Linda Kage: Today, we're here with author Rosemarey Gemmell. Hi Romy!! Why don't you tell us a little about you and what you write please.
Rosemary: I’ve been a freelance writer for many years, with published short stories and articles in various UK magazines, a couple of magazines in the US, and I write for a Canadian online magazine. I also write children’s stories and have two children’s novels ready to do the rounds. But now I’m writing adult novels, mainly romance, historical or contemporary. I write the short pieces under my full name (Rosemary Gemmell) but have shortened the first name to Romy for romance novels!
Kage: What happened to the first book you ever wrote?
Rosemary: This was my first attempt at a novel and I entered it into the brilliant Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writer Scheme (in the UK), where they provide a full read and critique of a new novel by unpublished authors. I had a good critique, with great feedback and (more importantly) pointing out anything that I needed to check. They suggested I sent it to one of the few UK publishers who took Regency novels, which I did (first 3 chapters and synopsis). When they asked to see the whole ms, I tried not to get too excited, fortunately. I received a rave rejection. It wasn’t quite what they wanted for a first novel. So, the next few years I rewrote it off and on, moved on to other types of women’s fiction (one of which is at the agent) and forgot about it. Then I decided to look at the Regency novel afresh and do another redraft. I discovered Champagne Books by a fortunate accident and submitted the first 3 chapters and synopsis. And this is the result (yay!).
Kage:What’s your backlist and coming soon bookshelf look like?
Rosemary: Well, this is my very first novel, so I don’t have a backlist yet. I’m working on a couple of different novels at the moment and one is being looked at by an agent, so hopefully I’ll have a ‘coming soon’ list very soon!
Kage: So tell us a little about DANGEROUS DECEIPT.
Rosemary: Dangerous Deceit is a historical romance set in Regency England in 1813, with spies, intrigue and deception which brings danger for my heroine, Lydia. It also has some historic background, such as little bits about the Napoleonic Wars, and Lord Byron appears in one scene. My hero, Lord Marcus Sheldon, is a bit of an enigmatic character with different disguises.
Lydia Hetherington is uninterested in society balls or marriage, until her brother's friend, Marcus, Lord Sheldon, rides into her life to unseat her from her horse and unsettle her heart. An undercover spy for the government, Sheldon is equally unsettled by Lydia.
Complicated by a French spy, her best friend's unrequited love for Lydia's brother, James, and a traitorous villain, Lydia gradually finds her emotions stirred by Lord Sheldon. But what is his relationship with the beautiful, devious Lady Smythe and his part in an old scandal? Lydia faces an unwelcome suitor and danger before all deception is uncovered and love claims its reward.
Buy Link: Chapgane Books (Coming 5/2/11)
Kage: What would the story be rated if it were a movie?
Rosemary: Probably G, or PG – there are some nice romantic moments between Lydia and Sheldon, and the attraction builds, but I don’t go for anything steamy, although you can hopefully tell in one scene that both are thinking of more! But Lydia is still an innocent really, who is discovering love..
Kage: If you HAD to fit this story into a cliché, which one would it be?
Rosemary: Sleeping Beauty awakened by a kiss (metaphorically!).
Kage:Okay, now that we have a general idea which class to fit DANGEROUS DECEIT under, what makes this book so unique from every other book out there?
Rosemary: Regency romance is a popular genre but I wanted mine to contain a little bit of realism about the situation of well brought-up girls of that period. So Lydia is striving for independence rather than a husband (although she can’t resist Lord Sheldon for ever!). There is a scene where her maid lets slip how dangerous childbirth was for Lydia’s mother - I wanted to convey that this was a common problem in those times.
Kage:What was the easiest part to write?
Rosemary: I’m definitely a character writer, so the characters always come first. The other important part of a historical novel is the year it takes place, and that then led on to the story. I’m not a plotter so I let the characters play to see where they were going. The setting was also important as England was the heart of the Regency.
Kage:What do you like most about the main character(s) and what do you like least? Did you learn anything from them?
Rosemary: I love Lydia as she’s trying to be independent as much as the period would allow. Her heart is being stirred for the first time but she doesn’t give in to the attraction to Lord Sheldon too easily. She is also well read and a good horse rider, and is curious about the wider world. Sheldon is everything I would want in a hero, but his part in some of the deception adds to Lydia’s danger. He redeems himself by looking out for her, although she’s not always aware of it. I learned that even in those days it was possible to have some kind of equality between two people who fall in love – well my two do!
Kage:Romy, Thank you so much for stopping by today and gracing us with your presence. Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to say to wrap things up?
Rosemary: A great big thank you to Linda for having me here today. As it’s my first novel and it’s coming out with a Canadian publisher, while I live in Scotland, it’s great to have online support like this.