Inkwell Guest: Elizabeth Essex, #HistoricalRomance

Hi, beautiful readers! Today I’m very pleased to have Elizabeth Essex. She agreed to do a 5-question interview with me. PLUS she’s giving away a print copy of SCANDAL IN THE NIGHT! Just comment to win and contest goes through midnight CT. Winners will be notified by email.

ScandalintheNightHi, Elizabeth! Thanks for joining us here on the inkwell. What draws you to historical romance?

So many different things: The clothes. The restrictions of society, especially for women within society. When I started writing I chose to write historicals set in in the late Georgian period, because the time was something I already felt I knew. I had studied history, and the “Age of Fighting Sail” extensively as a nautical archaeologist, and I felt I had the ability to tell stories no one else could tell.

In your third Reckless Brides book, SCANDAL IN THE NIGHT, you have a dual timeline. How difficult was that to keep track of?

Well, I knew I wanted to start the book at the end of one part of the story and the beginning of the next, but I didn’t want the first half of the story to be treated like backstory, so I wanted it to unfold as the cast of characters discovers what happens, even if it happened to them. I thought I would have to write out one entire part of the story first (the part that happens in India) but I never had to do that because I knew in my head what happened there. It was what happens in England, during the second part of the narrative that I wasn’t sure about. In fact I didn’t know what was going to happen until I wrote it!

I love your characters and I love how you tie all the books together. What made you want to write the “second sons” stories? Especially Thomas Jellicoe (who’s wonderful!).

I just really like the idea of the self-made man. And as much as I love the stories of the aristocracy that dominate the Regency romance market, I wanted to write about a different kind of man—a man who had to find his own place and career. And because I chose to write almost exclusively Naval officers (there is one Marine Colonel in the entire collection), these men could only rise in their profession through their own merit. And I chose to write about Thomas mostly because he was the right age for the time period I had in mind for SCANDAL IN THE NIGHT, and had been enough of a character in A BREATH OF SCANDAL that people felt like they knew him a little, but were interested to see what sort of man he became. (Hint: the very best sort—a romance hero.) 🙂

He IS the best sort and I loved his character. What was the best part about writing that book? I seriously felt like I was THERE when I read it.

Well, Huzzah and thank you! I have to admit I have a very visual way of thinking (perhaps it comes of having studied Art History) and I surrounded myself with images of India, and India art and architecture that sparked my imagination. (I also collect them on Pinterest – do you want the link? ) I listened to Indian music, and looked at art of the period. I also read first person accounts of Englishmen and women who lived in India during the 1820’s. I am very glad to know your experience of the story was so immersive. I hope it means I did my job right. 🙂

You did! Now for fun: What is your favorite dessert?

Depends upon the time of year. In summer it is hands down my blueberry pie. Seriously divine. Tart and sweet and even better the second day, especially chilled. Breakfast of Champions. But in the winter I make something that’s called Brownie pie in my family, but it’s not brownies—its chocolate cookies crushed into meringue with whipped cream icing and curls of chocolate on top. De-lish. 🙂

Thank you for being here, Elizabeth!

And…THERE’S A GIVEAWAY! Elizabeth is giving away a copy of SCANDAL IN THE NIGHT to one lucky commenter. So be sure to leave a comment to enter. Contest goes until midnight CT tonight.

By Michelle

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