Elizabeth Hanbury is the author of two historical romance novels, one short story romance anthology and a contributor to another short story collection along with authors Nell Dixon and Phillipa Ashley: Brief Encounters    She has been a finalist for Romantic Novelists’ Association Joan Hessayon award, with her novel being described by the RNA as a thoroughly lovely read. The quality of the writing lifts it into a different class.’  
Elizabeth writes Regency-set novels that appeal to a wide-range of readers. She lives in a village in the heart of the English countryside and writes romance whenever she can find time to sneak away to her desk.  She is a member of the RNA and the Historical Novel Society. Here's my interview with her. Enjoy and leave your comments to enter the giveaway of 2 e-books for readers out of the UK and a paperback for UK readers of  BRIEF ENCOUNTERS. Don't forget to add your e-mail address and to specify what country you write from. The giveaway ends  on January 23rd.

Kindle Edition
 Hi , Maria Grazia. Thanks for inviting me to your wonderful blog :0)  I  enjoy reading it very much and am delighted to be a guest.

Hello and welcome, Elizabeth! Here's my first question for you: why do you define yourself "a writer who writes wickedly captivates  Historical Romance"?

Because that’s what I always try to do – produce stories that grab the reader from the outset, then plunge them into another world where they find great characters, engaging plots, humour and romance...wickedly captivating romance (sometimes more than one if there is a sub-plot!) that keeps you reading.   

What author/s were crucial in your making up your mind to start writing novels?

It wasn’t  a particular author that made up my mind to start writing novels, rather that I found myself craving an outlet for my creative side.  Writing very soon became an essential way of channelling my creative energy.   I chose historical romance because I’d always enjoyed reading it, especially Georgette Heyer, and doing research is part of the fun.  

What is your favourite historical period? Why?

The Regency period has always fascinated me.  The era has become associated with elegance and refinement, which in many respects it was, but it was also a time where the country was at war;  a time of innovation in science and technology; advancements in the arts; an age of extravagance, where the upper classes occasionally indulged in amazing vulgarity, dubious sexual morality and gambling.  It was a society on the cusp of reform on all levels, including social welfare and class structure.  A huge amount of vitality and energy was packed into a relatively brief period.  The tone was set by the Prince Regent himself, who despite his procession of mistresses, increasing weight and high living, possessed a terrific sense of style – something the era came to reflect.

What would you miss the most if you lived in that period?

Modern medicine!  Medical knowledge, diagnosis and treatments then were still rudimentary and some of the cures were worse than the disease.   It was easy to become addicted to opium through laudanum – taken either in liquid form, or in a variety of pills, lozenges, plasters, vinegars and other preparations.  These were often given reassuring names, such as ‘Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup.’    Bleeding, either using leeches or opening a small vein with a lancet, was popular too.  And the notion of the everlasting antimony pill is just plain scary!

Have you got a model hero and a model heroine?

Colin Firth as the libertine - Valmont (1989)

Model hero has to be Sir Waldo Hawkridge from Heyer’s The Nonesuch.    He's handsome, intelligent, romantic, humourous, a gentleman, a philanthropist, and he has some great put-down lines – what’s not to like? ;0)  I’ve been in love with him for years *g* He may not be everyone's cup of rack punch – some would say he’s too perfect -  but he's certainly mine and has been since I first read the book. Waldo could easily have come across as a Goody-Two Shoes, but he’s three-dimensional without being rude, unpleasant, overbearing or rakish.  There are few romantic heroes you'd want to meet, let alone live with, outside the pages of a novel, but Sir Waldo is an exception.

Heroines.  This is more difficult because there are many that I admire in different genres.  I’d probably choose another Heyer creation, Pru Merriot from The Masqueraders Pru is in an invidious position throughout most of novel; she has to dress as a man, inhabit a man's world and cope with the dangers that brings, as well as living with the constant fear of discovery and its consequences.   But this cross-dressing, sword- wielding heroine also has a quiet but luminous femininity that is very appealing.
I also have a soft spot for Roberta ‘Bobbie’ Wickham, a character who occasionally appears in novels and short stories by P.G. Wodehouse.  She an attractive red-head who is rather wild, fond of practical jokes and creating mischief – she’s hilarious!

I’m fascinated by libertines , rakes and rogues in historical novels. Well, I’m thinking about Willoughby and Wikham in Jane Austen or The Duke of Avon  or Damerel in Georgette Heyer.  What about your novels? What are your villains like?

I’m fascinated by them too, and I think most historical romance readers are.  It’s because of what I call The Redemption Factor:  that the love for and of a woman - the right woman - will change them.  And women want to tame bad boys.  You could write a thesis on why this should be so, and people probably have, but it’s been going on forever and romance writers will continue to reflect it.    A rake and the redeeming power of love feature in one of my a short stories, Blue Figured Silk from the Midsummer Eve at Rookery End anthology.  What I found most interesting (and challenging) was taking him from rake to hero in just 7,000 words – rakes usually have a much longer story arc!
Villains, like the rest of the population, should come in a variety of forms.  For me, the most compelling ones to write about are those who hide their villany behind a facade – perhaps one of respectablity, of seduction, or even friendship.   They’re chillingly plausible.

