Hi Louise and welcome to my blog! As a fan of your books, I am thrilled to have you here today - wishing you many sales and much success with your latest release, THE UNEXPECTED MARRIAGE OF GABRIEL STONE. Let's start off with my questions...
1.) What did you want to be when you grew up?
A vet or a solicitor – a strange combination, I know. But my real passion for books won and I became a librarian – and wanting to write emerged from watching other people’s passion for reading.
2.) Coffee, tea or hot chocolate?
Tea and lots of it (Assam). Hot chocolate on rare occasions or when I’m in Paris.
3.) What genre do you typically read? Why?
Historical novels, historical romance, historical crime (you may notice a common thread there…), Gold Age crime and the lovely Terry Pratchett.
Historical because that’s where my heart is. Romance because I adore a good love story and crime because I enjoy puzzles. Strangely, although I enjoy Scandi Noir on TV I don’t like hard-edged, gruesome crime in print.
4.) Share a favourite childhood memory.
Standing on the beach at Duckpool on the North Devon coast. I had just been given a lemon drop sweet by a boy I had a crush on (I was, I think, 12. He was older and tall and blond... I’ve always loved that stretch of coastline and it features in my recent novel The Many Sins of Cris de Feaux. Come to think of it, so does he, grown up.)
5.) Do you have any shameless addictions? ie. Tea, Books, Shoes, Clothes?
Books. Thank goodness for ebooks Although I have an entire studio in the garden devoted to my library it has reached the one-in-one-out stage. If I have to part with a novel I much enjoyed then I’ll get it in ebook. Real treasures, of course, have to stay – my early hardback Heyer’s for one. Non-fiction I always buy in paper or hardback.
And late Georgian/Regency ephemera – prints, magazines, books – I can’t resist that.
6.) What do you think is the biggest challenge of writing a new book?
Turning that opening scene and the characters that are so vivid in my imagination into a full-length story with legs. I’m not a plotter, so I have to learn my characters as I write and the story emerges from those characters. But there is a constant panic that I don’t know where I am going until at least three quarters of the way through.
7.) Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages a day?
I know the length of novel I am aiming at and I know how many days I have free to write between start and deadline. I divide one into the other and that’s the target for day 1 – but I try to write more, even if it is only a few words more. Day 2 I repeat the exercise. In theory the daily target gets smaller and if I write over that each time then the book will reach its end with at least a week to spare for revisions, although I do revise as I write – at halfway and three quarters.
8.) What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
I love writing series (and reading them) but I enjoy creating ones where the characters are linked and will appear now and again in each other’s stories like my recent Lords of Disgrace quartet. With this kind of series they can be read in any order. I have worked on one (the Silk & Scandal series) with a number of other authors where there was an underlying mystery running right through, although each novel also stood alone. That can be confusing for readers if they don’t immediately realise that there is a beginning and end to the series, although it is enormous fun to work out for the authors!
Blurb for The Unexpected Marriage of Gabriel Stone (The Lords of Disgrace quartet)
Gabriel Stone, Earl of Edenbridge, hides dark secrets under the mask of the gamester and rake who cares for nothing and no-body. No-one gets close to the real man and that includes the younger brothers he has risked all to protect from abuse – it certainly includes innocent young ladies. Until Lady Caroline Holm makes him an outrageous offer – her virtue for the deeds to her young brother’s estates that her father has gambled away.
Gabriel is tempted. Very tempted. But he knows all about making sacrifices for brothers and somewhere, deep inside, he cannot quite bring himself to demand that she fulfil her part in the bargain.
He shrugs aside the unexpected sensation of doing something selfless for once until his newly stirred conscience leads him into one unexpected situation after another. Thanks to Caroline the sophisticated rakehell finds himself in turns an unshaven hermit, an eloping lover and, strangest of all – a husband.
But under it all there lurk the dark secrets of his past, dragged into the light by a man bent on revenge – and they could cost him his life. And his love.
Louise Allen lives on the North Norfolk coast with her husband when she isn’t travelling in search of inspiration for settings for novels. She has written over 50 historical romances for Harlequin Mills & Boon and a number of historical non-fiction titles for Shire in addition to indie fiction and non-fiction titles.
Her particular passion is for the late Georgian and Regency period and she blogs about it at http://janeaustenslondon.com
Read more about Louise Allen and her books and research at www.louiseallenregency.com
and join her on Twitter @LouiseRegency