The Regency is my passion. I find it an endlessly fascinating era full of contrast and change, danger and elegance, luxury and squalor. Women had freedoms that would shock their Victorian granddaughters, yet lived within social codes that both intrigue and appal us now. Men in Society could win fortunes at the turn of a card and lose their lives in the hazard of a duel all in the space of twenty four hours. It is all so different, with the glamour of the past gilding it – and yet the characters seem to reach out and touch us now.
I live in England in a village on the North Norfolk coast with my husband. He is not sure whether to be flattered or alarmed to be told he is the inspiration for all my romantic heroes! However, he does enjoy all my research trips, whether abroad, exploring the streets of London with 1808 guidebook in hand, or our latest project, tracing the iconic coaching routes.
My resolution every time I start on a new plot is to plan it carefully, make copious notes first and write lots of drafts in a disciplined and orderly manner. What inevitably happens is that the story starts to write itself in my head until it gets completely out of control – meanwhile my study floor becomes a sea of open books, prints and maps and I am found sitting in the car at traffic lights, muttering dialogue. At that point I have to start writing, knowing full well that the hero and heroine are going to take over and sabotage all my attempts at discipline. It is, after all, their story.
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