Wednesday, July 3, 2013

**GIVEAWAY** Today I welcome historical romance author Elizabeth Essex who's talking about her new release Scandal In The Night––"So far I have six Reckless Brides books planned. SCANDAL IN THE NIGHT is Book III (after ALMOST A SCANDAL and A BREATH OF SCANDAL), and Book IV will be a novella..."

ISBN-13: 9781250003812
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 7/2/2013
Series: Reckless Brides Series , #3
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 340


 Elizabeth Essex 
 Assuming a false identity as a prim and proper governess, the bold and beautiful Cat Rowan thinks she has finally escaped the wild misadventures of her past—and the wickedly handsome spy who seduced her in India.

Praise for Elizabeth Essex’s Reckless Brides series
Almost A Scandal
“Essex will have readers longing to set sail alongside her daring heroine and dashing hero. This wild ride of a high seas adventure/desire-in-disguise romance has it all: nonstop action, witty repartee, and deft plotting. From the bow to the mast, from battles to ballrooms, Essex delivers another reckless bride and another read to remember.”—RT Book Reviews  
"Elizabeth Essex will dazzle you with her sophisticated blend of vivid historical detail, exquisite characterization and delicious sexual tension. Almost a Scandal is a breathtaking tale of rapturous romance and awe-inspiring adventure!" —USA Today bestselling author Julianne MacLean
“Elizabeth Essex writes the perfect blend of fast-paced adventure and deliciously sexy romance. I couldn't put this book down! Almost a Scandal gets a place on my keeper shelf—I will read anything Elizabeth Essex writes!”—New York Times bestselling author Celeste Bradley


Hi Elizabeth, welcome to my blog!
 Thank you so very much for having me! It's always a pleasure to connect with new readers.

Tell us a bit about your brand new novel Scandal In The Night.
SCANDAL IN THE NIGHT is a story of love lost and found set in pre-Raj India. The hero, Thomas Jellicoe, and heroine, Catriona Rowan, met and fell in love in India, but circumstancesprejudiced and scandalconspired to keep them apart. They are reunited by chance in England, and their story unfolds in two parallel time lines, in the past in pre-Raj India, and in the book's present in rural England. It is basically a story about the nature and meaning of home and family, and the redemptive power of love.

This newest release is in your Reckless Brides series. Do you have a set number in this series?
So far I have six Reckless Brides books planned. SCANDAL IN THE NIGHT is Book III (after ALMOST A SCANDAL and A BREATH OF SCANDAL), and Book IV will be a novella, tentatively titled THE SCANDAL BEFORE CHRISTMAS, which will come out in November. The novella will be the story of Ian Worth, who was first introduced to readers in Book I, ALMOST A SCANDAL, in the same way that Thomas Jellicoe was first introduced to readers as a secondary character in A BREATH OF SCANDAL. Then we'll have Book V, tentatively titled AFTER THE SCANDAL, which is going to be the story of Timothy Evans, the young thief from my RITA award-nominated book, THE DANGER OF DESIRE.  So all the books, whether they are Reckless Brides or not, come from the same world of Royal navy men that I've created. I have a lot of wonderful, adventurous sea-faring stories swirling around in my head, so there are likely more brides to come.

So Elizabeth, your background is really interesting, and although I can see a progression of sorts, tell us how you went from a BA in Classical Studies and Art History and an MA in Nautical Archaeology (the archaeology of shipwrecks) to being an author of Historical Romance.
I see it as a pretty natural progression of interest, each field of study leading into the next. I studied Art History (training myself to think visually) and Classics (learning to think linguistically) as an undergraduate in preparation for graduate work as an archaeologist, but I also took a lot of English Literature (reading) and History (research) courses. And I chose to study the archaeology of shipwrecks because I grew up on the sea and always had an innate love and fascination for sailing ships. Being an archaeologist isn't all fun field work in exotic localesalthough there was plenty of that! My studies involved a considerable amount of plain old research and writing. So I already had a lot of experience with sitting down and writing out historic narrative before I ever tried my hand at fiction. I turned to writing romance mostly because I enjoyed reading it so much, and because I could see that my background and knowledge of the navies of the 19th century could lend itself as a great backdrop for adventurous romance stories.

What exactly is it about the past that so intrigues you?
I think it must be the juxtaposition between the enormous changes in our lives from older timesthe differences in our daily livesand the human experiences that remain exactly the same as they ever were, like the importance of family and home and the search for true love.

And I am fascinated by the fact that truth is always stranger, and more interesting, than fiction. I find most of the inspiration for my stories come straight from the lesser known pages of the historical record. The hero of SCANDAL IN THE NIGHT was inspired in part by an Englishman's journal of an ill-fated horse-buying expedition called, "Travels in the Himalayan Provinces of Hindustan." 

When you sit down to write do you already know the outcome or do your characters lead you on a merry chase through out the process?
I love the merry chase! Actually, it's a little of both. I usually know where they start, and that they are going to achieve their happily ever after, but most times when I sit down at the beginning of a story, I don't have any idea of how they are going to overcome all the obstacles that crop up in their way, or even what those obstacles are going to be! Sometimes the obstacles, and choices the characters need to make, surprise me. And I always hope they surprise the reader, in a good way.

