Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Meet Debut Historical Author Beverley Eikli!

by Anna Campbell

I'm always over the moon when I can introduce the lair to a long-term friend who has recently sold her debut novel. Beverley Eikli's LADY SARAH'S REDEMPTION is out in the U.K. from Robert Hale on 29th May. Huzzah!

It's easy and economical to buy the book from The Book Depository in the England who will post any book in their catalogue anywhere for FREE! http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/browse/book/isbn/9780709087779

Bev and I first met at the Romance Writers of Australia conference in Melbourne in 2002 and we've been firm friends ever since. Our relationship was cemented by me sitting down next to a stranger at the first workshop and saying hello. Stranger introduced herself as Beverley Eikli. I asked what she wrote. Bev said historicals. I said historicals. I asked what era. She said Georgian. I said Georgian (at the time, I was working on the endless Hungarian prince saga). Clearly this was someone I had lots in common with! Interestingly enough, we both now write Regencies!

You can find out more about Bev and her amazing life and her books on her website. While you're there, make sure you check out the beautiful photos of colonial Africa and Bev's travels. That's where the lovely shot of the animals and her family home in Lesotho came from in this blog.

Bev, congratulations on the release of your debut historical romance, LADY SARAH’S REDEMPTION. Can you tell us about this story?

Thank you, Anna, I’m delighted to be here. LADY SARAH'S REDEMPTION is a deception/redemption Regency Historical romance about society beauty Lady Sarah – initially a little vain and self centred - who assumes the identity of her ill-fated shipboard companion to avoid an arranged marriage. Masquerading as governess to the sixteen-year old daughter of deeply principled British MP Roland Hawthorne, Sarah falls madly in love with her employer. Hawthorne is on the other side of politics to her own politically minded and beloved papa, so she finds him very fascinating.

The story is set mostly on Hawthorne’s country estate except for the danger and adventure part which takes place in a London bawdy house where Sarah tries to redeem herself in Hawthorne’s eyes after he discovers her deception. Yes, an unlikely place to seek redemption, but it’s where Hawthorne’s daughter is being held as part of an elaborate extortion plot engineered by Hawthorne’s old enemy.

Of course, the feisty, beautiful Sarah gets into all sorts of trouble as she tries to play the grand heroine and prove she’s brave and loyal, not spoiled and vacuous.
Suffice to say that Roland Hawthorne, my sexy, passionate but very serious hero is deeply humbled by Sarah’s actions. In order to restore her honour and standing in society he resorts to rather unconventional means to publicly vanquish the villain – and, of course, win the girl.

Can you tell us about your writing journey? I know you’ve led an amazingly peripatetic life, including stays in Africa and the Solomon Islands. Has all that travel fed into your writing?

My writing journey? Hmmm. It’s been a convoluted one. When I met my husband, Eivind (pronounced Ivan)– a Norwegian bush pilot around a camp fire in Botswana at the luxury safari lodge I was temporarily managing - I told him about my writing. (I also told him I was leaving for Australia the next morning to marry my boyfriend of 8 years, but that’s another story).

Eivind said he wanted to read the book I’d just finished writing, so I posted him the floppy discs. Yep, this was 16 years ago and technology has changed a lot since then, but technology is one of Eivind’s passions and he has always made sure I had my own laptop - and checked that I was taking regular backups! When we were both employed in the airborne geophysical survey business, I was able to type away at my stories when Eivind was on a different contact or I was the only female on crew and not in the mood for hobnobbing with the boys.

For four or five years I operated the computer equipment in the back of survey aircraft as we contoured the Greenland Ice cap at 200ft above ground, or the jungle of French Guyana - the ‘steaming broccoli’ we called it - or surveyed the Skeleton Coast of Namibia where we spent the most fabulous year.

Many of the stories I’m now working on, including LADY SARAH'S REDEMPTION, were developed during this time, but of course, the road to publication is a long one…

Nowadays, with a three-year-old livewire running around, my only writing time is 5am to 7am before the household wakes and makes its demands. However, during a very pleasant 18 months in the Solomon Islands, despite my eldest daughter being two at the time, I finished a couple of novels - thanks to a nanny, maid and gardener – in between liquid lunches at the Honiara Hotel, my volunteer work on the Honiara Beautification Committee (the capital was very battle-scarred after the recent coup) and the many embassy and other social functions which made our small expat community so much fun.

As far as the experiences feeding into my writing, I think one’s work is always unconsciously borrowing from life experience. Not the physical environment in my case, obviously, since I write English-set historicals, but the study of personality. I worked closely, for many years, with a lot of interesting and sometimes very curious personalities – mostly men - which I’m sure comes out on the page in ways I don’t even know.

I know you worked long and hard to achieve publication and I wondered if you had any advice for unpublished writers.

The most obvious one, for me, was perseverance. I was 17 when I wrote my first full-length novel – a painful 550 page epic in which my heroine drowned on the last page. Thankfully only my mother ever read it! – and it was more than a quarter of a century before I got a publishing contract. However, my second piece of advice is to join a writing organisation and benefit from the mentoring or critiquing of one’s work, or the ‘egging on’ one may need to enter competitions and submit. It was only after I joined Romance Writers of Australia that I learned how to make professional approaches and started winning competitions and getting editor requests for full mss. Not to mention all the craft techniques for adding power to my writing that came from attending conference workshops.

Oh, and definitely, grow a thick skin! Competition feedback and regular critiquing are a great way to develop one.

