Isabella Hargreaves is visiting my parlour today to share a little about her writing and her latest release, ‘Wanton Widows’, a collection of three, hot Regency short stories. Isabella also shares a short excerpt from one of the stories, ‘The Widow’s Wedding Night’.
Welcome, Isabella! I must say, the cover for ‘Wanton Widows’ is just gorgeous.
Can you share something about your writing?
I think I always wanted to be a writer, but didn’t dare dream that big. My love of historical fiction began in my childhood, but I didn’t start reading historical romance until my twenties. I began trying to write about 25 years ago and wrote my first novella about 20 years ago. However, it’s only three years since I started writing historical romance in earnest.
What story are you working on at the moment?
Currently, I have a backlog of novellas I wrote last year. They’re set in a variety of historical periods – Anglo-Saxon England, English Civil War, and Australia in the 1870s and 1920s. They need to be published before I get lost in another large writing project, but a sequel to The Persuasion of Miss Jane Brody is planned.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
It sounds so boring but I’m a plotter, otherwise, I would never finish a story!
Do you write to a schedule or when the muse decides to visit?
I try to write to a schedule but it doesn’t always work out that way. I’ve learnt to let the muse have her way if I want to write with ease.
What helps you get into the mood to write?
I listen to positive thinking recordings and watch YouTube videos of period movies and excerpts!
Where do you get your inspiration? E.g. are you inspired by people, places or actual historical events?
My stories are often inspired by people from the past as I read lots of biographies. Mary Wollstonecraft’s life inspired The Persuasion of Miss Jane Brody and a biography of a World War One VC recipient was the initial spark for All Quiet on the Western Plains. However, events have also inspired some of my forthcoming novellas, in particular those set in the English Civil War and in Anglo-Saxon Britain.
Do you have a particular period of history you are passionate about?
I do love the Regency era, however, I’m fascinated by so many periods of history, I’ve read and written stories set across a millennium!
Do you enjoy research? Would you like to share a snippet of research related to your work-in-progress or an upcoming/recent release?
I’m a historian – I love research! Finding out about period clothing is my interest at the moment and I’m avidly pinning my finds on Pinterest.
Who would you love to cast as your genericpropeciabuyonline.com main characters if your book was made into a movie/TV series?
As Wanton Widows is a book of short stories, I can choose a few great actors. Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) would have to be the gorgeous Sir Nicholas De Courcey from ‘What a Widow Wants’ and Emma Stone (Crazy, Stupid, Love) would be super as the determined heroine, Lady Caroline Newberry. For ‘The Widow’s Wedding Night’, Mia Wasikowska (Jane Eyre) should be the sweet heroine, Arabella Linfield, with Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) as the intriguing, slightly disturbing hero. For ‘Wooing the Wealthy Widow’, Matthias Schoenaerts (A Little Chaos) has the right mix of looks, tenderness and depth to fit the role of the hero, Sir Hercules, who is wooing the discerning and wealthy widow, Viscountess Helena Tremoyne, whom I can see being played by the coolly elegant, Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth).
Who is your favourite historical go-to author or what is your favourite historical romance book of all time?
My favourite historical go-to authors are Mary Balogh and Liz Carlyle. My favourite historical romance book of all time remains Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh. Its characters, structure and plot grab me every time I read it, which is about once a year.
Isabella’s ‘Wanton Widows’ was released this month. Please read on and enjoy a short excerpt from “The Widow’s Wedding Night”...
For long minutes Arabella sat at her dressing table. With a sigh, she rose to wander around the room, examining the ornaments occupying the mantelpiece and recessed shelves. The Ormolu clock struck the hour. It was late. Impatient, Arabella decided to wait in Jerome’s room for him, knowing something important must have delayed him. She turned the doorknob to his chamber and passed through his dressing room. The scent of shaving soap pervaded the room. The space beyond was a vast chamber like her own, but lit only by the moon shining through the open curtains. She inched through the unfamiliar space towards the wooden four poster bed, which was much larger than her own. The covers were turned down, so she slipped between the sheets. She expected them to be chilly but they weren’t. She wriggled towards the middle of the bed and gasped in surprise.
Three Regency-era widows seek new partners in unconventional ways.
‘What a Widow Wants’
The young Dowager Lady Caroline Newberry plans to snare a lover.
‘The Widow’s Wedding Night’
Arabella Linfield dreams of a wedding night to remember, but the reality is a surprise.
‘Wooing the Wealthy Widow’
Can Sir Hercules Standfast pass the wealthy widow’s twelve tests for penniless suitors?