I’m a big fan of regency romance, have ever since I was in my teens. When the Regency Revellers approached me about reading Christmas Revels, I jumped at the chance. Christmas in Regency England? Sign me up! So, I asked these fine ladies if they’d be willing to sit down for an interview. We coordinated our schedules and here we all are. So, let me be the first to introduce you to Hannah Meredith, Anna D. Allen, Kate Parker and Louisa Cornell. Don’t forget to enter the huge giveaway, too, as today is the last day. Take it away, ladies:
Have you always liked to write?
Hannah – I’ve always liked to make up tales, but this was verbal storytelling rather than writing. When I was very young, my parents weren’t thrilled by these flights of fancy. By the time I hit grade school, however, I’d discovered I could make friends by talking about things in an amusing way. Making friends quickly was important, since my dad was a career Air Force officer, and I attended 8 schools in the first 9 years. Consequently, I learned some aspects of my craft before ever putting pen to paper.
Anna – Like is not the word. No, I don’t “like” to write. It’s somewhere between compulsion and vocation, and I have no choice in the matter. Storytelling, yeah, I’ve always loved storytelling—not lying, but making up stories, even as a little kid. Playing pretend. Creating a world separate from reality. So. Much. Fun.
Louisa – I started writing my first historical romance when I was nine years old. I finished it when I was twelve. It was 800 pages of the worst drivel ever scrawled onto paper. My mother has the only copy. She won’t let me burn it. My writing career was interrupted by my opera career, but I have always written stories. Hopefully, others will like the ones I write.
Kate – Yes. That’s because I’ve always had those voices talking in my head.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
Hannah – Of course. Writers want to connect with readers. I read reviews because I want to know what readers think. I’d love to respond to those who “get” my stories, but most often, there‘s no way to do so. As for those who leave poor reviews… I check to see if they’ve said anything constructive I can learn from. Over time, however, I’ve discovered that most bad reviews come from those who simply don’t like the dish I’m serving. Everyone has different tastes. I suspect most of my bad reviews come from people who wanted cabbage but got sauerkraut. This requires no response.
Anna – Yes, I read reviews. No, never respond to a review. Bad reviews? Well, there are those “bad” reviews, which really are bad—the reviewer reveals the plot twist or who did it or every single thing that happened. Then there are those who just didn’t like your tale. With those, just move on. But some “bad” reviews can be very constructive.
Louisa – I do read my reviews. I do not respond. A review is an opinion, not a debate. I print them all out. I keep the negative ones in a notebook. I frame the good ones and hang them on the wall. I am a writer. I need all the encouragement I can get!
Kate – Yes, I read them. No I don’t respond. Since I can’t use the nuclear option, I find chocolate is useful. For me, not the reviewer. Although, I have found some less than stellar reviews to be very helpful.
Do you have a favorite spot to write? What is it?
Hannah – Yes. I have THE spot. My big rocker-recliner with my laptop on my lap. I’ve rocked out a lot of words. I’ve even managed quite a few reclined, although this is dangerous, particularly late at night. If I doze off, I end up with pages and pages of L’s.
Anna – No.
Louisa – My desk in the middle of my livingroom. My research books are all on bookshelves behind me. And my research notebooks are all on a long table in front of my desk. There is a futon in case I need a nap. and my dogs keep it warmed up for me.
Kate – My study, where it is quiet and I have a great view of nature.
Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?
Hannah – No, not one type as much as any scene to which I’m not fully committed. These are usually scenes where something specific needs to happen to advance the plot, but I’ve not been clever enough to come up with a fantastic way of relating the details. These scenes come out one-word-at-a-time.
Anna – Kisses– not to be confused with sex. I can write sex. It’s just so difficult to write a good kiss. Probably just need someone to practice with. “You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.” Yeah, that’s what we all need.
Louisa – Not so far. The only trouble I have with racy love scenes is mine tend to go on too long. A girl can dream, can’t she?
