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Monday, July 16, 2012

Interview of Author Elizabeth Hoyt

I'd like to introduce you to one of the best historical romance writers out there. She's a New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of historical romance and she's with us today at Romance Books 4 Us! Please welcome, Elizabeth Hoyt.

Elizabeth Hoyt writes historical romance in 18th Century England. Is there a reason you chose this particular time period?
I love the Georgian period. I like the fashions—big dresses for women, heels and coat skirts for men—I like that the men wore swords and I like that the period was a time of great revolution in the way people thought and what they did. There were agricultural, mechanical, and scientific innovations.

My Maiden Lane series takes place a little earlier than my previous books—in the 1730s and 1740s. I chose that period because of what was happening in London: the city was booming with new people from all over the world moving in and there was a very big problem with the sale of gin—it was a bit like crack cocaine during the 1980s. Upheaval is always an interesting backdrop for a book. ;-)

The Raven Prince, your first book to be contracted, is very dear to you. Aside from the obvious, why is this story so special?
I wanted to write a book in which the hero and heroine weren’t beautiful, but still had a compelling love story.

You are deservedly a New Time’s Best Selling Historical Romance author. How soon after your first contract did your sales sky rocket to a “best selling” caliber?
Well, my sixth book, To Beguile a Beast was the first one to make the NYT bestseller list. That would’ve been on my second contract as Elizabeth Hoyt.

For those of us who are still dreaming of such an accomplishment, are you able to lend some advice as to how you were able to make this happen? Or perhaps pin point what you think helped your books fly off the shelves?
I wish I could give you the secret to making the bestseller list, but sadly I don’t know it myself. All a writer can do is write the best damn book you can. If you’re writing for a New York publisher, everything else is up to the publisher—print runs, in-store placement, expensive ads, etc.

You were featured in RT Book Reviews magazine, July 2012 issue, and branded for all to see was your new release, Thief of Shadows, on the cover. How did it feel to be the cover story of such an esteemed magazine and to know your books have snagged the ever coveted TOP PICK review every time?
I loved that cover—it was gorgeous in my own rather biased opinion. But this is actually another case of picking the right publisher: The cover of RT is a paid position—and my publisher very kindly paid for it. ;-)

I do sweat it out every time RT comes out to see if my book makes another Top Pick—and seeing that Top Pick icon never, never gets old. ;-)

Through the release of Thief of Shadows, you’ve revealed the Ghost of St. Giles as Winter Makepeace. For those of us who’ve not begun the Maiden Lane series, tell us a little about Mr. Makepeace and what makes him such a great hero.
He’s very different than any other hero I’ve written before. He’s relatively young (26) and sexually inexperienced, but he also has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders: he runs an orphanage in a slum almost by himself. He feels very deeply that he has to help the poor in St. Giles, to the point that he’s given up any idea of having a family—and love—of his own. Until, that is, the heroine shows up. ;-)

Do you recommend reading this series in order?
Yes, for the Maiden Lane series, I do. I’ve woven in character arcs that take place over several books and readers will miss bits and pieces if they read out of order.

Thief of Shadows
By Elizabeth Hoyt

Winter Makepeace lives a double life. By day he’s the stoic headmaster of a home for foundling children. But the night brings out a darker side of Winter. As the moon rises, so does the Ghost of St. Giles—protector, judge, fugitive. When the Ghost, beaten and wounded, is rescued by a beautiful aristocrat, Winter has no idea that his two worlds are about to collide.

Lady Isabel Beckinhall enjoys nothing more than a challenge. Yet when she’s asked to tutor the Home’s dour manager in the ways of society—flirtation, double entendres, and scandalous liaisons—Isabel can’t help wondering why his eyes seem so familiar—and his lips so tempting.

During the day Isabel and Winter engage in a battle of wills. At night their passions are revealed . . . But when little girls start disappearing from St. Giles, Winter must avenge them. For that he might have to sacrifice everything—the Home, Isabel . . . and his life.

Winter Makepeace waited for Lady Beckinhall to turn her back and then stripped off his coat and waistcoat. It was brought home with forceful memory that he’d been nude before this woman only a sennight ago.

Even if she didn’t know it.

His breeches followed and then he was in shirtsleeves and smalls. He glanced at the tailor.

“The shirt as well, sir,” Mr. Hurt said. “The fashion is for a tight-fitting waistcoat and coat.”

“Yes, indeed,” Lady Beckinhall called over her shoulder, “I want the suit to be in the first stare of fashion.”

Winter grimaced but took off his shirt.

The tailor nodded. “That shall do for now, sir.”

Winter stood with arms outstretched, feeling exceptionally silly as the tailor moved about him, wielding a measuring tape.

“Have you been practicing flattery?” Lady Beckinhall asked just as the tailor’s thumb, holding the tape, pushed up the lower edge of Winter’s smallclothes.

“As per your instructions,” Winter replied, watching as Mr. Hurt caught sight of the end of the scar revealed by the rucked smalls.

The tailor hesitated, then continued his work.

Lady Beckinhall sighed very quietly.

