Hi Annie. Thanks for inviting me to sit in your chair and discuss my novel.
Welcome, Renée. The title of your book, To Charm a Bluestocking, speaks strongly to Regency Romance, but it isn’t set there. Why that title?
When I told my husband the title, he said “A what? No-one will know what a bluestocking is.” I said “Only every historical romance reader. Ever.”
Although we in romance associate bluestockings with unusual, clever women, who usually aren’t perfectly beautiful; the term has more interesting origins. It became popular in England in 1750 when Elizabeth Montagu started a society for clever women to discuss literature and other elegant notions. As with anything that benefits women, it quickly became seen as dangerous. Society (and by that, I mean wealthy male peers) painted them as frumpy harridans who no graces. Romance has reclaimed it to denote clever women.
To Charm a Bluestocking is the first in a series of three about three women who graduate from medical school in Amsterdam. Josephine, the main character in To Charm a Bluestocking, is loosely based on my great-grandmother who achieved this difficult task herself. In doing the research about my great-grandmother, I discovered that there had been only 20 female doctors graduate in Holland between 1875 and 1910. Of which, my relative was one. I started thinking about what problems she would have faced, and which of those problems would resonate with readers today. This book is set in 1887; and includes many of the fun features of the Victorian era, such as train travel.
From there, To Charm a Bluestocking was built. Her two friends, Marie and Claire, make strong appearances in this book. Their stories are coming soon. You can keep in touch with me at my facebook page, or on my website.
She wants to be one of the world’s first female doctors; romance is not in her plans.
1887: Too tall, too shy and too bookish for England, Lady Josephine moves to Holland to become one of the world’s first female doctors. With only one semester left, she has all but completed her studies when a power-hungry professor, intent on marrying her for her political connections, threatens to prevent her graduation. Together with the other Bluestockings, female comrades-in-study, she comes up with a daring, if somewhat unorthodox plan: acquire a fake fiancé to provide the protection and serenity she needs to pass her final exams.
But when her father sends her Lord Nicholas St. George, he is too much of everything: too handsome, too charming, too tall and too broad and too distracting for Josephine’s peace of mind. She needed someone to keep her professor at bay, not keep her from her work with temptations of long walks, laughing, and languorous kisses.
Just as it seems that Josephine might be able to have it all: a career as a pioneering female doctor and a true love match, everything falls apart and Josephine will find herself in danger of becoming a casualty in the battle between ambition and love.
Sometimes you meet people through your writing that change the way you look at life. Incy Black, who I had the pleasure of meeting in London in 2014, and again last year, is one of those people! I offered her a blog post to promote her new book, but no... she doesn't believe in blatant buy my book promo posts. Her post is so beautiful, I hope you will see her wonderful voice, and the sort of writer she is, and go and and click to buy!
Incy is the one in the pink dress in the photo! This is how she describes herself:
It took a swan dive from a roof to convince Incy (aged 5) she wasn’t an avenging fairy and that no, she most certainly couldn’t fly. Bruised but undefeated she retreated deeper into her make-believe world populated with the brave and the poisonous.
When not fighting injustice and righting wrongs on ‘Planet Incy’, she works as a Marketing Director. (Unfortunately, her law degree languishes unused, the distinction between good and evil proving too worrisome in real life.)
Her five children are well versed in what scares her (most things) and delight in pushing her neurotic buttons—at their peril.
Incy taught me not to take myself so seriously, and to love being an author, and to focus on the love of what we do, and not let the little publishing hiccups we meet on the way, take us from our journey. Her post below is one I will cherish.
Australians are a little crazy—but we love them.
Annie Seaton is laid back. She reminds me of an elegant glider noiselessly catching life’s updrafts, no fuss, no bother. If she does have feathers to ruffle, I’ve never found them. So with that in mind, rather than discuss my new release Hard to Protect or my writing process, I prefer to share why my in-person encounter with Annie was a blast—and will forever remain indelibly imprinted on my psyche.
