Question. Do you write a single genre or do your fingers flow over the keys creating tales in many forms?
Do your reading choices reflect your writing choices?
Are there genres you wouldn’t attempt?
Answer. I only write Romantic Historical Fact Fiction. Writing, researching and my interest in history keeps me too busy to write in other genres. Reading historical non-fiction inspires me. I am reading Set in A Silver Sea, Volume One, A History of the British People, by Arthur Bryant and intend to read Volumes 2 and 3. His description of the Dark Ages and the successive invasions of Britain has stirred my imagination.
I wouldn’t attempt erotica or novels with explicit sexual content. I might write contemporary short stories but not novels.
Question. Heroes. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or plain imagination create the man you want every reader to love? Do they come before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?
Answer. Imagination creates the heroes in my novels but their lives, not their appearance or character, are based, are influenced by biographies. Sometimes they evolve in unexpected ways. For example, I dreamt about a young man called Justin who lived in Queen Anne Stuart’s reign, 1702-1714, who asked me to take him shopping at The Royal Exchange in a novel. If he is lucky he might be the hero in a future novel.
The themes for my novels are derived from reading historical non-fiction.
I choose a name appropriate for the era. Next, I create him by writing a detailed character profile, so thorough that I get to know him as well as I know a close family member.
Question. Heroines. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or imagination create the woman you want the reader to root for? Do they appear before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?
Answer. My heroines are products of my imagination dependent on the eras in which they lived. I don’t write about 21st century women dressed in costume with 21st century attitudes. I read biographies, base my imaginary heroines on them and decide on the theme. Next, I write a detailed character profile. From this the plot emerges. Illustrations and painting help with descriptions of hair styles and costumes as well as books on these subjects.
Question. Villains or villainesses or an antagonist, since they don’t always have to be the bad guy or girl. They can be a person opposed to the hero’s or heroine’s obtaining their goal. How do you choose one? How do you make them human?
Answer. They evolve according to the plot and are used as devices to create conflict. To avoid stereotypes, I give them a redeeming quality, love for someone or a pet or a moral boundary they would not cross. For example, in Sunday’s Child, the villain kidnaps a little girl but he would not cause her bodily harm.
Question. What is your latest release? Who is the hero, heroine and or the villain?
Answer. My latest release is Yvonne, Lady of Cassio, set in the reign of Edward II which begins when Yvonne, daughter of Simon, Earl of Cassio is born. This novel has many twists and turns so I won’t reveal the hero and the villain.
Question. What are you working on now?
Answer. I have finished Wednesday’s Child, Heroines Born on Different Days of the Week, Book Four and am writing Thursday’s Child, Book Five, also set in the popular Regency era. It is unnecessary to read Sunday’s, Monday’s and Tuesday’s Child to follow the stories, each of which have strong themes modern day readers can sympathise with. For example, the heroine in my Regency novel, False Pretences is desperate to find out who her parents are.
Question. How can people find you?
Answer. On my website, at Books We Love, my publisher’s website and Facebook.