Winter’s attention snapped back to her. “I am in admiration of the way in which you can order tea so very…er…efficiently, my lady.”

Mr. Hurt shot him a pitying look.

There was a slight pause.

“Thank you, Mr. Makepeace.” Lady Beckinhall’s voice was choked. “I must say, you give the most imaginative compliments.”

“Your tutelage has inspired me, ma’am.”

The tailor looked doubtful.

Winter cleared his throat. “And, of course, who would not be, ah…exhilarated by the loveliness of your countenance and form.”

He arched an eyebrow at Mr. Hurt.

The tailor made a face as if to say, Not bad.

Which was probably as good as Winter was likely to get at this art.

But Lady Beckinhall wasn’t done. Her head had tilted to the side at his words, making some type of jeweled ornament in her glossy dark hair sparkle in the light. “My form, Mr. Makepeace?”

Ah, this was dangerous territory. “Yes, your form, my lady. It is a strong and feminine form, but I think you already know that.”

She chuckled, low and husky, sending shivers over his arms. “Yes, but a lady never tires of hearing compliments, sir. You must keep that fact in mind.”

Her little maid nodded vigorously in agreement.

“Indeed?” Winter stared at Lady Beckinhall’s back, wishing he could see her face. Her plump mouth would be curved slightly in amusement, her blue eyes dancing. His body reacted at the thought and he was heartily glad that Mr. Hurt had moved to his back.

“But you must be awash in a sea of compliments, my lady,” Winter said. “Every gentleman you meet must voice his admiration, his wish to make love to you. And those are only the ones who may voice such thoughts. All about you are men who cannot speak their admiration, who must remain mute from lack of social standing or fear of offending you. Only their thoughts light the air about you, following you like a trail of perfume, heady but invisible.”

He heard her startled inhale.

The maid sighed dreamily.

Mr. Hurt had stopped his quick, capable movements, but at Winter’s glance, he blinked and resumed his work.

“Thank you, Mr. Makepeace,” Lady Beckinhall said quietly. “That…that was quite wonderful.”

He shrugged, though she couldn’t see him. “I only speak the truth.”

“Do you…” She hesitated, then said throatily, “Do you think me shallow for enjoying such compliments?”

Her back was confident and straight, but her neck, bared by her upswept hair, was white and slim and held a hint of vulnerability. She was so forthright, so assured of herself that he’d not noticed the tender spot before.

“I think you sometimes like to hide behind a facade of gaiety, my lady.” He cleared his throat. “I also think that when you enter a room, all eyes turn to you. You blaze like a torch, lighting the darkest corners, brightening even those who thought they were already well lit. You bring joy and mirth and leave behind a glow that gives hope to those you’ve left.”

“And you, Mr. Makepeace? Are you one of those who thought themselves well lit?”

“I am as dark as a pit.” Now he was glad her back was turned. “Even your torch will have difficulty lighting my depths.”
Available at: Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Nook

When do the next books release and how many will there be total?
Lord of Darkness will be out February 2013, and after that is Duke of Midnight in December 2013. I do have more Maiden Lane books planned after that, but I’ll also need a new contract. ;-)

To date, what has been the most memorable moment of your career?
You’d think it would be making the New York Times, but actually, that was never a goal of mine—I didn’t think it was possible until pretty late. (Not that I’m giving it back, mind!) My most memorable moment was when I accepted an agent. At that point I knew there was at least one stranger that wanted to read my writing—and I thought that selling to a publisher was now a matter of when not if.

Is there a story inside you that you haven’t written yet, but are dying to pitch?
Oh, plenty. The problem is time. At the moment I’m busy enough writing my historicals.

Where can your loyal readers expect to see/meet you in the near future?
I’ll be in Chicago at the Warren-Newport Public Library on July 14 and at RWA’s annual signing for literacy in Anaheim, CA on July 25.

What is next for Elizabeth Hoyt?
I’m just about to begin writing Duke of Midnight—wish me luck. ;-)

And now for the giveaway! Elizabeth Hoyt is giving away an autographed copy of Thief of Shadows to one lucky person who leaves a comment and/or question in the comments section of this post. Please include your email address so that we can get in touch with you should your name be randomly drawn. Best of luck to everyone! (Enter before midnight 17 July).

For more information about Elizabeth Hoyt and her books, please visit her author page at:


Renee Vincent said...

Elizabeth, it was an immense pleasure and honor to interview you for Romance Books 4 Us. I thank you for this opportunity and to share your life's achievements with so many eager romance readers.

Best wishes to you for another very successful year in your career, and many more to come.

Teresa Reasor said...

I love historicals.And I always prefer those written at at a time of social change and upheaval. It lends an extra depth to what you write. All your covers are very dramatic. The color choices are always a surprise and eye catching.
And the excerpt was wonderful. I'll have to read the book. I just loved the back and forth where he started out controlled and so aware of the people around him listening and then kind of warmed to the exercise. Excellent.
Teresa R.

Adele Dubois said...