Picture four Australian women—statuesque, gorgeous, proud—travelling the globe. I’m not saying they wrecked havoc, but they came pretty damn close. And that was just in London. The refined folk of Bloomsbury might recover—one day, but they will never forget.
Annie, Savannah, Diane and Kristen ‘pulled’ in a rooftop beer garden, brazenly swapping names and business cards with some young builders. Such was their enthusiasm for the second pub, I’m fairly certain they offered to partnership up with the owner. They wandered off—and got lost—in Trafalgar Square. I won’t mention they did the same on the Underground. None of this was bad, it was curiously endearing to a Brit.
But, Oh. My. God. They kept getting bitten—by a wild and wanton impulse.
Seemed like every ten minutes, up would go their arms, back would go their heads, out would come their war cry, “Ozzie, Ozzie, Ozzie, Oi, Oi, Oi,” loud enough to fell all buildings within a three mile radius! It was shameless. It was hilarious. It was terrifying, mortifying, too. And as an experience it ranks right up there with the top ten in my life. It will also, along with the personalities involved, one day find its way into one of my books.
Go Aussie women, go—never change!
Some Black Op missions are too dark—even for him.
Volcanic hot and ambitious Special Agent Will Berwick doesn’t give a damn what his orders are, he’s not taking the enemy—the lovely, but arctic Dr. Angel Treherne—to bed. Nor will she die on his watch, most certainly not by his hand. Oh, he’ll root out her secrets. But his own way—teaching her a much-deserved lesson while he’s at it: that no one messes with his career plan just because they’re a little peeved with him.
Caught up in a tangled web of deceit and betrayal, psychotherapist Angel trusts no one—certainly not alpha-cocky, cunning Will Berwick. First he’s hostile, then he’s charming, now he wants to protect her? Why? What’s he hiding? With her life—and heart—on the line, she needs to know.
With the risks high and personal, can Will and Angel agree the dangerous choices they must make?
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A big welcome to Heather Garside. I had the pleasure of reading Colonial Daughter a few months ago and it was one of the most enjoyable reads of 2016 for me.
The cover is fabulous and the buy links are at the bottom of the page.
My Writing Journey
I have always dabbled in writing, since composing my first poem at the age of seven. Growing up on a 47,000 acre cattle station with only the company of my two brothers and sister, encouraged us to rely on our own resources and to develop lively imaginations. I completed my primary schooling through correspondence, with my mother’s help. That, and being an avid reader, formed a strong basis for writing.
I have written four complete novels over the years and have another in progress, as well as participating in a number of other collaborative writing and publishing projects. I’m by no means prolific and am too easily distracted to be a full-time writer, but my involvement in the writing world has enriched my life in many ways.
Colonial Daughter, originally published as The Cornstalk, was my second novel and was written very much from the heart. The plot was inspired by my parents’ stories of their pioneering ancestors, and the setting came alive for me after reading a book published to commemorate the centenary of a tiny Central Queensland town called Banana.
Banana was a busy teamsters’ hub in the late 19th century and the wealth of detail in this little book fascinated and inspired me. Now, having honed my skills since I originally penned Colonial Daughter, I hope this new edited version with a fresh cover and new title will do the story justice.
Anna Jacobs is the fourth most borrowed author of adult fiction in the UK library system. She was thrilled to pieces to hear that news recently, and I'm thrilled to have her in my chair today!
Please welcome Anna to the chair!
I’ve been thinking about what a ‘brand’ is lately. The word is tossed around in writing circles as if it’s the key to heaven, ie getting published and staying published. (The latter is as hard as the former, by the way.)
To my mind the main component of authors’ brands is their voice ie how they tell their stories and the sort of stories they choose to tell. That’s what readers go for.
It’s exactly like training for a sport: you become good by doing it and working hard at whatever training is needed. For writers, the need is to write and (except in extremely rare cases) write a lot! One book isn’t usually enough to develop good story-telling skills. And notice that I call it story telling. That to me is the crucial element in a novel.
