Monday, August 12, 2013

Interview and Giveaway: Christy English

Please join me in welcoming author Christy English to Debbie's Book Bag today! Christy is here promoting her latest release, Love on a Midsummer Night. I was privileged to ask Christy a few questions about her journey and her new book. I hope you enjoy! Check out the giveaway details for your chance to win a copy of Love on a Midsummer Night.

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

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Love on a Midsummer Night by Christy English.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US Addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, August 26th.

1. Please leave a comment describing your first experience with love.

2. Please fill out the FORM.


traveler said...

When I was in grade 5 and 10 years old this boy was persistent and interested in me. It ended, alas, at the end of the year. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

ChristyEnglish said...

Thanks for hosting me Debbie! I loved talking with yo5!

ChristyEnglish said...

Traveler, I hope love has treated yo5 better since :)

Sandy Xiong said...

I don't have any experience with love yet mostly because I haven't fallen in love. But I do know family love and it is a roller coaster. There are it's up and downs and I'm thinking that's like love.


ChristyEnglish said...

I precdict you'll fall in love Sandy, and when you do, I hope it brings you a lot of joy :)

Angela Holland said...

I guess it is an experience with love, but I dated the same guy from 3rd grade through part of my senior year then something happened and we broke up then I met my now husband. We met in June married in December and 24 years later are still together. I guess we were meant to be.

ChristyEnglish said...

Congrats on the wedding Angela! Meant to be is the best kind of love!

bn100 said...

hasn't happened yet

ChristyEnglish said...

I precdict you'll fall in love Sandy, and when you do, I hope it brings you a lot of joy :)

Bn100 I hope it does...

lag123 said...

I had a true love in first grade. Ithinkit lasted for about a week.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Di said...

I've experienced puppy love, but true love is harder to come by.

sallans d at yahoo dot com

ChristyEnglish said...

LOL lag123 Di, puppy love is fun too

Anonymous said...

I became friends with a guy I went to college with, but didn't realize that I loved him until after we lost touch. One reason it didn't work out is because my parents didn't like him. I think about this man every so often and still miss him. I think we would have been great together. Since then, I'm holding out for true love, refusing to settle, and just want a great Christian guy to marry and raise a family with. :)

ChristyEnglish said...

I hope you find him...I know you will!

Jakki Leatherberry said...

Oh, my first experience with love was in high school. It was the first time I felt any flutterings and had all-consuming thoughts of the boy. ;) However, it wasn't until college that I found the one truly worth my love. :)
I loved Christy's How to Tame a Willful Wife and am very much looking forward to the next book in the series! :)

mrsshukra said...

I found love a little later but I married my first love!

ChristyEnglish said...

Thank you Jakki...and thanks for sharing your love story :) I hope you enjoy LOVE ON A MIDSUMMER NIGHT. I am happy to see Pembroke find her again :)

Mrs. Shukra, I am glad to hear it :)