Today is day 15 of out Romancing September Across The World Tour. We are going to meet Fenella J Miller, and later you can join her on Stephanie’s blog for a discussion on romance writing in today’s society.
Let’s find out more about Fenella;
1) Where is your home town?
I live in a pretty riverside village near Colchester in Essex, UK.
2) How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing on and off for most of my life but only had time to write a publishable novel when I took early retirement from teaching. My first book was published in 2005.
3) has it always been romance? How many romance books have you written?
Yes– I am a romantic novelist. However, only a couple of my books are straight story called romances, the rest of full of action and adventure. I have written 25 Regency romances, four World War II historical novels (some romance, but more coming-of-age and drama).
4) What time period is “A House Party” set in?
A House Party is the regency romantic adventure – set in England around 1812.
5) Oh My! There are quite some characters attending the house party, why don’t you introduce us to some of them?
Miss Penelope Coombs is a spirited and independent young lady who was slighted by Lord Edward Weston and has no wish to renew their acquaintance. Weston secretly works for the British government and suspects that the traitor has joined a group of travelling air balloonists. He invites them to his home hoping to unmask the traitor.
Lady Dalrymple, Penny’s eccentric great-aunt, accepts an invitation to the Lord Weston’s house party, much to Penny’s annoyance.
Add to this volatile mixture the handsome Frenchman, Count Everex and Edward’s charming cousin, James and you just know sparks will fly.
6) A Villain in a hot air balloon? How reliable is this mode of transport for our traitor?
In fact a hot air balloon is not technically correct as balloons at this time were filled with a highly flammable mixture of gases. It was a very unreliable method of transport for anyone as the vagaries of the wind and weather made travelling in a given direction almost impossible. They were known as ‘air-balloonists’. When balloons first appeared at the end of the 18th century, they were hot air balloons. Closely packed straw was loaded into a tray suspended below the balloon and a basket or platform hung beneath that for the pilot and passengers. The straw was lit and the balloon rose into the air. On one famous occasion, in France, a group of eight intrepid dancers completed a quadrille on a platform hanging below the balloon. On another occasion, in England this time, a balloon landed in a field and the farmer and his workmen killed the pilot thinking he was the devil because he had arrived from the sky surrounded by flames
7) Where have you envisaged Headingly Court to be in the English Countryside?
Headingly Court is on the Suffolk coast – somewhere I know very well and this area was frequented by smugglers despite being so far from France. There are many wonderful stately the homes in this area.
8) You’ve chosen to re-publish this book, it originally went under the heading “The House Party” what changes have you made to the new edition?
I corrected some historical errors and removed some editorial mistakes. Although this book was edited/proofread by Robert Hale – I discovered several things that needed correcting. I change the title slightly so it would fit in with the other books which all start with “A …”.
9) Do your “Romantic liaisons” fit the time period you write about or have you dared to make them racy?
My books are all historically accurate – therefore my well bred young ladies do not have sex before marriage. I do allow my heroines a little fun, however, and you will find sensuous scenes but not sex scenes.
10) I can tell you love writing historical works. You have a Dukes series box set, are these books all inter-linked?
No – the only link is the period and the fact that the main protagonist is a duke.
11) I must ask about “Miss Bennet and Mr Bingley” what is this book about?
This is a retelling of Jane Austen’s wonderful Pride & Prejudice. I’ve written it from Jane and Charles Bingley’s viewpoints – but Darcy and Elizabeth also feature strongly. I explain what happened to Jane while she was in London and how Charles and Darcy occupied themselves during the months Jane and Bingley were a part. The book ends after Jane and Bingley are married. I’m intending to write a follow-up which will include Darcy, Elizabeth, Jane and Charles but the main character will be Kate. It will be set in Pemberley and will include ghosts!
12) I know your fans would like you to tell us what are you working on at the moment, can you give us a clue?
I am halfway through another Regency, The Duke’s Proposal, and hope to publish this on Kindle and the end of next month. This story will be a pure romance, but with a twist. The hero and heroine marry with love on neither side – although of course after many trials and tribulations will be the expected HEA.
Thank you Fenella for being our guest today, Good Luck with the new book.