Interview with Regency Romance Author Abby Gaines

Naomi Rawlings here today, and I’ve got a special guest to introduce: Abby Gaines, author of the newly released novel The Governess and Mr. Granville. I’m especially excited to host Abby here today, because she writes for the same publisher that I write for, Love Inspired Historical.

Abby has graciously agreed to giveaway one copy of her novel to someone who reads the interview and then leaves a comment below. The contest will end Saturday at midnight and is open only to U.S. residents. Here’s a bit about Abby:

I handwrote my first romance novel at age 17. Disillusioned by my first rejection, I gave it up for about 20 years! Obviously I developed a thicker skin over that time, because when I started again, I weathered numerous rejections before selling my first book to Harlequin Superromance in 2006. Since then, I’ve written 20 books across Harlequin’s Superromance, NASCAR and Love Inspired Historical lines.

1.    What drew you to write during the Regency Time Period?
Like many others, I fell in love with the Regency through the works of Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen. Although men and women had very different, clearly defined roles, when it came to clever, witty dialogue, they could be equals, and each could use the strengths of their gender to befuddle the other!

2.    Tell us what year your book is set in and why you chose that particular time.  
It’s set in 1816. Not for any particularly good reason – when I wrote my first Regency, I found a picture of a young woman who looked just how I imagined my heroine, and it was dated 1816. Since then, that time period has turned out be quite interesting. It was after the wars with Napoleon, and in a time where some well-known artists and writers, like Turner and Keats, were coming into their own. Not to mention new inventions coming out. Those things provide interesting background and sometimes drive the story in a new direction.

3.    What’s your favorite, unique Regency aspect of the novel, something you wouldn’t be able to include in a novel set in another place or time?
My heroine has a secret engagement in her past. When I first started writing the book, I knew that was a scandalous thing, but I didn’t understand why. In my research, I discovered how financially risky that would have been for her if the match had gone ahead, and how it would have damaged public perception of her beloved father. Her guilt over that past event isn’t just about breaking a convention – she could have lost everything.

4.    What are the biggest challenges to writing in the Regency Period?
No challenges with the period itself, but the need to check just about every word’s date of origin and early meaning in the Oxford English Dictionary is time-consuming!

5.    Who is your favorite Regency Author?
Georgette Heyer. And right now, Sylvester is my favorite book of hers.

6.    What is your favorite Regency Food, aspect of dress, and/or expression?
Those muslin dresses are hard to beat! So flattering to both the bust and the waist – bring back the empire-line dress!

7.    What is your favorite Regency setting; e.g., London, country house, small village?
I prefer London settings as a reader and a writer. Partly because I know London well, having lived there for several years, and it’s such a buzz seeing familiar streets and landmarks transported back in time. But also the dynamism of the city appeals. I do like Bath settings, too.

8. What makes your hero and heroine uniquely Regency?
She’s a governess and a parson’s daughter – impoverished but of noble lineage. That puts her in a difficult situation with regard to finding a husband. He’s a traditional dad, trying to do his best for his family, convinced he can marry without love and have it all work out fine. Naturally, he learns otherwise!

9. Tell us more about your novel.Dominic Granville needs a wife—whether he wants one or not! And governess Serena Somerton intends to find one for him. A marriage of convenience would provide the wealthy widower’s five children with a mother’s tender care. And yet none of Dominic’s prospective brides can meet Serena’s increasingly high standards.

Dominic can’t imagine why his sister hired such an unconventional, outspoken governess. Yet Miss Somerton’s quirks can’t curb his growing interest in this spirited young woman. His imperfect governess could be his ideal wife…

*****

Thanks so much for interviewing with us today, Abby. It’s always fun to see what draws various authors to the Regency Period. And can I admit that any and every European set governess story always reminds me of the Sound of Music? For those of you interested in the giveaway, please remember to leave a comment below. And if you’re interested in learning more about Abby and her other novels, please visit www.abbygaines.com.

 




Episode II of The Bargain