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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Interview of Author Rosemary Morris

Latest Book: The Captain and The Countess
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As a child, when I was not making up stories, my head was ‘always in a book’.

To research, I read non-fiction, visit museums and other places of historical interest.

Two of my published novels are set in the ever popular Regency era, and three of my published novels are set in Queen Anne Stuart’s reign 1702-1714. My new novel is set in the reign of Edward II.

I chose those periods because each one affected the course of history. If the Duke of Marlborough had not won The War of Spanish Succession, and the Duke of Wellington had not defeated Napoleon at Waterloo the history of Britain and Europe would have been very different, and would have had far-reaching consequences for the rest of the world. If Edward II had won the Battle of Bannockburn it would have altered the history of the British Isles.

The more I read, the more aware I become of the gulf between those who lived in the past and those alive today. Our ancestors shared our emotions but their attitudes and way of life were not the same as ours. One of the most striking examples is the position of women and children in society.

Apart from research and writing, I enjoy time with my family and friends, classical Indian literature, reading, growing organic fruit, herbs and vegetables, which I put to good use in my vegetarian cuisine, and creative crafts.

Q: What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
A: Nearly every day I turn the laptop on at 6 a.m. and, with a break for a healthy breakfast of porridge and three fruits, work until 10 a.m. My aim is to write 2,000 words a day. After lunch I might work for an hour. Later, I often revise, write and deal with writerly matters from 4 or 5 p.m until 8 p.m.

Q: What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
A: I introduce myself and my published novels on and offline.

Q: If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
A: I would ask to work with my current copy editor to iron out a few grammatical errors and inconsistencies.

Q: Do you eat comfort food/listen to music when writing?
A: I don’t eat comfort food because I enjoy writing so much that I don’t need it. When I work I prefer silence so that I concentrate.

Q: How do you choose names for your characters?
A: I am a historical novelist. It is essential to choose names appropriate for the era. To make sure that they are, I consult the Oxford Dictionary of English Christian names

Q: Covers. Ever get one you wish you could change?
A: Yes, I have. The cover for Sunday’s Child is very attractive, but the girl does not represent a Regency Lady, who would not have worn make up, and her clothes are incorrect for the era.

Q: Give one advice tip to an aspiring author.
A: Read books about How To Write, enroll for a course on Writing, subscribe to a magazine about writing, join a writer’s group at which you can read your work and receive constructive comments. Never remain with a group in which members make destructive remarks.

Q:What genre would you like to try writing that you haven’t yet tried?
A: I would like to write fantasy fiction.

Q: Out of your entire backlist, which book has the best opening line? What's the line?
A: I think the first sentence in Far Beyond Rubies set in England in 1706 would grab a reader’s attention. “Bastards, Juliana! You and your sister are bastards.” (In this contest bastards means illegitimate.)

Q: How many stories are swirling around in your head? Do you keep a mental list, a computer file, or a spiral notebook filled with the ideas?
A: The follow on novel from Monday’s Child, and the sequel to the first volume of a medieval trilogy. I have ideas for several novels each of which has a working title and its own file in which I jot down ideas.

Fun Stuff:
Q: What is your favorite holiday and why?
A: I’m happy if I holiday by the sea. I like walking along the beach, swimming, watching the ever changing seascape and sky. For the last few years I have been on holiday in Devonshire at Woolacombe Bay, which was voted the 4th best beach in the U.K. and the 13th best beach in the world. Not only is it glorious, but the area is filled with quaint villages and beautiful countryside.

Q: What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
A: I am fascinated by Indian Classical Literature. The Bhagavad Gita, The Song of God and The Srimad Bhagavatam both of which are translated, with explanations and comments, by A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada,and the Ramayana and Mahabharata that rival The Odyssey and The Iliad.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I wanted to be a librarian.

Q: Favorite food.
A: Home grown organic fruit, herbs and vegetables, which I put to good use in my vegetarian cuisine. However, I confess that I have a sweet tooth, which I try to keep under firm control because sugar is so bad for health.

Q: Favorite happy memory.
A: Meeting each one of my new born babies and holding them in my arms for the first time.

Q: Favorite drink.
A: A thick slice of unwaxed lemon with organic honey; herb tea such as mint, liquorice, ginger and others, or, only occasionally, because of the sugar content, fresh fruit juice and when I’m out and about decaffeinated latte.

Q: Which do you like best -  hot summer days or chilly winter nights?
A: Hot summer days on which I laze in my garden, listen to the birds and watch the butterflies.

Q: What is the top thing on your bucket list?
A: To find a literary agent for my medieval novel set in the reign of Edward II.

