Persuading the Earl is out tomorrow! Audrey was kind enough to answer some questions for us.
You can get your copy of this delightful historical romance HERE!
Did you always know you wanted to be an author? What is the first story you remember writing? How did you get from there to where you are today?
I was a very shy child and sought solace in books, as many of us do! I never consciously wanted to write until I hit my teenage years and I started a story when I was sixteen, filled with teenage angst! I still have it but apart from reading it myself, it will never see the light of day! I come from a very working class background, people didn’t write that was for posh people! One thing drove me and that was to be able to work and earn a decent living and forgoing college and university I worked my way up to middle management, getting married and having kids along the way. When I had a serious health scare, I took voluntary redundancy and only then did I start writing in earnest. I told no one beyond my immediate family and kept getting rejections from publishers – no one wants to read Regency Romance, apparently! Then I discovered Kindle in 2011 and as they say, the rest is history. To find a publisher who excels at Historical Romance is a real dream come true!
What is the most inspiring place you’ve visited and has it shown up in one of your books? How much research do you do into the time period and places you write about? What drew you to the era you write in?
My favourite place is Bath. All you need to do is walk around the streets and you are transported back to when the city was in its heyday. I find it really inspiratational.
I have four hundred plus books which I can check for historical detail, many of which are diaries of people living in that time. For ten years I attended the Jane Austen Festival in Bath and dressed in Regency costume (which I made!) It gives you a real sense of how people carried themselves and the difficulties in dressing/undressing. I appreciate why they all needed maids!
The manners, formality and in some respects the restrictions attract me to the time period. Going back to being that shy child, knowing exactly what is expected of each person is comforting, though the life-choices for women leave a lot to be desired. From the diaries I’ve read I think we sometimes put Victorian values on the Regency period, it was a lot more risqué than I imagined! I have written a time travel novel because I wanted to highlight some of the not so nice things about the period, like cleanliness, lack of washing clothes, needing someone to brush the road before you step out! Antibiotics! The list could go on.
What are your favorite kind of characters to write? Do you have a specific trope that you’re drawn too?
I love a tortured hero (who doesn’t!) and I like women who might be constrained but are not meek and mild, they can think for themselves. Overall I like my heroes and heroines to be a little bit on the edge of society – they say write what you know and that shy child will always be a part of me!
Which comes first for you: the plot or the characters? Do you know where the story is going before you begin, or does it come to you as you write?
Characters definitely are a first for me. I couldn’t write a story that I had planned beforehand. It is the only way I keep my interest throughout the whole writing process. That is great until I am tackling something like a mystery, but I do tend to make life hard for myself!
Does your writing process include any kind of ritual? Do you write better in the morning or evening? How do you handle the distractions of working from home, especially if you’re sharing the space with others?
Lots of English breakfast tea, Assam or Ceylon! No sugar with a tiny amount of milk. Perfect!
It depends on the point I am in the story. I have a health condition which I have to manage, so some days I cannot wrote at all, some days just in the morning and on very good days, all day. I like working from home, but I do miss the social aspect of working in an office. I’ve always liked a good gossip! When my husband starts to tell me which birds are on the bird feeder, I do tend to growl at him! He once got very worried when looking over my shoulder and discovered me looking for ways to poison someone without leaving a trace of the poison behind!
Did you have a favorite book or series when you were growing up?
I loved Enid Blyton when I was growing up! The simpleness of the stories and the abilities and resourcefulness of the children in the stories gave me hours of comfort and hope.