When I first met you, you were writing in the Georgian era, whereas Lady Sarah’s story is definitely set in the Regency (in 1819). Can you tell us what appealed to you about the two different eras and why you eventually settled in the Regency? Do you have any yen to set books outside this time?

I was writing in the Georgian era because I loved panniers! When I realised how much more adventurous and active my heroine could be in a simple high waisted sprigged muslin I changed to the Regency.

No, but seriously, a political or otherwise important historical event always provides the setting for my stories. I chose 1819 for LADY SARAH'S REDEMPTION because the harsh treatment meted out by authority during the Peterloo Masscacre in August that year was something my privileged hero was up in arms about. It gave him a social conscience which appealed to my heroine and made her rethink her own values.

I have another three Regency Historicals on the go but I’d love to set a story during the Georgian era. What a great backdrop for a heavy political or sexual intrigue. DANGEROUS LIAISONS, the film based on the book LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSESES by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, immediately comes to mind. It’s one of my all-time favourites, together with Karleen Koen’s THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY, which is set during one of history’s worst financial crises, the South Sea Bubble, around 1711.

As for other writing ventures…. I’m just about to hand in my second Regency Historical, WIDOW IN WAITING, about a woman, Olivia, whose vengeful late husband has stipulated in his will that their son is to be brought up by the husband’s cousin, Max. Olivia’s growing love for Max is complicated by her knowledge that her son, by being a bastard (her terrible secret!) has usurped the title and wealth that Max should, by rights, have inherited. I find it fascinating to explore the psyche of women in a time when they had absolutely no rights – even to their own children.
A big writing deviation I’m excited about is a medicine murder romantic thriller. Early next year I’m commandeering my dad into returning to Lesotho, the mountainous kingdom landlocked by South Africa where I spent my early years and where dad was private secretary to Chief Leabua Jonathan, the country’s first Prime Minister. During the 1950s and 60s dad was a District Commissioner with magisterial duties and his stories of medicine murder and the intriguing expatriate life he and Mum lived there would make fabulous fictional fodder.

Yes, it would be a huge departure from what I write now, and may not come to pass as I’m totally fascinated by the 18th and 19th centuries and all the romantic possibilities resulting from usurped inheritances and fallen women needing rescuing.
…And the clothes! I’d miss the clothes which are such an integral part of a woman’s behaviour. The heavily corseted eighteenth century heroine would be far more restricted than her Regency counterpart but I’m planning to set my next romance in the mid 1700s.

To help me out, I’m curious to know how adventurous and spontaneously amorous you think my Georgian heroine could be wearing panniers that extended 2ft on either side and laced stays made with up to 40 pieces of whalebone?

Bev has very kindly offered a signed copy of her debut historical romance LADY SARAH'S REDEMPTION to one lucky commenter today. I read this book in manuscript and loved it so good luck, people. Whoever wins has a treat ahead of them!


Virginia said...

Is he mine today!

Treethyme said...

Rats, almost got it! Congrat, Virginia -- take good care of him!

Virginia said...

Hi Beverley, nice to meet you and welcome to our lair! Congraualtions on you debut book. LADY SARAH’S REDEMPTION sound like a fantastic read and I would love to read it. The cover is totally beautiful. It sounds like your have traveled alot which is something that I have never done but may one day, you never know. Do you enjoy the research for your books? Since you write historical I would think the research would be very interesting, because I love history.

Lynz Pickles said...

You know, I've always found that the more clothing you wear, the easier it is to get around. I don't think panniers that extend 2ft will be enough - 3ft to 4ft would be much more manageable, don't you think? And then have her climb over fences and through windows in a dashing escape!

Your novel sounds fantastic, and the cover is, indeed, beautiful. I look forward to reading it, and congratulations on getting published!

Anna Campbell said...

Virginia, congratulations on the chook! Lime must be sleeping off her graduation celebrations. Becke, close but not quite close enough ;-)

I'd be very interested to hear about Bev's research too. What a great question!

Lynz, methinks I hear a peck of sarcasm in your response? ;-) Yes, isn't it a lovely cover! Like a romantic school painting.

Daz said...

This is the closest I've ever gotten to the chook, so I'm just happy I'm close.

I think having a 2ft pannier would be rather daunting on a romantic encounter, but that said, if they really wanted to, they would find a way.

Anna Campbell said...

Daz, where there's a will, there's a way? I love it! Mind you, that's what Mrs. Shakespeare said! ;-)

Alli said...

Hi Beverley. Hi Anna. Lovely interview.
Super congratulations on your debut book, Bev. Lady Sarah's Redemption sounds fabulous, and the cover is gorgeous.
What an adventurous life you'd led so far. So many wonderful, different places and experiences.
As for your Georgian heroine and her 2ft panniers - Do you write comedy? I can imagine so many mishaps as your brave heroine rushes about rescuing everyone and her panniers trapping her in windows, doors, chimneys, carriages, oh, just about anywhere and everywhere.
Congratulations again, and best wishes.


Beverley said...

Oooh, I'm so glad you love my cover, Virginia and Alli and Lynz. I do too, which was very lucky as I had no say in it.

Hmm Lynz, 3ft might just be going a little too far but I certainly think that when it comes to clothes more is...well, more.

Anna Campbell said...

Bev, more on research - do you have any favorite books you use as your resources?

Alli said...

Hi Beverley and Anna.
I know historical writers do loads of research for their books and am curious to know if you're ever tempted to fiddle with historical accuracy to add excitement or tension to your story. Is this a No No, or are their cases or ways to work around this?


limecello said...

