Thank you for joining us today to chat with Nicola Cornick, Regency romance author from the UK. We are both pleased that you stopped in with so many other sites out there loaded with information. We’re on location in the parlour at a local English castle and glad you joined us dressed in the Regency period gowns. You all look fabulous! Please help yourself to refreshments, chocolate covered strawberries and the champagne fountain is bottomless!
Nicola: First of all, thank you very much indeed for inviting me to your blog! I am very excited to be here!
Deanna: Nicola, I love anything English and love the historical romances so I'm delighted you're here...and your accent is fun to listen to. Tell us a bit about yourself that our readers might not know.
Nicola: Something about me that readers might not know… Well, one of my passions is traveling particularly if I discover places I might use as settings for my books. I have driven myself across Africa and Central America, I’ve climbed a volcano in Iceland and I’ve encountered polar bears in the Arctic!
Deanna: I didn’t know you’d done all that! How exciting, that’s a lot of travel and adventure for sure. What's all the commotion about? Someone new has joined our party! Oh my, he is sure to keep the ladies company today!
Nicola: That's Alex, the hero from my next novel. He said he might stop by today. He's absolutely charming in his Navy uniform and looking a bit unshaven I'm afraid.
Deanna: That doesn't seem to matter in the least!
Nicola: (holding up her fan and leaning toward Deanna) He's been travelling across country from the coast for several days. He looks a bit rough and ready to be in a lady's parlour since wrestling polar bears is more his thing. But he's frightfully charming so he will soon soothe the ruffled sensibilities that his unexpected arrival has caused. Plus he's Scottish so they will love his accent!
Deanna: He's on his way over here, Nicola. Now yes, he is definitely easy on the eyes.
Alex: Nicola, how nice to see you here. I said I'd stop by when I arrived and I came straight to your party. I do hope that is agreeable. May I say, you do look ravishing today!
Nicola: Alex, you are a charmer. I'm glad you stopped in. They all wanted to meet you. This is Deanna.
Alex: My pleasure to meet you. I don't wish to interfere in the interview so I'll wait at the refreshment table until you finish. As I promised, I'll stay and chat with all of you later. Deanna...(Alex nodded before heading to take refreshments)
Deanna: (fluttering my fan) He IS a distraction. How'd you get any writing done? Oh my! Now where were we? Sorry ladies, you can chat with him shortly, we promise! Nicola, did something happen that made you want to become a writer?
Nicola: I became a writer by accident really. It was never a conscious decision and gradually my hobby took over from my day job. I was an only child and read a lot and also I was an observer. I love people watching. Characters fascinate me. And like so many other people I have had my share of difficult emotional experiences to cope with in life, which I find myself drawing on to give depth to characters and situations.
Deanna: Do you write under a pen name?
Nicola: No. Right from the start I used my own name.
Nicola: Ooh, interesting question! I like that. I do find that I tend to gravitate towards writing very honourable heroes, probably because I admire men with the qualities of strength and courage and integrity. My editor frequently tells me my heroes are too nice and I have to go back and give them more edge. Generally, though, I enjoy exploring all sorts of different characters in my writing.
Deanna: Do you read in the same genre that you write in?
Nicola: Yes! There are a lot of Regency historical authors that I enjoy reading very much. I never read their books when I’m writing though. I read them as treats when I have finished a manuscript! When I’m writing I read historical biography (at the moment I’m reading about Bess of Hardwick, the second most powerful woman in Elizabethan England). I also enjoy historical fiction, crime novels and thrillers.
Deanna: Bess was indeed an interesting woman. Why did you choose to write in the Regency genre? What was the draw for you?
Nicola: I love the Regency period because it was a time of huge changes and contrasts, with all the glamour and squalor of the Georgian period merging into an age of massive change in politics, arts and technology. You have the high society and the underworld and all shades of people and backgrounds between. So much to explore as a writer!
Deanna: What do you believe are the most important ingredients in a historical romance novel?
Nicola: I think that the relationship between the hero and heroine needs to be really strong. They must be people with compelling backgrounds and pasts. I like the story to be set against an interesting historical background as well. Authentic historical detail is important to me as are humour and adventure, and I enjoy novels that explore the less familiar aspects of a period.
Deanna: Which aspect of your research do you enjoy the most?
Nicola: I love traveling to places like Scotland for my research. That’s no hardship! I absolutely love visiting country houses and historic sites and draw on them heavily for inspiration. To be honest, I like everything about historical research, from visiting costume museums to trying my hand at driving a carriage!
Deanna: Do you listen to music when you write?
Nicola: I don’t actually listen to anything when I write because I can’t work well with noise around me, but for each book I have a song or series of songs that sum up for me the theme of the book or the characters. I often post about this on my blog and website.
Deanna: I know you’re on FaceBook and you have a newsletter they can sign up for on your website. Where else can readers find you and your books?
Nicola: My website is at www.nicolacornick.co.uk and my blog, where I chat about history and writing is www.apassionforhistory.blogspot.com I also blog with the Word Wenches at www.wordwenches.com and I love nothing more than chatting with readers about books, writing, history, and anything else we like!
Deanna: Thank you so much for allowing us an insight to you as an author. I love introducing authors to readers who may not have read you yet. We get quite a few comments telling us they’re glad they found another new author!
Nicola is doing a giveaway on Saturday and will pull the winner from those who leave a comment here. The winner will receive a signed set of the Brides of Fortune trilogy. The rules are listed below and please feel free to ask Nicola a question or two, she’ll be around Thursday and Friday to chat with you! Oh, don't forget Alex is around here somewhere also!
Contest Comment Rules: Tell us in your comment here which book won the 2009 Cover Cafe Contest? (Hint, visit her website, in a new window, for the answer then come back here) Be sure to leave your email addy so Nicola can contact the winner.