Hi Julie, welcome to Psychotic State Book Reviews! Thank you for taking the time to chat with me and my readers. You recently released The Secret of Pembrooke Park and it’s receiving a lot of press and excellent reviews. Congratulations!
Thank you! And thank you for having me here.
If you had to describe The Secret of Pembrooke Park in just five words, what would they be?
Hmm… maybe: Treasure sought; true love found. Or: Overlooked sister finds true worth.
What was your favorite part of writing The Secret of Pembrooke Park?
I enjoyed so many things: brainstorming with author-friends, the mind-challenge of crafting a mystery, and perhaps best of all, visiting the English manor that inspired Pembrooke Park.
What is it about the Regency period that attracts you?
I am drawn to the chivalry of the period--gentlemen in tall boots, ladies in lovely gowns, the manners and repressed attraction where the mere touch of gloved hands at a ball sparked romance.
How long did you research the Regency period before you began writing?
If reading Jane Austen’s novels and watching every film or mini-series based on them counts as research, then several years! J Otherwise, I have for the most part conducted research all along the way. I buy new research books for each new topic/profession/location I tackle. Research is an ongoing part of being a writer. There is always more to learn.
If you were able to travel back in time to the Regency period, what thing do you believe you’d like the best? What would be the most difficult part of living in the Regency period?
Before I had done much research, I thought it was a wonderfully romantic period (and it could be, if you had money). I would have liked the balls the most, because I love to dance and have greatly enjoyed the English Country Dancing I have done over the last few years. But now that I have learned more about the medical care, sanitation (or lack thereof), and restrictions women faced, I realize I am better suited to current times.
Can you tell us about your path to being a published author?
I have always wanted to be a writer, but it wasn’t until I had worked as a fiction editor for several years that I got serious and completed my first novel. I learned a great deal by working with other authors and editors, and I’m very thankful for that experience. Since I worked for my ideal publisher, I submitted my first novel under a pseudonym so that it would be reviewed objectively. Thankfully, my colleagues liked it and wanted to publish it before they knew who had written it.
What is the single best piece of advice you’ve received as an author that you would like to share?
Perhaps, “Less input, more output.” Eventually, you have to lay aside the research and WRITE!
Some random questions . . .
Depends on the day! I took two different online quizzes and one said Scarlett and the other said Melanie. That’s quite telling really, because I am one of those adaptable middle children who fills whichever role is needed in a given situation.
Structured routine or fly by the seat of your pants?
I am not very structured or organized by nature, but I am working on it!
The book currently on your nightstand is . . .
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier is on the top of the stack.
Your favorite guilty pleasure movie is . . .
Lost in Austen—it’s so shockingly delicious. Enjoyed Austenland, too. (Do you think I might romanticize living in Jane Austen’s time a little too much? J )
The fictional character you would most love to meet is . . .
Mr. Darcy, assuming he was about to fall madly in love with me. Otherwise I think he would be quite intimidating.
The actress who could best portray you is . . .
One fun thing about you most people don’t know is . . .
Let’s see…. I once taught ballroom dance to a group of people with various disabilities. It was challenging but rewarding.
Can you share with us what’s next for you?
With pleasure. I have a new book coming out in July, called Lady Maybe. It’s about a woman whose startling secrets lead her into unexpected danger and romance in Regency England. Then in December comes The Painter’s Daughter, my first novel with a marriage-in-name-only premise.
Thank you, Julie, for taking the time to sit down with Psychotic State Book Reviews. Best of luck to you with The Secret of Pembrooke Park!
For more information on Julie and The Secret of Pembrooke Park, please visit her website.
Be sure to enter Julie's fantastic giveaway here.
And is it just me or is Julie a dead ringer for actress Rebecca DeMornay?