Twenty years ago industry wisdom said you need to write half a million to a million words to learn your craft and settle into your own style. I don’t see that mentioned these days but I think it’s still true. Instead, people talk about PR/brand and being on social media, as if they give you some golden key. They may help as you go along but IMHO only if you have developed your skills and style first.
So . . . good luck with your writing – how close are you to having written your first half million words?
You can find all of Anna's books here:
What an amazing achievement!
Her most recent release is A Stranger in Honeyfield. Click on the cover below.
Welcome to my chair, Bernadette!
I think there is little of me in all of my heroines, whether it be my young idealistic self, as in Princess Avenger, the healer, as in The Lady’s Choice or the leader, as in Esta from The Lady and the Pirate.
My heroes are a little more difficult to track down. They come to me out of the blue or suggested by conversations I have sometimes. One of my author friends mentioned a pirate when they saw the ship on the front cover of The Lord and the Mermaid. I realised Samael, my pirate, would be the ideal addition to the Wildecoast series. And Samael’s looks are based on my son Sam.
As my books are all in a series, sometimes the characters just develop out of a previous story. You never really know which secondary character might get their own story down the track.
I guess it’s lucky my stories are only around 70K long so it’s no as daunting as working on something over the 100K.
Of course, I’ve already admitted that some of my traits have crept into each of my ladies. They can all stand up for themselves, are feisty, not afraid to get into a fight and will usually say exactly what they feel. Passion is a common ingredient whether it be for a cause, or for a favourite horse or, yes, their hero.
Join Romance Writer’s Australia or a similar organisation so you can learn your craft. Try to improve all the time.
Working with an editor is one of the best learning opportunities I’ve ever had. I’ve had the pleasure of working with six editors and they’ve all pushed me to be a better writer.
There’s nothing like escaping – and one of the best ways I know how is by sitting down and writing. Of course the best escape is a real one but when that’s not possible, disappearing into a virtual world, one where you can create your own setting, characters, events and emotions is, for me, the next best thing.
I started writing books set in idyllic country places is because I lived in the city – or at least, the suburbs - but in my heart I wanted to be sitting on a veranda gazing out at the bush. Luckily I did get to do that fairly often, at our holiday home near beautiful Milton on the NSW south coast. The time I spent there fuelled my engines – writing and otherwise – and gave me the inspiration for my first novel Blackwattle Lake.
Since then I’ve written three more books, all set in or around country towns – my visit to the Queensland outback last year gave me ideas for my latest release The Crossroads.
The setting is only one element. Creating strong characters, coming up with complicated emotional plots centered around family and relationships and being drawn into the story as I write all help me to escape in the same way I hope my readers do when they sit down with one of my books.
What do you do to escape when you can’t do the ‘real thing’ ?
Pamela Cook is a city girl with a country lifestyle and too many horses. Her rural fiction novels feature feisty women, tangled family relationships and a healthy dose of romance. Her first novel, Blackwattle Lake, was published in 2012 after being selected for the Queensland Writer’s Centre/Hachette Manuscript Development Program. Her following novels were Essie’s Way (2013) and Close To Home (2015) and her fourth book, The Crossroads, is due for release in December 2016. An eclectic reader, Pamela also enjoys writing poetry, memoir pieces and literary fiction and is proud to be a Writer Ambassador for Room To Read, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes literacy and gender equality in developing countries. When she’s not writing she wastes as much time as possible riding her handsome quarter horse, Morocco.
Pamela loves to connect with readers both in person and online. You will often find her lurking in one of these places:
Welcome back, Darcy Delany!
Does Valentine’s day give you a sinking feeling?
Darcy Delany hears you!
Sweet Revenge is an anti-Valentine’s Day offering from Darcy Delany. Here’s the blurb:
Revenge is a dish best served cold according to Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, but Darcy Delany turns up the heat in Sweet Revenge.
