Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, it is my joy to introduce you to Carolyn Miller. I met Carolyn when I spoke at the Omega Christian Writers Conference in Sydney, Australia. She was the epitome of Australian hospitality, and I completely felt drawn to her welcoming warmth. I was so happy to have the opportunity to host her on my blog. Plus, she had a crush on D.B. Sweeney, so I know we’re soul sisters. Enjoy this interview, and read on to see how you can win an ebook of her latest release, The Elusive Miss Ellison.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I’m an Australian author of Inspirational Regency romance. I live with my husband and four children in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, about halfway between Sydney and Canberra. I’ve worked as an English high school teacher, and together with my husband, pastored a church for ten years. I love reading Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer, and enjoy watching historical dramas, but I also love a good action film, especially one with exotic locations. James Bond and Jason Bourne – and even Mission Impossible – are a great escape! I enjoy food (probably a bit too much!), travel, art, music, gardens and visiting stately homes (which isn’t very often. But a girl can dream, right?).
Tell us about your current release: My current release is an Inspirational Regency romance, The Elusive Miss Ellison. It’s set in rural England and concerns an outspoken reverend’s daughter and a former soldier, the new Earl of Hawkesbury, now owner of nearby Hampton Hall. I’ve drawn on my love of all things Jane (Austen, that is) and Georgette to create a classic romance with a twist of (Aussie) humor. It’s been described by readers as “reminiscent of Jane Austen” (!), “a delightful romp” and “a wonderful blend of romance, witty banter and Regency-era charm” (I swear I did not make that up! 🙂 )
Here’s the back cover copy:
Hampton Hall ’s new owner has the villagers of St. Hampton Heath all aflutter—all except Lavinia Ellison. The reverend’s daughter cares for those who are poor and sick, and the seventh Earl of Hawkesbury definitely does not meet that criteria. His refusal to take his responsibilities seriously, or even darken the door of the church, leave her convinced he is as arrogant and reckless as his brother—his brother who stole the most important person in Lavinia’s world.
Nicholas Stamford is shadowed by guilt: his own, his brother’s, the legacy of war. A perfunctory visit to this dreary part of Gloucestershire wasn’t supposed to engage his heart, or his mind. Challenged by Miss Ellison’s fascinating blend of Bluestocking opinions, hoydenish behavior, and angelic voice, he finds the impossible becoming possible—he begins to care. But Lavinia’s aloof manner, society’s opposition and his ancestral obligations prove most frustrating, until scandal forces them to get along.
Can Lavinia and Nicholas look beyond painful pasts and present prejudice to see their future? And what will happen when Lavinia learns a family secret that alters everything she’s ever known?
Who were some of your favorite authors as a child? (Book series, maybe?) Some of my favorite authors as a child were: LM Montgomery (The Anne of Green Gables series), Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Louisa May Alcott (Little Women). What can I say? I love history!
I’m always intrigued by how writers get started. Did you always have these books inside you and knew that you wanted to write them or did the idea just pop into your head one day and you decided to put pen to paper? I’d been rereading a Georgette Heyer Regency novel, and wondered what it would take to write a version with an inspirational element. The Christian Regency novels I’d read tended to lack a little of the humor I enjoyed of Miss Austen and Miss Heyer, so I challenged myself to leave contemporary fiction and step back 200 years to write about the time period of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. To give it the tension it needed, I thought about what would be one of the biggest challenges for a minister’s daughter to face: practicing what her father preached. It’s much easier to ‘talk the talk’ until we’re faced with the person who challenges us to ‘walk the walk’. The rest of the story flowed from there.
Which of your characters most reflects your personality? Lavinia Ellison is more outspoken than me, but she’s pretty similar in lots of ways. We both care about social injustice, find music and singing relaxing, enjoy (trying to do) artwork, hate sewing, and neither of us are too impressed by those of supposed rank and fortune. (Maybe it’s my Aussie ‘tall poppy syndrome’ coming out 🙂 )
Who do you envision your typical reader to be? Probably American (the spelling got changed for US readers), someone who enjoys the Jane Austen era, someone who can appreciate dry wit and romance. Hopefully you!
Who was your first Screen/Musical Crush? I used to LOVE (and I mean, be seriously addicted to) a TV show called ‘The Young Riders’. It was about the young men who rode for the Pony Express – and some of those young men (yes, I’m talking about Ty Miller, back in the day!) were mighty fine 🙂 The other young men who caught my eye? Jonathan Crosbie, aka Gilbert Blythe aka Anne of Green Gables’ beau (sigh), and DB Sweeney from the film The Cutting Edge (love that film!).
Find Carolyn Online: www.carolynmiller.org and subscribe to her newsletter http://www.pinterest.com/camillering https://www.facebook.com/CarolynMillerAuthor https://twitter.com/CarolynMAuthor Amazon Google+
Find Carolyn’s latest release online:
Barnes and Noble:
Enter to win a copy of The Elusive Miss Ellison
I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
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Thanks again Hallee for this opportunity!
I’m so happy you were able to join me!
Wonderful to read an interview with someone I know. Congratulations to Carolyn and thank you Hallee for giving others opportunities. I will look forward to answering questions for November!
Thanks for the opportunity to get to know a new-to-me author. Miss Ellison’s story sounds intriguing!
It’s a great story Sherri 😉
Looks like a great story Carolyn! 🙂
Oh, it is, Melissa! 😉
I also loved reading Little Women when I was younger. Thanks for the interview and giveaway.
Little Women is a classic!
I had the exact same favourite authors as a child. I suspect perhaps many of us did.
I suspect you’re right! 🙂
Wonderful interview! I love the Regency era! 🙂
Mr Darcy. That. Is. All. 🙂