Welcome author Rosemary Morris
Thanks for stopping by to talk a little about your writing! Let's jump right in. When did you begin writing and why?
Before I could read and write, I made up stories inspired by pictures of nursery rhyme characters in delightful, old fashioned-clothes. This, coupled with my subsequent interest in history and love of reading historical fiction, historical romance and non-fiction inspired me, to write novels.
Do you have a favorite genre? Is it the same genre you prefer to write?
I enjoy my chosen genre, romantic historical fiction.
Do certain themes and ideas tend to capture your writer’s imagination and fascinate you?
Yes, the effect of war on my characters is a recurrent theme in my novels. For example, the hero of Sunday’s Child, set in the Regency era, witnesses a shocking event. It makes such a profound impression that, although it is his duty to marry and have an heir, he decides to wed but never father a child.
More often than not, my ideas form when I read historical non-fiction. For example, the theme of my novel Tangled Love developed when I read about James II’s flight from England. One after another, both of his daughters succeeded to the throne. What, I asked myself, would be the position of children whose fathers swore an oath of allegiance to James II and then, out of honour, refused to swear one to either of his daughters during his lifetime?
Do you have a favorite author who introduced you to the genre?
As a teenager I loved Georgette Heyer’s novels and still re-read my favourites, These Old Shades, Devil’s Cub and An Infamous Army from time to time.
What advantages or challenges does a writer in your genre face in today’s fiction market?
One disadvantage is how difficult it is to secure a literary agent or a mainstream publisher.
In the U.K the closure of Borders and of so many small bookshops have affected the market. The number of books sold cheaply in charity shops affect a the market and author’s incomes. So does the sale of books in supermarkets, which offer few titles and, in my opinion, reduce books to a mere commodity such as essential groceries.
In spite of fierce competition and the need for the author to promote his or her novels, e-books and print on demand is an advantage.
What's on the top of your TBR pile right now?
Mademoiselle Chanel by C.V. Gortner.
Tell me a little about the characters in Far Beyond Rubies.
Charismatic Gervaise, the hero, served in India with the East India Company from the age of fourteen until he returned to England. When he first sees captivating Juliana, the heroine, “he sensed the love they had once shared, but never before had he thought the Hindu belief in reincarnation was worthy of consideration.”
When spirited Juliana first meets Gervaise, her father has died, and her step-brother claims he has inherited Riverside, a great estate. She does not believe him, so she sets out for London to consult her late father’s attorney. By chance, she encounters Gervaise, who persuades her to allow him to escort her. In accordance with the social conventions of the time he behaves impeccably, while he helps and protects her.
Although Juliana, daughter of an Anglican father and Hugenot mother mistrusts Gervaise’e exotic background, she cannot deny their mutual attraction.
Where’s the story set? How much influence did the setting have on the atmosphere/characters/development of the story?
The novel takes place in England in Hertfordshire and London. It is set in Queen Anne Stuart’s reign 1702-1714, during which the Duke of Marlborough won the War of Spanish Succession, and trade with the east developed.
Compared to the ever popular Regency era, in which so many novels are set, few novels have been placed in the reign of Queen Anne, niece of Charles II. When I studied the period I wanted to share its unique atmosphere through social conventions, gorgeous clothes, sumptuous food, economic and social history and religious conflicts, not only in Far Beyond Rubies, but also in my novels Tangled Love and The Captain and The Countess.
If you had to write your memoir in five words, what would you write?
I would begin with: ‘Thank God for my blessings.’
How often does your muse distract you from day to day minutiae?
Constantly, she even entered my dreams and introduced me to a young man called Justin, who wants me to take him shopping at The Royal Exchange. When driving, I have to make a conscious effort to concentrate.
What do readers have to look forward to in the future from you?
I am writing a series of novels set in the Regency era. The first, Sunday’s Child has been published, the second Monday’s Child, will be published in spring 2016 and I have written the first draft of Tuesday’s Child. Although each novel features characters from the previous one, the stories are not dependent on each other.
Far Beyond Rubies by Rosemary Morris
Romantic Historical Fiction
Published by MuseItUpPublishing
Set in 1706 during Queen Anne Stuart’s reign, Far Beyond Rubies begins when William, Baron Kemp, Juliana’s half-brother claims she and her young sister, Henrietta, are bastards. Spirited Juliana is determined to prove the allegation is false, and that she is the rightful heiress to Riverside, a great estate.
On his way to deliver a letter to William, Gervaise Seymour sees Juliana for the first time on the grounds of her family estate. The sight of her draws him back to India. When “her form changed to one he knew intimately – but not in this lifetime,” Gervaise knows he would do everything in his power to protect her.
Although Juliana and Gervaise are attracted to each other, they have not been formally introduced and assume they will never meet again. However, when Juliana flees from home, and is on her way to London, she encounters quixotic Gervaise at an inn. Circumstances force Juliana to accept his kind help. After Juliana’s life becomes irrevocably tangled with his, she discovers all is not as it seems. Yet, she cannot believe ill of him for, despite his exotic background, he behaves with scrupulous propriety while trying to help her find evidence to prove she and her sister are legitimate.
amazon.co.uk & amazon.com
On her way to London Juliana sold her hair to a travelling hair merchant, who will sell it to a wig-maker.
