Unoccupied in London, Gregory Scott, Earl of Bailey seeks out an old acquaintance who has a most unusual daughter. Part hoyden, part bluestocking, part servant, Lady Rosamund wants nothing to do with Society. However, she needs protection from the lecherous lord next door. The idea to find her a husband goes slightly awry, as Rory doesn’t bargain for falling in love with the enigmatic Lady Rosamund. And when his plan turns up another beau for Rosamund, can Rory let her go?
I'm so excited to congratulate Anne Gallagher on the publication of her latest novel, The Earl's Engagement. Not only do I admire Anne's authentic Regency-period voice and her talent for building up engaging romantic relationships, she's got the most beautiful covers for every one of her books. I was very happy when she agreed to answer a few short questions for my blog. Here's how our chat went:
Me: Your Regency novels and short stories overlap in time periods and involve many recurring characters. While writing The Earl's Engagement, did any of your recurring characters surprise you in any way?
Anne: Not really. I mean, they've pretty much been with me for the last four years, so nothing they do or say can really surprise me. HOWEVER, it seems Lady Olivia (a character who has had her hand in every story I've written) has been holding out, or rather holding on to a secret that I was never aware of. There's a hint of it in THE LADY'S MASQUERADE (coming in Spring 2013), a teeny tiny bit of it (if you know what to look for) in THE EARL'S ENGAGEMENT, but when it finally comes out in THE SEDUCTION OF MR. SUMMERVILLE (sometime in 2014) watch out. It's going to rock the aristocracy to its foundation. I cannot wait to write it!
Me: Yay! Can't wait to read it - Lady Olivia is a favorite of mine from The Lady's Fate and I'll certainly be on the lookout for any type of clue as I read The Earl's Engagement.
Okay, on to question #2: once you made the decision to self-publish, you went in full force and have been wonderfully open about sharing what you've learned along the way with readers of your Piedmont Writer blog [note to readers: if you'd like an inside look at the nitty gritty of self-publishing, I highly recommend you check it out]. Is there anything you intend to change about your approach to publishing in 2013 based on what you learned in 2012?
Anne: Definitely. I set up my blog four years ago not really knowing what it was for, but just as a way to meet other writers, which has been WONDERFUL. I have learned so much, not only about publishing traditionally, but the craft of writing. As the publishing dynamic has changed over the last few years, self-publishing has almost become the norm instead of an idea for only crazy people. That being said, I've listened to the "pioneers" in the field, and marketing and promotion is what I'll be focusing on for most of 2013.
I've written as many books as I possibly could over the last two years, and now I think it's time to really get out there and promote them. I'm not a "stick-it-in-your-face" kind of person with blog tours, or guest posts, and have basically just announced my books, maybe did one or two cozy interviews like this one, and gone back into my cave to write the next book. Because that's what everyone says to do -- just keep writing.
I've primarily focused only on the e-versions, but this year I'm going to do more with my paperbacks, signings, library reads, book stores, that kind of thing, and try and do more social media as well. I've been on Twitter (@gallagher_anne) and I love it, but there's only so many times you can say, "I published another book" without someone saying I'm spamming them. I've also just joined Pinterest (RegencyAnne -- please do go by and take a peek. I share whom all my characters are on my boards) and find that fascinating. Goodreads is another place I can be found, but I've never done anything with it. I have to really sink my teeth into it and explore it more fully.
Me: I just added The Earl's Engagement and The Lady's Fate to this list at Goodreads for clean period romance. So if you have a Goodreads account, please hop over to give Anne's books a vote and let's see how far we can move them up the list!
The last question isn't really a question---it's a demand. I made Anne choose one song that captures the essence of The Earl's Engagement, and here's what she picked:
Anne: Rory and Rosamund really didn't have a song when I was writing this. (Not the way Violet and Ellis did when I was writing THE LADY'S FATE.) I saw this James Taylor version of the old standard and I think this is very apt for Rosamund and Rory. He doesn't fall in love with her until he sees her in that dress at the dinner party. Just the way you look tonight says it all.
Me: Aww, I love that song. Every girl deserves to have a boy look at her that way every once in a while.
Thanks so much for having me over, Nicki. This was a blast.
Thanks so much for being here, Anne!