Hi Beverley, thanks for visiting with us today, and congratulations on your new book! That's so exciting :D
And I really like the premise of Lady Sarah's Redemption. As for how adventurous I think she'd be in that get up... well first I thought how adventurous would *I* be. And frankly, that'd be not very. I'm pretty sure I'd be patting myself on the back if I managed to sit down, then get back up again on my own.
Haha, but if I *lived* in it? Well maybe some unladylike running. Honestly with the rest I don't know if anything else is possible. Not scaling a fence, not climbing on a horse or climbing anything else... :) But I'm sure Sarah manages just fine.

Anna Campbell said...

Alli, you're right. The comic potential of some of those silly fashions - have you seen the engravings of some of the hairstyles with ships in full sail on top of piled up hair or feathers up to the roof? - it's great.

Alli, I try and get things right but I always emphasize 'try'. But having said that, I wouldn't let myself deliberately bend history. It's like I've chosen this world and I need to abide by its rules.

Bev, your thoughts?

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Virginia.

Hi Beverley,
Congrats on your debut release. I think your Georgian heroine could definitely have some fun even with all those restrictive undergarments.

Anna Campbell said...

Lime, the other thing too is that the really ridiculously wide dresses - which I like the look of, they'd hide my hips! - are court clothing for the upper classes. Daily wear for people further down the scale or even aristocracy in more normal moments in their lives was much more practical. In fact, a lot of 18th-century is really pretty and I'd rather like to wear it myself!

Anna Campbell said...

Jane, I think given that the population exploded over this period, we can take it as given that people still had fun ;-)

Caffey said...

Bev, so nice to meet you!!!
I so always wondered where to find the Hale books and which ones come out because I love reading historicals and found one before by luck in the library. Not sure how they do it in the US tho. Wow what a beautiful setting and story this is! And a beauty to read your interview! Great meeting you Bev!

Caffey said...

Bev, I'm still learning as I read along in the different settings (Regency, Georgian, Victorian, etc) and wondered what place you found most to help you in your research for this book? (Now I want to go look up more on panniers!) LOL

Anna Campbell said...

Caffey, it's well worth checking out the Book Depository site (the link's in the intro). I buy a lot of books from them now. The pound is down which makes it economical and THEY DON'T CHARGE POSTAGE which blows my mind. They're also quick and really efficient. And what's great is you can get all those UK publishers like Robert Hale or Mills & Boon Medicals. The Robert Hales are a beautiful product. Hardcover!

Anna Campbell said...

Bev, on the subject of how beautiful your book is, how did you feel when you held it in your hand for the first time?

Jess Dee said...

Ah, those of you who know me, know I love to brag. So you can imagine what I have to say about the fact that... I have READ Lady Sarah's Redemption! (Nah nah nah nah nah.)
Seriously, the book is brilliant. You are in for a treat when you open it. Bev is an awesome author, and this is just the start of a long and happy career for her!


Anna Campbell said...

Jess, it's great, isn't it? What, you thought you'd get to brag alone? Bwahahahahahaha! Isn't it cool when your friends' dreams come true?

Beverley said...

It's so nice to hear from so many interesting people with such interesting questions and comments.

Some of you were asking about research. Alli, to answer your question specifically, I think it's really important to get historical *facts* accurate. The historical backdrop is a little different. Considering the reality of filth and diseases, these things can be glossed over somewhat for the sake of the romance.

Authorness said...

Congratulations on your debut, Beverley! It was lovely Anna who introduced me to you years ago at an RWA conference. We've had some fabulous lunches together - you've always got such wonderful stories about your travels.

As luck would have it, LADY SARAH'S REDEMPTION was on my doorstep when I arrived home from work *today*! I'm so looking forward to reading it.

I imagine negotiating 2ft panniers and all that whalebone would be a true test of love!

x Vanessa

Anna Campbell said...

Vanessa, love or desperation! ;-)

Alli said...

Bev and Anna, thanks so much for your helpful answers regarding historical accuracy.

Anna - The engravings sound delightful:)

Bev - Can't wait to read your book:) Congratulations again.
I'd also like to know how you felt holding your book for the first time:)


Beverley said...

Caffey, you were asking what research was particularly helpful. I've loved reading whatever I can about the social history of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries for as long as I can remember. It's a bit like osmosis. So much of that research is ingrained so that when I write the story I just need to research the pertinent historical facts. In the case of Lady Sarah's Redemption I needed to know some of the specifics of the Peterloo Masscare of 1819. But having a really good knowledge about society's attitudes at the time is really important when writing historicals in order to get the 'feel' of the story right.

Beverley said...

Hi Jess,

You certainly had some input into LADY SARAH'S REDEMPTION with your "But how did she *feel*" comments regularly in the text when you were critiquing it. Hopefully your copy will be winging its way over to you soon!

Cheryl said...

Bev, whizzing by to congratulate you on your debut book! I'm looking forward to reading it. Have you had the thrill of holding it in your hands yet?

I'm another who loves the early Georgian period. The costumes are so beautiful and intricate!

Annie West said...

Hi Bev,

Congratulations on your debut release! The book sounds as intriguing. Almost as fascinating as your own experiences!

As for your heroine, I'm betting she could be very adventurous indeed, despite the whalebone. Where there's a will...

Looking forward to reading about Lady Sarah!


Llehn said...

Well, she could still have enough fun to make life interesting but not enough that she will get in trouble!

Elizabeth Rolls said...

