Welcome to Get Lost in a Story and to our special guest, Elizabeth Essex!
Vicki: Hi, Ms. Essex and welcome to Get Lost In a Story.
Elizabeth: Thanks, Vicki. I love visiting with the whole GLIAS crew here!
Vicki: You have taken your readers on some big adventures in your Reckless Brides series. Where are we going this time?
Elizabeth: We are going to a deserted island in the South Pacific! How’s that for adventurous? Many readers may already know that long before I ever put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard as a romance novelist, I was a nautical archaeologist—an underwater archaeologist who studied and excavated
Vicki: How much of your own experience and background as an archaeologist ended up in the story?
Elizabeth: A lot! One of the greatest pleasures in writing A SCANDAL TO REMEMBER, was that I not only got to depict the lethal drama of the shipwreck, but I also got to strand my hero and heroine alone together on a deserted South Pacific atoll. This was familiar territory for me, because I had spent many field seasons much the same way, in remote, inaccessible camps, or on uninhabited islands in various parts of the world.
Vicki: Oh my, Ms. Essex! Being in a remote camp sounds a tad dangerous. Your heroine, Jane Burke, must be very intrepid!
Elizabeth: Jane is a lot more intrepid that I ever was—after all I had some modern conveniences, like a satellite phone for emergencies, and an entire crew to keep me safe and fed—my hero and heroine have only themselves. In A SCANDAL TO REMEMBER, Jane Burke is a conchologist, a bluestocking scientist in a time when women scientists were not the norm. She succeeds against the disapproval of both her family and society because she simply does her job better than anyone else. It was really fun to try to create a heroine who was a lot like the archaeologist I used to be—determined and really well-prepared. I had Jane spend hours and hours planning out the details of her field project, and carefully packing her fragile equipment for transport, because that is exactly what I used to do—plan excavations and purchase equipment, repair mosquito netting and seal tarpaulins, test and ship scuba equipment for an entire camp full of working archaeologists and students for the long May to September field season.
But the thing that I really have in common with Jane Burke is that I thought that working in my chosen field on a remote island was the best job in the whole wide world, and the most fun imaginable!
Vicki: And obviously, you translated all your wonderful experiences into your books. Tell us about your hero. Is he another of your Royal Navy officers?
Elizabeth: You know me so well, Vicki. He is! Lieutenant Charles Dance is a character who made his first appearance in the Reckless Bride’s world as a midshipman in the first book of the series, ALMOST A SCANDAL. Now, in A SCANDAL TO REMEMBER he is in charge of the run-down ship that will take an expedition of the Royal Philosophical Society, including our bluestocking lady scientist, Miss Jane Burke, to the Islands of the South Pacific. Unfortunately for our hero, nothing, with the exception of the surprisingly lovely Miss Burke, goes right. Storm, sabotage and shipwreck ensue!
Elizabeth: What about you? Do you think you could survive on an uninhabited island with a group of people? Or how about with just your one and only? Would the two of you, and your love survive?