Inkwell Guest: Beth Trissel

Today, I’m happy to welcome my latest guest to Ye Olde Inkwell, historical author Beth Trissel. She has a new book coming out this week and she was kind enough to answer some questions about her writing and her books for me here today. I hope you’ll stick around and check out her books. If you love historical romances, I think you’ll love her books.

Beth is giving away a copy of her new book – so be sure and leave a comment!


Michelle: When did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get your start?

Beth: Thanks for having me on your lovely blog, Michelle. Love the name. As to how I got started on this writing craze, enons ago my mom sent one of my essays about rural life to the free-lance column of Southern Living Magazine. Knowing nothing about this, I was quite surprised to receive a letter from the editor asking me to call her. She said they received 800+ submissions a month and impressed upon me in my innocence that they didn’t speak with all of these people personally. A kind woman, she encouraged me in my writing while telling me that my piece was too earthy for their column and referred me to their sister publication, Progressive Farmer. That free-lance editor accepted half a dozen pieces, but the column was cut before they saw the light of publishing. By now I was hooked, so continued both my nonfiction work, which I’ve self-published under the title Shenandoah Watercolors, and embarked on the epic journey of writing historical and light paranormal romance. I recently signed my 10th contract with The Wild Rose Press, but it took 12+ years of blood, sweat, and tears to receive my first.

Michelle: Where do you find your inspiration?

Beth: I’m passionate about the past and deeply inspired by family genealogy. I come from well-documented English/Scots-Irish folk with a smidgen of French in the meld, a Norman knight who sailed with William the Conqueror. One family line goes directly back to Geoffrey Chaucer. But I’ve been especially fascinated with my early American forebears.

Michelle: What is the one writer’s tool you can’t live without?

Beth: My laptop. Oh, and dark chocolate, of course.

Michelle:How many words/pages do you do in a day/week/month? How do you keep yourself motivated to do them?

Beth: I used to be far more organized, but am swamped with small people now, lots of new grandbabies, so just write when I can. Writing is what I do, in addition to being an avid gardener.

Michelle: Whose work has influenced you the most?

Beth: C.S. Lewis. I’m still searching for Narnia.

Michelle: This month is the release of your novel, INTO THE LION’S HEART from Wild Rose Press. Where did you get the idea for that?

Beth: In addition to my preoccupation with colonial America is a related one with the British Isles. The New World was established as a more primitive reproduction of the Old World and powerfully influenced by and connected with England. In my new release, Into the Lion’s Heart, I more fully explored my English roots. A big fan of the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Poldark novels and Masterpiece theater series, I was drawn to setting a story in England during the explosion of the French Revolution.

I’d originally intended to follow one of the characters from my colonial American romance novel, Enemy of the King, British Captain Vaughan, back to England. I already knew Vaughan and his backstory well, but ended up creating a new character loosely based on him. The initial writing was underway when senior historical editor Nicole D’Arienzo invited me to submit a story for TWRP’s new line Love Letters. The premise behind this series is that a letter must be the cause of bringing the hero and heroine together. I readily adapted the plot. Set in 1789 England, Into The Lion’s Heart opens with the hero, Captain Dalton Evans (fought in the American Revolution) journeying to Dover to meet the ship carrying a distant cousin, Mademoiselle Sophia Devereux, who’s fleeing the French Revolution. *Pause here to note all the research the revolution took, not to mention Georgian England in general, Cornwall in particular, rum smuggling, stage coach travel and sailing in the late 18th century….you get the idea.

Michelle: You write historical/light paranormal. What drew you to write in this genre? What is your favorite thing about writing historical?

Beth: I’ve always been engrossed in history and those who have gone before us. Writing is my way of more fully connecting with the past. My light paranormals involve time travel, except for my historical fantasy Daughter of the Wind which has a bear walking (shape shifting) Shawnee warrior. Have I mentioned my preoccupation with Native Americans? ?

Michelle: From your bio, I see you live in the Shenandoah Valley. I bet that’s a beautiful place! Does it give you inspiration for your Colonial America books?

Beth: The valley is God’s Country, at least the rural unspoiled parts, and I live on a farm in the heart of it all. The beauty of the valley and the rich history of Virginia is an enormous influence on my work.

Michelle: What other things are you working on?

Beth: I’m at work on the third novel in my colonial frontier series, the sequel to my Native American historical romance, Through the Fire. And I’m just finishing final edits to Somewhere the Bells Ring, a vintage American Christmas romance set in 1968 with a ghost and flashbacks to 1918, coming out later this year. The idea behind my ‘Somewhere’ series is that the story opens in one place, so far various old Virginia homes, and then transports the reader somewhere else, either back in time in the same house or another place entirely such as Scotland which I did in Somewhere My Lass. I’m also working on the sequel to that story.

Michelle: What’s your favorite genre to read?

Beth: Nonfiction due to all my research, but I also enjoy historical and paranormal romance and historical fiction, some suspense and mystery. The story doesn’t always have to be a romance, but it helps.

Before I forget here’s the Blurb for Into the Lion’s Heart:

~As the French Revolution rages, the English nobility offer sanctuary to many a refugee. Captain Dalton Evans arrives in Dover to meet a distant cousin, expecting to see a spoiled aristocrat. Instead, he’s conquered by the simplicity of his new charge. And his best friend Thomas Archer isn’t immune to her artless charm, either.

Cecile Beaumont didn’t choose to travel across the Channel. And she certainly didn’t expect that impersonating her own mistress would introduce her to a most mesmerizing man. Now she must play out the masquerade, or risk life, freedom – and her heart.~

Michelle: Where can we find you online?

Beth: My website: http://www.bethtrissel.com/
My blog is the happening place: http://bethtrissel.wordpress.com/
My work is available in print and or digital download at the Wild Rose Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online booksellers.

By Michelle

I wish you all could be inside my head. The conversation is sparkling.