Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Interview: Historical Romance Author Grace Burrowes

Today we have with us historical romance author Grace Burrowes.  Welcome to RomFan Reviews Grace it is a great honor to have you with us today. 

        Last month was the release of Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish; can you tell us about the book?
I would love to! Lady Sophie is the sensible Windham sister, and yet, she’s fed up with holiday festivities that for her no longer resonate with genuine joy. She finagles a few days of solitude at the Windham town house, only to find herself snowed in with an abandoned infant. Being a lady, Sophie has no idea how to care for wee Kit, but handsome Vim Charpentier knows all about looking after babies…. There’s mistletoe involved, and Sophie’s three nosey brothers, and of course, a happily ever after for all. 

      Your next release is about Sophie’s brother Valentine who also made his appearance known in The Heir and The Soldier.  Can you tell us about The Virtuoso?
 Authors are frequently admonished to torture our romance heroes, so when it came time to write Valentine’s story, I knew I had to take his music away from him. This tortured me, but wonderful things began to happen when Val took on the challenges facing his pretty, widowed neighbor, Ellen Markham. Very soon, music of the heart could be heard even when Valentine’s pianistic skill was no longer in evidence.


       Will you be continuing your Regency Series and writing about the rest of the Windham family?
 But of course! And also their neighbors and friends and maybe even—this would be a Georgian, of course—the story of how the Duke and Duchess of Moreland courted and wed.

     You are also a lawyer; how do you juggle two careers? 
     Balance, more than juggle. As a child welfare attorney, I see a lot of lives that are far from a happily ever after. The writing gives me a place to counterbalance that reality, and it restores my optimism and joie de vivre. The office gives me a break from the creative challenges of the writing, and it keeps me grateful for the privilege of writing for publication.

     What’s been the best experience in your writing career?
I have made friends through my books, and I’ve heard from readers that my stories give them a little breathing room, a smile, amid life’s challenges. Romance authors have done that for me for decades. To think that I can pass on such a gift is profoundly satisfying.

      What’s been the worst experience in your writing career?
I’m a beginner again at age 52. This is not a bad experience, but it demands courage and resilience of a type I haven’t had to call on for a while. Maybe beginning a creative endeavor after age fifty should be mandatory, because it’s wonderfully rewarding.

     Since your books are based on the Regency era how do you do all your research and where do you get some of your information from?
    The web is an invaluable tool, as are other books. I always have a Georgette Heyer in progress, and I read as widely as I can among sources original to the period. I’ve also made some trips to England and Scotland, and God willing, I’d like to make many more.

     How long have you been writing?  And how long did it take for you to get published?
My parents got me an Olivetti typewriter for Christmas when I was eight, but that’s not what you mean, is it? I started messing around with Regency stories about six years ago, when my daughter moved out. Four years later, I decided to see if any of my completed manuscripts could catch an editor’s eye. The first person I pitched was Deb Werksman, of Sourcebooks, Inc., and she ended up offering me a multiple book deal. It isn’t supposed to work like that, I know, and yet, I did read romance for forty years at a voracious rate, too. Maybe that gave me an edge?

    Who are some of the authors we would find on your bookshelf?
The author who taught me the meaning of keeper is Judith Ivory, but I have many, many keepers: Mary Balogh, Loretta Chase, Carolyn Jewel, Jennifer Ashley, Eloisa James, Julia Quinn, Meredith Duran, Julie Ann Long, Sophia Nash, JR Ward (yes, you read that right), and Joanna Bourne—if you’ve already picked up The Virtuoso, or even if you haven’t, treat yourself to Joanna Bourne’s The Black Hawk, released this month. Scrumptious.

    Is there any advice you would give to those who are looking to write their own books?
I’ve blogged about this a few times on my website. I’d say my advice comes down to three things: First, enjoy the writing. Once you’re published, you can’t focus on it in the same pure, passionate fashion, so enjoy it now. Second, don’t be daunted by the people who talk about writing, and conference about it, and quote craft books about it. While they’re flapping around and dropping names, you finish your WIP. There are many roads to Rome, and yours might be one nobody else has ever traveled. Third, never, never, never give up. Never. When you think you’re going to give up, email me and I’ll give you a pep talk.

    Where can readers go to learn more about you and your books? 
    Thanks to the genius talents at Wax Creative, Inc., I am now the proud owner of a gorgeous new website at www.graceburrowes.com. Book covers, blogs, excerpts, deleted scenes, my bio and pics, the newsletter sign up, and much more await anybody who visits the site. I’m also on Facebook and on Twitter @graceburrowes.

Thank you so much Grace for spending some time with us it was a pleasure having you here and we hope you come back again soon.

Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish by Grace Burrowes – In Stores NOW!
A luminous holiday tale of romance, passion, and dreams come true from rising star Grace Burrowes, whose award-winning Regency romances are capturing hearts worldwide.

All she wants is peace and anonymity…
Lady Sophie Windham has maneuvered a few days to herself at the ducal mansion in London before she must join her family for Christmas in Kent. Suddenly trapped by a London snowstorm, she finds herself with an abandoned baby and only the assistance of a kind, handsome stranger standing between her and complete disaster.