Murderous grandmothers, harried husbands and bullied employees take matters into their own hands in this entertaining collection of short stories from a sassy storyteller.
Darcy dropped by today to tell us a little more about this book:
Valentine’s Day is not a day everyone enjoys, so I wanted to create a collection of stories for those feeling cranky with cupid on February 14!
Ever since reading the The Count of Monte Christo I’ve become intrigued by stories of revenge, particularly in relation to love. For those who haven’t read that book, it’s the story of one man’s intricate retribution on those who had him falsely imprisoned, resulting in his fiancé marrying another. What struck me about the story was how easily the passion of love can be turned in other directions, and how devastatingly effective that redirected energy can be.
My characters in Sweet Revenge are every day people who have been pushed to their limits, are sick of waiting for karma to start working, and take action in entertaining ways. We’ve all had those moments, whether we want to admit it publicly is another matter! They’re stories to make people smile when they’re having a bad day - letting them take revenge vicariously, without the stress of plotting and planning!
You can buy Sweet Revenge from Amazon.
About Darcy Delany:
Darcy Delany writes fiction with sassy heroines and heroes you love to love!
She makes a mean sangria and loves karaoke.
You can find out more about Darcy and her work on her website at www.storieswithsass.com.au.
If you’d like to keep in touch, you can connect with Darcy on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, or subscribe to her newsletter, Sassy Snippets.
Today we welcome Darry Fraser to the chair.
Her debut print novel is released today!
Annie, thank you so much for having me in the chair.
What inspired me to write Daughter of the Murray?
To be honest – I can’t remember! It was so long ago, back in 1983. I’d just moved to Alice Springs and I’d spent some time on the Murray at Swan Hill. Those days were pretty happy days for me. I don’t think I ever forgot it.
So, when in Alice with a bit of time on my hands I thought I’d write a novel. I’d always written stories, but at the ripe old age of 23 or so, I thought it was about time to get serious. I put pencil to Collins Notebook and inside the year I had a novel finished. It was a masterpiece; it was going to rule the world!
Until I saw All The Rivers Run on the tele, then my masterpiece was swiftly, sadly relegated to the bottom drawer. I would go to writer’s purgatory if I published my story (believing, of course, it was worthy of publication)… It was all about a young woman who finds herself taking an adventure on the mighty Murray in the majestic and the not-so-majestic paddle steamers of the day.
All The Rivers Run had a very similar premise.
My story had lots of adventure and bad men in it. At that time, it didn’t have any behind-the-bedroom-door stuff.
Over the years, with the advent of word processors and computers, my story was transcribed. It kept changing shape, growing, and growing up and finally I felt game enough to give it to someone to read, to see if it would be worthy enough to put in front of a publisher. That was in 2015 – thirty-two years later. And from that point, and with that reader’s advice, the story blossomed, and was accepted for publication in November of that year.
In the last couple of years, the inspiration to mature the story has been the emergence of women as equals in society, and how they fitted into the world that was shaped for them, a world owned by the men in their lives.
My heroine has to choose between survival and independence, and learns the hard way that, in her day, they are very different things. The women’s suffragist movement was well underway, gaining momentum, but as we know with a long road to travel.
One thing I did not want to do, was make her – Georgina – a modern 21st century woman in 19th century costume. She might be her own person, but she was still constrained by the laws of her time, not to mention society’s expectations of her.
Domestic violence was rife, and women who were very much at the brunt of it at the time, and for a very long time since, had literally nowhere to go to seek refuge. I touched on this in Daughter of the Murray, especially within married relationships, and DV at the time is explored further in another story yet to see daylight.
If a woman wanted independence then, she had to be careful. And smart. I hope in Daughter of the Murray Georgina proves she as been both.
Of course, the River Murray is once again a hot topic of debate, and needs to remain in our focus.
Thanks again, Annie. You’re an inspiration yourself, and a wonderful mentor.
A well written story set in an interesting period of Australian history on the mighty Murray RIver.
