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Thursday, 17 January 2019

#CountingonaCountess by @Eva Leigh for #MillsandBoonBlogTour for #MillsandBoonInsiders #Myfirstauthorinterview #Romance

I have the great pleasure of being first in the Counting on a Countess blog tour. This is my exclusive and very first author interview with Eva Leigh.

1. Could you tell us a little about yourself.

I started writing pretty soon after I learned how to read, so it’s remained a constant in my life. In high school, a friend of mine introduced me to romance novels, and I absolutely fell in love. Some of my earliest romance-writing attempts have fortunately been lost to the winds of time. I started working toward a PhD in Literature, but then I won a fiction contest and decided it was time to focus exclusively on my writing career, and obtained a graduate degree in Fiction. The graduate program was one of the most prestigious writing programs in the United States, so I worked on “literary fiction” while I was there—all the while secretly writing romance.

Then it was a series of day jobs as I worked on romance manuscripts. Back then, we queried agents via the post, so I racked up considerable bills making photocopies of my book and sending it to agents. Eventually, I got an agent—and I went through major shifts in fortune. Up and down, reversals and advancements. I started in romance writing as ZoĆ« Archer, and even received some award nominations from the Romance Writers of America, but when I signed up with my latest publisher, they thought it might be nice to have a fresh start. I’ve been Eva Leigh since then.

2. Have you always wanted to be a writer?

See my answer above! I did go through a few early permutations, such as book illustrator, costume designer, dramatise, and academic, but I always came back to writing.

3. What are your favourite books/authors?

For romance, I love Julie Anne Long (her The Perils of Pleasure is on my keeper shelf), Joanna Bourne, Tessa Dare, Kresley Cole, Lisa Kleypas, and Elizabeth Hoyt. Lately, I’ve been reading great books by Talia Hibbert, Tracey Livesay, Naima Simone, Alexis Daria, and Cat Sebastian.

4. Could you tell us a little bit about both books Counting on a Countess and From Duke Till Dawn?

The Regency period is absolutely fascinating—it’s a time of great upheaval while societal rules governing behaviour were in the process of growing more rigid. Particularly fascinating to me are the people that dwelt in the margins: swindlers, smugglers, criminals, and the not-quite-respectable. Women made up a huge portion of this shadowy underworld, and I thought it would be quite fun and intriguing to show what it took for a woman to survive in a world that barely valued them. So I came up with the Scandalous Ladies of London series idea, which indulged in my love for across-the-tracks romance.

5. Could you give any aspiring writers any tips?

The advice that you must write every day or you aren’t a writer isn’t true. You can write at a pace that suits you, and allows you the room to be creative. That being said, discipline is key. Schedule time if you can and adhere to that schedule. Be tenacious—there are going to be setbacks, and it’s okay for you to feel sad or angry about them, but you will need to keep going in the face of opposition and indifference.

6. Just for fun if you were hosting a dinner party which three famous people living/passed who would they be?

Astronomer Caroline Herschel, famed Regency courtesan Harriet Wilson, and journalist and activist Ida B. Wells.

I would like to thank Eva Leigh for being my very first author, and Mills and Boon for asking me to be part of the blog tour.

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