1. How did you get the inspiration for the characters of Eulogy and Huntley?
My fiction is character based and I need the characters firmly established before I start thinking about the plot. The inspiration for Eulogy Foster came from seeing a poster on the London underground with the word 'Eulogy' written on it, (the poster was for a memorial concert at the Royal Albert Hall.) I'm always on the look out for unusual names and this one struck me square between the eyes! What a fantastically enigmatic name 'Eulogy' would make. So sad, and yet tinged with love. What kind of tragedy would make a parent call their child such a name? Of course the obvious answer would be the
babe's mother dying in child birth, but I wanted my Eulogy to have an altogether darker and more disturbing secret in her past ….and so Eulogy's secret was born. As to Huntley - he arose as a foil to Eulogy. I saw a painting of a young Emma Hart (Lord Nelson's mistress) which embodied Eulogy's daring boldness, and making her an artist's model, seemed ideal occupation for her. So enter Jack Huntley, art dealer and socialite, who has issues about trust…and falls in love with a woman hiding a secret.
|Note from Meg: I have to show you the cover for Eulogy's Secret again. It's gorgeous!
2. What can we expect in the next two books of the Huntley Trilogy?
The common thread running through the Huntley Trilogy is the three Huntley brothers and the women they fall for. We meet the youngest, Jack, in 'Eulogy's Secret', and in book two, 'Hope's Betrayal' the middle brother, Captain George Huntley sweeps onto the scene. The final book, 'Verity's Lie', is centred on eldest brother and heir, Lord Charles Huntley.
Hope's Betrayal has just been released and here is the blurb:
One wild, winter's night two worlds collide.
Known for his ruthless efficiency, Captain George Huntley is sent to stamp out smuggling on the south coast of England. On a night raid, the Captain captures a smuggler, but finds his troubles are just beginning when the lad turns out to be a lass, Hope Tyler.
With Hope as bait, the Captain sets a trap to catch the rest of the gang. But in a battle of wills, with his reputation at stake, George Huntley starts to respect feisty, independent Hope. Challenged by her sea-green eyes and stubborn loyalty Huntley now faces a new threat - his growing attraction to a sworn enemy. But a love where either Hope betrays her own kind, or Captain Huntley is court-marshaled, is not an easy destiny to follow.
Verity's Lie is my current work-in-progress, but as a teaser here is the working- blurb:
Lord Charles Huntley, notorious rogue…and government agent. His latest secret assignment is to protect a politician's daughter, Verity Verrinder, whilst her father negotiates a foreign alliance against Napoleon. Huntley embarks on a campaign of seduction to keep Verity under his watchful eye, but didn’t anticipate falling in love with his charge.
When Lord Huntley turns his bone-melting charms on her, Verity suspects she's exchanging an overbearing parent, for a domineering rogue. Denying her attraction to the handsome Huntley, Verity goes in search of freedom, only to run into the clutches of French kidnappers. This leaves Lord Huntley with a stark choice between saving Britain's peace negotiations or the life of the only woman he has ever loved.
|Note from Meg: I have to show you this cover too because it is also gorgeous. I think I may like this one better than the first :)
3. Why do you think that so many readers today still love reading about Regency England?
That is such a good question! I started writing regency romances because it's my favourite genre as a reader, which means I have to ask myself why I love it so.
For me it's about a time of innocence and yet adventure, when men rode horses and dressed in skin tight breeches and the women wore flimsy muslin gowns. It was an altogether more stylish time but with a lot of political upheaval so people were forced outside their comfort zones. The social restrictions of the day also lend themselves to delicious dilemmas, plus English culture was flourishing with wonderful painters and stunning architecture - what better canvas for an escapist romance read that helps you forget today's worries?
4. What advice do you have for other aspiring writers?
My advice would be don’t think of writing as a career, but as a vocation. Only write if it hurts you not to and you aren’t a whole person if you don’t. That said, don’t be discouraged, trust your instincts and stick with it! As someone far wiser than me once wrote:
'It's not that I don’t believe in good luck, it's just the harder I try, the luckier I become.'
5. Which three fictional characters would you bring with you to a deserted island and
I immediately think of real people who also happen to be survival experts (Ray Mears, Bear Grylls) because when the pressure is on I'm practical and want to survive.
Most fictional characters aren’t the sort of people I'd want to be stuck with and I'm happy they are locked within the pages of a book. I suppose the closest I can get would be Robinson Crusoe (because he has a track record surviving on desert islands), any one of the Cynster brothers (Stephanie Laurens creations, because they are dashing, dark and dependable) and perhaps Doctor Zhivago (because he'd be useful if I was ill.) Not a very romantic answer I'm afraid, but my answer just the same…OK, come to think of it perhaps I could make room for Tarzan….
Ms. Elliot so graciously offered to giveaway an ebook to one lucky reader of ABA. The winner will have a choice from Eulogy's Secret, Hope's Betrayal, or Dead Man's Debt.
a Rafflecopter giveaway