Georgie is a strong feisty woman, making her way alone after suffering setbacks in life.
The description of setting evokes the Australian landscape beautifully, and the historical period is realistically portrayed. The depiction of the characters is realistic, and the sexual tension in Georgie’s first relationship lets us see the confusion of an inexperienced young woman who has the courage to go for what she thinks she desires
Darry Fraser’s debut novel is stunning with the promise of things to come.
1890s, River Murray, Northern Victoria
Georgina Calthorpe is unhappy living with her indifferent foster family the MacHenry’s in their crumbling house on the banks of the River Murray.
Unlike the rest of the family, she isn’t looking forward to the return of prodigal son Dane. With good reason. Dane MacHenry is furious when on his return he finds his homestead in grave decline. Unaware that his father has been drinking his way through his inheritance, he blames Georgina and Georgina decides she has no option but to leave. Unfortunately she chooses Dane’s horse to flee on, and when Dane learns she has stolen his prized stallion, he gives chase.
From this point their fates become intertwined with that of a businessman with a dark secret, Conor Foley, who offers Georgina apparent security: a marriage with status in the emerging nouveau-riche echelons of Melbourne. But none of them could imagine the toll the changing political and social landscape would have on homes, hearts and families.
Will Georgina’s path lead her into grave danger and unhappiness, or will she survive and fulfil her destiny?
A huge welcome today to the very talented, Elizabeth Ellen Carter.
Thief of Hearts Blog Tour Kit
Some seriously clever sleight of hand is needed if aspiring lawyer Caro Addison is ever going to enjoy this Christmas.
To avoid an unwanted marriage proposal, she needs a distraction as neat as the tricks used by The Phantom, the audacious diamond thief who has left Scotland Yard clueless.
While her detective inspector uncle methodically hunts the villain, Caro decides to investigate a suspect of her own – the handsome Tobias Black, a magician extraordinaire, known as The Dark Duke.
He's the only one with the means, motive and opportunity but the art of illusion means not everything is as it seems, in both crime and affairs of the heart.
As Christmas Day draws near, Caro must decide whether it is worth risking reputations and friendships in order to follow her desires.
Elizabeth Ellen Carter is an award-winning historical romance writer who pens richly detailed historical romantic adventures. A former newspaper journalist, Carter ran an award-winning PR agency for 12 years. The author lives in Australia with her husband and two cats.
Amazon.com - https://www.amazon.com/Thief-Hearts-Elizabeth-Ellen-Carter-ebook/dp/B01MAWBWI5
Amazon.com.au - https://www.amazon.com.au/Thief-Hearts-Elizabeth-Ellen-Carter-ebook/dp/B01MAWBWI5
Amazon.co.uk - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MAWBWI
Social Media Links
The Thief of Hearts Excerpts
He turned the card over and with a thumbnail flicked a tab made of the same backing as the playing card. Even up close the addition was difficult to see. Tobias placed the card on his lap and pulled out a deck of cards. He flicked the edge of the deck of cards towards them. Each time the Queen of Hearts stood out.
“I want you to think I can read your mind, but in reality...”
Tobias split the deck and showed them the Queen of Hearts and then the other half of the deck. The card that had been just before the Queen of Hearts was fully a third shorter than the rest of the cards. He put the pack together and flicked through the deck once more.
“I make you see what you want to see. I suspect The Phantom does the same.”
“You mean his crime scenes are illusions?” Margaret asked. Tobias gave her a smile and Caro wished oddly that its brightness shone on her too.
“I think so. From what I read in the newspapers... no sign of entry or departure?” he asked. Caro confirmed it with a nod. “That tells me he’s creating an illusion of invulnerability. But it is an illusion. A trick. He wants to force the attention of the police away from something else – in the same way a magician will use a gesture or an action to distract you.
“Find out what that is then you will find his sleight of hand and that will be his vulnerability.”
“Now, if I’ve sated your curiosity, I’ll take my leave of you. My crew and I have our last show this evening.”