Hi Bev, congratulations on your debut. Here's to a long and successful writing career. Sounds like you've already had an interesting "day" job!
I agree about the ins and outs of research - there is no point in waxing lyrical about the prevalence of disease and filth. As for the clothes, a great deal of what survives is the really high-end stuff, the court dresses and "special occasion" dresses. They were also the clothes people were painted in - just imagine going for your publicity shots in your grungy old sweats! Back then people also tended to alter things a great deal to fit the latest fashion. For example, the material for a "sackback" gown in the 18th century might well have been cut out of its original gown to make a cloak or something. There is a wonderful scene in one of Georgette Heyer's books where the heroine's family is doing exactly this. Very often too, things got altered for amateur theatricals or cut down for a child.
Fascinating that your plot takes in the public reaction to the Peterloo massacre - I read that up a while back thinking to use it, but then I found something just as vile and nasty - the Cato Street Conspiracy . . . I felt dirty just reading about some of it.
Congrats again. Lady Sarah arrived in the Adelaide Hills this morning and my bookshelves groaned in despair to realise that I have found somewhere ELSE to buy yet more book.[Evil laughter!]

Elizabeth Rolls said...

You'd be amazed how much fun could be had in panniers and whalebone, Llehn!

Beverley said...

Really Elizabeth? Sounds like you *really* go to great lenghts with regard to your research. (Haha!) I think I really should try it out. I think whalebone and panniers would be great fun - for an hour.

Beverley said...

Vanessa, thanks so much for dropping by. You sure have something to smile about - (The Golden Heart!) I really hope you enjoy LSR.

Elizabeth Rolls said...

Snort! And I look so meek and quiet! Actually it was Kalen Hughes who gave me the low down on corsets. She gave a very interesting talk in New Zealand a couple of years back complete with corsets that she had made herself. Not THAT is taking research to the limit. I'd feel sorry for any heroine who had to wear a corset I had stitched.

Christine Wells said...

Hi Beverley! A hearty welcome to the lair from a fellow Aussie (and Regency historical writer!)

What a fascinating life you've led. I'm not surprised you find a lot of fodder for fiction there, even if only, as you say, in indirect ways at present.

I love the Georgian era but I know what you mean about the restrictions of panniers, although they were collapsible, weren't they? And of course, one could dress en deshabille for dalliance! I suppose it's also why so many popular heroines wore breeches.

Best of luck with your debut!

Hey, Virginia got the rooster. Congrats!

Helen said...

Congrats Virginia enjoy your say with him

What a great interview Beverly and Anna and yes I am sure I would love this book thanks Anna for inviting Beverly along today.

What a wonderful life full of travels you have had I haven't travelled much at all only in the books that I read and that is one of the things that I love about them so much the adventures and the places and different times that I get to "visit".

I should imagine that it would be extremely hard to get up to much in the paniers and whalebone corsets but I gotta say as someone else has already said where there is a will there is a way and I am sure that as an author you are going to have lots of fun doing it and we are going to love reading it.

Congrats on the book Beverly

Have Fun

SurlyScorpio said...

Congratulations Beverley on your debut and on a lovely interview. Thanks for the link to your website which was a lot of fun.

I had the good fortune to go to high school with Beverley in Adelaide.

I am looking forward to receiving and reading my copy of LADY SARAH'S REDEMPTION - and getting Bev's autograph at some point before she becomes TOO famous!

Best wishes for the book tour Bev and don't stress about the public speaking.

PinkPeony said...

Hi Anna! Welcome Beverly!

I have a question...how did the women manage to even get into a carriage wearing a pannier? And how many pannier clad women could fit into a carriage? It seems that if they were so wide, there couldn't be more than two women per coach. You could hide a small army under those skirts!

Could the Georgian heroine be adventurous and spontaneously amorous wearing panniers and stays of whalebone? I'd say she'd have a frolicking good time as long as the man in her sights wasn't Captain Ahab. :)

Land ahoy!

Blodeuedd said...

The book sounds great.
And I am sure glad that I don't have to be clothed in that, sure it looked great, but I couldn't really go biking in them, lol.

But I am sure she has figured out all the ways to get around in them

Margaret Muir said...

Congratulations Beverley on your debut novel with Robert Hale.
May there be many more to follow.
Marg Muir (Tasmania)

Caren Crane said...

Beverly, welcome to the Lair! Worry not about the antics of the Golden Rooster. Virginia will keep him neatly in hand today so he shouldn't be strutting around, ruining your time in the spotlight!

Your book sounds fascinating. I, for one, adore lots of detail especially about the clothes. I'm with Anna C., in that the panniers would have hidden my hips and the corseting would have cinched my waist (which is on the smallish side) and boosted my girls (definitely on the smallish side). Add the ginormous hairstyles and I would have been set!

I was put in mind of "Georgianna", which was so gorgeous to watch. Keira Knightley is, of course, as big around as a toothpick, but she wore those clothes as if born to them. I believe she even frolicked and scurried at times!

I think if one were sneaking into alcoves in such a get-up access to the torso wouldn't have been too difficult, but getting under the circus tent without destroying the skirts would have been a right challenge. I'm sure women found it easier to guard their virtue when rigged out in all that wire and fabric...if they wanted to. I imagine if you were bent on salicious behavior, it paid to have a loyal and discreet ladies' maid!

I am fascinated by the country where you grew up and would LOVE to read a book about that. I have such a dull life!

Barbara Monajem said...

Hi, Beverley. Congrats on your release. I had a look at your site and really enjoyed reading about your life. I spent a short time in Swaziland several years ago and hope to return some day.

