Interview with author Tora Williams

I’m really pleased today to welcome Tora Williams on my blog. We’ve known each other since meeting a few years ago at Romantic Novelists’ Association meet-ups, and in that time we’ve seen each other go from would-be authors to published authors.

Tora’s debut novel Bound to Her Blood Enemy is available to pre-order now on Kindle now, and will be published on 25th June 2018.

Over to you, Tora…

The cover of Tora's novel, Bound to Her Blood Enemy

  1. How long have you been writing? Can you tell us a bit about your journey to publication?

When I was a child I was always making up stories in my head (others might call it daydreaming!) and I wanted to be an author. But real life got in the way and I only started writing seriously in about 2010. I soon realised that I was obsessed with providing my characters with happy-ever-afters, so I focused on writing romance. In 2013 I was lucky enough to get a place on the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme. As part of the scheme I was able to submit a manuscript every year for assessment, and the feedback I got really helped me improve. The support from friends I’ve made through the RNA has also been invaluable, and they kept me going each time I got a rejection. Then in January 2018 I finally got the longed-for email from The Wild Rose Press saying they’d love to publish Bound to Her Blood Enemy.

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The music from The Captain and the Cavalry Trooper

Music threads it way through The Captain and the Cavalry Trooper, from folk to opera, with music hall and a hymn in between.

Jack and Robert’s song

A classic folk song, “The Raggle Taggle Gypsy” is about a grand lady turning her back on her wealthy husband for the freedom of roaming with the Romanies. The song is ancient, with variations across the British Isles; yours truly used to sing it at school and was captivated by its story and its melody. The version below is performed by The Chieftains, with a wonderful animation by Veronica Dolcich.

 

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Bookshine and Readbows reviews The Captain and the Cavalry Trooper

At many points in the story I was reminded of classic romance novels like Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice:  here we find the same sternly brooding hero, paired with a meeker, but still sharply intelligent, partner…. Lovers of historical sweet romance, with some loving, consensual sex (including a bit of light S&M) will fall for this book as deeply as the main characters did for each other!

Many thanks to Steph for her fab review of The Captain and the Cavalry Trooper on her Bookshine and Readbows blog.

Guest blog: Why I write Scottish-themed romance

Braw! I’m very glad to be welcoming Lizzie Lamb to my blog today. I’m a fan of her novels set in Scotland, and I hope you will be too!

Thank you for having me on your blog, Eleanor, I hope your followers will enjoy reading my about the reasons why I write Scottish-themed contemporary romance.

The cover of Lizzie Lamb's novel "Scotch on the Rocks"

My interest in kilted heroes began as a child, reared (courtesy of Saturday morning cinema) on the exploits of Highlanders in such movies as Rob RoyBonnie Prince CharlieThe Ghost Goes West and, sob, Greyfriar’s Bobby.  After the movie (or fil-um, as we pronounced it) we’d re-enact Rob Roy’s leap and subsequent escape through the waterfall, or the scene from Kidnapped, where Davie Balfour is almost murdered by his evil uncle. Our dogs were dragooned into being “Bobby”, loyally guarding his master’s grave in Greyfriar’s kirkyard, Edinburgh. And I longed to be Flora Macdonald, helping Bonnie Prince Charlie escape over the sea to Skye and away from the Redcoats.

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The chorister and the Scout leader

The choir stalls of a church, with a blurry human figure walking by in the background.
Empty choir stalls in the redundant church of St Lawrence, Evesham.

After my talk at Evesham Library on Friday, as part of Evesham Festival of Words, I went for a walk around the town. I’d never visited Evesham before, and I became rather fond of its Georgian frontages along the main road. I took a side street and found myself surrounded by timber-framed buildings. By accident, I  ended up walking through a Norman gatehouse and out into a space that contained not one but two very old churches, very close together.

I have never in all my days seen two churches standing that closely together before. Apparently, no one knows why St Lawrence’s and All Saints were built there, about fifty feet apart. All Saints still functions as a parish church, but St Lawrence’s is redundant, cared for by the Churches Preservation Trust.

I happily wandered round both churches, and in All Saints, I saw the plaques which are in every church around the country – to the locals who died in war.  One of them records the death of a man in the First World War who had once been a chorister in the church, and another brass plaque commemorates a man who had been a Scout leader before being sent off to war.

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