Getting to know Elizabeth Johns! A new Dragonblade Publishing interview!

Give us a little bit about your background and when you first started publishing. 

I have an odd entrée into writing. I have always wanted to have a medical career, and I worked hard for it and enjoy it. But, once upon a time… my husband deployed two weeks after our marriage, and my mother-in-law sent me an entire series of historical novels. I devoured them, often one a night (after studying, of course). When they were all gone, I read that one of my favorite authors had decided to write whilst watching her son play on his blanket. I looked at my son playing on his blanket and thought, why not? I wrote 13 chapters pretty quickly when my son was napping, and I had family read them. My mother loved them; my father-in-law said they were rubbish. I was devastated and put writing aside for a while. A couple of years later whilst my mother was battling a terminal illness, she asked me about those chapters and wanted to know the ending of the book. So I started again, and when she passed, I knew I had to finish. That was my first novel and I haven’t stopped since.

Historical Setting Related:

Have you visited the places you’ve written about or just read about them?

  • I have visited pretty much all of them. I find it helps me visualize and give an authenticity to the stories…and an excuse to travel.

What interesting settings have you used (homes, battlefields, events in history, etc)?

  • Since I write Regency, Napoleon, Wellington and the Peninsular Campaign and 100 days War (with Waterloo) are major events that recur in my books. I have also used Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy, because they are beautiful, enchanting places that I love to escape to.

Why did you choose the particular period you write in? What is it about that era that speaks to you?

  • Perhaps cliché, but Jane Austen, the queen of Regency! Her writing made me fall in love with reading initially, and the historical series I like to read tend to be either Regency or Victorian (I have written one of those). I like to write what I love to read, and the fantastical clothing, the strange customs, the chivalry, the horses…it provides escape and a happily ever after, which is what most romance readers want when they pick up a book.

Writing Process:

What inspires you to create a certain character (give example)? Have you ever changed the character arc because it didn’t work with the storyline?

  • That is a tough question. I decide who my primary character is first and their personality, and their story. Sometimes I feel inspired by a book or movie like Pride and Prejudice’s Mr. Darcy (and give them my own spin) like my pompous duke in Duke of Knight being brought to heel by someone well beneath him! I have not yet changed a character arc, but story arcs I change frequently.

Do you have a certain quirk in your writing process? Do the stars have to be aligned or do you have to have your favorite tea? Where do you do your best writing?

  • I am sometimes ashamed of my quirks, but here goes. I have previously confessed to writing in the bathtub, but my best time of day is when I walk my dog. I can dictate 1000-1500 words in a half-hour walk. I try to think of the scene in my head before I start, and it flows so much better walking up the mountain road than it does anywhere else. Being out of breath whilst dictating sometimes makes for interesting words on the page as a result!

Miscellaneous:

From all your books, who is your favorite hero and why?

  • Oh man! Just one? I love them all for different reasons, but perhaps Easton because of his honor and integrity and fighting for Elinor when she tried to push him away.

Outside of your own genre, what’s your favorite genre?

  • Historical mystery!

We hope you enjoyed getting to know Elizabeth a little better. If you haven’t heard Elizabeth has a new Dragonblade book releasing Thursday March 5th 2020 titled “Duke of Knight”. This is book 1 in her new series Gentlemen of Knights. Reserve your copy today before the price goes up!!