Kate – Love scenes are impossible. As soon as my characters start taking off their clothes, my heroine runs screaming behind the monitor and my hero stalks over to my book shelf looking for a more willing female.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)
Hannah – No. Christmas Revels II was preceded by Christmas Revels. Christmas Revels III came out last year, and Christmas Revels IV will appear in November. I think it is evident that the anthology group isn’t very creative when it comes to naming books. 🙂 On my own, I currently have four books available, all historical romances: Kestrel and Kaleidoscope, both unrelated Regencies, Indentured Hearts, set in Georgian American, and A Dangerous Indiscretion, which is Victorian.
Anna – Two collections of short stories: Mrs. Hewitt’s Barbeque [mainstream] and Lake People and Other Speculative Tales [SF/Fantasy]; one speculative novel, Charles Waverly and the Deadly African Safari; one novelette, “A Christmas Wager” [Regency Romance]; and the novel Miss Pritchard’s Happy, Wanton Christmas (and the Consequences Thereof) [Regency Romance]. Plus the stories in the Christmas Revels anthologies. I’ve also published two other works of Regency romance under a different name.
Louisa – I actually wrote four novels before my first work was published – a novella – A Perfectly Dreadful Christmas (Christmas Revels I). My second published work – also a novella – was A Perfectly Unregimented Christmas (Christmas Revels II). And my third published work – still writing novellas – was Stealing Minerva (Her Perfect Gentleman). My first solo publication was the novel Lost in Love, which came out in May of this year.
Kate – My fourth Regency Christmas novella will appear in Christmas Revels IV. I also have 7 full length novels out, all historical cozy mysteries. Deadly Scandal and Deadly Wedding, the first two in the Deadly series, set before WWII, and the five volume Victorian Bookshop Mystery series set in the 1890s, with the fifth, The Detecting Duchess, recently released.
Do you write naked?
Hannah – Heavens, no! Scary idea! Instead, I have a collection of caftans that allow me to answer the door and still not have to mess with out-and-about underwear.
Anna – I don’t do naked—which makes bathing awkward.
Louisa – Not even my dogs should be subjected to the sight of me naked. T-shirts and sleep pants are my current writing uniform. Underwear optional.
Kate –No, I write in a T shirt and sweat pants. That way nobody’s embarrassed.
What literary character is most like you?
Hannah – This is a hard question because I never see myself in any ONE character—even those I make up. Instead, I see bits and pieces recognizable as “me” in a lot of different characters. Does this mean I have a split personality?
Anna – Miss Bates from Emma. All her jabbering. I think of myself as a quiet person, but then when I get with friends, I can’t shut up.
Louisa – Miss Havisham in Great Expectations. (Without the fiery death.) I am a bit batty, my house looks like a museum that is never completely clean, and I am always in close proximity to cake.
Kate – Miss Marple, but I croquet rather than knit.
What secret talents do you have?
Hannah – I’m a terrific shower singer. Running water and lots of echoes makes me sound impressive. In a regular environment… well, not so much.
Anna – Herding cats. I can also turn tomato seeds into marinara sauce.
Louisa – I have an ear for languages. I can speak almost any foreign language with the appropriate accent in just a few days, whether I understand the language or not. And I can speak, with varying degrees of fluency, eight languages other than English. I am currently teaching myself Welsh.
Kate – I don’t have any secret talents, unless you count my cooking. Whenever there’s a potluck, I’m told to bring the sodas. I’m internationally famous for creating a pink anti-tank weapon for dinner one night.
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
Hannah – Machu Picchu! My husband and I love to travel and have been to some wonderful places, but when we were in Peru, my hip needed replacing, and I felt I couldn’t make the hike. Alas, opportunity missed.
Anna – I want to spend a couple of months slowly sailing up the Nile, from the Delta to Aswan, and then some.
Louisa – Pompeii . I have been fascinated by the fate of this city since I did a research report on it in the sixth grade.
Kate – Australia, New Zealand, the Lake District of England, the Riviera from France to Italy, Lake Geneva…
What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?
