Nov 1 2010
CTR: Our next author is Grace Elliot. First, please give us a bit of information about the book or books you’re sharing today. At least ISBN, Publisher and buy link please! Also the genre and heat level if applicable
GE: Hello Coffee Timers!
It’s so exciting to be here at Coffee Time Romance to share my addiction for historical romance with fellow ‘caffeine addicts’. I came to writing through a love of reading historicals, and as an antidote to a demanding job as a veterinarian. My debut novel, ‘A Dead Man’s Debt’, is now available through Coffee Time Romance and from Solstice Publishing at http://www.solsticepublishing.com
Set in Regency England this sensuous historical romance is a story of blackmail, duty and an unexpected passion.
Celeste Armitage has a plan…and that plan doesn’t include marriage.
After deliberately humiliating a suitor, Celeste’s despairing parents exile her to the country. But once there she discovers a sketch book of daring nude studies and is shaken to find the artist is her hostess’s eldest son, Lord Ranulf Charing. This darkly cynical lord is exactly the sort of dissipated rogue she despises most…if only her blood didn’t heat at the thought of him…
Nothing is as it seems. Lord Ranulf’s life is a façade. Only he can save the Charing’s from disgrace as blackmail threatens to ruin his late brother’s reputation. But just as Ranulf dares to open his heart to Celeste, the fury of his nemesis is unleashed… facing him with the stark choice between true love and family duty. When Celeste guesses the truth behind his rejection, Ranulf underestimates her resolve to clear his name and in so doing places the woman he loves in mortal danger….
CTR: What is your favorite historical period or region and why? Did you enjoy history while you were in school or was it frankly boring? How would you suggest we teach history to kids now—(i.e.) can fiction maybe be a tool here? Do you think we can and should learn from the past or is it now irrelevant to modern times and issues?
GE: At school I loathed history; the dry as dust dates and treaties left me cold. The history teacher was old school; a bird like woman with hair so severely pulled back it slanted her eyes. Her history lessons were a roll call of facts, with no hint of the fascinating characters that peopled the past…. and so no one was more surprised than me, whilst expecting my second son, to discover an unsuspected passion for history.
I remember the moment exactly. Suffering with morning sickness, trying desperately to distract myself, I started reading Margaret George’s great novel, ‘Mary Queen of Scots.’ Instantly I was caught. This sweeping true story of a queen whose husband tried to kill her, whose secretary was murdered in front of her, who was kidnapped and raped, then married her seducer, gave birth to twins who then died….could this all be true? I had to find out… and started reading about the Tudors.
A window on the past opened, filled with living breathing people whose real lives were so fantastic as to be almost unbelievable. Why didn’t they teach of us any of this stuff at school? Why did they hide the interesting stuff?
Like an addict I had to know more; from the Tudors to the Victorians, then back to the Georgians. Amazing, fascinating, absorbing facts about everyday life. I was hooked. I now read historical romance and read non-fiction in equal parts, as well as writing novels set in the Regency period. I hope my love of history shines through and, who knows…repair the damage done by school history lessons.
CTR: Do you think historical accuracy is important in fiction? How about the use of modern speech and politically correct ideas instead of those that faithfully portray the period? Do you find this good, bad, a necessary evil or something you shun?
GE: My aim, with historical accuracy, is to immerse the reader in the period details…up to a point. There must be some compromise, for example, speech. The ‘Thee’s’ and ‘thou’s’ of previous centuries jar with the modern reader and slow the pace. The odd word is fine, to evoke a sense of time, but to write all dialogue in authentic 18th century dialogue would be painful.
However it is my pet hate to discover modern analogies a historical. One that springs to mind (to spare the author’s blushes I omit the title) referred to a smuggler’s ship under full sail as being tossed about like ‘a cork in a washing machine.’ Err, no. There were no washing machines in Georgian times!
For me, the joy of the Regency is seeing how my characters, especially the female ones, rile against the constraints of society. In ‘A Dead Man’s Debt’ the heroine Celeste Armitage, decides not to marry because she wants more than to be one man’s chattel. She knows she can’t have both independence and the man of her dreams…and must sacrifice one or the other. Which will she chose?
CTR: Can you share a favorite author and title that perhaps inspired you to write in the historical genre?
GE: So many authors of delicious historical romance – where to start? I applaud those authors who immerse the reader in period detail such that you can hear the rustling satin and smell the candle wax. My favorites are Mary Balogh for her ‘Pleasures’ series, Stephanie Laurens for ‘Bar Cynster’ novels, Julia Quinn for her touches of humor and Gaelen Foley for the sizzle factor. Who are your favorites? Who has made you shiver and cry? I’d love to know.
CTR: Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving family tradition or story to share? Does the old “Over the river and through the woods to grandma’s” verse resonate with you in terms of childhood memories or stories you heard or was your family pattern quite different? How about a recipe that you associate with this harvest and thankfulness time of year? What is your favorite dish of your family or circle’s traditional feast?
GE: I live in England and ‘Thanksgiving’ is not something that I’m familiar with. Is it a cross between Harvest Festival and family festivals such as Christmas? It does sound wonderful and I’d love someone to fill in this blank of ignorance! Who can you explain ‘Thanksgiving’ to me?
CTR: If there was such a thing as a time machine where would be the first place you would go once you had a ticket to ride? Do you think you’d want to stay or just look around and then come right back to today?
GE: If I had a time machine the first place to visit would be the Regency period, for the flimsy reason that there’s something about those muslin gowns with tiny bodices and puff sleeves. For those that could afford the luxuries of life it must have been a fantastic time, when women wore silk and real men rode stallions. I could probably blend in for about a week, before indignation boiled over… fun while it lasted. Undoubtedly the novelty would wear off and I’d be desperate to return to hot running water and flushing sanitation…but that’s why I love historical romance…because I can dream!
CTR: . Where can our readers find out more about you and your writing? Please share your web site, social network pages, blogs or any other contact areas you maintain
GE: To find out more about Grace Elliot, my writing and what makes me tick, visit:
You can also join me on Twitter Grace_Elliot, or find me on Facebook.