What are you like as a reader? 

I usually skip between fiction and non-fiction – it keeps me on my reading toes.  Favourite fiction genres are historical romance, of course, also contemporary romance, some crime fiction and anything humourous.

What reads have you got on your night - stand these days?

Fiction :  Mary Balogh – The Plumed Bonnet/The Famous Heroine.
Non-fiction:  Roy Porter – English Society in the 18th Century.

Persuasion 1995
I’m fond of period drama, Elizabeth. What about you?

Yes, although I think there is scope for more variety.  And I prefer it to be subtly done – the 1995 Persuasion adapation is a favourite of mine for that reason. 

Have you got a Regency movie/series you particularly like?

Dr Lucy Worsley’s recent BBC series on the Regency – Elegance and Decadence: The Age of The Regency.  She’s such an enthusiatic presenter.  There were only three programmes yet they covered the period surprisingly well.

How would you describe your writing in three words?

Fun. Engaging. Romantic.

What are you up to? Have you got any upcoming release?

Look out for two new releases from me in 2012, Unexpected Pleasure and A Bright Particular Star.  I’m also working on a novella which I hope to publish later this year too.

Great, we'll look out for them, of course. That's all for now. Thank you so much for being my guest, Elizabeth.

Thanks so much for letting me visit, Maria! 


There are 2 e-books copies of the Brief Encounters anthology for readers all over the world and 1 paperback edition for a UK-based reader.  Leave your comments and don't forget

1. to add your e-mail adddress
2. to say what part of the world you write from 

Brief Encounters is available now from Amazon and  on-line retailers, as are Elizabeth Hanbury's other books.

BRIEF ENCOUNTERS - E-scape Press Ltd, eBook.  Paperback coming soon
ICE ANGEL – Robert Hale Ltd
MIDSUMMER EVE AT ROOKERY END – E-scape Press Ltd, eBook and paperback


Nell Dixon said...

Lovely interview!

Anonymous said...

It's always a pleasure to read your interviews, MG, but I was delighted to find out that Frederica is your guest tonight :)
xx K/V

Mystica said...

Thank you for the interview. Entering with a UK address for the book please.


maribea said...

Oh I love writing and, of course, I love reading. I do agree: writing is fun, engaging and romantic and even reading can be so. Congratulations on your work, Elizabeth. I'd love to read your book.
maribea(at)tiscali(dot)it from Italy

Phoebe's Sisters said...

Thank you for the great interview and the giveaway!

faridamestek@yahoo.com (Ukraine)

Phillipa said...

Great interview - looking forward to the new books. :)

rainakochan said...

i'm writting from france

LyndaDunwellAuthor said...

Thanks Elizabeth for blogging and Maria for hosting such an interesting interview. I loved your references to your favourite heroes and heroines, Elizabeth. They brought back many memories of reading those fascinating books myself. Good luck with the new releases and keep writing your exciting and enjoyable books.

pay for papers said...

Great interwiev! Very interesting!Thanks!

Literary Chanteuse said...

Sounds very good! Thank you for the giveaway. Canada entry here.


Dee said...

Love 1995 Persuasion myself. :) Great interview. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

inddee at gmail.com (US)

Liz Hanbury said...

Thanks everyone for your comments so far, and thanks again to Maria for hosting me :0)

academia-research said...

This is absolutely awesom! Great work!

term paper writing said...

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.

BurtonReview said...

I shall have to look this author up! I loved Sir Waldo as well.

Agenoria said...

I first came across Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer as a teenager and I've been interested in their times ever since. I agree though, I would not like Regency medicine. There are some advantages to the 21st century.

A few months ago I went to a concert called "Vivaldi by Candlelight". (Electric candles... safety reasons I assume.) The orchestra were in period costume, though a bit earlier than the Regency, more Garrow's Law. The trumpet player, who had an authentic baroque trumpet, sold and signed his solo CDs in the interval and after the concert. In the interval he was in costume - brightly coloured waistcoat, wig etc. Afterwards he was in modern dress and I overheard him say he was glad to be rid of the wig because it was itchy!

So many aspects of Regency (and Georgian) times were far less comfortable than today. I'd rather visit those times though Liz's books than go there myself!

BTW I won't leave my email because I already have a copy of Brief Encounters.

kaewink said...

Nice interview.
I love 1995 Persuasion as well. One of my fav. of the BBC Jane Austen-adaptions!

I´m writting from Austria.
kewinkler at gmail dot com

Trudy said...

Fun questions and answers! How lovely to let more people know about your great work. I especially enjoy the humor in your stories, subtly done. I already own Brief Encounters and have been savoring Midsummer Eve at Rookery End.

Mia_kp said...

Hi from Japan.
Thank you for the wonderful interview.
You're one of my auto-buy authors and I'm so glad to hear about the coming up 2012 releases( I can't wait!)
I think I have to read The Nonesuch because I love all the heroes you wrote :o)

Liz Hanbury said...

Thanks everyone!
kp, hope you will enjoy the new releases. More news on A Bright Particular Star soon :0)

bn100 said...

I enjoyed reading your interview. This book sounds very interesting.