* * * *
“Mistress Kemp, you sold your hair!” Mister Seymour exclaimed.
Juliana nodded and eyed his shocked face.
“If only I knew you were in such need. Should you require more money, a travelling companion or aught else, I am at your service.”
Although she despaired of ever again experiencing happiness, the stranger’s concern for her welfare cheered her.
“Thank you, sir, you are more than kind. I lost my purse. Without the means to go to London I would have been undone if -”
“You cannot travel alone.”
Mister Seymour did not have the right to tell her what she could or could not do. “Yes, I can, my boots are stout enough to walk to the next post house where I shall hire a horse.”
“You cannot walk so far. I will not permit it.”
“You will not permit it?” Although his concern warmed her she stared at him angered by his presumption.
“Mistress Kemp, please forgive my arrogance. I’faith I have no right to prevent you going to London alone, but it is obvious you are in distress. As a gentleman, it is my duty to assist you. Will you not permit me to help you?”
Tempted to share her troubles with the stranger, she wondered whether she should confide in him. No, she could not. “You are generous, sir. There is naught to say other than I must reach London without delay.”
“The matter is easily solved, Mistress Kemp. I am on my way to London and would be happy to escort you. Indeed, you should not travel alone. Footpads and highwaymen are the curse of the land.”
“Are you sure I would not inconvenience you, Mister Seymour?”
“How could someone as far beyond rubies as you discommode anyone?”
Conscious of her blushes in response to his complimentary biblical reference, she looked at his square face with its cleft chin, slanting eyebrows and large cornflower blue eyes fringed with long, thick lashes the same shade as his chestnut hair. Everything about him, his pleasing features, his fashionable yet not ostentatious clothes, and his respectful tone inspired trust. In spite of her uncertainties, she smiled. “To be honest, desperation drives me. So I thank you and am pleased to accept your kind offer.”
“I shall partake of breakfast in the public room while you order breakfast to be served in your bedchamber. Can you be ready to depart within the hour?”
“Yes, but first I must assure you I am not far beyond rubies.” Her eyes threatened to brim over with tears. “God rest his soul, my late father would have told you I am often wilful.”
* * * *
At first sight of Mistress Kemp’s clipped hair brushing the vulnerable white nape of her neck, Gervaise had wanted to cradle her in his arms and comfort her. When she turned, the sight of her loose-fitting gown flowing over her shapely breasts and curvaceous hips had sent a jolt of desire through him. He blotted the delicious image of her from his mind. It was ridiculous for a man with his experience of foreign climes and beautiful women to lust like a mere youth.
Later, after he ate a hearty breakfast, Gervaise made haste down the stairs. The lady’s image returned. The thought of intimately touching her satin smooth skin thrilled him. He squashed the vision in his mind’s eye, and swore on all he held sacred that, even if the opportunity presented itself, he would never, under any circumstances, take advantage of Mistress Kemp. Her shorn hair, and the glimpse of the tender white nape of her neck had not only aroused his sympathy, it made him want to protect her. His unruly imagination quenched, he decided to be the lady’s knight-errant. Prepared to face any number of dragons on her behalf, he controlled his desire. However, he could not help wondering whether she would be his prize if he vanquished the fiery creatures. Yet, did he want such a prize? No he did not. In the past he knew profound love and harmony. To be honest with himself, he admitted he believed he would never again achieve such exquisite happiness with any other lady.
Meet the Author
Rosemary Morris was born in Sidcup Kent. Her parents moved to Bromley, Kent, and then to Sutton, Surrey, where she attended St Hilda’s Primary School in Carshalton, and then Wallington Grammar School for girls.
At seventeen, Rosemary went to London and worked in a travel agency. There she met her future husband, who was reading law at Middle Temple. He encouraged her to continue her education at Westminster College and persuaded her to study, British Constitution, Economics and Economic History. In retrospect, Rosemary admits that although she passed the exams with proverbial ‘flying colours’ the subjects bored her. Afterwards she never made use of the subjects and put them out of her mind. Rosemary says she should have studied English Literature, History and Philosophy, which have always fascinated her.
After her father-in-law died, Rosemary and her husband, moved to Kenya where he was born, and where she lived for twenty years. After an attempted coup d’état, Rosemary left Africa with four of their five children – by that time, their eldest son was living in England. For four years they lived in an ashram where she, and her sons and daughter, who attended school, studied philosophy, religion, Sanscrit literature and much more.
Throughout her life, Rosemary had always written fiction. Back in England, she completed a College of the Arts Course in Creative Writing and wrote historical fiction. She also joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association, The Historical Novel Society and Watford Writers.
So many people have dreams that never materialise, but Rosemary’s is grateful because she has realised her ambition to be a multi-published author of Romantic Historical Fiction
To view her book covers, read the first three chapters of her novels and watch the book trailers please visit her website.