An Author Interview by Jerelyn (I-F-Letty) with Lucinda Brant
I became aware of Lucinda Brant through a facebook/goodreads group. She writes romantic historical fiction. There is real scholarship here and the writing is well crafted. Lucinda calls herself a Georgian Junkie and is one of the principle contributors to a blog by that name. I was looking for sedan chair images for my Pinterest board, and near the bottom of the Google search page was a photo of Lucinda with a quote.
“When not bumping about Georgian London in my sedan chair or exchanging gossip with perfumed and patched courtiers in the gilded drawing rooms of Versailles, I write historical romances and crimances with wit and adventure.”
I am a history nut, unapologetically, so I can relate to this statement. I would like to thank Lucinda Brant for agreeing to this interview.
Jerelyn: Would you tell us a little about yourself?
Lucinda: I, too, am a history nut! Have been since a little girl. History was my favorite subject at school and at university and I taught history at a girls’ boarding school until very recently. My daughter, who is in her first year of university, has also decided to major in history. So my husband has to contend with two history nuts in the family! We’ve been together now for 28 years; we met at university. I have an Italian greyhound Bella and I spend most of my day in front of a computer screen, as I am now writing full-time, which is heaven.
Jerelyn: From the sources I could access it looks as if you released five full-length novels in 2011, is this because that is when they were released in the US and UK?
Lucinda: Six full-length (100,000+ words) eBooks have been released worldwide since September 2010. Five Georgian Historical Romances and the first book in my Georgian Historical Mystery series are now available in Trade paperback, Hardback and eBook (all formats). DEADLY AFFAIR: A Georgian Historical Mystery has just been released as a Kindle eBook and will be available in all other formats from July 2012.
Jerelyn: Was Salt Bride of Noble Satyr, your first book?
Lucinda: NOBLE SATYR: A Georgian Historical Romance was my first book. It won the $10,000 Random House/Woman’s Day Romantic Fiction Prize and went on to be published as THE DANGEROUS GAME in Australia, and was a finalist for the Romance Writers of Australia Romantic Book of the Year. Random House changed the name (head of publishing didn’t know what a satyr was!) and I changed it back to its original title upon re-publication.
Jerelyn: I just read Noble Satyr; I was wondering if you have a favorite male lead? I admit Roxton is rather a dish.
Lucinda: He is, isn’t he! ; -) That’s putting me on the spot! Actually, I love all my male leads. Each in their own way is a dish best served hot!
Jerelyn: Did you struggle with the age difference between Roxton and Antonia?
Lucinda: Not at all. In the 18th century it was common for noblemen in their 30s to marry women much younger than themselves. Noblemen were expected to go on the Grand Tour, experience life and “sow their wild oats” before settling down and marrying, hopefully an heiress, and having a family. Girls on the other hand were kept in the schoolroom until “launched” into Society around the age of 17 years, some were married off as young as 15 without a chance to even have a Season. If a girl from the aristocracy wasn’t married by the time she turned 21 she was seen as a failure and “on the shelf” and to be pitied.
And there is my own life experience. My mother was 18 yrs old when she married my father, a career soldier who was in his late 30s. He had never married, was a British soldier during World War Two who fought in Europe, and finally got around to marrying and having a family in the 1960s; so age difference was not something I thought about.
Jerelyn: I loved Salt Bride; it had the feel of a classic romance novel but with the heat of a modern novel. Do you struggle with the love scenes?
Lucinda: I’m so glad you enjoyed Jane and Salt’s story! I don’t struggle with love scenes because they are an integral part of the story of how two people express their feelings for each other emotionally and physically. If by love scenes you mean sex scenes, well I don’t write sex scenes. It’s the highly sensual, emotionally charged moments leading up to the act itself that I explore. The actual mechanics I leave to the reader’s imagination. : -)
Jerelyn: Your newer books are the Alec Halsey series you describe as crimance. Will you tell us about those?
Lucinda: I decided that Crimance (crime + romance) – crime with lashings of romance –is the best way to describe the type of historical mystery I write. There is a crime or crimes and a mystery to solve but romance is just as important to the story. That’s an irresistible mix.
In DEADLY ENGAGEMENT – my amateur sleuth Alec Halsey has to sort out his feelings for two women as he tries to solve a crime and a couple of interrelated murders. In book 2 DEADLY AFFAIR, Alec investigates the suspicious death of shabby vicar and at the same time his love life is falling all to pieces.
Jerelyn: You are one of the Georgian Junkies, what draws you to this time period?
