Suzy, for inspiring me with this Be Inspired award! It’s always lovely to be mentioned in the great big blogging world and it’s giving me a chance to mention again my very first historical novel, Dangerous Deceit, which was published last year and which Suzy kindly read and reviewed on her blog a while ago.
So here goes with Suzy’s questions!
What gave you the idea for your book?
An early obsession with Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer books! I wanted to live in the Georgian/Regency period and when writing my first novel, I just had to set it in that fun period between 1811 and 1820. But I wanted it to have intrigue as well as romance.
How long did it take to write overall?
A few years from writing the initial first chapter to getting on and finishing it, but that was partly because I left it aside and got on with short stories and articles for too long (as I still do with novels).
What kept you going when you were half way through?
By the time I reached half way, I’d signed up to the RNA New Writers’ Scheme and had to submit a novel by the August – that was all the incentive I needed!
Are any of your characters based on real people, even though you have to say they aren’t?
No – except perhaps my young heroine, Lydia is a little like my long-ago teenage adventurous self. I do, however introduce the real-life Lord Byron into a scene, and there’s mention of the Prince Regent.
Did you ever wonder if you’d have the work published?
All the time! I knew there were fewer publishers taking Regencies in the UK at that time, so perhaps taking so long to finish the book paid off in the end.
When you’ve had one book published, do you feel under pressure with the next one?
Absolutely! Especially when my daughter keeps telling me that readers who enjoyed the first one will be expecting more. And I don’t want my publisher to get tired of waiting. But see the next question.
Would you write in a different genre next time, or do you always stick with what you know?
And therein lies one of my problems. By the time Dangerous Deceit was accepted, I had moved on to other genres. Fortunately my tween book, Summer of the Eagles, was published in April but I have about three others in the women’s fiction genre (one completed) and a few other novellas and children’s books.
Do you prefer writing a novel, or short stories?
If I’m being completely honest, I think I still prefer short stories, but I suspect it’s partly because they are quicker to finish and send out. I definitely need more patience and self-discipline for the long-haul of novels, which sometimes is in short supply!
Do you use everyday happenings in your writing?
I’m often inspired by everyday happenings, whether in my own life or in history, but would always fictionalize them for stories.
If your book was to be on TV who would play the lead male and female roles?
Hmm… When he was younger, I would have liked Timothy Dalton to play the hero, Lord Marcus Sheldon, as he always seems to have the right combination of toughness and sensitivity. Maybe someone like Rupert Penry-Jones, although he’d need to have darker hair! I can’t think of many young actresses, but perhaps Carey Mulligan.
Good questions, Suzy!
And now I’m passing the award and the same questions on to: Myra Duffy; Chris Longmuir; Talli Roland; Anne Gallagher; Jean Bull