Caro rose and Margaret did also. Tobias took Margaret’s hand and bowed over it then released it. Then he took Caro’s and held it. Then his eyes held hers for a moment and he dropped a kiss on the back of her hand.
“I’m so glad it was you who paid me a visit... instead of a representative of Scotland Yard.”
“Not at all, Mr Black,” she replied, her voice a little huskier than usual, “you have been more than gracious with your time.
“Call me Tobias.”
He was flirting with her! Caro kept the smile to herself as he escorted them both to the entrance of the theatre.
“Just one more question, Mr Black,” Caro asked. “You wouldn’t happen to know how someone might dispose of a suite of diamonds would you?”
Loud thumps and the sound of glass breaking attested to the struggle going on inside. Caro hesitated at the door, unsure whether to follow into the melee. It was all but over when she entered the room. Bertie and Edward held one man by the arms, the fight apparently gone out of him. Tobias and Walter had cornered the other, but it seemed he was not going to make it an easy arrest.
The big window in the room was wide open behind him, letting out the heat from the fire which burned brightly in the hearth.
“Give it up, Pavel. It’s too late for you and Nemec,” Tobias panted heavily. “You can’t escape now.”
Walter stepped forward. “Hand it over, Pavel.”
As Caro would later recall it, everything seemed to happen in slow motion.
The man named Pavel glanced at his friend and then back to Walter. He pulled out the blue diamond from his pocket and held it up to the light where it scintillated. Then he lobbed it into the air.
Tobias and Walter tackled Pavel to the ground. Nemec struggled free of Bertie and Edward and surged forward, reaching out for the stone with both arms. Edward grabbed Nemec again by one and Bertie, flailing, struck the other. Nemec’s fingertips gave the stone a glancing tap, making it leap and pirouette into the air once more.
Caro, and indeed everyone, saw the Star of December flash like lightning as it tumbled over and over in mid-air until it fell onto the grate.
And shatter into a thousand little pieces.
“But now I’m home again, at my father’s behest, and he’s telling me once again I need to settle down, join my brother in business. So I shall. This will be the last season for The Dark Duke.”
“Doesn’t that make you sad?”
“Not really. In fact, I’m rather looking forward to it. I learned a lot as an engineer in the Army, so much that can be applied here at home – especially mechanical engineering. I think there’s a time when one must ‘put away childish things’, don’t you agree?”
She smiled at him but said nothing and turned to look out of the window. She thought of her law studies and her mother’s opposing desire to see her daughter wed and with a family of her own. Perhaps it was time she grew up also, and take up her responsibilities. Perhaps it was selfish to hold onto her dream of becoming a lawyer.
She sighed inwardly.
Perhaps, despite her misgivings, she should accept Bertie’s offer of marriage. After all, who knew her better than he did? At least he would let her finish her studies and not demand she break them off immediately.
She was unaware she was lost in her own thoughts until she sensed Tobias watching her closely. She turned to face him and felt a heated blush burn her cheeks. There was something in his expression which fascinated her and, for a moment, she felt a deep longing. What would it be like to kiss him?
“Now there’s a trick – disappearing so far into your own thoughts you were no longer here,” he said, his voice barely audible over the steady clip-clop of the horse and the sound of the traffic around them. “A penny for them?”
Long Interview Questions
About The Thief of Hearts
Australians suffer a little bit of cognitive dissonance when it comes to celebrating Christmas. First of all, being in the southern hemisphere, we celebrating in the middle of our summer but happily sing about ‘dashing through the snow’, Frosty the Snowman and that the ‘snow lay all about, deep and crisp and even’.
Another thing we missed in our local customs was being outside of the TV ratings periods. Conventional wisdom had it that in the depths of bitter winters, people would gather around the electronic hearth and watch television. And since Christmas fell right in the middle of the northern hemisphere’s TV ratings period, all the best TV shows had a Christmas episode.
