The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Welcome Regency romance author, Elizabeth Bailey...

 Hi, Elizabeth! It's great to welcome you to my blog - I'm looking forward to catching up and learning more about your latest release. Let's kick off with my questions...

1)   What is the best and worse thing you have learned from an editor/agent?

The best is that I’m not necessarily my own best editor. Working with editors in a good publishing house makes you see your work with different eyes. Though editors are not always right, I’ve learned that if they have pointed something out, it needs attention, whether or not you agree with what they say. It stood out to them and might to the reader. So I will find a change that works for both of us.

The worst thing comes from agents. Because they love your book, it doesn’t mean they are going to be able to sell it! I’ve had that lift and drop too many times not to become skeptical. Acceptance from anyone is a big plus. But agents are the gate-keepers, not the buyers. They can only put the book in front of editors, they can’t make them like it.

2)   What is your typical day?

It’s changed from what is used to be. Afternoons was my best time. Now I write much better first thing in the morning. After I wake up, I do my lying in bed exercises – really! – and then get a cup of tea. While I drink tea, I read my Writing Magazine. Then I pick up my Alphasmart and write whatever the wip is for an hour or so. I aim to get anything from 500 to 1500 words written. On a rare day it’s 2000. But writing every day, I can knock out the first draft of a 70K book in a couple of months.

After that, it’s bath, breakfast, then to the PC to deal with emails – gazillions usually! – facebook and twitter. Lunch and whatever is on the menu for the afternoon if it’s not life outside the house – like visiting my mum in a home or a meeting. This might encompass editing, promotion, assessing someone else’s work, getting books ready to publish, research, deciding on cover images and all the rest of the plethora of tasks the indie author faces.

I’m pretty well done up by 5.30 when I go off to make a meal and watch an old CSI series on TV.  After 7 I’m back on the PC and frankly faffing about doing whatever takes my fancy. Then it’s off to bed and my reading time for an hour or so before going to sleep.

It works well because the writing is done for the day and I’m free to tackle everything else!

3)   What do you read while in the midst of a project? Or don’t you?

I read all the time. I’m eclectic. I read mysteries, crime, dystopian end of the world stuff, sci-fi sometimes, literary fiction, oddball books that happen to catch my eye, and of course romance every now and then. I don’t tend to read much Regency while I’m writing one, so I suppose that counts as avoiding my own genre. But now I’m writing every day – even Christmas and Boxing Day! – I can’t make that a rule or I’d never read anything romantic.

4)    What do you do with a paperback once you’ve read it?
Keep it if I love it. Pass it on sometimes, or give it to a charity shop. Mostly now I read on Kindle so it rarely becomes a problem. I do have some keepers on my shelves like the Harry Potter series and some Pratchetts, Heyers and PG Wodehouse, all favourites.

5)    Are you nervous about friends reading your book?
Not any more. Used to be, but I’m over that by now. But whenever a friend tells me they enjoyed a book of mine, I have to rush to the book and check it out just to find out what they could possibly have liked about it.

6)    What things inspire you to write? Location, music, film or even in a book?
That’s an interesting one. All kinds of things can trigger an idea. Recently it was a song. Dreams have done it for me. Places, yes, sometimes. I wrote one story that came to me when I caught sight of a signpost that read “Chiddingly Stud” – that ended up as Just Deserts. Newspaper articles, bits of documentaries. One about love children inspired A Lady in Name. An image of two real people in a certain pose can start something. I think writers see stories everywhere. I certainly do.

7)   Share your blurb or short excerpt from your latest release with us

This is from A Chance Gone By which has just come out in the Valentine Kisses – Regency Romantics anthology I share with four other Regency authors:

“Forgive me, dear Grace, but it truly was not my fault.”
The light, caressing tones jerked Marianne’s pulse into high gear and she had all to do to remain standing. Her legs turned to jelly and she had to grip her fingers together to stop their trembling. He was here. He had come at last.
“An unfortunate accident just as we were setting out, and my poor Selina was obliged to change her dress. You are acquainted with Lady Selina, of course, ma’am.”
Marianne heard Grace’s reply through a haze as she took in the radiant vision at Justin’s side. Lush dark curling locks, a creamy complexion, sweeping lashes over eyes as blue as the sky and the face of a fairy princess. How could she possibly compete?

8)    What’s next for you?

I’m going to be releasing my new series of Regency romances based around the Cinderella theme, of which A Chance Gone By is the second.  The first is in pre-publishing preparation as a single book having started life in the Christmas anthology.  I’ve already written the one for next Christmas and am currently writing the Summer story.

I’ll also be releasing a series of short stories, the first of which Out of the Desert Sands – a Sheikh adventure – is already out on Kindle.

More info on my books can be found at my website and I am always delighted to chat on Twitter and Facebook, and you’ll find reviews of books I’ve read on Goodreads.



My free book Mademoiselle at Arms offers a taster:

Threatened with a pistol by the young lady discovered in a deserted mansion, Major Gerald Alderley is intrigued. Who is the beautiful intruder? Why does she disguise herself as a nun? Her accent is French, yet Mademoiselle insists she is English.
Set on unravelling the mystery, Gerald begins a relentless pursuit - to the indignation of Mademoiselle. With her life in danger from the villainous Valade, Gerald has his work cut out. Because Mademoiselle, engaged in a desperate battle to prove her identity, believes she is well able to take care of herself and is determined not to be rescued.

Also available on Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes & Noble (Nook),  iTunes and Google Play for those who don’t use Kindle.


I grew up in Africa on a diet of unconventional parents, theatre and Georgette Heyer. Eventually I went into acting and trod the boards in England until the writing bug got me, when I changed to teaching and directing while penning historical romances and edgy women’s fiction. My 8 year apprenticeship ended with publication by Mills & Boon, and 18 historicals. Latterly I had two historical mysteries published by Berkley and I’m hoping to release more Lady Fan novels. Meanwhile, it’s wonderful to be able to return to my first love and put out new and old releases in ebook.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for having me, Rachel! Enjoyed your questions very much.