AUTHOR: Rosemary Morris
BOOK TITLE: Far Beyond Rubies
GENRE: Historical Fiction (Romantic)
PUBLISHER: MuseItUp Publishing
BUY LINK: https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/ind
Barnes and Noble, Bookstrand Mainstream, Sony e-Reader Store, Smashwords and elsewhere.
Penny, first of all, thank you very much inviting me to be your guest.
Please tell us about yourself.
I live in Hertfordshire, S. East England, with easy access to London as well as the countryside with delightful villages near my house. I enjoy reading Historical Fiction and non-fiction. I also enjoy visiting places of historical interest such as Hatfield House, where Queen Elizabeth I received the news that she had ascended to the throne. I am fortunate because I can visit museums, libraries and other places of historical interest in London. Recently a friend and I went to see the British Library’s fascinating exhibition, The Georgians at Home.
I am an enthusiastic organic gardener and get great satisfaction from growing herbs, fruit and vegetables. As I’m an equally enthusiastic vegetarian cook, I put my home grown produce to good use. While I garden, I imagine people tending gardens large and small in times past. Time spent sowing seeds, weeding etc., provides time for me to think about the novel I am writing, asking myself how, what, when, where, who and what if? I also consider these questions when, if I have any spare time, I knit and sew.
However, as enjoyable as all my activities are time spent with my family and friends is the most important.
Please tell us your latest news.
I’m delighted by the publication of my novel Far Beyond Rubies which is set in Queen Anne Stuart’s reign – 1702-1714. The quixotic hero returns to England from India much influenced by his experiences in that exotic continent. The heroine is determined to prove she and her sister are not illegitimate, and to claim Riverside, a great estate her father promised to leave to her in his will.
Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
I am a full time writer, I wake at 6 a.m. and work until 10 or 11 a.m. with a break for breakfast. After lunch, if I am at home, I check my e-mails or post to my blogs, Facebook and elsewhere for about an hour. I then read fiction or make notes on non-fiction pertinent to the novel I am writing. For example, yesterday, I researched the nicknames of British regiments at the time of the Battle of Waterloo – fascinating! - to name only three, there were The Cherry Pickers, The Lilywhites and The Die Hards. For my new novel, Monday’s Child I invented the nickname, The Glory Boys whose motto is On to Glory.
If I am not going out, I work from approximately 4 or 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
When and why did you begin writing?
From the time I was a small child when my mother read me a bed time story, and my maternal grandfather sat me on his knee and told me wonderful tales, I made up my own stories. At school I was frequently scolded for day-dreaming while in my opinion putting my imagination to good use, instead of concentrating on arithmetic which bored me. The oak tree I could see out of the window could have been a prince cursed by a witch. As soon as I could write I scribbled my tales full of princes and princesses, fairy godmothers and dragons etc.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My favourite subjects at primary school and secondary school were history and geography. I particularly liked children’s novels which swept me into places very different from suburban England in which I still live. The Wide Wide World, The Jungle Book and Heidi were favourites. When I was fourteen or fifteen our next door neighbour subscribed to a book club and shared my love of historical fiction. After reading Georgette Heyer’s novels amongst others I began writing historical fiction.
Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?
My publisher is MuseItUp Publishing. A friend recommended it to me. As it is said, the rest is history. Since my first submission MuseItUp Publishing have published four of my novels
How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?
You can find me at:
Tell us about the current book you’re promoting.
Set in 1706 during Queen Anne Stuart’s reign, Far Beyond Rubies begins when William, Baron Kemp, Juliana’s half-brother claims she and her young sister, Henrietta, are bastards. Spirited Juliana is determined to prove the allegation is false, and that she is the rightful heiress to Riverside, a great estate.
On his way to deliver a letter to William, Gervaise Seymour sees Juliana for the first time on the grounds of her family estate. The sight of her draws him back to India. When “her form changed to one he knew intimately – but not in this lifetime,” Gervaise knows he would do everything in his power to protect her.
Although Juliana and Gervaise are attracted to each other, they have not been formally introduced and assume they will never meet again. However, when Juliana flees from home, and is on her way to London, she encounters quixotic Gervaise at an inn. Circumstances force Juliana to accept his kind help. After Juliana’s life becomes irrevocably tangled with his, she discovers all is not as it seems. Yet, she cannot believe ill of him for, despite his exotic background, he behaves with scrupulous propriety while trying to help her find evidence to prove she and her sister are legitimate.
