Saturday, January 7, 2012

Say hello to Rosemary Morris

1: Thank you so much for being here, Rosemary. First up is the obligatory question. When did you first begin writing?

When I was a child.

2:That seems to be when most of us began. So, what inspired you to write?

Reading and my interest in history.

3: Ah, yes our love of reading. Tell us, what do you like the most and least about writing?

I most enjoy the anticipation of the journey ahead when I begin a novel.

I regret that there are never enough hours in the day to devote to writing.

4: Oh to have more time. Seems to be a consensus with authors. And, what do you for fun and relaxation when not writing?

Spending time with my family and friends. Reading fiction and researching my novels. Growing herbs, fruit and vegetables throughout the year in my organic garden. Visiting places of historical interest. Arts and crafts, knitting, embroidery, patchwork etc.
5: We seems to have some of the same interests. Tell us, which authors do you like to read? A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s translations of classical Indian literature such as the Bhagahavadgita. Translations of the Indian classics such as The Ramayan and Mahabharat. Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, Sir Walter Scot – particularly Ivanho, Elizabeth Chadwick, Georgette Heyer, Helen Hollick, M.M.Kaye, Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind, Rosalind Miles, Colleen McCullogh’s Thorn Bids and too many others to list.
6: Wow, that’s some deep reading. What’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?

I try to treat others as I would like them to treat me.

7: Tell us about your current novel, where we can find it and your website/blog.

Historical Background to Tangled Love. When the outwardly Protestant Charles II died, he left a country torn by religious controversy and not legitimate children. The throne passed to his Catholic brother James.

It was an anxious time for the people, whose fears increased when James II became to unpopular that he was forced into exile. In 1688,Jame’s Protestant daughter, Mary and her husband, William of Orange, became the new king and queen.

Some Protestants, who had sworn allegiance to James II, refused to take a new oath of allegiance to William and Mary and joined him in France.

Tangled Love Loyal to his oath of allegiance, ten year old Richelda’s father must follow James II to France.

Before her father leaves, he gives her a ruby ring she will treasure and wear on a chain round her neck. In return Richelda swears an oath to try and regain their ancestral home, Field House.

By the age of eighteen Richelda’s parents are dead. Grief-stricken she believes her privileged life is over. At home her only companions are her old nurse and her dog. Clad in old clothes she dreams of elegant dresses and trusts her childhood friend Dudley, a poor parson’s son, who promised to marry her.

Richelda’s wealthy aunt takes her to London and arranges her marriage to Viscount Chesney, the new owner of Field House. Richelda is torn between her love for Dudley and her oath to regain Field House, where it is rumored there is treasure. While trying to find it will her life be at risk or will she find true love?

Forthcoming releases from MuseItUp Available from MuseItUp… Amazon Kindle and elsewhere.

Tangled Love January 2012
Sunday's Child June 2012
False Pretences October 2012

8: Wow, sounds like you did a lot of research for this one.Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

However busy you are set aside time to write. If you write half a page every day you will finish a novel in a year. Join off or on line writer’s groups where you can mix with other writers, receive encouragement and encourage others.

9: Do you base your characters on real-life people?

Some historical figures feature in my historical novels but I do not base my characters on real-life people.

10: Where do you get your ideas and what inspired you to write this book?

I am inspired by incidents small and large in history. This novel was inspired by the turmoil created by James II. I asked myself: What if a young girl suffered as a result and wrote Tangled Love.

11: What are you currently working on?

I am revising two novels, one set in Queen Anne’s reign and the other in Edward II’s reign. I am also writing a new novel set in Charles II’nds reign.

12. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

I am grateful for my many blessings.



Richelda Shaw stood silent in her nursery while thunder pealed outside the ancient manor house and an even fiercer storm raged deep within. She pressed her hands to her ears and, eyes closed, remained as motionless as the marble statues in the orangery.

‘Nine years old and you’ve not yet learned to be neat!’ Elsie, her mother’s personal maid, pulled Richelda’s hands from her ears. ‘Come, your father’s waiting for you.’

Richelda’s hands trembled. What was wrong? Until now Father’s short visits from France meant gifts and laughter. This one made Mother cry while the servants spoke in hushed tones.

Followed by Elsie, Richelda hurried down the broad oak stairs. For a moment, she paused to admire the lilies of the valley in a Delft bowl. Only yesterday, she picked the flowers to welcome Father home. After she had arranged them with tender care, she placed them on a chest, which stood beneath a pair of crossed broadswords on the wall above.

Elsie opened the massive door of the great hall where Father stood to one side of the enormous hearth. Richelda’s eyes searched for her mother before she spread her skirts wide and knelt before him.

Father strode forward and placed his right hand on her bent head. ‘Bless you, daughter, may God keep you safe.’ He smiled. ‘Upon my word, sweetheart, I vow the colour of your hair reminds me of a golden rose. How glad I am to see roses bloom in these troubled times.’

Richelda chewed her lower lip again. She did not know him well and dared not speak. Therefore, when he sat and beckoned to her, she hesitated.

