– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘The Girl With Flaming Hair’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
Natalie’s passion for reading became a compulsion to write when she attended a ten-week course in creative writing some sixteen or so years ago. She takes delight in creating short stories of which more than forty have been published, but it was her lifelong love of Regency romance that led her to turn from contemporary romantic fiction to try her hand at her favourite genre. Raised on a diet of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, she is never happier than when immersed in an age of etiquette and manners, fashion and intrigue, all combined into a romping good tale. She lives on the London/Kent border, close to the capital’s plethora of museums and galleries which she uses for research as well as pleasure. A perfect day though is when she heads out of town to enjoy lunch by a pub on the river, any river, in company with her husband and friends.
Natalie is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association, the Society of Authors and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists.
Sophie is plagued by the shadows of the past…
While driving his curricle, Rufus Solgrave, Earl of Luxton comes across Sophie Clifford lying unconscious in the road, having fallen from her horse.
Not too far from home, he takes her back to Ashby, his country seat, leaving her in the care of his mother, Elizabeth, Countess of Luxton, and his sister, Lydia. Under their kindly supervision, Sophie soon begins to recover.
Upon discovering that Sophie has never mixed with London society, Elizabeth invites her to accompany the family to town for Lydia’s come-out. Unhappy with her homelife and eager to sample the delights of the season, Sophie accepts.
However, her enjoyment is marred when talk of an old scandal surrounding her birth resurfaces. What’s more, her devious stepbrother, Francis Follet, has followed her to London, intent on making her his bride.
Sensing Sophie’s distress, Rufus steps in to protect her from Francis’s unwelcome advances.
And although neither Rufus nor Sophie are yet thinking of marriage, both soon begin to wonder whether their comfortable friendship could blossom into something warmer…
THE GIRL WITH FLAMING HAIR is a historical romantic tale set in Regency England, with a spirited and intelligent heroine at its heart.
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’ve always been a reader but I definitely wasn’t one of those people who aspired to becoming a writer. It thrust itself upon me quite by accident when I joined a creative writing class. I could as easily have chosen Art Appreciation or French or any number of other things. It only took one lesson and I was hooked.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I ran the usual gamut of children’s books and suddenly, I have no idea why, The Prisoner of Zenda has popped into my mind. I haven’t thought about it for years! I must read it again. As an adult I went through a sci-fi phase and devoured a huge number of books. Asimov and Heinlein etc. I also loved (and still do) Agatha Christie. Oh, and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum. A short period of some wonderfully written horror stories but I had to give up when they gave me nightmares. I can’t watch films in that genre either, for the same reason. But throughout my life since the age of eleven and I have read again and again Georgette Heyer’s historical romances. It’s my comfort reading, though ‘comfort’ isn’t to minimise how very clever she was, and it’s almost entirely due to her that I became the author of traditional Regency romantic novels. There is another who influenced me as well. Now what was her name? Ah yes, Jane Austen. 🙂 I just love the world in which one lived and both wrote.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen for their superlative writing.
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Paddington Bear, because he could have all the marmalade sandwiches while I ate the egg mayonnaise and tomato. He’s honest, earnest, and I imagine a joy to be with.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Rituals, no. Habits, yes. I always get ‘jobs’ out of the way before I begin writing because I find it hard to focus when I know there are things that have to be done. And usually those jobs, the regular ones, are done in a particular order so maybe I was wrong to say no rituals 🙂
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
There are one or two people I would like to put in my books but I think they’re safe, for the time being at least. Plot ideas can come from a variety of sources. An old photo in particular can be the catalyst that fires up an idea. This works especially well for short stories. Visiting stately homes where the house itself becomes the setting for a new novel or a city where the architecture is predominantly Georgian, and then something jumps out and I ask myself ‘what if’. An old well in a garden centre was the inspiration for one of my as yet unpublished books. It grew from ‘what if’ into a whole book.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’ve always been a pantser though I’ve learned over time that a certain level of plotting can be helpful. I have to be careful though. I once plotted an entire novel which ended up forced and stilted. It’s still in the virtual drawer and there it will remain.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Writing is a craft and like any other it takes time to learn. The overnight successes one hears about are usually the result of years hard labour. There’s a lot of help out there. Don’t be afraid to ask. Attend what workshops and classes you can but you can’t do everything so choose wisely. Read. Above all, write something every single day. It’s a muscle that needs to be exercised. Don’t be disheartened by rejections – difficult I know – but every writer get them. Even those overnight successes I mentioned above.
What are your future plans as an author?
My publishers, Sapere Books, have three more of my Regencies in the pipeline so I’m hoping for more of the same. Only this morning in the wee small hours I had an idea for another book and no, I have no idea what triggered it. One day though I’d like to write a cosy crime. I love reading them or watching them on TV so it’s something I’d really like to pursue. For the time being though I’m well and truly settled in the early nineteenth century.
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
I’d be delighted. There’s a clue in the title – The Girl With Flaming Hair. When the past comes back to haunt her, Sophie Clifford learns that her whole life has been based on a lie. A lie that will affect her whole future.
“That man. The one who has just ridden by. I think I have not seen him before, but he seemed to acknowledge me as if we were acquainted. Pray, can you tell me who he is?”
Bridlington, whose gaze had been fixed on the tree, had not seen the rider. He looked over his shoulder to see who she was referring to. “Good Lord, is he back in town? I haven’t seen him for years. We should move on, Miss Clifford, for I do believe we are causing an obstruction,” he said, gripping her elbow and moving forward. She went willingly enough but repeated the question.
“Why, that’s Joseph Templeton,” he answered. “He’s been fixed abroad for an age. Frankly, I thought never to see him again.”
“He looked surprised when he saw me. I couldn’t help noticing. His hair, Lord Bridlington. Streaked with grey but nevertheless red. Very red. Like mine. I wondered if perhaps we might be connected in some way.”
Ollie was no coward but he didn’t think it fell to him to offer a full explanation, and certainly not in the middle of Hyde Park.
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Natalie Kleinman.
Thank you so much for the lovely welcome today. I’ve really enjoyed your questions.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!