Q: If you could have a super power, what would it be?
A: To become a best-seller and use part of my income to help others, including family and friends.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!

London 1706
Why does heart-rending pain lurk in the back of the wealthy Countess of Sinclair’s eyes?

Captain Howard’s life changes forever from the moment he meets Kate, the intriguing Countess and resolves to banish her pain.

Although the air sizzles when widowed Kate, victim of an abusive marriage meets Edward Howard, a captain in Queen Anne’s navy, she has no intention of ever marrying again.

However, when Kate becomes better acquainted with the Captain she realises he is the only man who understands her grief and can help her to untangle her past. and The Captain and The Countess B00IJH56JQ, Nook and other online retailers.

Edward Howard, a captain in Queen Anne Stuart’s navy, sighed. When would his sixty-one year old godmother accept that the age of twenty-two he was not yet ready to wed?

He made his way across the elegant, many windowed room through a crowd of expensively garbed callers.

When Frances Radcliffe noticed him, she turned to the pretty young lady seated beside her. “Mistress Martyn, allow me to introduce you to my godson, Captain Howard.”

Blushes stained Mistress Martyn’s cheeks as she stood to make her curtsey.

Edward bowed, indifferent to yet another of his grandmother’s protégées.Conversation ceased. All eyes focussed on the threshold.

“Lady Sinclair,” someone murmured.

Edward turned. He gazed without blinking at the acclaimed beauty, whose sobriquet was ‘The Fatal Widow’.

The countess remained in the doorway, her cool blue eyes speculative.

Edward whistled low. Could her shocking reputation be no more than tittle-tattle? His artist’s eyes observed her. Rumour did not lie about her Saxon beauty.

Her ladyship was not a slave to fashion. She did not wear a wig, and her hair was not curled and stiffened with sugar water. Instead, her flaxen plaits were wound around the crown of her head to form a coronet. The style suited her. So did the latest Paris fashion, an outrageous wisp of a lace cap, which replaced the tall, fan-shaped fontage most ladies continued to wear perched on their heads.

Did the countess have the devil-may-care attitude gossips attributed to her? If she did, it explained why some respectable members of society shunned her. Indeed, if Lady Sinclair were not the granddaughter of his godmother’s deceased friend, she might not be received in this house.

The lady’s fair charms did not entirely explain what drew many gallants to her side. After all, there were several younger beauties present that the gentlemen did not flock around so avidly.

He advanced toward the countess, conscious of the sound of his footsteps on the wooden floor, the muted noise of coaches and drays through the closed windows and, from the fireplace, the crackle of burning logs which relieved the chill of early spring.

The buzz of conversation resumed. Her ladyship scrutinised him. Did she approve of his appearance? A smile curved her heart-shaped mouth. He repressed his amusement. Edward suspected the widow’s rosy lips owed more to artifice than nature.

“How do you do, sir,” she said when he stood before her. “I think we have not met previously. Her eyes assessed him dispassionately. My name is Sinclair, Katherine Sinclair. I dislike formality. You may call me Kate.”

“Captain Howard at your service, Countess.” Shocked but amused by boldness more suited to a tavern wench than a great lady, Edward paid homage with a low bow before he spoke again. “Despite your permission, I am not presumptuous enough to call you Kate, yet I shall say that had we already met, I would remember you.”

“You are gallant, sir, but you are young to have achieved so high a rank in Her Majesty’s navy.”

“An unexpected promotion earned in battle which the navy did not subsequently commute.”

“You are to be congratulated on what, I can only assume, were acts of bravery.”

“Thank you, Countess.”

The depths of her ladyship’s sapphire cross and earrings blazed, matching his sudden fierce desire.

Kate, some four inches shorter than Edward, looked up at him.

He leaned forward. The customary greeting of a kiss on her lips lingered longer than etiquette dictated. Her eyes widened before she permitted him to lead her across the room to the sopha on which his godmother sat with Mistress Martyn.

With a hint of amusement in her eyes, Kate regarded Mrs Radcliffe. “My apologies, madam, I suspect my visit is untimely.”

Her melodious voice sent shivers up and down his spine, nevertheless, Edward laughed. Had the countess guessed his godmother, who enjoyed match-making, wanted him to marry Mistress Martyn? No, he was being too fanciful. How could she have guessed?

“You are most welcome, Lady Sinclair. Please take a seat and partake of a glass of cherry ratafia.” Frances said.

“Perhaps, milady prefers red viana,” Edward suggested

“Captain, you read my mind, sweet wine is not to my taste.”

In response to the lady’s provocative smile, heat seared his cheeks.

