Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Interview with Lady Victoria from His Shadowed Heart

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Lady Victoria Stanton, sister to the Earl of Waverley.

Hazel - Good evening your ladyship.

Lady Victoria – Good evening. Perhaps for the duration of the interview you would prefer to call me Victoria – so much easier than formalities.

Hazel – Thank you, your la… Victoria! It’s so good of you to grant me this interview. I know your dislike of prevarication so, without hesitation, I will ask you what you can tell me of the report that your brother, the Earl of Waverley, is to be married? I hear tell that the young lady in question is a mere nobody?

Victoria – Ah, the dear boy! Never have I seen a man so determined to avoid matrimony. No matter what argument I raised, he blatantly refused. You can imagine my amazement therefore, when he presented me with his intention of taking Miss Northam as his wife. Miss Northam is a charming young girl, but not at all the kind of female that I could have envisaged would attract his attention. Her situation is unfortunate and not one that I would wish on any girl, but I see it as no reason to maker her an offer. Obviously there is something in her manner that appeals to him, but I fail to see it. She is charming, intelligent and very sweet natured, but I would have expected him to offer for someone more mature, in both years and outlook.

Hazel – You don’t approve of the match?

Victoria – On the contrary! I would welcome anyone who could take him out of his despondency. However, I feel that at nineteen she lacks the experience necessary to take her place at his side. Lordings is a huge responsibility and could easily overawe such a young, inexperienced girl – for inexperienced girl she is! She has no knowledge of running a household or presiding over events. Her education is sadly lacking in these areas.

Hazel – And when is the wedding to take place?

Victoria – My brother informs me that the nuptials will take place in just four weeks. Four weeks! I asked why the unseemly haste and he told me that not only was it to take place in such a short time, but also in the private chapel at Lordings! I had expected more, so much more. After all, his first wedding had been magnificent with no expense spared. In comparison, this will seem quite paltry! Almost as if he wishes to hide the girl away.

Hazel – Will you attend the wedding?

Victoria – Of course! Why should I not? He is my brother and I love him dearly. No matter what my reservations, I will support him in this. I will not have it thought that I object in any way. Society is cruel and very quick to judge. Caroline will have my full support and if anyone should make a comment in my hearing, I promise you, I will champion her to the end.

Hazel – Do they return to London after the wedding?

Victoria - I believe they are to remain at Lordings - for a while at least. Richard has taken leave from the Ministry, although I do believe he will not stay away long. Such is the situation in the Peninsular that he is constantly called upon for advice.

Hazel – Please convey my good wishes to the bride and groom, but be assured that I will follow your brother’s story with great interest. I am sure there is more to it than meets the eye.

Victoria – My very thoughts. There is something quite intriguing about the whole situation, but it is thoroughly worthwhile if only to see the look on Cousin Gerald’s face when he hears the news. It will be priceless! The marriage lays waste to all his expectations now there is a possibility of Richard producing an heir.

Goodness me! Is that the time? I must go. I have promised to take Julia to tea with Diana’s brood.

Hazel - It has been a great pleasure and honour to speak with you, your ladyship. I do so hope we meet again.

This interview originally appeared at The Plot.

Scoffing Romance

Romance as a genre has been scoffed at for many years with very few readers actually admitting to reading it, but it accounts for 38% of all books sold, therefore, as the poor sister in the publishing world, it does very well.

Until recently, Traditional Regency Romance has always been a favourite with readers, but about two years ago, the New York Publishing houses decided that its popularity had begun to wane and reduced their output. Unfortunately, they forgot to impart its drop in popularity to the readers and the genre continued to sell. Sales did dip briefly, but now there appears to be a resurgence of interest. New readers are enthralled with the romance and elegance of the era and already devoted readers continue their support.

I write historical fiction and historical romantic fiction mainly set in the Regency and Georgian eras. My romances are what is termed as ‘sweet’, which means that there is no graphic sex and I close the bedroom door when my characters ‘retire’.

However, this doesn’t mean that my books are not ‘romantic’ – on the contrary. Romance is integral to the plot and is what drives the story forward. Luckily, I know from letters I’ve received from fans that there are still readers who prefer this kind of novel to the more revealing kind – enough for there still to remain a viable market.

My work has been likened to Georgette Heyer’s, and as I’m a huge fan of hers, I take it as a great complement. Of course, there will always be those who prefer the more modern approach where the mores of modern-day living are just transposed in period, but I prefer to remain true to the attitudes of the day. If I state fact, it is as accurate as I can make it and I always make the story fit the fact, not the fact fit the story.

No matter what, I shall continue to create my own Regency world, knowing that as long as there are readers there must always be authors and no matter what the trend, my books will always be there for romance readers to enjoy.


This article originally appeared at Pop Syndicate during my July 2008 virtual book tour.