Regency Romance: The Earl's Engagement

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?
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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!



"That's Reality" - On Hollywood Endings

Most people seem to sniff derisively at the idea of a "Hollywood Ending," but let's face it---most of the sniffers must be lying. Because the only reason Hollywood Endings get shoved down the throats of movie and fiction writers is because people want them. Or I guess at the very least have been trained to expect them, and Meeting Expectations = Satisfaction, right?

But isn't that boring? Wouldn't the happy endings be even more satisfying if we didn't know to automatically expect them 95% of the time? And wouldn't we learn to appreciate different kinds of endings if more of them made it to the marketplace? Or are tied-in-a-bow happy Hollywood Endings simply what people want and there's no changing it, so if you endeavor to write in certain genres, you've simply got no choice other than to give the majority of people what they want?

My perspective on this seems to have changed in the two decades since I first saw The Player. Back then, when I saw the scene I've linked to the photo below, I was 100% with Bonnie in her insistence that the writer was a sellout. But now I don't know, I think he makes a valid point when he says, "Everybody hated it. We re-shot it, now everybody loves it. That's reality."

The setup: Throughout The Player, a screenwriter (the gum chewer) has insisted that his movie will have no movie stars in it (yes, that's Julia Roberts at the height of her popularity) and that the evidence to clear the main character, who's been falsely accused and faces the death sentence, will only be discovered after she's been executed..."because that's reality." 

Click image to see how the gum chewer's vision played out.

How do you feel about Hollywood Endings?
Like 'em? Bored with 'em? What?

P.S. I've already packed three items in my time capsule from the future. How about you? 


On Jinxing

Do you believe in Jinxing? Not the kind where you say the same thing at the same time someone else does and then you pinch and poke and owe someone a Coke. I believe in that kind of Jinxing too; that's just not the kind I'm talking about today. I'm talking about the kind where you make something happen, or not happen, because you so much don't/do want it.

Like you plan for something, prepare, get all your ducks in a row, count all your chickens, other cliches concerning fowl that are eluding me right now, and then BLAMMO, the thing you were preparing for ain't gonna happen. Or at least not in the way you expected. When something like that happens, do you feel like you were the cause of it? Like you showed the universe too much of your heart and it smacked you down?

If you get what I mean, and it's ever happened to you---what do you do afterward?

And since we're thinking all philosophic-like, you might want to skip down to the post below to sign up for a very fun bloghop that'll really get you digging deep inside yourself.


Back FROM the Future, Bloghop Extraordinaire

Just when I was in dire need of something to break me out of my funk and get revved up for the new year, along come Suze and M.Pax with an invitation to co-host a most excellent bloghop adventure!  Enough looking back upon the past that was 2012, we're jumping forward to 2023.

Your adventure instructions are here:

You're up before dawn on a Saturday when the doorbell rings. You haven't brewed your coffee so you wonder if you imagined the sound. Plonking the half-filled carafe in the sink, you go to the front door and cautiously swing it open. No one there. As you cast your eyes to the ground, you see a parcel addressed to you ... from you.

You scoop it up and haul it inside, sensing something legitimate despite the extreme oddness of the situation. Carefully, you pry it open. Inside is a shoebox -- sent from ten years in the future -- and it's filled with items you have sent yourself.

What's in it?

Totally fun, right? Sign up below and then prepare to meet 2023 you as you put together your post for March 1. What's in your capsule? 


IWSG: Mojo

As I sit here struggling with what to contribute to the first installment of this year's Insecure Writer's Support Group, created and hosted by the illustrious Alex. J. (we meet the first Wednesday of each month, in case you didn't know and would like to join), it strikes me that there's my insecurity - am I going to be able to re-energize and effectively keep all my plates spinning this year? (Like the circus trick tie-in, Arlee?)

Silly question, of course I will. I sort of have to as indicated by the trumpet-blaring angel above. Not to mention the other factions of my life that will all soon be rearing their ugly heads again. It's just that I've become so massively great at chillaxing over the holidays and I'd like to stay here for a bit longer. So what do you say, give me 'til Monday before I have to fully awaken from this eggnog-laden hibernation?