Did your book require a lot of research? If so, what kind?
I believe historical novelists have a duty to present the era in which their books are set to the readers. I have five bookcases stuffed with non-fiction pertinent to the periods in which I set my work and plan to set future novels. I research the economic and social history, clothes, food, furniture, shops, shopping, recreation, and much, much more.
Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you? Why or why not?
Yes, they bother me if I feel they are gratuitous. Today, so many advertisements have sexual connotations which I believe have an adverse effect on our mentality and, in my opinion, foster lust and disrespect for women. I dislike violent sexual scenes in novels which condone rape, and sexual scenes which are soft porn.
What are your current books out right now, and what are the books coming up for release?
Tangled Love and Far Beyond Rubies set in Queen Anne Stuart’s reign and Sunday’s Child and False Pretences set in the Regency era are available as e-books. Far Beyond Rubies is also available as a paperback. My new novel, also set in Queen Anne Stuart’s reign 1702-1714, will be released as an e-book on the 21st February, 2014
What advice would you give a new writer starting out?
Read books on How to Write. Join a constructive Writers’ Group where you can read an extract from your work in progress and receive constructive criticism. If members are unconstructive or patronizing leave and search for a better one. Attend a few workshops, attend some writers’ festivals and study the market. Read trade magazines such as The Book Seller. Most important of all, set aside time to write and stick to it. If it is difficult to find time, write a page a day until you have completed your work in progress. If you are writing a novel you will finish your first draft in less than a year.
Describe your writing space.
At the moment I am in my comfortable bed working on my laptop. There is an electric kettle, mugs etc. on a small table next to my bed which, at the push of a button, rises at each end so I can adjust my position. At other times I might be in my office working on the computer. I try not to clutter the bedroom with books, notebooks and magazines etc. My office, which was once a spare bedroom, contains a large cupboard, a chest of drawers and three bookcases as well as a large desk.
Extract from Far Beyond Rubies
Gervaise led his mare away from the river lapping the pebbled shore and the lush green banks, and along a wide path leading across a close clipped greensward dotted with daisies. They crossed a hump-backed stone bridge which spanned a stream leading into an ornamental lake. Beyond it, he saw a wooden pavilion painted white, and banked by trees hazed with new leaves. Gervaise drew close to the small building. From inside, he heard a child weeping and a melodious voice offering comfort.
“I am sorry, sweetheart. Don’t cry. I promise to look after you.”
“Juliana, why didn’t you come home after Father died? Why did you stay in London?” the child wept.
“Hush, Henrietta. Now I am here, you will not be confined to the nursery.”
“Nurse went to London to tend Father. I needed her but she did not come back,” the child said between sobs.
“Yes, I know, however she left her new address for us after William dismissed her.”
“Nurse should have stayed with me. William and Sophia told me they would beat me if I left the nursery. I was scared and hungry.” She sniffed. “I am still hungry. I would like something to eat.”
“You shall not go hungry again. Dry your face. We are going to have a picnic.” The exquisite voice had hardened.
“I will not go away,” the child wept. “Do not let them send me to school. I want to stay at home.”
“Sweetheart, we cannot stay at Riverside House.”
“It seems it does not belong to us. Stop crying. I am going to tell you a secret, but first you must promise not to speak of it to anyone.”
“Instead of going to school, you shall come with me to London. But before I can take you there, you are going to stay with Nurse. Sweetheart, do stop crying. You must be brave.”
“I do not want to go to Nurse. I want to live with you.”
“Look at me, Henrietta. Decide whether you would prefer to go to school or stay with Nurse for a little while.”
“If I must leave here, I will go to Nurse. But why are you going to London?”
“To consult Father’s lawyer.”
Could they be the baron’s poor relations? Whoever they were, they seemed to be in a desperate situation. Gervaise’s sympathy for them increased. Ashamed of eavesdropping, he drew closer to the pavilion with the intention of announcing his presence.
Feet pattered within. A young woman peered through an open window. Her pale oval face looked troubled, and her coal black hair was slightly disordered.
For a moment Gervaise could not speak. The sight of her drew him back to India. Her form changed to one he knew intimately—yet not in this lifetime. He recognised the mark of a crescent moon on her right cheekbone, and sensed the love they once shared. A tremor ran through him. Never before had he thought the Hindu belief in reincarnation was worthy of serious consideration. Yet, in spite of the teachings of the Anglican Church, what if—