I’ll be fairly frank about this – Of the several sort of books I might have written, Romance seemed to sell the best. It seemed a more welcoming place. It seemed a practical choice in a wholly impractical endeavor. Is that a terrible thing to say?
I read Romance genre and loved it, but I’ve always loved and read all sorts of books. If Mysteries had been the major seller in town, maybe I would have tried a Mystery first. If SF&F (Science Fiction and Fantasy) had filled the shelves, I might maybe have turned my hand to that.
Why Romance? I love the optimism and the woman-centric nature of Romance. It lets me say some of the things I want to say. So maybe it wasn’t entirely a practical choice. Because you gotta do what you gotta do.
I love the Napoleonic War. Clashing ideals. High stakes. Men and women passionately devoted to their cause. Both sides showing the best and worst of humanity. Heroes and heroines thick on the ground everywhere.
How could I resist?
As I count them there are seven works in the Spymaster series thus far:
The Black Hawk is the book I like best. Well ... Hawker. The Forbidden Rose is maybe the best written and the book closest to straight Historical Fiction.
At this time I’m not planning on any more complete Spymaster novels. I might do some novellas. The time to stop writing a series is before folks get tied of it, I figure.
I’d be totally intimidated by most of the characters in the books. Maybe Jessamyn would be a good dinner companion. We could talk fabrics and the art of bribing custom’s officials.
I note that Sevie in Beauty Like the Night seems to have no maid most of the time? Didn’t she need help getting in and out of her gowns? Or was that Raoul’s job? (tee, hee)
I’ve taken my cue from re-enactors, who mostly can manage to dress themselves in period costume with a little squirming and stretching and a generous cut. I know I’ve had dresses that button up the back and dealt with them in that fashion.
The whole – “But they wore corsets that laced up the back” – issue has been debated with skill and knowledge by many folks elsewhere. I come down on the side of, “They could get into their clothes on their own. They generally did have a sister or housemaid to do the back buttons but that was convenience, not dire necessity.” And I’m writing well pre-Victorian. No metal grommets, just thread re-enforced buttonholes. No tight lacing that had to be forcibly pulled.
There’s this also ... I figger all of my female folks give some thought to the practical likelihood they’ll have to get ready for action in their ordinary working clothing at a moment’s notice. None of these adventurers drag a maid around with them.
There are objections. There’s difficult, beautiful clothing that takes a team to assemble. When Sevie is to wear a red silk evening gown and priceless jewels, I see the nanny tuck her into that gown with the youngest kids watching. The most skilled maid in the house puts up her hair. (That’s not the ferociously skilled dresser Sevie shares with Maggie. That maid is in Scotland at the time, freezing her long-suffering butt off.)
If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and why?
I’d like to be rich and beautiful in Paris in the 1920s and 30s. Fabulous music, gorgeous clothes, exciting ideas, great food ... (sigh). Now I want to go there.
I love writing in coffee shops. There’s just enough distraction of just the right kind. Interesting people to watch, too. I’m a shameless eavesdropper.
Quirk? I haz no ... what you call them? – the quirk. What is this quirk you speak of?
I will say this -- I’m old enough and have lived long and well enough that I’ve discarded lots of unnecessary concerns. I’m quite sure nobody notices or cares what you look like or what you do. Folks submit themselves to a tyranny of “What will people think?” when it’s really unnecessary.
So I pretty much ignore other folks opinions and do what pleases me.
[Regan’s note: Ah, ha! Is that a quirk?]
I live on the top of a mountain in the middle of a National Park far away from everyone. It’s very quiet, (though the road can be a bit challenging in the middle of the winter.) A good place to write. A good place to kick back and think. And the view is splendid. I get up in the morning and watch the sun rise and the beauty of that lasts me the whole day.
I had a pair of Eastern bluebirds on my back porch today. Sometimes I need stuff like this.
Raoul Deverney, an enigmatic half-Spaniard with enough secrets to earn even a spy's respect, is at her door demanding help. She's the only one who can find the killer of his long-estranged wife and rescue her missing fourteen-year-old daughter.
Severine reluctantly agrees to aid him, even though she knows the growing attraction between them makes it more than unwise. Their desperate search for the girl unleashes treason and murder. . . and offers a last chance for two strong, wounded people to find love.