Give us a little bit about your background and when you first started publishing.
I live in Scotland, by the sea in a rather hectic household permanently full of grown-up kids, teenagers, mess etc. In amongst all this, I shut myself away and write. I’ve written for my own amusement ever since childhood, but my first published book was romantic historical fiction based on the legendary figure of medieval hero Hereward the Wake. There was always a strong romantic element in my stories, so it was probably inevitable that I try my hand at actual romance! My first historical romance was Vienna Waltz, though I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. And then I was introduced to Dragonblade! (Thank you, Violetta!)
Historical Setting Related:
- Have you visited the places you’ve written about or just read about them?
I’ve visited most of the real places in my books, including Vienna (beautiful city!). Blackhaven, where the Blackhaven Brides series is set, is made up, of course, but I have traveled in Cumbria/Cumberland, where I placed the town.
- What interesting settings have you used (homes, battlefields, events in history, etc)?
Lots! I suppose the most detail (at least in the Regency romances) is in the Imperial Season books set at the Congress of Vienna, where I used actual balls and social events as settings for my characters to move through. But in the romances, the history is mostly just a light touch, a background of events such as the Napoleonic Wars, Napoleon’s escape from Elba, etc.
- Why did you choose the particular period you write in? What is it about that era that speaks to you?
To be honest, I have difficulty sticking to one period! There are characters and events from most that seize my attention. As far as the Regency’s concerned, I think it’s the customs and manners, the rigid etiquette that just cries out to be broken – discreetly, of course! I like the mixture of elegance and adventure.
- What inspires you to create a certain character (give example)? Have you ever changed the character arc because it didn’t work with the story line?
Lots of different things can set off a character in my mind – sometimes someone from history, a sentence in a book, a portrait, a face on a train, something I’ve seen on TV or in a film. It usually starts with the character, who won’t actually let me change him/her to suit the story I have in my head, so I have to rethink my plot until they fit happily into it.
- 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?
Often in bed. Especially since I lost my study/library which was needed for other things. I used to be a night hawk but in recent years I wake up at six, or even earlier, drink coffee in bed and write as long as I can. I go back to it at various points during the day, but those first two hours in the morning are generally the best. I just need a bit of peace and lots of coffee!
- From all your books, who is your favorite hero and why?
Yikes! I think it’s always the one I’m currently writing about, because I have to love him to make my heroine do so too. If I had to pick one from my romances, it would probably be Dax from The Wicked Husband, because he reminds me of my husband when he was young and hedonistic. But I did love Vanya from Vienna Waltz and Lawrie, my current hero who you’ll meet in The Wicked Captain, he is growing on me in leaps and bounds!
- Outside of your own genre, what’s your favorite genre?
I love thrillers, murder mysteries, paranormal…OK that’s more than one but I like variety!
We hope you enjoyed learning more about Mary, be sure to check out her new book titled “The Wicked Heir” Book 12 in her “Blackhaven Brides” series releasing 08/15/2019.