Please join me in welcoming Debra Brown, author and founder of the English Historical Fiction Author’s Blog to visit with me this morning.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote during high school. It was more or less a diary, but I spent some time with it daily.
What did you do with your earliest efforts? Did anyone read them? Did you still have them?
This is something I had actually forgotten for a long time, but someone read it, ridiculed it and shared my information with others. I destroyed it. Perhaps that is why I did not write again for so long.
What made you choose to write in the genres/time periods you write in?
I love Jane Austen, the Brontes and Dickens. I also love the poetry that came from the same era. I love the era.
What do you enjoy most in the writing process? What parts of it do you really dislike?
I really enjoy dreaming up the story, and as I put it down on my word processor, things come up that add to it. I love editing it and smoothing it out. As I write, problems come up that have to be solved. That means research and sometimes tearing out and rewriting. I can love that or hate it. Marketing is not my favorite simply because it does not have the creative feel. However, I have met some fabulous people via today’s brand of social media marketing.
If you write in multiple genres how do you make the switch from one to the other? Do you find it a welcome change, crazy-making or a little of both?
At this point in my life, I cannot imagine writing in a different genre.
Historical fiction takes a lot of research. What is the most memorable or interesting thing you’ve learned along the way?
Although I learned this long before doing research for writing, it stays with me more than anything else and was worked into my first book. That is the life and untimely death of Charlotte of Wales. Her death was so unnecessary- a product of the efforts of doctors to provide medical care back then when they still knew so little of what we know today. Poor Charlotte was not allowed food for some time and became too weak to give birth safely. Both she and the baby died. Two heirs to the throne in one medical malpractice situation.
How do you get your ideas? Where do you look for ideas?
I knew I wanted to write a book, but had no ideas. I got some large picture books of England to thumb through, and ideas began to develop. I saw a picture of the ruins of a monastery through naked winter branches, which was to become a big part of the story at first, but as the story grew in my mind, the monastery became one sentence. Just setting, lol. I also saw a slate chapel that was leaning from the hundreds of years of wind and crumbling of the slate, and that became a whole chapter and a bit in the tie-up of the book. The characters, which of course are the main thing, grew out of thoughts about those places and what might have happened.
Tell us a little about your current project.
My working title is For the Skylark. Eighteen-year-old Evangeline follows the strange household Rules. Indeed, if she does not, everything goes wrong. It is then her fault, is it not? Dante, her twin and only friend, would like to leave their tended isolation on the dilapidated estate and see the nearby village. Evangeline feels she must persuade him to obey and remain. Breaking another Rule, he speaks to a new maid and falls in love. Evangeline tries to come between them and fails. Dante gives her attention, but she feels jealous, abandoned and shattered. She tried to overcome this, but develops a panic disorder and withdraws to the cobwebbed dome in the tower of the house where their detached mother, Lady Charlotte, spends her days. Dante wishes to marry and manage the estate, long under his mother’s control.
What’s up next for you?
The Dante and Evangeline series. I love these characters, and there is so much I can do with them and the perfect maid/girlfriend, Molly. The next story has been brewing, and I can’t wait to get it down.
Thanks for the opportunity to share on your blog!