It’s not very often I can start a chat with, hello from sunny Scotland, but today I can. We have wall-to-wall blue skies, a light breeze and a temperature in the twenties (Celsius). Mind you, by the time you’re reading this it will no doubt be back to normal, and raining, but that’s life; especially up here.
I’ve just started researching and plotting out the next book in the Daring Ladies series and as ever loving it.
The Earl and the Courtesan is the first book, and it was so much fun to write. Although Daring Ladies is a series, each book can be read as a stand-alone. That’s how I like series, so I guess it follows that’s how I write them.
My heroine Theresa, is strong willed, determined and won’t accept second best. A bit like the Theresa I named her after. A lovely lady, who strives to overcome anything that gets in her way, health wise. Mind you I must stress that’s the only similarity. She gets the giggles when I tell her that Theresa in the book was a courtesan!
I often wonder why I enjoy writing Regency romance so much. I’ve decided it’s not the clothes or the houses, or what we know; more what we don’t know, wonder about and what might have been.
Although, having said that, a mate and I always visit at least one stately home on each girls away weekend, and she takes great delight in making sure I note down anything interesting. I often wonder if the curator thinks we are ‘casing the joint’.
My great aunt, sadly now long gone, was born in the nineteenth century. I remember her telling me about her great grandma telling her (still with me) about her (the great grandma’s) granny remembering when Queen Victoria was crowned, and what it was like living in London during what we call the Regency. I seem to remember (great) Aunt Nell remarking the however many times great gran called it the mad bad time. Now I was never quite sure how much of all this to believe, as my great aunt was a great story teller, but as my mum’s side of the family were all Londoners, from ‘sarf of the river’, it could have a grain of truth in it somewhere. Although I might have missed a ‘great’ or two out.
It adds to my interest, when a certain Regency purveyors of fine wine still exist today, and my husband used to go there for meetings, (no, not in Regency times). I just looked at it, and thought, my heroine can go in there. A very satisfying thought. Plus, Rutland and the hunting, shooting, fishing shires were where I grew up. I get immense satisfaction setting stories in places I know. (Look out for the Trossachs in Scotland in another book) I might move the odd house about, after all, I don’t really want to be responsible for people staring through someone’s windows, but the geography is correct.
And I hope so is the history. I have a very bad habit of starting to research one thing, get sidetracked by a comment or quote and four hours later be reading something totally unrelated to my original research. It means I have a brain full of trivia, quite a lot of which finds its way into my books.
In The Earl and the Courtesan, I spent many an hour reading up on where to site a particular country house, how long it takes to get from A to B, and well I just had to visit The Boot in St Albans to check it was the hostelry my hero would use. (My husband likes that sort of research)
I consider myself very lucky. I’m doing something I love, and I hope other people get as much enjoyment reading my stories, as I do writing them.
And as for more research? Well I live in Rob Roy country. With Stirling Castle, Doune Castle (Outlander, Ivanhoe, Monty Python, Life of Brian), Bannockburn and the Wallace Monument, all on my doorstep.
And love travelling. I guess Theresa was lucky she didn’t get sent to Skye, or India...
Love Raven x