I haven't read many historicals, but yours have drawn me in. A few years ago I attended your workshop at NJRW and your personality and professionalism impressed me. Thanks so much for visiting us at RB4US!

Great job, Renee!


joye said...

Masked men seem so mysterious so looking forward to reading this one. I have read a couple of your other books and really enjoyed them.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the fantastic interview! Elizabeth Hoyt has always been a favorite of mine and "The Leopard Prince" is very possibly my favorite romance novel ever.

I was also lucky enough a couple of years ago to attend a conference where Elizabeth taught a workshop on writing love scenes. BEST. WORKSHOP. EVER! =D

Anonymous said...

That was a wonderful interview. I had the pleasure of meeting Elizabeth in NJ last October and enjoy her books.

susan said...

Your books are always so good and I sure would feel proud to win this one. If I do I will read it and place it in my library so others can see what a great author you are. I am always willing to place author's promo items on my author's table in my library too so others can get out there and find your books for themselves. My address is: sue Leech, 1273 Strahan rd. New Columbia, PA 17856 Questions? Have a great day. sue

Kathy Otten said...

Hi Elizabeth,
I love your books. My favorite is To Beguile a Beast. I love that making the NYT Best Seller list was never really your goal. Thanks for sharing your insights.

Cynthia Arsuaga said...

Hello Elizabeth, thank you for sharing on RB4U. Your books sound so intriguing. I've not read historicals, but the testimony of others above have convinced me perhaps I should take a look. Thank you again.

jean hart stewart said...

I love historicals. The conversation in this is great.

Teresa K. said...

Hi Renee,

Hello Ms. Hoyt. It was a extreme pleasure to read this interview by my Beautiful Ray of Sunshine Renee.

Oh my goodness the cover for Thief of Shadows is beautiful. Ms. Hoyt I must say that is what catches my eye first on your books.

Your books are so well written and I love the historical research you do on them. I must say your so much younger than I thought.

Keep writing those wonderful books and I will keep reading them.

Teresa K.

pc said...

Hi, Elizabeth!
Thank you for sharing in this interview! It's really motivating for new writers to hear about your journey. I have loved all your books and am saving up for your new release! Thank you for the wonderful books you write!


Elizabeth Hoyt said...

Good evening, everyone!

Thank you for the lovely interview, Renee! ;-)

I do hope you like THIEF OF SHADOWS when you get the chance to read it, Teresa.

So glad you enjoyed the workshop, Adele.

I'm glad you've enjoyed my other books, Joye!

LOL! So glad you enjoyed my Sex Scene Viagra workshop, Merry Farmer.

So glad you like my books, Ella.

I'm happy you liked TO BEGUILE A BEAST, Kathy! ;-)

I hope you enjoy my books when you get the chance to read them, Cynthia.

Glad you like the covers, Teresa! The beautiful covers are due to the wonderful art department at my publisher, Grand Central Publishing.

Good luck with your own writing, PC. ;-)


ELF said...

Congrats on the new release, I am sure it will be as much fun to read as all of the rest have been. I hope to get a chance to meet you at RWA in Anaheim!

Amanda Holly said...

I absolutely adore Elizabeth Hoyt. Her stories are so beautiful it's like escaping to my own private oasis for the time it takes to read one of her books. It's no wonder she's on the best seller lists!

I am super thrilled Winter is getting his own story! Can't wait to read it.

I do have one burning question/desire ... when is Elizabeth going to travel outside of the US so we can meet her! I'm in sunny South Africa and I'm sure she'll love it here ... hint, hint ...

Unknown said...

I'm a huge fan of Elizabeth Hoyt. I just finished reading book 3 and found out the Ghost's identity. And I can't wait for Winter's book. I had given up on his ever having a love life! But he deserves it for his unselfish support of everybody else.

Karen H said...

How many books will be included in your Maiden Lane series? So far, I have 4 books to the series. On your website, I see Lord of Darkness coming in Feb '13 and you say you are working on Duke of Midnight now. Is that also a part of Maiden Lane? And what about your novella 'Clever John'? Where does that fit into the series, if at all?

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

I'm really enjoying the Maiden Lane series. Thanks for visiting us today at RB4U.

gamistress66 said...

Love the maiden lane series (ok, all your books) and am so glad to here you've lots more planned :-) have no doubt you'll get the contract, just wish didn't have to wait for each book to come out!

Do you come up with the fairytales as well?

gamistress66 said...

Love the maiden lane series (ok, all your books) and am so glad to here you've lots more planned :-) have no doubt you'll get the contract, just wish didn't have to wait for each book to come out!

Do you come up with the fairytales as well?

Michele said...

I thought it was interesting that you had a reason to write that first book--a couple who were not totally beautiful.

I like to read (and write) books that are a bit different!

Unknown said...

I started with Scandalous Desires after hearing so many wonderful reviews and then I had to go back and buy the rest! I like the way the period is represented while not being bogged down with too many facts. And the romance part is AWESOME! Can't wait to read Thief of Shadows but am afraid because the next book is to far away. :(

Annah said...

This was a great interview. Short, sweet, and to the point! I love me some historical romance.

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