They were fun and whimsical, often suspending current storylines for something a little bit light-hearted and fun.
So, in that Christmas spirit, I wrote The Thief of Hearts, a veritable Christmas punch of few Hercule Poirots, Girl’s Own Adventures stories, a dash of While You Were Sleeping and other Christmas-themed rom-coms.
Why Did You Set It in Victorian England?
Many of our Christmas customs started with the Victorians, including our beloved Christmas tree and the fun Christmas crackers.
Victorian England was a fascinating era.
They were very mindful of their past and had built up quite a romantic imagery of its chivalry – just look at the pre-Raphaelite works as examples of high Victorian romanticism and yet they were very technologically advanced and sophisticated.
Many of the things we take for granted today, inexpensive mass-produced consumer goods, electricity, telephony, stored music, motorised transport, photography and film, even the concept of television had their origins in the 19th century – no wonder Steampunk has become such a popular sub-genre of sci-fi!
There were high hopes for the upcoming 20th century as being the most accomplished century yet. The groundswell for true equality for men and women was beginning and within a relatively short space of time, women were fully enfranchised and were open to the same job opportunities.
Late Victorian England was time of man-made wonders and magic falls into that neatly.
Why write a mystery?
One of my favourite authors is Agatha Christie. I love the way she blended mystery and romance in many of her stories. If you look at Poirot and Miss Marple, there are often secondary characters who begin or advance a romance through the story and, with the solving of the mystery have their happily ever after.
I thought it would be fun to do something like that for The Thief of Hearts, so the mystery is very much front-and-centre but there is a definite romance between Caro Addison, an aspiring lawyer and Tobias Black, a magician and former solider whose paths are destined to cross.
There is more than one mystery in The Thief of Hearts. There is the obvious one in the mysterious diamond heists where the thief as apparently left no clue, but there is also one a little closer to home and that is what are Bertie’s real intentions towards Caro?
She is positive that he is planning to propose. While her mother would be delighted by the news, Caro herself is having second thoughts. She loves Bertie, but she’s not ‘in love’ with him – so to avoid an unpleasant scene with someone she likes, Caro invents reasons not to be alone with him.
The Thief of Hearts is full of misdirection.
What did you enjoy researching?
I had a lot of fun with the research for The Thief of Hearts.
Victorian England was full of innovation and invention – so discovering the polyphon which was a precursor to the record player, simply had to be included. So too the passenger lift, the glorious elevators found in the most luxurious hotels and as a necessity in the growing high rise buildings that is emblematic of New York.
The rise of literacy in the Victorian England which came as a result of pressure from the church welfare reformers, gave birth to a large number of newspapers to cater for interests and tastes of a wider group of readers. In fact it could be argued that modern journalism as we know it today, started in the Victorian era.
The Victorian period also gave rise to the mystery and detective story. The origin of this was also interesting. The 19th century saw the rise of the middle class who were at removed a lot of direct contact with crime – particularly street crime. In addition, criminal executions which were once public affairs, were now performed behind prison gates.
What didn’t change was the public’s appetite for the gruesome details and, indeed some broadsheets specialised in it thus beginning the still popular genre of True Crime and the origins of the crime and detective novel where real crime wasn’t enough.
What are you working on at the moment?
There’s so much! I’m working hard on another 19th century title called Captive of the Corsairs. Although it is set in the Regency era, it is not a typical Regency at all. It’s set in Sicily and Turkey and centres on the pirates of the Barbary Coast – north Africa who conducting slaving raids into Europe.
It’s intended to be a stand alone, but some of the characters are calling for their own stories, so I think this may turn into a three book series.
I’m also keen to set started on another mystery romance series! This will be a six book series set in Medieval England. The hero and heroine are more mature, they will be in their mid-to-late 30s and there are some younger characters too who are terrific.
Hopefully my Roman era historical romantic suspense will have found a publisher.
Annie loves sharing her writing chair with special guests! If you'd like a turn...please email her! firstname.lastname@example.org