Soooo, because I rambled so much at the actual Blue Willow event I got through even fewer questions than I usually get through. In light of this, I decided to … well, answer them as best I could, since it felt unfair to me to ask readers to take time out of their lives to ask me questions for me to then, y’know, not answer those questions. It’s pretty long so please find timestamps below so you can skip around as suits you.
0.00 – Random intro
1:00 – Frances
Have you ever had difficulty selling concepts to agents, publishers, etc. due to criticism like “there are an unrealistic amount of queer characters” or “having queer characters in this setting is anachronistic”? It’s a difficulty I’m facing in my own career right now, and I’d love to figure out how to tackle it.
8:20 – Amira
In the discussion questions at the end of the book you raised the fact that some readers challenge the historicity or believability of happy endings for queer characters in historical romance. In interviews, you’ve mentioned that you follow publishing trends to make your work more likely to find a publisher. My question is, firstly, whether you ever feel constrained by this need to take account of trends, and secondly, to what extent authors and readers can set as well as follow trends. It seems unfortunate that historic romance is still so focused on dukes and working class characters, if present at all, are marginal figures. In the interests of redressing the balance, could we start a fishwife subgenre with a novel about two fishwives from Pittenweem or something? I’m only slightly joking about the fishwives.
20.45 – Brina
You write in several genres— do you have a favorite? And what do you love most about that genre?
To your readers delight, you’ve had a prolific few years as of late. Congratulations! Curious, do you write one book at a time or do you usually have several going at once? If it’s the latter, do you find it difficult to switch between each “universe”?
23:57 – S
Why did you pick de Vere as Gracewood’s last name? Was it a nod to the 17th Earl of Oxford?
What is Kate Kanes favorite non alcholic drink?
27:54 – Alicia
If you only had one pair of nordic socks to share, which of all your fictional characters would you choose to give them to?
28:51 – Dobbs
1. Do you find it easier to write historicals or contemporaries? (I’m thinking mostly with regards to research and such)
2. What is your favourite type and flavour of biscuit?
30.35 – Monika
1) This is such a unique story about Waterloo and Viola faking her death to live her true self while leaving her best friend behind. What gave you the idea to write a regency romance with a Trans heroine?
2) You don’t use any modern day identity labels in the book because they didn’t exist in 1818. Was it challenging or liberating to write in language that didn’t include words like trans, queer, bi, PTSD, etc?
3) Which character in ALFAD was the most fun to write and why?
36.10 – Quimey
Where did the inspiration for writing this book come from?
37:50 – Lynsey
What was your inspiration for this book? Do you have the characters in mind before you begin developing the story?
38:44 – Becs
A few characters from your books are writers and they always have intriguing and enticing works mentioned. Are you ever tempted and/or distracted to draft these imaginary works? For example: Ardy’s Milieu articles (the Ellery rave article?); Ash Winters’ Rick Glass books?; Bridget’s publishing house books?
41:03 – Monika / Leo
Would Gracewood & Viola ever run into Valentine & Bonny, and where would that be?
41:55 – Hannah
You referenced The Castle of Otranto in your book, have you watched the 1977 short film of Castle of Otranto?
42.06 – Amanda
Which book(s) of yours have you most enjoyed writing?
42.58 – Ina
What are some of the first things you do when transitioning from coming up with a story idea to writing a first draft? Do you find that your writing process differs across genres (historical romance, contemporary, fantasy, etc.)?
44.29 – Quimey
Were there any quotes (or passages) that stood out to you from the book? If so, which ones?
45:52 – Nicole
I love all variations of your sexy grumps and manic pixies! If you had to assign yourself a percentage of pixie v. grump, what would the breakdown be?
46:27 – Melinda
Is there a trope you’d like to explore that you haven’t already?
47:50 – Aliza
I love the level of descriptive detail you put into Viola’s wardrobe – was there specific inspiration behind the clothes/accessories you wrote for her?
50.04 – Quimey
Why have you decided to make A lady for a duke a historical fiction?
51:28 – Isobel
Important question, given the platty jubes (as apparently the kids are calling it), scones: jam first or cream first?
51:54 – Aster
Are there other genres you would enjoy writing in future that you haven’t had the chance to try out yet?
52:58 – Kathleen
If you were going to a regency costume party, which monster would you be dressed as? Why? (shamelessly taken from the book discussion questions)
54:30 – Hannah
When researching this book, were you able to find some historical examples of people who were able to live as their true gender in the Regency era?
56:35 – Jackie
Can you talk about historical anachronisms? And what anachronisms were due to genre expectations (ie., the protagonist being a duke when very few aristocrats fought in the war), and which were due to your goals for writing a book with a trans heroine where being trans was not the source of conflict? Sorry, I meant men with titles, not aristocrats; younger sons did fight…
1:10:41 – Laura
Who are some of your favorite authors? Who do you find funny?
1:12:58 – Deborah
I love the epilogue and want to live there. Can you talk about your process in crafting this HEA? POV choice?
1:18:52 – Bess
On the historical romance genre side, what were some of the things that you found were important beats to create the sort of story you had in mind? Like, at the outset did you know the story would absolutely require, say, a midnight rescue or ballroom scene or intimate moment in a garden, etc?
1:23:11 – Juli
Who are your favorite histrom authors?