My special guest is Regency romance author, Hazel Statham. Hazel resides in the UK and her work has been compared to that of Georgette Heyer. Hazel’s recent release is Lizzie’s Rake. We’ll talk about this new release and the romance genre.
CM: Welcome Hazel. It is wonderful to have you with us. Can you start off by telling us a bit about yourself?
HS: It’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you so much for inviting me. I live in the UK and started writing many, many moons ago when I was fifteen. I devoured books by Bronte, Austen and Heyer and wanted nothing more than to create my own historical world. I write solely for my own amusement and it still amazes me when readers contact me and say how much they enjoy reading my work.
Writing is a compulsion and when I have an idle moment, even if I have no current work in progress, I find myself imagining different scenarios.
When my time is not taken up with writing, I enjoy spending time with my family. I have a beautiful grandson who, at the age of seven, has announced that he is writing a book! When asked what he is writing about he says Mr. Bean and Star Wars – rather a strange combination, but one that seems to work for him!
CM: Why did you begin writing Regency romances? What is it that attracts you to that time period?
HS: It is a total contrast to the modern world and I love the romance and elegance of the era, and it is this I hopefully recreate in my work. There is so much within the period that creates a desire in the writer to lay it all before the reader.
CM: While the economy is down, romance readers haven’t stopped buying. Why do you believe romance novels are so popular?
HS: Reading romance is a popular form of escapism. Romance itself never alters over the years therefore it is something everyone can relate to. There is nothing more appealing than immersing yourself in an absorbing romance and experiencing all the joys and woes of the protagonists.
CM: What can you tell us about Lizzie’s Rake?
HS: Infamous rake and Corinthian, Maxim Beaufort, Earl of St. Ive, finding himself in possession of a property in Yorkshire, is unprepared for the changes it will bring into his life. Irresistibly drawn to Elizabeth Granger, the former owner’s daughter, he attempts to help the family, finding himself filling the role of benefactor.
When the house is razed to the ground, he arranges for temporary accommodation for Elizabeth and her siblings on his estate and when Elizabeth rejects his proposal of marriage, he is nonetheless determined to win her over.
However, events and his reputation conspire to thwart his efforts and his course is one fraught with dangers.
Trust does not come easily and determined to protect her heart, Elizabeth struggles to resist her own longings.
At times, their difficulties appear insurmountable but the earl is widely known as ‘The Indomitable’ and the name was not lightly earned.
CM: Where did you find the inspiration for this story?
HS: I imagined a gamester winning a property he really had no use for and what the consequences would be when he met the inhabitants.
CM: How long did it take you to bring this book from the first draft to the final published product?
HS: About eighteen months from starting the first chapter to the publication date.
CM: Were there any special obstacles or challenges you faced during the publishing process?
HS: I’m pleased to say that everything went smoothly.
CM: Tell us about your main characters. Why will readers relate to them? What will they like about them? Is there anything they will dislike about them?
HS: Convention would declare them a miss-matched couple, but hearts know no boundaries. Although both are of the nobility, they have lived in completely different worlds. Maxim is feted and admired whilst Elizabeth has had to struggle to keep home and family from poverty.
Can a rake reform his ways and truly love? Are Elizabeth’s fears unfounded? Only time will tell.
I hope there is nothing for anyone to dislike about the couple and they will understand their difficulties.
CM: Where can readers purchase a copy of Lizzie’s Rake?
HS: I am very excited because for the first time, my work will be available in the UK as well as the USA.
The book is available in book shops, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.
CM: Do you have a Web site or blog?
HS: You can find me at hazel-statham.co.uk
CM: What is up next for you? Are there more books on the horizon for Hazel Statham fans?
HS: The Portrait is to be published by Avalon, who also have another of my books under consideration. I also have another manuscript I’m currently working on.
CM: Is there anything else you would like to add?
HS: I love to hear from my readers and promise to answer all my mail.
CM: Thank you for spending time with us today. Good luck with your book.
HS: Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to talk about my work. It is very much appreciated.