As for the panniers, I love to imagine what could be concealed under there! The possibilities are delightfully endless. The wider the panniers, the more room for contraband, weapons, precious artifacts, escapees (I read one book where this actually was the case), the hero... Oh, such fun.

Sharon Archer said...

Hi Anna and Beverley

Congratulations on Lady Sarah's Redemption, Beverley! Sounds fascinating.

As does the story behind your romance with your husband - you put that tantalising little hint in there!

I've seen Georgianna too - and Keira did carry the clothing off beautifully. Those huge skirts would require excellent spacial ability to calculate clearances around bits of furniture. I can imagine leaving a trail of broken ornaments in my wake.

Anyway, it's a trip to The Book Depository for me to order your book!

I'm looking forward to a great read!

Beverley said...

Just dropped back to the lair after my Toastmasters meeting where I'm learning to string together a sentence on my feet, in public, as opposed to on a pc, in solitude.

Thank you all so much for making my debut even more wonderful with your good wishes. Yes, the feeling of holding that beautiful, glossy-covered book with its lovely cover in my hands when it arrived yesterday was indescribable. And the excitement of my two girls (and their daddy) was just great.

Joan said...

Beverley, welcome to The Lair (panniers optional...as are cabana boy loincloths..but I digress)

I can already feel the excitement of your story just in your synopsis! And my gosh....the exotic life....for this KY girl...you've led is fascinating!

As to panniers I have this image of the hero/heroine getting very involved and he wanting to slip her dress up to "explore" and....getting slapped back and forth with the panniers. :-D

Suzanne Welsh said...

Good morning, Beverly and welcome to the Lair. We're always happy to have debut authors on board.

Since I live my life in pajamas and scrub clothes, (aka more pajamas), I think your heroine will need to change out of those panniers for her adventures! Which of course, leaves her in her undergarments. And of course, the hero will want to help her out of for even more freedom.

Suzanne Welsh said...

Joanie said:(panniers optional...as are cabana boy loincloths..but I digress)..

Joanie, why are you always digressinng under the cabana boys' loincloths?

Elizabeth Hanbury said...

Hi Beverley,

What a great interview! Just popped over to wish you all the best on the publication of Lady Sarah's Redemption. It sounds a fabulous read and I look forward to getting hold of a copy here in the UK :-) Lovely cover too. Isn't it a wonderful feeling to finally hold the book in your hands?!

The most extreme version of panniers I've seen was a court dress at the Fashion Musuem in Bath. Beautifully decorated but totally impractical! Even though it was only worn at court, it's difficult to see how they could negotiate doorways, carriages, sedan chairs etc. I'm sure everyday 18th century dress allowed for adventure and spontaneity, though ;0)

There's also an area at the Fashion Museum where you can try on various styles of corset. Certainly an eye-opening experience *g*

Joan said...

Joanie, why are you always digressinng under the cabana boys' loincloths? ....

As rabbit is to Lacy, so loincloths are to me :-D

Nancy said...

Virginia, congrats on grabbing the rooster! I hope you'll keep him busy.

Beverly, welcome and congratulations! Your book sounds wonderful, and I enjoyed reading about your real-life adventures. I love the story of how you met your husband.

Since panniers go off to the side, forward motion should be okay for adventuring. Corsets would make deep breathing tough, so I don't suppose she could run very fast or far. It's the wig I'd see as the main problem.

If we're talking amorous adventures . . . panniers to the sides, upper half laces . . . should be manageable. Except, again, for mussing the wig.

I.J. Parnham said...

Thanks for an excellent interview and good luck with the book.

Minna said...

"I can imagine so many mishaps as your brave heroine rushes about rescuing everyone and her panniers trapping her in windows, doors, chimneys, carriages, oh, just about anywhere and everywhere."

Not to mention that her tight corset would make her faint at the most inconvenient times -and places.

Aikakone - Keltainen

MAARIT Tuuli & Taivas (Wind & Sky)


Neiti Kevät

Pave Maijanen - Lähtisitkö

Tomas Ledin - Sommaren är kort

jcp said...

When I read your question, my thought was I hope the hero is very good with his hands and i hope she never has to use the facilities.:)

Pamela Cayne said...

Beverley--I don't know which sounds more amazing, your book or your life! However, since only one is in print, that makes the case about which to buy. (har)

For the Great Pannier Escape, I keep seeing the ruggedly masculine hero cutting through each lacing of her stay with a sharp knife, the tension of each cut causing our hero and heroine to come that much closer with each lacing gone. The ragged edge of danger having a blade so close to her body makes our heroine play an even bolder game and she turns the blade of seduction back upon her seducer.

Sorry. Think I had too much caffeine this morning.

Louisa Cornell said...

Congrats on the GR, Virginia! Keep him busy and out of trouble!

Hello, Beverley!

What an amazing life you have lead. Lady Sarah's Redemption sounds like a wonderful book - just my cup of tea.

I have to admit those two foot paniers are definitely giggle-worthy.

I have to admit that I have thought they had the potential to hide a full-grown man beneath them and Lord knows WHAT sort of adventures he could get up to while she stood there in full view of an entire ballroom of people !

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Yeah, Virginia! You got him! He's a rascal and I think he's been celebrating w/ Limecello, now that she's officially a graduate. You know...The Graduate...snicker.

Beverley! GREAT stuff in that interview. Welcome to the Romance Bandit's Lair. I'm going to go and read all the comments here in a sec, but I wante to sigh rapturously over all your travels. *siiiiiigh* What a great life! :>

As to the panniers, I suppose it would depend on what a gel was wearing UNDER that skirt...grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Joanie T wrote: Joanie, why are you always digressinng under the cabana boys' loincloths? ....