Putting an arm round her waist, he drew her to him. ‘Come, do not be nervous of your father, child. Now, my daughter, do you know King James II now holds court in France and that his daughter, Mary, and William, his son-in-law, seized his throne?’

‘Yes, Mother told me we are well rid of King James and his Papist wife,’ she piped up, proud of her knowledge.

With a sigh, Father lifted her onto his knees and held her close. ‘Richelda, I must follow His Majesty for I swore an oath of allegiance to him. Tell me, Richelda, while the king lives how can I with honor swear allegiance to his disloyal daughter and her husband?’

Unable to think of a reply, she lowered her head.

Father held her closer. ‘Your mother pleads with me to declare myself for William and Mary and begs me not to return to France, but I am obliged to serve King James. Do you understand, Richelda?’

She nodded. Her cheek brushed against the softness of his velvet coat and she breathed in his spicy perfume.

‘If you remain in England, you will be safe. Bellemont is part of your mother’s dowry and I doubt the Crown will confiscate her estate.’

If she remained in England! Startled, she stared at him.

Smiling, he popped her onto her feet and stood. ‘Come, we shall ride. I have something to show you.’

Before long, they rode away from the house and estate. They drew rein on the brow of a hill. At its foot lay Field House, their ancestral home seized by the Roundheads soon after poor King Charles I execution.

He pointed at the Elizabethan manor house. ‘Richelda, I promised my father to do all in my power to regain the property.’ Grey-faced, he pressed his hand to his chest. ‘Alas, so far I failed to keep my oath and now I cannot,’ he wheezed.

Richelda yearned to help him keep his promise to her grandfather. She also yearned to find the gold and jewels legend said her buccaneer ancestor, Sir Nicholas, hid.

After her father breathed easy, she ventured. ‘If we found the treasure trove you could buy Field House.’

‘Ah,’ he teased, ‘You believe Sir Nicholas did not give all his plunder to Good Queen Bess.’

‘Elsie told me legend says he hid some of his booty in Field House,’ Richelda said, excited by the thought of pearls and rubies, diamonds and emeralds, gold and silver bars and coins. Less shy of him, she asked. ‘In his old age, when Sir Nicholas retired from seafaring, did he put his ship’s…’ she broke off for a moment in an attempt to remember the word and continued triumphantly, ‘…his ship’s figurehead, Lady Luck, in the great hall?’

‘Yes, for all I know she is still above a mighty fireplace carved with pomegranates, our family’s device.’

‘I want to find the treasure.’

He chuckled and wheeled his thoroughbred mare round. ‘Come, time to ride back to Bellemont.’

‘Do you know our family motto, Richelda?’

‘Fortune favours the brave.’

‘Are you brave, my little lady? Will you swear on the Bible to do all in your power to regain Field House?’

To please him, she nodded.

Forthcoming releases from MuseItUp
Tangled Love January 2012
Sunday's Child June 2012
False Pretences October 2012


Laurie said...

very interesting interview and loved the excerpt!! I just can't imagine the research you must put into this.
Thanks so much for sharing!

gail roughton branan said...

I love history and had a special fascination with the Stewarts. I always thought it so ironic that Charles II had so many children in fact (just not legitimate) but no heir other than his brother. And always rather admired him in that he wouldn't divorce Catherine of Braganza (excuse if misspelled) because she couldn't carry a healthy child. She miscarried or had stillbirths over and over again as I recall.

Looking forward to reading!

Karen Cote said...

Fascinating...and loved the excerpt. Congrats on taking on such a task. The research had to be extensive yet you appear to have managed it with ease. I also appreciate the advice of at least writing a half page a day. Great guidance for writers and puts the dream of submission well within the grasp of an aspiring author.

Ginger Simpson said...

I'm so happy that we share a publisher. Rosemary and I met in an historical critique group, so I was privy to her work long before she came to Muse It Up. I always considered English history to be dull, but Rosemary has a delightful way of making it come alive and sparkle with reality that keeps you turning pages. She's become a good friend, even though miles separate us, we've managed to stay in touch.

I look forward to more of her exciting work.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Interesting interview. This is a time period that interests me so I will check out this book.

Liz Flaherty said...

Interesting excerpt!

Pat McDermott said...

Vibrant excerpt, Rosemary. Richelda has quite a challenge before her. How wonderful that you've turned your love of history into such intriguing stories!

Wendy said...

Congratulations on your Muse contracts Rosemary. We were crit partners and sister authors way back when. Now we have found a good home for our treasures. Thank you for doing the thorough research to entertain and enlighten your readers (including me). I love the English royal histories and look forward to reliving their stories through your novels.

Michelle said...

Congratulations on your novels. The excerpt was great; I love historical settings.

I agree with you. I love the beginning of a new story, seeing where our characters will take us and what kind of situations they find themselves in. It's an exciting part of writing.

Author of Concilium, available July 2012
Concilium: The Departure, November 2012