The Captain’s Old Love is out today! Mary was kind enough to answer some questions for us.
You can get your copy of this compelling historical romance HERE!
Did you always know you wanted to be an author?
Yes, I did, ever since I could hold a pencil! As a child I was always either reading or writing stories.
What is the first story you remember writing?
I can’t remember in detail what all those childhood stories were about now – mostly tales of adventure and detection! Then I began to write romantic historical stories – which I never let anyone read because they were all rubbish 😊. They needed actual work to make them more than just splurges of imagination dumped on the page, but I was happy in the escapism.
I was in my mid-twenties before I wrote anything that I seriously, hoped to have published. This was a huge historical novel of love and adventure and lost causes, set mostly in Hungary during the 1848 revolutions.
How did you get from there to where you are today?
Well, I sent out this massive historical novel to a few publishers. It always came back rejected, though sometimes with kind words, and one suggested an agent, who actually took it and me on. Quite rightly, she made me cut it by more than half :).
I learned a lot from this agent about what was necessary and unnecessary in a book, and all the details I was addicted to that slowed it up. But she never did manage to sell it for me. It wasn’t until the early days of ebooks that it was finally published, and by then I had really moved into other genres.
But I did write another couple of historical novels, one of which was about Vlad Dracula and caught the attention of a fellow writer called Violetta Rand.
Violetta had begun working as an acquiring editor for Dragonblade, and she invited me to submit a historical romance. I happened to have Vienna Waltz mostly finished – a more lighthearted tale than my previous novels! – and she loved it. Dragonblade contracted it with its sequels, and then came Blackhaven Brides, and I have never looked back 😊
What drew you to the era you write in?
Although I write mostly Regency for Dragonblade, I also have Victorian-set books (Crime & Passion) and medieval ones (Last Flame of Alba). I’m actually a terrible era-hopper 😊. Something or someone from any time period can grab me and make me obsess until I write it.
But I do find the Regency era great fun! Against the background of the Napoleonic wars and their aftermath, political and social unrest and poverty, there is the glittering London Season. I love the manners and codes of honour. Even the strict proprieties confining unmarried women provide lots of opportunity to for scandal, misunderstandings and romance!