CE: Deb, thank you so much for hosting me on your blog. I am really excited to be here.
DEB: We are excited to have you here as well. It is my pleasure to help you promote your work.
DEB: Christy, tell us a little bit about yourself.
CE: I am a woman in love with love. I did not start writing romances until a couple of years ago, but in my first two novels which were historical fiction, I added the element of romantic love. Unfortunately, in real life and in historical fiction, love does not always last, and the ending is not always happy. I’ve been drawn into Regency romance because my characters not only get to triumph, they get to find happiness together. I adore that. I am a huge romantic.
DEB: What was your inspiration for this book?
CE: I was inspired to write this book by the image of a woman standing over her elderly husband’s grave, thinking, “Finally, I can start my real life.” Forced into marriage at the age of 17, Arabella has never really had a chance to live. When her elderly husband dies, she vows that she will never be tied down again. Of course, at her husband’s funeral, she sees the love of her life for the first time in years, and she begins to discover that being with a man does not necessarily mean the end of her freedom. A man is a wonderful thing to have in your life, if he’s the right one.
DEB: Is it a single title or part of an on-going series?
CE: LOVE ON A MIDSUMMER NIGHT is the second book in a trilogy in which I take ideas from Shakespeare’s beautiful comedies, and weave a new tapestry out of them. And sometimes, when I’m not satisfied, as with The Taming of the Shrew (HOW TO TAME A WILFULL WIFE) I change the ending. LOL I didn’t need to do that with this novel, however. True love triumphs at the end of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and it triumphs in my novel. I love to watch love win, and people come together who adore each other.
DEB: Were you always fascinated by the world of dukes and duchesses or is this something new for this book or series?
CE: I have read fictional versions of lords and ladies, of dukes and duchesses falling in love since I was a teenager. There is something very alluring about a fairy tale, about a duke, who is really a prince, finding the love of his life. This is true in modern novels like Megan Multry’s A Royal Pain as it is in Whitney My Love by Judith McNaught. Arabella is the first duchess I’ve written about, but she breaks the mold. She finds cold comfort in a duchess’ coronet. Only after her elderly husband the duke dies, does she begin to get her life back.
DEB: Do your experiences as a Shakespearean actress factor into your writing, if so how?
CE: I definitely think that I never would have chosen to steal Shakespeare’s ideas if I had not spent so many years as a player in his plays. There is something magical about Shakespeare, not only his language, but the worlds he builds, the worlds the actor gets to inhabit while she’s playing his scenes. There really is no one like him.
DEB: Do you have a favorite author or genre that you like to read for pleasure?
CE: I have eclectic tastes. I love romances, Shana Galen, Nicola Cornick, and Lisa Kleypas, to limit myself to only three. I love the literary thrillers of Kate Atkinson, the historical fiction of Mary Renault, the alternate histories of Jo Walton. I love a good story, well told, and characters who take hold of me from the first paragraph, who won’t let me go.
DEB: How long have you been writing and what was your first experience with the publishing industry like?
CE: I’ve been writing seriously since 1998, but it took until 2008 to sell my first novel, THE QUEEN’S PAWN. It is a magical thing to see the book you love, the book you’ve worked on for years finally come into the world. It is a miracle every time it happens, but it was truly amazing the first time. Opening that box THE QUEEN’S PAWN from the publisher was a beautiful moment. Well worth the wait.
DEB: Do you have advice for new writers?
CE: Stay in the chair. Don’t abandon your work when it gets hard, which it will. Ignore rejection. We all get rejected, all the time. Rejection doesn’t matter. What matters is the story you love, the story only you can tell. Don’t listen to speculation about the market, about what sells, about what doesn’t. Write the story in your heart, the one you carry around with you every waking moment. No one has your voice. No one can tell your story but you.
DEB: Tell us something about yourself that readers may not know.
CE: I am in love with the mountains. I have recently moved from the coast to the NC mountains to chase the Muse, to immerse myself in a place I adore. I am a bit of a dreamer, which I guess is where my stories come from. I’m very grateful. I hope they keep coming.
DEB: What are you working on right now?
CE: The next novel in this trilogy is MUCH ADO ABOUT JACK, in which Angelique Beauchamp, the mistress from book one finally finds her own true love. It’s about a woman who is sure that love is not for her, a woman who’s been burned, and badly, but who falls in love anyway, in spite of her experiences, in spite of old pain. It’s a take-off on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, and there’s a lot of fun bantering in it. I had a great time writing it
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