Friday, October 18, 2013

Author Interview: Elizabeth Bailey

Elizabeth Bailey
author, Traditional Georgian Romances

Give us a bit of your background (where are you from, your family, traveling adventures)

I’m a bit of a gypsy, having grown up in Africa although I was born in the UK. Originally we went home by ship, and at age 13 I had my first kiss on board under the stars, which was so classic it probably turned me on to romance and fiction right there. An unconventional style of upbringing resulted in my embracing drama first. Later when I turned to writing as a second career, I used everything I’d learned in the theatre to create my stories.

Fill in the blank favorites - Type of hero: brooding. Type of heroine: waif and stray.

What is your favorite genre to read?

I don’t have one. My reading is eclectic and I might go from a literary novel to a Pratchett with a little crime and romance on the way. Growing up I was into Heyer and Sci-fi, but now I’ll also cosy up with a biography of a historical character. It’s whatever takes my fancy at the time, though I do tend to have fads of reading one type of book for a while. At the moment, I’m rereading the Discworld novels, although I recently took in the Booker winner “Vernon God Little” which I found hilarious.

What is one silly fact about you?

I’m a sucker for dolls, especially little ones, and have to stop myself adding to the overgrown collection. At my age too!

Why do you choose to write clean/sweet romance? Do you write steamy romance as well?

I used to write sexy scenes within my historical romances and have written them into mainstream books where appropriate. Recently I made a conscious decision to write only clean romance and have removed sex scenes even from backlist titles, with minor mild exceptions. I think it has to do with growing older. I’ve become less interested in sensual stuff myself, and I feel it wouldn’t ring true with my readers if I’m not involved as the writer.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?

The moments when I am so immersed in the world I’m creating that this real world almost disappears from view. I can get that experience reading another writer’s book, and I would love to think that I have given a reader the same feeling of being somewhere else in space and time.

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?

A great deal, I think. I doubt any writer can express the character’s emotions without drawing on their own experience.

As an actress, I learned how to use what Stanislavski called Emotion Memory, and as a writer I think that’s what you do too. You won’t have had exactly the same experience, but something in your life will relate enough to that feeling to be able to imagine how the character would feel and react. Also I think my ethical and moral thinking necessarily creeps into the thinking of my heroes and heroines. Their sense of right and wrong is bound to be mine, and the villains will be operating against that sense. Similarly, my personality colours my thinking and will colour that of my characters too. I don’t see how this can be avoided, and I also think it informs the writer’s unique voice.

How many books have you written, and how many of those have been published?

I’ve lost count of how many I’ve written, but I think it’s around 35. I’ve had 25 original titles published, which is small fry to some authors I know who are well on the way to double that and more.

Please share about your book 

An Angel’s Touch is a sweet story in the style of beauty and the beast, where Verity’s freely expressed criticisms drag a brooding reclusive marquis back into the world to learn to live and love again.

If you could sum your main character into five words, what would they be?

Outspoken, generous, warmhearted, over-imaginative, courageous

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

If you enjoy your historical romance with a touch of humour and a feel for the real period, then I’d love to invite you to travel there with me.

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