As rabbit is to Lacy, so loincloths are to me :-D

OMGood Sweet Lord, JT!! I nearly choked to death laughing.


jo robertson said...

Bev, a hearty welcome to the Lair. Your book and stories sound as adventurous and wide-ranged as your life. How exciting!

Virgina, you lucky girl! Make the rooster behave today.

I love the sound of your debut book, Bev, all that political issue and intrigue and a spunky heroine to boot!

Never liked the idea of the panniers, but after all, in the end the clothes often come off!

Barbara, what a clever idea -- the pannier as a concealment hatch!

Pat Cochran said...

Welcome to the Lair! I love to hear
the stories of how new authors come
to be authors. Thanks for sharing
your story with us today. Your debut
book sounds great,"Congratulations"
on your release day!!

Pat Cochran

Nancy said...

Joanie--what Jeanne said, me, too!

What's the new guy, Marcus, up to these days?

Anna Campbell said...

Cheryl, I knew you were another Georgian fan. I wish there were more romances set then. I love the fact that the men dressed like peacocks but actually they were lethal - they all carried swords, for a start!

Annie, thanks so much for swinging by. Isn't it wonderful to see another of our buddies joining the books on the shelves fraternity? Or perhaps that should be sorority!

Anna Campbell said...

Llehn, I like your thinking!

Hi Elizabeth! Bev's bringing the stars out tonight ;-) By the way, do you speak from experience with your remark from Llehn? LOL!

Anna Campbell said...

Actually one of the really fun things about writing elaborate costumes is the undressing is such a drawn-out process. Always enjoy those scenes in my books!

Christine, the Georgian period is interesting, isn't it? I know Julia Ross did a couple of really great novels set then. And the first Laura Kinsale I read was Georgian rather than Regency - the Prince of Midnight, what a great book! I read it so often, I had the details set in my mind and I remember when I went to Osterley Park, where a pivotal scene is set, I got a great thrill when I saw the lyre-backed chairs she talks about at the ball.

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, it DOES sound like your sort of book, doesn't it? That was one of the first things I thought when I was reading it!

SurlyScorpio, thanks for visiting us in the lair today. Here, grab a nice cool cabana boy I've just mixed up for you. Isn't it exciting to know Bev's debut is for sale? Wow! How cool is that?

RachieG said...

Congratulations on your book. I'm sure it was difficult working while you have a young one run around, but I think it's great. Dreams realized! :)

May good things continue...and your book sounds wonderful!

rachie2004 AT yahoo.com

Anna Campbell said...

Jen, you always crack me up. Captain Ahab? Land ahoy? Snork! Actually I was reading something the other day where someone in the Georgian age was complaining about how difficult these stupid fashions made life. You could only fit half the people in a ballroom for example and doors had to be built wide. I agree that the possibilities for comedy are immense.

Anna Campbell said...

Blodeuedd, laughed at the idea of going biking in panniers! You'd need a 'wide load' sign stuck to your behind, wouldn't you?

Marg, always lovely to see an Aussie on the blog! Thanks for popping by.

Susan Sey said...

Congrats on your debut novel, Beverly! The contract sounds well deserved--I can't wait to read Lady Sarah's story.

And your travels sound fascinating! I've always despised being a tourist, & have told my husband (much to his dismay) that I'd rather see the world by living two or three years in each country that takes my fancy. As a tourist, you just can't understand a place, you know? And breezing through for a day or two snapping photos just makes me feel like I'm trivializing a place where real people live, where real lives take place.

Is that weird?

My DH certainly thinks so. :-)

So your around-the-world lifestyle sounds so appealing to me. Especially the part where you finished a book due to a nanny & a gardener. Do you have a favorite place you've lived?

Again, congrats on your contract & I'm looking forward to seeing your name on the shelves!

Anna Campbell said...

Hmm, Caren, I must say I look at those skirts and think of tents. And people crawling into tents and being nice and safe from the weather and observation. Too much info? LOL.

And then I read your post, Barbara, and realized you had exactly the same idea! Snort!

Anna Campbell said...

Sharon, welcome from the wilds of Western Australia! It's pouring where I am. What's it like where you are? Laughed at the leaving a trail of destruction behind - I do that now and generally I'm in trackpants! I would have been a weapon of mass destruction if I'd worn an 18th century ballgown!

Anna Campbell said...

Joan, I'm laughing at your imaginary love scene! Poor guy!

Suz, I can see a love scene developing just from your description. Hmm, it's interesting how we all concentrate on one sort of activity for Bev's question, isn't it? You're all naughty wenches, Banditas!

Anna Campbell said...

Suz, you know Joanie is always un-digressing the cabana boys! She tells me it's research but I'm not so sure...

Elizabeth, welcome to the lair! Thanks for popping over. Isn't the costume museum absolutely wonderful? When I was last there, they had a special exhibition of real Jane Austen era costumes versus what's in the movies. Amazing stuff! I think my favorite things, though, were the gloves. Do you remember how beautiful they are?

traveler said...

Welcome Beverley. Congratulations on your wonderful book, Lady Sarah's Redemption. It sounds utterly captivating and unique. How fortunate to have travelled so much.

Christie Kelley said...

Welcome to the lair, Beverly! Your book sounds wonderful.

As far as an adventure in all those clothes, I think it would be difficult at best. Even in Regency stays there were certain positions that could not be maintained. I'll stick to jeans and tee shirts.