Hannah – I started talking early and then did so constantly. My mom said I was vaccinated with a phonograph needle. I think this gives away my age, since children are no longer vaccinated and no one now has any idea what a phonograph needle actually is. My favorite toy was a Bozo the Clown doll.
Anna – A cross between Wednesday Addams and Winona Ryder’s character in Beetlejuice… but blonde. Complete with a Marie Antoinette doll. Seriously. That was a fun show and tell.
Louisa – I had a book in my hand from the time I was three years old and learned to read. And I always had a pet animal at my side, from dogs to cats to ducks to turtles and eventually horses. My favorite toy was usually a book. Although I did have a teddy bear named Bernie, given to me the day I was born by my paternal grandfather who died when I was three. Bernie has traveled all over the world with me. If he had a passport, his would have more stamps than some people’s. He’s retired now and sits on a high shelf in his own rocking chair – an object of great fascination to my two little grandnieces.
Kate – My favorite toy was the time machine I built in our backyard, which is why I spent most of my childhood in Edwardian England and London in the interwar years, with occasional trips to medieval castles and to the Regency to bring back servants to do my chores.
Title – Christmas Revels II: Four Regency Novellas
Author – Hannah Meredith, Anna Allen, Louisa Cornell, Kate Parker
Genre – Historical Romance, Regency Romance
Publisher – Singing Spring Press
Book Blurb –
Let the Revels begin-again! Four new stories with four distinctive voices:
The Vicar’s Christmas – Margaret Trent never needs anything or anyone, but when two London solicitors show up on her doorstep, she needs a hero. Enter Henry Ogden, mild-mannered village vicar. Hardly the stuff of heroes… until adversity brings out unexpected talents.
A Christmas Equation – A chance meeting between a reluctant viscount and a self-effacing companion revives memories of their shared past-a time when they were very different people. With secrets to keep, Sarah Clendenin wishes Benjamin Radcliff gone… but he’s making calculations of his own.
Crimson Snow – A trail of blood drops leads Jane Merrywether to a wounded stranger-the only person standing in the way of her wicked guardian becoming an earl. John Rexford, long-thought dead, has returned to claim his inheritance and his promised bride… if he can survive a murderous Christmas.
A Perfectly Unregimented Christmas – After years at war, Viscount Pennyworth returns to his ancestral home to find some peace and quiet and to avoid the holiday he loathes. But four naughty boys, a bonnet-wearing goat, a one-eyed cat, a family secret, and one Annabelle Winters, governess, make this a Christmas he’ll never forget.
Christmas in July Fete Sackful of Giveaways:
Grand Prize: $75 USD Amazon Gift Card
(plus over twenty-five more prizes…)
Starts July 1, 2017 12:01 am EST and ends August 1, 2017 12:00 am EST
Buy Links —
Amazon – http://a.co/4ogrKbC
Author Biography —
Hannah Meredith is, above all, a storyteller. She’s long been fascinated by the dreams that haunt the human heart and has an abiding interest in English history. This combination led her to write historical romance. Hannah is a member of RWA and Heart of Carolina Romance Writers.
Anna D. Allen lives deep in the woods with too many books and not enough dogs. She holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts in Language and Literature. Her future plans include growing tomatoes and cleaning out the freezer. When not writing or reading, she can be found in the kitchen.
Louisa Cornell is a retired opera singer living in LA (Lower Alabama) who cannot remember a time she wasn’t writing or telling stories. Anglophile, student of Regency England, historical romance writer— she escaped Walmart to write historical romance and hasn’t looked back. She is a member of RWA, Southern Magic RWA, and the Beau Monde Chapter of RWA.
Kate Parker grew up reading her mother’s collection of mystery books by Christie, Sayers, and others. Now she can’t write a story without someone being murdered, and everyday items are studied for their lethal potential. It’s taken her years to convince her husband that she hasn’t poisoned dinner; that funny taste is because she just can’t cook.
Social Media Links —
Hannah – http://www.hannahmeredith.com