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Historical Romance Writers Dishing the Dirt on Research

11 November 2006

Guest author Anne Mallory stops by to blog with us!

Welcome Avon author Anne Mallory! A fresh voice in regency romance! Her book, The Earl of Her Dreams, is out NOW. She’s stopped by to answer a few questions for us. Comment on her post today, or on tomorrow's post and you will automatically be entered to win a signed book by Anne Mallory (your choice as to which!).

Okay, Anne. Here we go:

1. What is the latest topic you've researched?

Funerals! So cheery a topic!

A great list of notices for funerals from 1702 to 1760:
http://www.infopt.demon.co.uk/grub/funerals.htm

Some interesting tidbits for Regency times: http://regency.getifa.com/sick.html

Victorian funerals (from Harper's Bazaar 1886): http://www.victoriana.com/library/harpers/funeral.html

2. How did you make your first sale?

I was a finalist in the Golden Heart contest. My editor (first editor) read my manuscript and contacted me. It was quite a shocker to see her e-mail in my inbox. I think I reread her note a dozen times and it took me TWO hours to write a response. Seriously. Type, read, erase, type, read, erase...

3. How long does it take you to write a book and what's your process? Do you do the research up front or as you go along? Or during the revisions?

It usually takes between 3-6 months for me to finish a book. I'm still a fairly new writer, so I'm ironing out a process, but it takes about 4-8 weeks to do a rough draft (a short one - talking heads and blank walls). Then it takes about 2 months to revise and plump. I don't spend that whole time revising though. I'm very spurty and tend to procrastinate, so that last week is usually pretty fun - the sticking a pen through my ear kind of fun. In the spirit of that, keep sharp objects away from me next week... Before that I usually let ideas gestate and I'm always taking notes on scrap paper. Very inefficient! I carry notebooks around, but always want to write somewhere my current book notebook isn't -- like a restaurant (napkin), car (glove compartment notebook), bed (mound of scrap paper) or a text document. I'm one of those really weird people who LOVES a blank page. And text documents are so friendly. So, yeah, I have a trillion of those too. I always start new ones, because I'm strange. And I'm a believer in keeping what works, even if it's strange. So I've given up on a "book" notebook, and instead have a folder to collect all my drivel. :D

Oh, missed a question. How do I do research...depends on where I am, but usually as I go or during early revisions. If I'm near an Internet connection (not a good idea when I'm writing the first draft...or ever really) then it might just be right when something pops up as I'm writing. If I'm not near a connection, I star things to come back later, aka ***find out what you call this thingamabob*** Otherwise, I get lost in cyberspace...really lost...like five hours later I realize I need a glass of water or have to use the loo...

4. What about regency England draws you to that particular place and time?

The Regency was such a colorful time and it carries a certain fantasy mystique. Lords, ladies, duels, honor, balls, courting, politics, industrial revolution, great change, war...and that British accent... There's something very familiar about the Regency period, and yet something quite fantastic all the same. I think it is a very escapist time period. Larger than life.

5. What triggered that niggling of an idea for the story “The Earl of Her Dreams?” A historical event?

It really came from my love of Agatha Christie - all the characters trapped together in one place, including the killer. The Earl of Her Dreams Cover I needed to come up with a few story blurbs while I was writing my third book and the idea just popped right into my head. I wanted the detective though to be someone with little to no skills at being a detective, but plenty of assets in charm and deception. So he pretends to be a Bow Street Runner to run a personal scam, yet he has to somewhat actively try and solve the murder as well (strengthened later by the heroine). He says all sorts of arrogant and completely false things in the name of the "Runners' Code." As a detective, he's a more playful version of Tim Curry's supercilious character in Clue (which I adore). As a hero, he has more than a few issues he has to work out before he can be truly happy.

6. Is book five already in the works? Can you give a hint about the story?

Yup! It's called What Isabella Desires and is a return to the world of my first two books (Masquerading the Marquess and Daring the Duke). The story is about unrequited love, friendship, loss and hope. It's a little bit different in tone from the other books I've written. I'm finishing the final plumping/revisions right now. Hopefully the next week will see me sans pen through head. :D

Thanks for having me here, Hoydens!

Anne Mallory
http://www.annemallory.com/

6 Comments:

Blogger Kathrynn Dennis said...

Cool, Anne. I read your "word of the day" on your website at least once or twice a week. You got me hooked. Looking forward to tommorrow's post on regency slang, and modern words that aren't!

Kathrynn

7:11 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Y. said...

Great interview. I love Anne's books and site.

8:08 PM  
Blogger Diane Perkins said...

Hi, Anne!!!!!!
(Diane waving madly) Anne and I are in the Wet Noodle Posse (the Golden Heart finalists for 2003, a truly "golden" group). What fun to meet here.

I don't use notebooks but text pages...I too have a billion of them. Can't wait to pick up your book. I love the Agatha Christie premise!

Diane

"A Twelfth Night Tale" in Mistletoe Kisses. In bookstores now.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Anne Mallory said...

Thanks, Kathrynn and Jennifer!!

*waves madly back to Diane* Hey you!

2:02 PM  
Blogger KimW said...

Enjoyed reading your answers, Anne! I've always been fascinated by the Regency period. I don't know that I'd want to live in those times, though. Well maybe if I was in the upper class. Can't see myself as a maid. lol

4:15 PM  
Blogger Denise Patrick said...

I agree with you about the Regency period. It's so much like a fairy tale period that it's fun to write and read about.

8:46 AM  

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