Kate smoothed the gleaming folds of her turquoise blue silk gown. The lady knew how to dress to make the utmost of her natural beauty. Her gown and petticoat, not to mention sleeves and under-sleeves, as well as her bodice and stays, relied for effect on simple design and fine fabrics. He approved of her ensemble, the elegance of which did not depend on either a riot of colours or a multitude of bows and other trimmings. Later, he would sketch her from memory.

Kate inclined her head to his godmother. “Will you not warn your godson I am unsound, wild, and a bad influence on the young?”

Edward gazed into Kate’s eyes. Before his demise, had her husband banished her to a manor deep in the country? If it was true, why did he do so?

Kate’s eyebrows slanted down at the inner corners. She stared back at him. He laughed, raised her hands to his lips and kissed each in turn. “I look forward to furthering my acquaintance with you.”

“High-handed.” Kate gurgled with laughter. “Captain, please release me.”

What did he care if she were some ten years his elder? He wanted to get to know her better. Edward bowed. “Your slightest wish is my command.”

His godmother fluttered her fan. “Edward, Lady Sinclair, please be seated.”

They sat side-by-side opposite Mrs Radcliffe, on the sopha upholstered in crimson damask.

Although Kate smiled at him, the expression in her large blue eyes remained as cool as it had been when she first entered the salon. “Tomorrow, please join those who visit me daily at my morning levee.”

“I fear my voice would be lost among many, thus casting me into obscurity,” Edward replied much amused.

“I don’t take you for one to be ignored, sir. However, I respect your wishes. Besides those who seek my patronage, there are many gentlemen eager to wait on me. ’Tis more than my porter’s life is worth to deny them entry.” She turned her attention to his godmother and raised a pencilled eyebrow. “Mrs Radcliffe, do you not agree it is pleasant to lie abed in the morning while indulging in conversation with one’s admirers?”

Frances toyed with her fan. “Receiving one’s admirers does help to pass the time.”

“Come, come, madam, confess you value their advice,” Kate teased.

“Sometimes.” Frances looked at her most favoured admirer, Sir Newton.

Kate turned her attention to Edward. “I have no doubt you would become a cherished member of the group of those who seek my favour.”

“Countess, life at sea teaches a man to be wary of enemies, not to compete with them. I am not a flirt who is given to haunting ladies’ bedchambers.”

“If I seclude myself with you tomorrow morning, may I have the pleasure of your company?”

“Alone with you in your bedchamber? How improper. Are you always so careless of your reputation?” he asked, with a hint of laughter in his voice.

Her eyes widened. “I have no reputation to guard, Captain.” She had spoken in a forward manner he was unaccustomed to in polite society.

“Have you not?” Edward needed a plunge in icy water.

A frozen glimpse of despair deep in her eyes unsettled Edward. Did he imagine it? He could not speak. Why should a lady like the countess despair?

He recovered his voice. “If it is your custom to take the air in The Mall, I shall be pleased to be your sole escort.”

Kate fidgeted with one of the diamond buckles that fastened her satin covered stays. “Are the battle lines drawn?”

“Don’t confuse battle lines with a mere skirmish at sea.” His voice hinted at the chuckle he restrained.

“There are those who would welcome an invitation to a tête-à-tête with me.”

He preferred to take the lead in affairs of the heart. “Perhaps I am not one of them,” he teased. “Maybe I would like to be your friend.”

“My friend? Is that all you want of me?”

His eyes widened.

Kate laughed.

Anything else you would like to add.
Rosemary Morris’s e books and print book are available from:
Barnes and Noble, AppleiBookstore, Kobo, Blio, Google Play, Overdrive, Omnilit, All Romance E Books, Bookstrand, Coffee Time Romance, Scribd, Smashwords, Flipcart – India, Tolina


Rose Anderson said...

I enjoyed your interview and excerpt, Rosemary. We have the same favorite happy memory too. Thanks for joining us today, and best luck for your novels and for finding an agent for the next.

Cara Marsi said...

Good interview, Rosemary. I love your excerpt and blurb. I'm impressed with how organized you are, too. Your books sound great.

Judy Baker said...

Hi Rosemary, Loved your excerpt and blurb too. I wish i could start writing every morning at 6AM and accomplish 2000 words a day, I'm lucky to get 1000. Thanks for sharing.

Melissa Keir said...

Wonderful to get to meet you. I wish I was that dedicated to get up and write. I use the mornings to get other work done and do my writing in bed at night. What a beautiful cover. I wish you all the best.

Paris said...

I admire your daily word count. Loved the excerpt and wish you the best with your career and finding an agent!

jean hart stewart said...

Wish I could as disciplined as you are. Wish I could claim that word count. Very nice excerpt. Thanks for that and the interview.

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