Oh, authors must lead such glamorous lives, people often think. Ummmm, not really—unless, that is, you are J.K. Rowling, or Gillian Flynn, who I most certainly am not! There are no fawning fans or paparazzi’s flashing cameras or limousine rides. No servants bring me breakfast in bed, (as they do for Lady Eleanor in TORCH IN THE FOREST) along with the newspapers filled with glowing reviews of my latest bestseller, or news of the latest of my books being optioned for a movie starring the latest Hollywood heartthrob, (oh, be still my heart!) a Lord Hugh look-alike, of course!
There are, however, lots of fun real-life aspects of being an author. One is, as you’ve heard, being able to work in your pajamas, if you so choose! Just remember that if you are planning a Skype visit with a book club, you’d best change your outfit. ?Another fun aspect is having your friends giggle about some of the scenes you wrote in your book, pretending to fan themselves to cool off, and having them wink at your husband, calling him “Lord Hugh.” (He’s not, though!)
Writing is a solitary occupation, however, most of the time. A typical day for me begins thusly…I’m an early riser, so I’m up before the sun, drinking coffee and reading the newspapers. Then I’ll check email, read publishing news, and check my blog and Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest before I settle in to write for a while. Usually, I am writing by 6:30 or 7:00 AM with a lot of coffee. After a bit, and very reluctantly, I tend to mundane household tasks, since I don’t have the numerous servants that Lady Eleanor has. Then, once those are done, I get back to writing, looping back to what I’d written earlier and, upon reading those words again, ask myself, “What was I thinking?”
It’s important to step away from the manuscript for a while, because, otherwise, life goes on without me, even though I can often fool myself into thinking what I’m writing on the page is real life! Of course, since I am married to Lord Hugh himself, my writing life blends in seamlessly with my actual life. ?So, sometimes playing a round of golf or a taking a walk with the dear husband (Lord Hugh, as you know) or a grandbaby visit may be on the agenda for the day, but that could still leave time to write later, as well.
We writers never stop thinking about what we’re writing, however. It’s similar to cooking—your pots are simmering on the back burners—and when you get back to the cooktop, they’re still there, but, a little different (hopefully better!) from when you left them. Speaking of cooking, at the end of the day, I’ll cook dinner, usually Italian, (no roasted peacocks or eel in verjuice!) or we may go out with friends to enjoy the evening at a favorite restaurant, with wine served—not in goblets, however, as Lady Eleanor and Lord Hugh drink theirs. One of my favorites? Merlot!
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Eleanor of Strathcombe is stunned to realize she has a powerful attraction to Hugh of Wykeham, the arrogant, neighboring lord returned from the Crusade. But he wants to marry her sister, and when he learns that poachers are running rampant he blames her and feuds with her over the control of their forest boundaries. As she struggles to keep control of her forests and find the poachers, unsettling feelings confront her when she deals with Hugh, feelings she never felt in her brief, loveless marriage.
When she finds herself in the midst of a net of intrigue and lies, she needs to find the courage to capture the conspirators, save herself and her sister, and overcome her feelings for Hugh…even though that’s the last thing she wants to do.
Growing up in Europe and seeing castles on a daily basis made me sure I wanted to live back in the Middle Ages. Since that wasn’t likely to happen, being a child of the 20th century, the next best thing I could try to do was to write about this enthralling period in history. Having studied medieval history in college, I loved doing the research about how people really lived and spoke and dreamed and loved, and so TORCH IN THE FOREST came to be, thanks to my dear husband, who encouraged me to write about Eleanor and Hugh. When I’m not writing, I’m reading, or traveling. I love hearing from readers and am happy to do book club conference calls!
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