Thursday, June 18, 2009

Author Guest Post - Hazel Statham

Today I'm pleased to welcome Author Hazel Statham, author of Lizzie's Rake. Her guest post here today is part of this book's virtual tour, courtesy Pump Up Your Book Promotion.

Regency Romance and Me
By Hazel Statham

I read my first Regency Romance, Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer, when I was seventeen and knew that at last I had found my era.

I had been writing since I was fifteen but had mainly been influenced by authors like Austen, the Brontes and Sabatini, but Georgette Heyer opened up the romance and elegance of the eighteen and nineteenth century and I fell head over heels in love with it.

I devoured her books in very quick succession and wanted nothing more than to recreate my own Regency world. History had always been my favorite subject at school and it was just one small step to recreate it in my work.

However, despite today’s trend to produce ‘hotter’ novels, I write ‘traditional’ Regency Romance and close the door on my characters when they retire. So much emotion can be conveyed by a mere glance or a single word that I don’t feel it necessary to leave the metaphorical door open to convey the emotions of the moment. The merest hint is often sufficient to stimulate the reader’s imagination and to go into detail is totally unnecessary.

I want to preserve the mores of the era when a young lady was rarely left alone with a man prior to their marriage. When purity before marriage was a woman’s greatest asset and much prized by a future husband. It was not just a case of double standards, but a way a man could be certain that if his wife declared herself pregnant soon after marriage, the child was definitely his, which was an absolute necessity when succession was at stake. It is an issue that is raised in Lizzie’s Rake and was paramount to any noble with pride in his lineage. His blood and the blood of his heirs must remain pure.

Research shows that there was far less promiscuity amongst the Regency set than is portrayed in many novels, but does this mean they lived a life devoid of romance and love? I think not. It was the era when a gentleman treated a woman with respect and deference. Of course, as in every moment in time, there were exceptions; but on the whole, it was an era of gentility and elegance. Match this with a hero and heroine who despite all their trials and tribulations are meant to be together and you have the makings of a Regency Romance. In my work, there is sometimes pathos and sometimes humor, but always there is love.

Thank you for that entertaining post, dear Author! Readers, your thoughts / comments are most welcome.

About the Book
Can a rake reform his ways and truly love? Lizzie's head tells her one thing, her heart another.

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.

About the Author
Hazel Statham lives in Staffordshire, England. She started writing at fifteen and has written on and off ever since. She has always been fascinated by history and writes mainly in the Regency and Georgian eras, although she has had a short medieval story published. When she was a child, she often told herself stories and this just progressed to committing them to paper to entertain family and friends. There have however, been gaps in her writing years where marriage and employment intervened, but now that she no longer works, she is able to return to her first love and devote her time to writing. She had her first two novels published in 2005.

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