lover?”
Elizabeth is giving away an E-book copy of Moonstone Obsession to 1 lucky person. To be in the draw all you have to do is leave a comment below.
This giveaway is open world wide and will be drawn on the 5th of November, 2013.