But Sophie’s holiday is about to heat up…
With his estate in ruins, Vim Charpentier sees little to feel festive about this Christmas. His growing attraction for Sophie Windham is the only thing that warms his spirits—but when Sophie’s brothers whisk her away, Vim’s most painful holiday memories are reawakened.

It seems Sophie’s been keeping secrets, and now it will take much more than a mistletoe kiss to make her deepest wishes come true… 

The Virtuoso by Grace Burrowes – In Stores November 2011
A genius with a terrible loss…
Gifted pianist Valentine Windham, youngest son of the Duke of Moreland, has little interest in his father’s obsession to see his sons married, and instead pours passion into his music. But when Val loses his music, he flees to the country, alone and tormented by what has been robbed from him.

A widow with a heartbreaking secret…
Grieving Ellen Markham has hidden herself away, looking for safety in solitude. Her curious new neighbor offers a kindred lonely soul whose desperation is matched only by his desire, but Ellen’s devastating secret could be the one thing that destroys them both.

Together they’ll find there’s no rescue from the past, but sometimes losing everything can help you find what you need most.

About the Author
Grace Burrowes is the pen name for an award-winning author of historical romances. The Heir, received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, and was selected as a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year for 2010. Both The Heir and its follow-up, The Solider, are New York Times and USA Today bestsellers. She is a practicing attorney specializing in family law and lives in a restored log cabin in western Maryland without a TV, DVD or radio because she's too busy working on her next books. For more information, please visit http://www.graceburrowes.com/.

Read my reviews of Grace Burrowes wonderful tales set in the Regency era
The Heir
The Soldier
Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish
The Virtuoso

Now for two lucky people Grace is giving away two copies of Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish just leave a comment with your email address by November 13th at 11:59 PM Est and we will draw the winners.  Contest open to US and Canada and you must leave your email address to be qualified.


  1. I've never read much historical romance, but slowly starting to get into it :) looks like a great series of books!!

    Nichole B


  2. A Christmas book might be a good place to dip your toe in historicals. There's a lot tradition we observe now that around in the Regency period, starting with my all time fave--mistletoe! Thanks for stopping by, and mind you duck under that little sprig in the archway on your way out.

  3. I am loving this author the more and more I catch her interviews around the interwebs! (Not to mention the more I read of her characters and the world she's built for them.)
    Thank you for an amazing interview - I am truly inspired by you. I turn 35 next Monday (yes, exactly 9 months after Valentine's Day) and was feeling glum I didn't push myself harder to finish a book when I was younger! Well, you sure showed me :)I will take all your wonderful advice to heart as I struggle to finish writing my WIP and start the querying process.
    And hope I'm the lucky winner of one of these books - it would make the perfect birthday gift!
    theoriginaldramamama AT gmail DOT com

  4. Greetings, Drama Mama! If you like the stories I write and the way I write them, thank my Beloved Offspring. Speaking as both a romance author and a child welfare attorney, NOTHING is more important than the time and effort we put into looking after our children and our primary relationships. That is the well from which my stories spring, and I suspect yours do too.

    Very best of luck with the writing. DO NOT GIVE UP. PD Chang is still writing gorgeous books into her nineties--there's plenty of time to work on the writing, though it might feel like you'll never have that freedom. You will, promise.

  5. Grace, you've just cheered me up immensely, with you comments about age and keeping the joy in the writing. Good things to remember. I wrote all the time when I was young, and it was so much fun but somewhere in the academic middle the joy was sucked out of it. I've been writing again and will have to remember to keep the joy in it.

  6. Keeping the joy in it can be a challenge, but this is an aspect of writing assisted by the day job, in my case. And even when I don't feel like writing, I still feel like reading romance.

  7. You have a good point, i never thought about it that way! Was it hard to keep "in the time" while writing? or did you find that you would look up from writing and be like "when am I??" lol


  8. If there’s mistletoe involved, three nosey brothers, and a happily ever after for all, I'm definitely in. Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish sounds wonderful and I'm looking forward to reading it.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  9. Nichol, when the writing is going really well (which isn't even daily) I'm nose down in the scene, and that's my reality. I resent any interruption, whether it's a dog who wants out, a cat up thinks my job is to scratch on command, or even my own rumbling stomach. This is as close as I get to being "in the zone."

    And yes, then I poke my head up out of my Regency prairie dog hole, and I don't know what month it is, much less what day. I love that.

  10. Barbara, it's a fun book. I didn't have long to write it, but my editor promised all the help I needed along the way, and she came through for me in a couple of tricky spots. To have that kind of backing made the book more of a team effort, and I think that shows in the writing.

  11. This looks like a great book ! I just love historicals :)

    Grace, I didnt know you were a lawyer. My daughter is in her second year of college, with the dreams of being a lawyer. I cant imagine how you find the time to write !

    I look forward to reading "Lady Sohpies Christmas Wish"


  12. Kym, I thought I was going to be a biochemist, but couldn't hack the math. Same with pre-med. I had a good undergraduate teacher for constitutional law, and lo, a lawyer(ette) was born. It's like any other profession--it CAN be wonderful. I never thought I'd end up doing child welfare law, but in hindsight, it's the best legal niche I could have found. Best of luck to your daughter.