Like a bit of Regency Romance in your life? Today, I bring you an interview with historical romance author Clyve Rose. Clyve is an award-winning author of historical fiction in both Australia, and the US. She has been writing historical romance for the best part of two decades.
Tell me about yourself:
I write historical fiction, mostly the Regency era, but I have some ideas behind this coming up. I also write fantasy-based shorts but really, it’s all from historical research. I have a passion for history and mythologies. I live in Sydney, where winter is on the way. My favourite place to write is by the sea, or (at the moment), near a heater.
How long have you been writing?
Over two decades.
What inspired you to write your chosen genre?
Jane Austen – I know most of her words by heart and I have always loved the era. Plus, I know it really well because I’m a research buff.
What do you enjoy about writing your chosen genre?
I love the old-world manners. The way I can craft a meandering connection, leading people towards each other rather than the ‘swipe-right’ of these days. It feels gentler, somehow although the truth is that history is far less romantic than it’s portrayed.
Tell me about your novel titled ‘Always a Princess’
Set in 1814, this novel explores the growing love between two characters, one of whom is a royal Romany princess. The other is a duke’s son.
Princess Syeira is the eldest daughter of the Romany King. She carries the title of Princess as proudly as she does her finely-honed distrust of Englishmen. When her brother faces the surest shot in Lancashire and loses, our heroine is forced to accept assistance from the Englishman who shot him.
To her surprise, the princess finds that while the English may not conduct family matters the same way as her Romany, some are capable of affection, passion – even love. As a Romany, she trusts her heart – but what if her heart loves an Englishman?
Captain Warwick ‘Wil’ Clifton is a rake but he’s not too committed to it. As a second son he’s not terribly serious about anything except his military career - and keeping away from his father. When he assists the Romany family he’s unprepared for the warmth of Romany camaraderie.
Neither is he remotely ready for the force of nature that is their princess. Keeping a lid on his desire for Syeira takes all his self-control. He’s rather out of practice at showing restraint and soon the Captain has a new decision to make: What is he willing to risk for love?
A fresh take on the Regency period, ‘Always a Princess’ shows how the English and the Romany share the wild countryside. The two cultures, with very different value systems, find myriad ways to clash, coexist – and fall in love.
What inspired this story?
It was inspired by a scene in Austen’s ‘Emma’. One of the characters is set upon by Roma people, and the clear prejudice in the scene always bothered me. The character of Syeira grew directly out of that niggle I felt. The Romany shared Regency England with the English, and they’ve not had the same narrative space to tell their stories.
Are you working on anything at the moment?
I have two new Christmas novellas releasing this November.
One contains the second story to my Regency mystery 'The Case of the Black Diamond', centering around a libertine London establishment known as The Soho Club. It appears in a new collection, 'Christmas Secrets of the Soho Club'.
The other novella forms part of a collection called ‘Kisses & Winter Wishes’, where a widowed countess reunites with an old friend to catch a highwayman on her land.
Both new releases are now available for preorder.
I’ve also just delivered the sequel to ‘Always a Princess’ to my publisher, so I hope to announce the release date for this one soon.
What comes first for you? The plot, or the characters?
That’s a great question. It’s usually a character or a scene between the couple. When I wrote my Regency mystery though (and there are five books in that series), the plot had to be worked on as carefully as the characters.
What does literary success look like to you?
People reading my work, knowing my characters. In terms of me personally, I don’t much mind if no one knows my name at all, but to have readers debate what Syeira might have done in a given moment, or Henry’s favourite colour (it’s green by the way - he’s from my novella ‘The Christmas Salon’, which connects some of the characters from ‘Always a Princess’ to a sort of prequel), makes me smile.
Do you have a dedicated writing space?
I do, but I often move around. I do a fair bit of work in my car just sitting in the driveway. This limits distractions.
What would your spirit animal be and why?
A phoenix, because I always feel like I’m starting over, and burning bridges, then starting over again, and burning down parts…you get the idea.
What advice would you give a new author?
Keep writing. Even if you don’t feel like it , or the words won’t come or you think it’s rubbish – do it anyway. Spit those words out, bang them out, get them down. You can fix anything in edit but a damn blank page.
What do you like to do when not writing?
I read, I run and I am a bit of an addict when it comes to animated fantasy series. I enjoy dinners and wine tastings too. I’m also a single mum, so that keeps me pretty busy.
A big thank you to Clyve Rose for sharing her inspiration with us. If you would like to check out her work, click on the links below.