Elyse Mady's first book is, appropriately, The Debutante's Dilemma from Carina Press. Not that Elyse has a dilemma when it comes to her writing. She's found her voice, done her research (historical research, I mean!) and written a wow of a book.
Thanks for inviting me to your blog today, Jenny. I’m really excited to be here to talk about my new book, The Debutante’s Dilemma. It’s a Regency novella with some really wonderful characters in it and I’m thrilled that a great new publishing house like Carina decided to pick it up.
Who is your favourite side character in The Debutante's Dilemma? Tell us about them.
I really like Cecilia's cousin, Georgiana. She's such a firecracker and unfortunately, a lot of her back-story just didn't fit into the parameters of the novella and ended up on the cutting room floor. She's lively and vivacious and married to a man who truly loves her, for all that Edward's more reserved and less out-going. She and Cecilia have a real, lifelong friendship - the kind that distance and life can't erode and they know each other too well to allow for deceptions to come between them. She forces Cecilia to face up to the decision she's been avoiding, so she really acts as a catalyst for Cecilia's transformation.
Secret knowledge. Name one site on the web that no historical romance writer should be without? (even if it's just where to order emergency supplies of chocolate!)
Two words: Internet Archive. It's the best resource I know of for getting actual period documents that are so critical for a really believable historical novel. I love it and download books and pamphlets and images all the time. I'm doing research on Newgate Prison right now for my next Regency book and I couldn't have done it without the resources the site offers.
As for the chocolate, though, I'm afraid you're on your own, Jenny. See, I'm not really a chocolate, chocolate fan. I mean, I *like* chocolate but it's not one of the 'gotta have it on the desert island' things. But when I need me a pick-me up, that would totally be Anna Olson's cookbook, Sugar. Homemade cookies are very satisfying and her chocolate cake recipe is sooo rich and delicious. Even if my characters aren't behaving, I can go away, procrastinate by baking and end up with a delicious result that makes me feel productive, even if I haven't added to my word count. And as a totally weird aside, she's actually the pastry chef who made my wedding cake when I got married, so I figure using her cookbook is a good sign for the longevity of my marriage. The day I say, "Sweetie, I'm sorry, but I no longer like chocolate chippies" is the day I file with the lawyers. :)
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started writing romances?
That I intended to write a historical novella with a threesome! Geez Louise, I'm a nice small town girl who went to a Baptist summer camp, for Pete's sake. I mean, we had 'recreational square activities' instead of square dancing one summer and here I am, twenty years later, with a trio of characters who suddenly informed me half way through the book that no thank-you, they didn't feel like deciding between themselves and would I mind terribly writing them a really, really hot ménage scene?
After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I obliged and if I do say so myself *fanning* "Whew!" Now my husband, who, as I wrote in my dedication, is the kind of guy who if given the choice between reading a romance novel and being boiled alive in hot oil would ask, "How hot?", is totally loving the cachet of being married to an author who writes 'threesomes.' . We went out to dinner with an old group of friends after my novella had been picked by Carina and let me tell you, I had no idea he could work the word into just so many conversational openings! LOL
He was very disappointed to hear that my next historical book is strictly a one plus one kind of story. Perhaps I've set the bar too high for him and spoiled him for life? Who knows? Only time will tell. :)
Are you a one-book-at-a-time reader or do you have many on the go at once?
Hah! One at a time? No way, José. I'm a voracious reader so I always have multiple books on the go. Of course, with kids in the mix now, that often includes literary gems like "Trucks Go" and "Green Eggs and Ham" but when the opportunity arises between everything else, I always have a book in hand. Always.
If you could holiday anywhere in the world—with Bill Gates paying the bills—where would you choose?
China. I'd love to spend a couple of years living there and exploring the entire country and really immersing myself in its culture.
About The Debutante’s Dilemma by Elyse Mady, from Carina Press:
One woman in search of passion
Miss Cecilia Hastings has achieved what every young lady hopes for during her first London season…in duplicate! She’s caught the eye of not one but two of England’s most eligible bachelors. Both Jeremy Battersley, Earl of Henley, and Richard Huxley, Duke of Wexford are handsome, wealthy and kind, the epitome of proper gentlemen. But Cecelia doesn’t want proper, she wants passion. So she issues a challenge to her suitors: a kiss, so that she may choose between them.
Two men in love with the same woman
Friends since childhood, and compatriots on the battlefields of Spain, falling for the same woman has set Jeremy and Richard at odds, and risks destroying their friendship forever. But a surprising invitation to a late-night garden tryst soon sets them on a course that neither of them could have anticipated. And these gentlemen quickly discover that love can take many forms…
About the author, Elyse Mady:
An enthusiastic and voracious reader of everything from 18th century novels to misplaced cereal boxes, Elyse has worked as a freelance magazine writer for the past several years, specializing, in all things, in sewing and embroidery.
Her first work of fiction, The Debutante’s Dilemma, is published by Carina Press. She is also working on a number of contemporary romance manuscripts as well as a full length historical novel set in the 1780s.
With her excellent writerly imagination, she one day dreams of topping the NY Times Bestseller’s List and reclaiming her pre-kid body without the bother of either sit-ups or the denunciation of ice-cream.
She blogs at http://www.elysemady.wordpress.com/ about writing, research and romance novels, both historical and contemporary. You can reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on Facebook for updates and upcoming titles.