You have gotten some wonderful reviews on your novels and have even been in the running for the RT 2012 Historical Romance Adventure Nominee. Congratulations!
Thank you so much. I have been very lucky that readers and reviewers alike seem to like my stories, and have nominated them for various awards, and I do work very hard on my craft. But I really just try to write novels of my heart. I first wrote my ideas for the hero and heroine of SCANDAL IN THE NIGHT at least five years ago, so I was very happy to get back to these characters. And since my writing had changed in the intervening years since I had first conceived of their story, the characters changed as well. It was a real pleasure, and an adventure to see where they were going to lead me.

What to you would be the ultimate accolade?

While it is a lovely and heady thing to be nominated for awards, especially those given by one's peers, like the RITA award, the ultimate accolade is always that the story has a special meaning for a reader, or has helped a reader through a difficult time. I was recently at my nephew's wedding, and I was approached by a marine officer in the wedding party who told me he had read my book ALMOST A SCANDAL while on deployment. He said that everyoneenlisted and officer corps, male and femaleloved to read romance for the pure escapist pleasure. "It gets you through," he said. "It just gets you through." Thathelping someone get through whatever rough patch, or trial, or health crisis in their lifeis the ultimate accolade, and the reason I write romance.

Whats the hardest part about researching the past for a novel?
I love research. My biggest problem is that once I get started, I want to spend waaaaay too much time on it. For SCANDAL IN THE NIGHT, I looked at so many photo books and paintings of India just to get the colors and images in my head, that I began to dream of India. Then I read a number of journals and first hand accounts of English expatriates' experiences in early colonial India, and I tired to incorporate both the flavorthe sights and sounds these people experiencedas well as the prevailing attitudes of the people of those times, which don't always skew with our own, more modern beliefs.

I also try to read fiction from the period and place I am writing about. For this book, I re-read Rudyard Kipling's "Kim," and I wondered what happened to the wild boy Kim after the end of the story, as an adult, when he became a fully-fledged spy for the British Raj. That idea formed another part of the inspiration for the hero, Thomas's, character.

So is it all historical, all the time for you, or is there perhaps another genre lurking in your future?
I adore writing historicals. But, I have a whole romantic suspense series with a nautical archaeology heroine lurking in the back of my subconscious, just waiting for the right moment to stride on out. I hope someday soon, I'll have the time for that. But I just can't see myself ever leaving historical romance entirely, mostly because I really do love the Georgian and Regency periods, and really think my voice is best suited to the scope and cadence of an adventurous historical novel.

When you sit down to write do you have a special place/time?
I do have a favorite place and time to write: I like to write early in the morning, upstairs in my house in my very sunny bedroom with a wide picture window, where I have a comfy chaise, but the truth is I write when ever I can, and where ever I can. Most days I write in a very disciplined manner in the mornings, and then catch as catch can in the afternoons and evenings. I have an active family, and we have games and practices and competitions and recitals and gigs, and I write in my car waiting for lessons to be over, or at home after everyone is in for the night. The intensity of my schedule really depends on how close to my deadline I am.

Will there be any signing events for your new release?
I will be signing at RWA's marvelous and huge signing to benefit literacy programs, Wednesday, July 17th, from 5:30-7:30 pm at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, downtown.

And I'll be signing again October 6, 2013 from 3:00-6:00 pm at the Renaissance Hotel, at the Buns 'N Roses event in Richardson Texas, another event that benefits Adult literacy programs in Texas.

Thank you for answering my questions and good luck with the new novel!
Thank you so very much. It's been a pleasure chatting with you, and I look forward to chatting with your readers.

Visit Elizabeth's website here

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  1. If there's anything I like it's a scandal, would love to visit the Regency period, but I'd have to be rich, don't want to be a maid or peon.....

    1. Hi Shelia, thanks for the comment. OOh I love a scandal too. For me it would be the Scotish Highlands in medieval times (with flush toilets, airconditioning and refrigerators) LOL

  2. I'm your girl for scandal, Sheila! All my books rotate around a potential scandal. And I like to write people who aren't rich either. I think they are WAAAYYY more interesting, and more real, that all the dukes and duchesses. (That said, I am writing a story about a duke now—but he used to be a street thief, so he's a special case. :) )

    Thanks for stopping by to chat today, and best of luck in the drawing! Cheers, EE

    1. Hi Elizabeth (waving)
      thanks for the interview. I loved your answers and thanks for sponsoring the giveaway too!!

  3. Wonderful interview, I have read a few books set in India and enjoyed them, this one sounds interesting. Always nice to learn about the author and their background and thought process.

    1. Thanks Kim, it's always nice to hear from you

  4. Thanks so much Kimbacaffeinate! (Love the name)

    I never know if readers really want to know what goes on in my tiny little head—only what comes out onto the page that they get to read.

    But it was lovely to visit here with you today. Best of luck in the drawing and thanks for stopping by! Cheers, EE