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, actually one of the wonderful things about historical clothing is that it encouraged wonderful posture. I'm so round shouldered and slumpy - Jane Austen would disown me!

Thanks for popping into the lair, I.J.

Anna Campbell said...

Minna, I also think people get used to stuff. And the 18th century corsets weren't nearly as bad as the Victorian ones which were reinforced with metal. Whalebone at least has a bit of give.

JCP, your comment about the facilities reminded me of something I read as a uni student working on an essay about Louis XIV. I was meant to be talking about his military policy but I kept getting distracted by all the fascinating social detail. Versailles was built with, from memory, NO TOILETS. Obviously there were chamber pots in bedrooms but when you attended a ceremony in the Hall of Mirrors, you were stuck there. It was also against etiquette to leave if the king was present. So ladies used to go where they stood. Under those wide skirts, they had a bit of cover. Although the smell must have been horrific. Gentlemen (not sure if that term is approprriate) used to go behind the tapestries. Doesn't that give you a different picture of the elegance of the ancien regime?

Anna Campbell said...

Whoooo, Pamela! That was a bit much for 5am in the morning! Hmm, that works for me!

Louisa, I see you're another subscriber to the tent theory. Snort!

Anna Campbell said...

Jeanne, the only person I know who's been to as many exotic, out of the way places as Bev is our Bandita Kim. It's always so interesting to talk to people who've travelled far and wide, isn't it? Hmm, far and wide is making me think of panniers again!

Jo, I'm beginning to think these dresses are offering opportunities I've never really thought about. You can't hide much under a Regency gown, can you?

Anna Campbell said...

Pat, it's always special when we have a debut author in the lair, isn't it? Glad you enjoyed the interview!

Hi Rachie! Personally I'm in awe for people who manage to write while wrangling little ones!

Anna Campbell said...

Susan, you really ARE a serious traveller. Clearly you and Bev have lots in common. I always had dreams of living overseas but you know, these days I'm old and tired and the idea of hitting a place, taking a few snaps, drinking a few local bevies and eating some nice local food and then shipping out again to my bed and my computer really appeals.

Yes, I know, I'm letting the side down! ;-)

terrio said...

I'm very late and don't have time to read all the comments, but I love this blog. This is a book I hadn't heard of yet so thank you for the heads up.

Beverly - Your life sounds amazing. I notice that your books are stand alones which is different in that most Historicals these days are series. Very happy to see this. I wish we had more stand alone Historicals to choose from.

Anna Campbell said...

Traveler, your name says it all!

Christie, certain positions? Do tell us more! Snort! Oh, dear, the gone is deteriorating. I'm sure it's not my fault!

Anna Campbell said...

What an interesting comment, Terrio, about the stand alones. By the way, you're not late! ;-) I write stand alones, as you know. I just think some stories don't need to be part of an overarching structure. Which doesn't mean I don't like series, I do. I just wonder why EVERY book has to be one of three or four or six or a neverending cycle. Sometimes I want one meal to be enough, you know?

Anna Campbell said...

By the way, Terrio, is that a new avatar? Very pretty!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna said: Jeanne, the only person I know who's been to as many exotic, out of the way places as Bev is our Bandita Kim.

So true! Between her and AC, I feel the total-travel-slacker. :>

Donna MacMeans said...

LOL - I have a mental image of a modern woman in panniers trying to go through a doorway face forward.

Beverley - welcome to the lair! Your life sounds so exotic and adventurous, your writing surely must reflect that spirit. Your books sound absolutely fabulous. I'll be watching for them.

Christie Kelley said...

Oh Anna, I think you know exactly what I mean. LOL!

Beth said...

Welcome to the lair, Beverley! Congrats on your debut. Lady Sarah's Redemption sounds wonderful :-)

Honestly, by the time I was finished getting dressed in those panniers and laced stays I would probably be so tired, I doubt I'd have the energy to do more than stand there *g* You'd find me propped against some wall until someone was kind enough to move me ;-)

Caffey said...

Anna, thanks on the book depositary. I shall be checking that out. Thanks again.

p226 said...

I believe spontaneous amour would probably involve a quality blade to peel her out of that thing. Otherwise, it's going to be quite deliberate amour.

"My these clothes are so oppressive, and I do believe they're in our way!"



"Problem solved my dear."

Elizabeth Hanbury said...

Anna, ah yes, I remember the gloves! They were a status symbol in the 17th century, so the more elaborate the better. There was a beautiful 18th century embroidered man's waistcoat I loved too. Fascinating how fashions have been used throughout history to reflect social status.

The highlight of my Fashion Museum visit last year was bumping into a real life TDH man dressed in Regency garb. He was a costumier and I spent a very pleasant hour - swoon! - learning about bucksins, button holes and cravats.

Maureen said...

Congratulations on your new book! I enjoyed reading about all your adventures and I imagine an adventurous heroine could manage any clothing dilemma you could throw at her.

Helen said...

Although the dresses from this era are really beautiful to see I don't think I could have ever walked around in them or sat in them I am very much a track pants person who really likes to feel comfortable. I am laughing at some of the suggestions of things people could do in the paniers. The hair styles were massive in this era as well one of Eloisa James Duchess books described the problems people had with their hair with huge knots and birds nests in them (I can't remember which one at the moment), but I gotta say I love reading about this era as well.

Have Fun

Anna Campbell said...

Christie, I had to laugh - you really do get used to talking about this stuff, don't you? Snork!

Donna, houses definitely aren't built for women in court dress any more, are they? The world's going down the drain! LOL.

Anna Campbell said...

