1. Welcome to Books Like Breathing! Please tell us about An Heiress at Heart.
Thank you for having me here today!
An Heiress at Heart is about Lizzie Poole, a woman with a dark past who masquerades as a missing heiress in order to discover the truth about her own identity. She is initially successful, but finds herself falling in love with the one man that her new identity prevents her from marrying: Geoffrey Somerville. Geoffrey has weighty problems of his own. He’s a clergyman who suddenly finds himself a peer of the realm. He is dealing with the heartbreak of losing two older brothers as well as the pressures of a position he never wanted. And then he finds himself attracted to Lizzie, the woman he thinks is his brother’s widow! It puts him in a terrible moral bind.
To make matters even worse, a man surfaces from Lizzie’s past who can expose her publicly for who she really is. Lizzie finds she must keep up her charade by any means possible in order to protect those who are dearest to her.
2. I am a history geek. A big one. Can you tell us about the research that went into the writing of Heiress At Heart?
My “research” really began years ago when I became fascinated by the Victorian era, the period from roughly 1840 to 1900. I’ve read history books about the Victorians for years, and I also love reading the novelists of the time, such as Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, and Elizabeth Gaskell. Whenever I read their books, I feel transported into their world, and especially into their world view. When I decided to write a novel, I decided I’d better add some reading about the everyday lives of Victorians in order to make sure I got the details right. Books such as Liza Picard’s Victorian London and Judith Flanders’ Inside the Victorian Home were perfect for that. The Internet has been endlessly helpful too—especially the Victorian experts I follow on Twitter who always post interesting and useful links.
3.Who would you cast as Lizzie and Geoffrey? And why?
If you’ve seen Richard Armitage as John Thornton in the BBC miniseries North and South, you’ve seen my idea of Geoffrey. If you haven’t seen North and South, you are welcome to put Hugh Jackman in that role, too!
For Lizzie, Kirsten Dunst has the right looks and at times a certain waifish quality that one sees in Lizzie. Someone else I could see in that role is Malin Akerman.
4. Can you give us a hint about your next book? What are you working on now?
I’m working on the next book in the Love’s Grace trilogy, A Lady Most Lovely, which will be out next year. Readers will recognize some characters from An Heiress at Heart. It has as its central plot a marriage of convenience, which is one of my favorite kinds of stories.
5. Lightning Round:
Madame, Will You Talk? by Mary Stewart
Favorite TV Show:
Word I wish would disappear from the English language:
English is too wonderful a language to wish any of the words gone! What I really wish is that some obsolete words would return to usage, especially the delightful words Shakespeare used. Take “facinorous” (evil), for example. Doesn’t that bring up a great mind picture of the villain twirling his mustache?
“Elsewhere” – it sounds so lovely and English! Don’t you wish we could use this more often?
Singin’ in the Rain (yep, I’m a big fan of
Place I would most like to visit:
This changes almost daily! Today it’s
If I was granted three wishes, I would wish for: Hmmm. (1) The big picture? World peace, of course! (2) The smaller picture? More time to write! (3) My personal dream? The time and resources to travel as much as I wished. – I think that about covers it!