History Hoydens


Historical Romance Writers Dishing the Dirt on Research

30 October 2007

Rogue's Lady by Julia Justiss!

Rogue's Lady
by Julia Justiss

Handsome rogue Will Tavener never thought to marry--until his cousin and childhood friend Lady Domcaster urges him to consider charming a ton heiress whose rich dowry would allow him to restore his impoverished estate. Skeptically, Will agrees to escort his cousin to ton events. But to his dismay, the one Society maiden who stirs his ardor and excites his mind is musician's daughter Allegra Antinori.

With her aristocratic mother shunned for her runaway marriage to a musician, Allegra knows that only wedding a ton gentleman can secure her future--particularly if that gentleman is dashing war hero Rob Lynton, the family acquaintance she's adored since childhood. So why does the entirely unsuitable Lord Tavener keep beguiling her senses...and bedeviling her heart?

"With characters you care about, clever banter, a roguish hero and a captivating heroine, Justiss has written a charming and sensual love story." (Joan Hammond, Romantic Times)

Rogue's Lady is set in Regency England. How did you become interested in the Regency?

Another avid reader who lived on my dorm floor in college introduced me to Georgette Heyer. Need I say more?

What about the Regency period inspires you? Have you ever felt that the period constrains your writing?

I think the Regency embodies the "Cinderella story" for most readers, a time period that seems filled with titled lords, glamorous events, elegant and sophisticated society, witty repartee-and the chance for heroes and heroines to overcome personal trauma and troubling circumstances to find their perfect love. I find the manners and especially the language of the period fascinating rather than constraining. Yes, a Regency woman had many fewer rights and opportunities than a modern woman. That just means our heroines have to be more resourceful while still remaining true to period.

Do you ever write stories set in other periods? If not, can you imagine doing so?

I haven't published anything outside the Regency but have a World War II novel set in Paris that I'd love to sell to an editor. I'm also interested in contemps and in straight historical fiction, the latter probably set Regency/Napoleonic era since my research has been concentrated in those times.

So what sparked the idea for Rogue's Lady? A character? An historical event? A specific scene?

Rogue's Lady-originally entitled The Musician's Daughter-is a story idea that I've had for a very long time, so long that I don't remember what triggered it originally. It's not based on any actual person or event. But the idea of cherishing a childhood love, hoping and believing that it will be the key to your happiness and security, and having to fight with yourself to let go of that illusion in order to embrace a better but riskier choice is an idea that I'd long wanted to explore.

I see that music plays a big part in your story. Did this mean lots of research for you?

Music has always been a great love of mine, so having a heroine who shared that love was an easy transition. I've sung in various choirs since third grade, played clarinet and oboe in band until time constraints in college made it impossible for a non-music-major to continue, and been an avid collector of music. The story itself does not provide a depth of information about the daily life of a Regency musician, so I didn't need to do a lot of extra research. The heroine mainly has to deal with the social stigma involved for anyone of aristocratic blood who performed in a professional rather an amateur capacity.

Care to tell us about a few of your favorite research or reference books?

How can I cut the list down to a FEW?? The ones I keep on my desk are Dee Hendrickson's Regency Reference Book and Ian Fletcher's Wellington's Regiments. Other great general references for the period are The London Encyclopedia, Christopher Hibbert editor, J.B. Priestly's The Prince of Pleasure and his Regency; Arthur Bryant's The Age of Elegance; and J.R. White's Life in Regency England. Thomas Shepherd's London in the Nineteenth Century offers great drawings and descriptions of some of the major London buildings. Last, these three general histories of Jane Austen: Susan Watkins's Jane Austen: In Style; Marghanita Laski's Jane Austen and Maggie Lane's Jane Austen's World.

Wow! Were there any research tidbits you had to leave out of the book that you'd like to share with us now?

Trying to get to know the unusual heroine Allegra better, hero Will invites her to view the Elgin Marbles. Only a bit of the history of those remarkable sculptures is revealed in the scene. I chose that venue for their outing in order to have them discover the connection between the master sculptor of the acropolis works and their own situations. Phadias, drawn into the political storm surrounding his master and employer Pericles, was discredited and exiled from Athens. Like Will and Allegra, he was cast out of the world he knew and forced to look for a new place to belong where his talents would be respected and appreciated. Phadias ended well; settling in Elis in northwest Pellepponesus, he was employed by the elders of Olympia to create a statue of Zeus which became known as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. I'll post more on the Elgin Marbles on the research blog on Thursday.

Tell us about your next book!

I'm racing to finish the deadline on my next book, due out next summer, called at the moment simply "Hal's Story." This story features the strong, tall, monosyllabic Hal Waterman, best friend of hero Nicholas Stanhope from my first book The Wedding Gamble, who at the wedding of Nicky to Wedding Gamble heroine Sarah Wellingford fell in love at first sight with Sarah's beautiful younger sister Elizabeth. Terrified of his immediate attraction to this lady whose stunning looks remind him all too vividly of his exquisitely lovely, exacting, impossible-to-please mother, Hal made it his business to avoid Elizabeth. Until now, 8 years later, when a promise made to Nicky compels him to offer his assistance to the newly-widowed, and even lovelier, Elizabeth.

Ooo, that sounds compelling! Thanks for visiting with us, Julia!

Please visit www.JuliaJustiss.com to view the trailer for Rogue's Lady!


Blogger Tracy Grant said...

Hi Julia! Great interview. The book sounds great. I'm particularly intrigued by the heroine's father being a musician. I love music as well. Are there particular composters you listened to a lot while wokring on the book?

9:12 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

Hello, Julia. Terrific interview and thanks for the references. I collect Regency period references like Brittney Spears collects bad press. As a retired opera singer your heroine as instant appeal for me. I love your books, The Courtesan, in particular. Your characters are so unique and sensual and your attention to period detail is greatly appreciated. I echo Tracy's question. What do you listen to when writing, if anything? Also, where do your story ideas come from?

10:24 AM  
Blogger Kathrynn Dennis said...

Hi Julia. Thanks for blogging with us! An great trailer!

Best, Kathrynn

8:17 PM  

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