Beth, picturing you as a sort of Georgian window mannequin. Made me laugh. Actually when you read about these women (and men - in the Georgian era, the men were even more fussy about their clothing than the women!), it's astonishing how much of their day they had to put into just getting ready to make an appearance in public. Hours and hours.

Anna Campbell said...

P226, as usual you gave me a giggle. Perhaps that's why the men were called 'rakes' - they had a garden shed worth of tools following them around so they could get their lady loves unpeeled!

Oh, Elizabeth, I remember the waistcoat. The embroidery was just exquisite! I ran into a man in Regency garb at the Georgian house in Edinburgh. I didn't tell him I was a writer so he was looking rather scared by the time I'd finished quizzing him on how his breeches felt and just WHAT he could do without taking off either his neckcloth or his coat ;-)

Minna said...

Minna, I also think people get used to stuff.

Did they? I recall some documentary (can't remember exactly which era it was about) that there were special rooms where women could recover when they fainted -thanks to their corsets. Not to mention what those things did to your body.

Anna Campbell said...

Maureen, great answer! I think you're right!

Helen, there's something so exotic about this era, isn't there? As you say, nothing seemed logical and yet they did it and they did it for years. I remember researching Georgian costume and essentially it didn't change much from the beginning of the 18th century until the Regency right at the end of the century. Seems like a long time for people to be wandering around like ships under full sail and yet they did.

Anna Campbell said...

Minna, I'm not sure about general fainting from corsetry in the 18th century. As I say, the whalebone ones didn't really cinch you in like the ones in Gone with the Wind. Women fainting from having their corsets too tight was definitely a problem in the Victorian and Edwardian eras when the corsets were reinforced with steel and you could really, REALLY wrench someone in tight.

Bev, do you know?

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna said: I didn't tell him I was a writer so he was looking rather scared by the time I'd finished quizzing him on how his breeches felt and just WHAT he could do without taking off either his neckcloth or his coat ;-)

ROFLMAO! Poor man! Snork!

Beverley said...

Liz, the Bath Costume Museum sounds great. I spent 2 months in Cheltenham when I was 22 and doing a secretarial course. I can't believe I never visited! I'm certainly going back, though. As for my most favourite country...I loved Namibia which used to be North West Africa. The German influence is still very strong, with the food and architecture and language. My husband and I had an apartment in Swakopmund as well as Windhoek and we spent a year doing low level survey of the desert in between - all on expenses. As I said, those restaurants - and the sand dunes and scenery - were magnificent!!!

Beverley said...

What a lot of interesting suggestions there are. I hadn't even thought of some of them!

Tiffany Chalmers w/a Tiffany Clare said...

Beverley, congrats on your debut.

Uhm... I'm totally loving your life... all that exotic living---I'm in boring ol' Toronto;) and such beautiful places. The pics on your site are gorgey!

And the two foot pannier gives a lot of extra space for skirts and uh... things to fit under those skirts!

This might be a stupid question but does this release in North America too?

Anna Campbell said...

Tiff, I'm pretty sure it's only a UK release. Perhaps Bev can tell you more.

By the way, is that the new pen name? Very euphonious!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Anna said: euphonious

I LOVE that word! :>

Anna Campbell said...

Hi everyone! Bev got called away unexpectedly and couldn't get computer access although she did manage to get the following message to me:

Hey everyone, I've been overwhelmed by the fantastic response and the variety of solutions as to what one can do wearing - not just 2ft but *3ft* - panniers and whalebone corsets. I will definitely be kitting myself out for some proper research. It sounds like *fun*!
I've so enjoyed chatting with you and will definitely be returning to the lair to see what other excitement is on offer. What a great bunch of people. Thank you."

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, everyone, for a great day in the lair. And don't forget to check back to see who won the book!

LighthouseSandy said...

Heavens, you'd think she wouldn't be very adventurous, but, of course, a woman does what she has to do no matter what. Modern women probably wouldn't do well in such a get-up, but I'm sure your heroine will do quite fine in her own age and day! I'm curious to find out how fine!

Beverley said...

Hi Tiffany,

I know Toronto fairly well and parts of it are lovely! I was based in Ottawa for 2 years (though mostly away on contract).

LADY SARAH'S REDEMPTION doesn't release in the US but the Book Depository, which does FREE worldwide shipping (Anna's provided the link at the beginning) has become my favourite way to access all sorts of titles I can't get in my local bookshop.

Anna Campbell said...

Lighthouse Sandy (love your moniker, by the way!), that's my theory. You really do get used to working within the parameters of your own time. And when you read about what the pioneers did in Australia wearing crinolines and corsets, you think women can do pretty much anything, no matter what they've got on!

Beverley said...

Lighthouse Sandy, I'm always amazed when I see photographs of Austrailan pioneering women in their long, full skirts and pristine white blouses. Then I remember that what we see is the stylised version. Their day to day clothing (not represented in photographs or paintings) was probably more different than we realise.

Beverley said...

I was reading the other day that not all women wearing the crinoline, for example, wore underwear. And that some unfortunate British miss caused a great sensation in the Persian Court when she fell on her face - meaning, of course, that her caged skirts presented a tantalising view. I think panniers were much more respectable from that point of view.

chey said...

Hi Beverley,
I don't see how she could be very adventurous or spontaneously amorous with those undergarments. With all that whale bone do you think she can breathe? Or move?

Beverley said...

Hi Cheryl,

No, I think she'd have to think very carefully about how she would conduct any sort of amour in those restrictions. But then, as Anna has pointed out, probably the most constrictive clothing was reserved for court.