Friday, February 11, 2011

Winter Blogfest- Rachel Brimble

What I love about Victorian historical romance

As an author who writes Victorian historical and contemporary romance, I am excited to be visiting Paty’s wonderful historical blog today as it gives me a chance to focus purely on my historical writing.

I never intended to write historical novels when I started writing because the whole idea of digging into the past scared the life out of me! But as time went on, it would something that nagged at me and refused to disappear. I have always loved the Victorian era. From an early teenager, I devoured any BBC period dramas set in that time, then as I grew older, I fell in love with the novels by Sarah Waters and they inspired me to find out more and more about England at that time.

As I am lucky enough to live just thirty minutes drive from the famous British city of Bath, the idea to one day set a Victorian romance there began to germinate. And then one day my mum and I were treated to afternoon tea at Lucknam Park ( and the minute I walked into the beautifully ornate drawing room, I knew I’d walked into my new hero’s home. The Arrival of Lily Curtis my first historical romance, took me nine months to write which is double the time of my other novels but I hope my loyal readers think it was worth it.

It has received great reviews and my confidence grew to write alternate contemporary and Victorian romances. I have just finished my second historical which was inspired by my overnight stay at The Royal Crescent Hotel (anniversary present from my husband!). The Royal Crescent is the most famous street in Bath – and the most expensive place to live. It is a beautifully designed crescent of houses that faces Victoria Park. The park itself is enormous with a wealth of ancient trees, lakes and grassland.
My imagination ran wild and I knew the hotel would be my heroine’s home and the park would feature as in the book as well.

The Victorian era is a fabulously rich time for a novelist to write about – the financial spectrum was vast, from the very rich to the heartbreakingly poor, the illness, a groundbreaking queen, the scandals of the dance halls and theaters, the famous writers and criminals of the time all provide superb fodder on which to build interesting and entertaining tales. Just by listing these things, my mind is already wandering…

So very soon, I will be sending my second historical offering to my editor – fingers crossed, it will be accepted and my hero and heroine, Will and Emily will be able to tell their story. In the meantime, here is the blurb to The Arrival of Lily Curtis, enjoy.

At the mention of an arranged marriage, Elizabeth Caughley feels her life is over at the age of three and twenty….so she hatches an escape plan. She will reinvent herself as a housemaid. Overnight, Elizabeth becomes Lily…

Viscount Westrop wants nothing more than his legacy to be passed to his own son one day. Even though he feels insurmountable pity for the unborn child already, he knows how much pain a broken promise can cause and will do what is right. But with the arrival of his new housemaid, his plans are thrown into disarray. Lily is funny, feisty and the most beautiful creature on earth – Andrew is thunderstruck. But if anyone suspects how much he wants to ravish her and endlessly love her, Andrew’s lineage will be in peril. And he cannot let that happen…

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Debby Lee said...

Hi Rachel, wow what a cool post. My mother-in-law was born and raised in England. She met her husband, my father-in-law in the town of Newmarket. (He was in the Air Force.) They married and my husband spent part of his childhood in Ely England. I really enjoy reading about England and learning about the history. Thanks for posting such an informative blog.

Rachel Brimble said...

Thanks so much, Debby!

I wasn't at all sure what to write for Paty, so I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Nice to 'meet' you!

R x

Maeve said...

Wonderful post and I'm so looking forward to reading "The Arrival of Lily Curtis". Well done!

Susan Macatee said...

Great post, Rachel! I took a tour when I was young, over 30 years ago, of the British Isles, including a tour of Bath. We didn't get to stay very long, but I remember what a beautiful place it was.

Rachel Brimble said...

Thanks of stopping by Maeve & Susan! Great to hear from you both again.

I love where I live, I must admit - we have Bath in one direction and the rolling English countryside, little cottages and historical sights in the other.

Plenty of places for inspiration!

Rachel x

Donna L Bolk said...

Very interesting writeup. But I can't post without raving about your Lily. I have bragged about how wonderful this book is. Today, I gave it to my sister for Valentine's Day. I know she'll love it as much as I do.
Happy Valentine's Day, my friend.