Get Lost in This Story…
Since resigning his Cavalry commission, Benedict Revelstoke has spent his time in London avoiding the marriage mart. But when he discovers that the Earl of Clivesden has set Julia in his sights, Benedict tries to protect his childhood best friend from the man’s advances—only to discover more than friendship driving his desire to defend her.
He surprises them both with the force of his feelings, but when she refuses him and her father announces her betrothal, he fears he’s lost her forever—until Julia approaches him with a shocking scheme that will ruin her for all respectable society…
…and lead them into an exquisite world of forbidden pleasures.
You can read the first chapter on Ashlyn’s website.
Ashlyn Macnamara writes Regency romance with a dash of wit and a hint of wicked. She considers writing a form of mid-life crisis, but a safer form than hang gliding or skydiving. She lives the wilds of suburbia outside Montreal with her husband, two teenage daughters, and one cat. When not writing, she looks for other excuses to neglect the housework, among them knitting, reading and wasting time on the internet in the guise of doing research.
Her debut A Most Scandalous Proposal is available at your favorite bookstore now.
Heather: How often do you get lost in a story?
Ashlyn: As often as I can, although with working on my own stories and revisions and promotion, I’ve got less time for that than I used to. But when I do read, I don’t just get lost. I immerse myself completely.
Although, it wouldn’t be wrong to say I also get lost in my own stories. When I’m in writing mode, my characters and settings tend to take up residence in my head to the exclusion of real life (much to my family’s consternation when I don’t know what we’re having for supper and have zero inspiration for coming up with anything).
Heather: What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?
Ashlyn: When it’s not historical romance, it’s often high fantasy. When I get lost, I like to really lose myself somewhere that doesn’t much resemble the modern world.
Heather: What’s the first book you remember reading?
Ashlyn: Definitely not the first book I ever read, but the first one that stuck with me was On the Banks of Plum Creek. Yes, I did read the series out of order. I was at a friend’s house and she’d borrowed a library copy of that book. It was a 1970s edition with the Garth Williams illustrations and the front cover picturing Laura running on top of the dugout barefoot, while Ma ironed beneath her feet. I could not stop looking at that picture and wondering how those people lived. So on my next trip to the library I borrowed that book, followed not long after by all the other books in that series. The Little House books were the first series I read over and over.
That’s something else. Once I get lost somewhere especially good, I like to go back.
Heather: What’s your favorite fairy tale?
Ashlyn: I can answer that two ways. Before I could read myself, my parents would read to me before bedtime. One of my favorite books was a collection of fairy tales from all over the world. When I was four or so, I discovered the wonders of “Wassilissa the Beautiful.” Not because I was particularly intrigued (or scared) by Baba Yaga and her house that stood on chicken legs, but because, like any good Russian story, that one was long. As in a good fifty pages long. It was the best story for putting off bedtime as long as possible.
And then, perhaps to divert my attention from Wassilissa, one Christmas I got a record with a musical retelling of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty along with an illustrated booklet I could follow the story in. I played that thing over and over. But by then, it wasn’t too long before I was reading on my own.
Heather: What’s your favorite cartoon character?
Ashlyn: Bugs Bunny. I love how that wascally wabbit puts on over on Elmer Fudd every time. I think one of the best cartoons ever made was “The Rabbit of Seville.” I could probably sing it, but I’ll spare you.
Heather: If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and specifically why?
Ashlyn: Regency England, naturally. There’s nothing like hands-on research. Perhaps I could discover the answer to some of the issues Regency authors argue about, such as whether respectable ladies wore underwear or how they dealt with that time of the month. On the other hand, they’d probably kick me out for asking about such scandalous topics.
Heather: Which of your characters would you most/least to invite to dinner, and why?
Ashlyn: Lady Epperley because she knows the best gossip. Only you have to be careful, because she’s all too happy to invent what she hasn’t heard yet. She also enjoys saying whatever is necessary to get a rise out of people.
Heather: Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?
Ashlyn: Coffee. Please, coffee. Oddly enough, even though I’m addicted to the stuff, I can’t make it worth a darn. I have to get my husband to make it for me. And he’s very picky. He has to buy the fancy beans from a specialty shop and grind them himself—just enough for one pot at a time. In fact, he’s been known to set the timer so he can grind his beans the optimal number of seconds. See why I can’t make it myself? Way too complicated.
Heather: Have you ever written a character who wasn’t meant to be a hero/heroine but he/she wouldn’t go away?
Ashlyn: Yes, oh my gosh, yes. This is one of my first manuscripts that never got published, but I wrote a story involving a young woman living during the American Revolution. Her father and older brother had gone off to fight in the war and left her in charge. She had a younger teenage brother who resented her, and ended up playing a villain’s role in the story. Jonas Chambers was 16 and mouthy and lazy and petulant. And he only agreed to play the villain if I wrote his story and redeemed him. Which I did, and I’d love to find a way to get his story out there, because he inhabited my head for the better part of a year before I exorcized him.
Wait, does that make me sound slightly insane?
Heather: Dog person or cat person?
Ashlyn: Cats, and not only for the fact that they’re far easier to house train. And how can you resist that face?
Even when she’s shoving it into my face at 5 AM because her food dish is empty and that’s completely unacceptable.
Ashlyn: I have to say French, since I live in Quebec. It’s my husband’s native language, and in my day-to-day life, I speak French more often than English.
Heather: I noticed on your website that one of your hobbies is knitting. Can you share a favorite project with us?
Ashlyn: My very first publishing credit had to do with knitting. When the Harry Potter series was at its height of popularity, I took it into my head to recreate a sweater like Harry wore in his Quidditch matches. I made myself one, and then I posted the directions I’d worked out online and forgot about it. A while later, I got an email from the editor of Charmed Knits: Projects for Fans of Harry Potter, telling me they’d like to include my pattern in their collection. I was thrilled and naturally said yes. So that’s got to top my list for my favorite project.
GOT A QUESTION YOU’D LIKE TO ASK YOUR FANS?
Ashlyn: Regencies are ever popular, but is there a different era or setting you wished to see more of in historical romance?
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