Lucinda: Now I could rave on all day about the eighteenth century! : -)
The fashion – all that gorgeous embroidery work on silk bodices and gowns, gentlemen in velvet and lace, the neat, simple lines of Georgian townhouses, the vast wealth of the aristocracy, and then there is the breathtaking Louis XV style of furnishings and furniture.
The 1700s was a time of adventure and discovery on the high seas, revolution and freedom for the American colonies, scientific discovery and the rise of naturalism and humanism – all talked about and discussed in London’s elegant drawing rooms and the gilded salons of the Parisian elite. Exciting times!
To see what I’m talking about visit my Pinterest boards: http://pinterest.com/lucindabrant/
Jerelyn: So which country do you most prefer to set your books in France or England?
Lucinda: I don’t have a preference, although, most of my books are set in England with occasional crossings to France. I do love the court of Louis XV and the rococo splendor of Versailles. But as a political scientist, I am fascinated by eighteenth century English politics.
Jerelyn: Would you share your educational back ground with us? I’d wager you were a history major.
Lucinda: I graduated from university with a double major in History and a double major in Political Science (honors level).
Jerelyn: Do you miss teaching?
Lucinda: I miss the classroom. Interacting with the girls – teaching them new and interesting things about times past, people and places. Seeing their enthusiasm for the subject was very rewarding.
Jerelyn: What was the first romance novel you read?
Lucinda: The Sleeping Beauty by Charles Perrault as retold by Shirley Goulden. I was 5 years old. I still have the book – it’s folio size and illustrated in the 18th Century manner.
In my early teens I would sneak into the Senior Section of the School library to read Jean Plaidy, Taylor Caldwell and the Angelique novels by Sergeanne Golon (which were classified too racy for 13 year olds!). Katherine by Anya Seton was and still is one of my all time favorite historical romances.
Jerelyn: When did you know that you had to be a writer?
Lucinda: I’ve always been a writer. : -) I wrote stories from a very young age and in high school, during math classes, I wrote an historical romance novel and distributed chapters to my classmates to read and appraise (thanks, Donna!).
Jerelyn: Who inspired you?
Lucinda: First? My father. He wrote all the time – mainly diary entries. Once he showed me his collection of wartime regimental magazines (I have them now). They were full of articles, cartoons and the like to help maintain morale amongst the men during World War Two. My father was a regular contributor – he wrote a series of laugh-out-loud pieces (very Goon show) and he was also a wonderful cartoonist.
In high school it was Jean Plaidy/Victoria Holt/Philippa Carr. I devoured her historical novels as Jean Plaidy, and of course her Georgian Saga novels and those set during the reign of Louis XV are my favorite. Later, during university, I read Georgette Heyer and became a devoted fan, not only of her Regencies but also of her detective novels.
Jerelyn: What drew you to the mystery/thriller genre? I have always liked a mix of romance and mystery.
Lucinda: Me too! Romance and mystery are an irresistible mix, aren’t they?
I’m a big fan of amateur sleuths. Dorothy L. Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries and Margery Allingham’s Albert Campion mysteries are my all time favorites. I’m also a huge fan of Kate Ross’s Julian Kestrel Regency historical mysteries.
Jerelyn: The second book in the Alec Halsey series has just been released, would you tell us about it?
Lucinda: DEADLY AFFAIR: A Georgian Historical Mystery sees amateur sleuth Alec, Lord Halsey investigate the death of a poor vicar who up and dies, literally at Alec’s feet, during a party-political dinner. But the vicar is hiding a few secrets, not least of which is his true identity. And just to complicate his life, the woman Alec loves, Selina Jamison-Lewis, has decided not to marry him, won’t tell him why, and he doesn’t know what to do about it. Of course this impacts on his investigation because while he is trying to solve a murder, at the back of his mind he is thinking of possible reasons why Selina won’t marry him.
Jerelyn: I would like to thank Lucinda for taking the time for the interview, and would like to wish her luck with Deadly Affair. If you want to know more about Lucinda you can find her at the Georgian Junkie http://georgianjunkie.wordpress.com/ or http://lucindabrant.com/ follow her on face book at https://www.facebook.com/LucindaBrantGeorgianHistoricalRomanceandCrimance on Twitter (@LucindaBrant) and on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/lucindabrant/
Lucinda: Thank you so much for inviting me to do this interview. It’s been fun. : -)
Noble Satyr (Roxton 1)
Midnight Marriage (Roxton 2)
Autumn Duchess (Roxton 3)
Deadly Engagement (Alec Halsey 1)
Deadly Affair (Alec Halsey 2)