Today I’m delighted to welcome Rosemary Morris to the RNA Blog. She says she has woven stories since childhood, and subsequently immersed herself in historical fiction and non fiction, and claims to own so many novels and reference books, her birthday present of a Kindle will hopefully save shelf space. She likes to visit places of historical interest such as Hatfield House, enjoys needlework and knitting, and her organic garden. While engaged in these activities she plans her novels. Tell us about your journey as a writer. I believe you suffered a hiccup, so how did you manage to keep faith in yourself?
My path to publication began when I was in my late teens. In my early twenties, while living in Kenya, cut off from the ‘writing world’ I signed contracts with two publishing houses. Both of them reneged. Subsequently, I found out through the Society of Authors that the date of publications should be stated in the contract; otherwise a publisher can refrain from publishing the book indefinitely. Two countries and many years after this false start, my late husband encouraged me to write. Subsequently, I received many rejections, some impersonal, some negative and some which offered praise. My love of writing, determination and perseverance has led to three new releases this year.
I’m delighted to see that you weren’t put off entirely by this disappointment. How did you hear about the RNA, and how has the organisation been of benefit to you?
I joined various writers groups, and completed three parts of the Open College of The Arts writing course, which gave me credits I can use for The Open University. I subscribed to magazines and read books on How to Write. Through these activities I heard about the RNA and joined as the new writer’s scheme. Each reader’s report helped me to improve my submission and helped me to improve my writing skills.
Which particular period of history do you most like to write about and why?
It’s not so much a particular period of history as a period which resulted in change. TANGLED LOVE is set in Queen Anne’s reign when international trade accelerated and Marlborough won the War of Spanish Succession. I also have two new releases, set in the period of the Peninsular Wars and the Battle of Waterloo. You say you enjoy visiting old houses, what else is involved in your research? Looking at landscapes, reading about them, making notes and imagining what they looked like in times past. Reading extensively and asking questions such as: What did people eat? What did they wear? What were their religious beliefs? In other words, getting to know the background to my novels.
Can you tell us a little about your next book?
SUNDAY’S CHILD is set in the Regency era. While researching, I thought about modern soldiers suffering from and being treated for Post Traumatic Stress. When the future George 4th was Prince Regent how did men deal or not deal with it? (Tears came to my eyes when I read about a gently bred boy plagued so badly by fleas that he committed suicide.) Both the heroine, and the hero, an army officer, have their own personal demons to conquer before they come to terms with them.
And now to some lighter questions. If you could be something other than a writer, what would you choose to be?
I’m tone deaf, so I’d ask my fairy godmother to gift me with a delightful singing voice.
What would lure you from your writing den when in the heat of writing?A grandchild phoning me to ask: ‘Please may I come to your house right now.
Do you feel that life is a song or a lament?
It is a ballad recounting happiness and distress.
What would represent a romantic gesture to you?A soppy Valentine’s card and a bunch of red roses plus romantic gestures throughout the year.
Lastly, if you were fortunate enough to win a RONA who would you wish to thank?Too many people to name. My late husband and my children for their encouragement. RNA readers who commented on my submission, many authors who have offered kind advice, members of Watford Writers and members of the online critique groups who are very helpful.
That was fascinating Rosemary, thank your for sparing the time to talk to us today.
For more information about Rosemary’s books, you can find her here: http://www.rosemarymorris.co.uk
Interviews on the RNA Blog are for RNA members, although we do occasionally take guests. If you are interested in an interview, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org