Today I am so pleased to have Harlequin and Mills and Boon author Elisabeth Hobbes chatting with me, so take a seat and let’s get to know a bit more about Elisabeth.
You can find me hanging around The Unlaced Bookclub on Facebook along with other Harlequin Historical authors. I grew up in York where I spent most of my teenage years wandering around the city looking for a handsome Roman or Viking to sweep me off my feet. Sadly it never happened but I developed a love of the past and went on to read History and Art History at university before venturing into the world of teaching. I live in Cheshire with my husband, two young children and two cats with ridiculous names because the car broke down here in 1999 and I never left.
I love historical fiction and have a fondness for dark haired, bearded heroes. When I’m not writing, I spend a lot of my spare time reading and have become something of a pro at cooking one-handed while holding a book! I’m fond of ginger mojitos and Thai hot and sour soup, though not at the same time.
Reading Chick: Hi Elisabeth, Welcome to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals! Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today. Firstly what five words would you use to describe yourself?
Elisabeth : Hi, it’s lovely to be here. Only five words. Hmm….Mum, teacher, frazzled (owing mainly to the first two), creative, geeky.
Reading Chick : If you could live in any era and place, When and where would it be? And Why?
Elisabeth : Not the Middle Ages, despite writing about the period and being fascinated by it I wouldn’t want to pay it more than a quick visit! I couldn’t cope with the lack of plumbing and hygiene.
The Roaring Twenties and thirties in New York looked like an amazing time to be alive. The clothes, cocktails and music are all wonderful. I’d go hang around the Algonquin and try make friends with Dorothy Parker or pretend I was in a Jeeves and Wooster story.
Reading Chick : Ooh! I like it, Who was your childhood hero?
Elisabeth : Han Solo. He was so cool and I was a real tomboy so spent playtimes running around pretending to be on the Death Star. I first saw Star Wars when I was little, I don’t think I quite understood what I liked about him. Of course when I got a little older… Yum! That’s probably where I developed my love of rogues and heroes with slightly blurred moral codes and a dangerous twinkle. You never quite trusted he would do the right thing.
Reading Chick : Totally agree with about wayward rogues. What is your favourite time of the year?
Elisabeth : I love to be warm so summer (though I’m fond of winter because I love to ski). Teaching means I’m lucky enough to get a few weeks holiday travelling round France or Spain with my family and I love the light nights where I can sit outside with only a couple of layers on rather than bundled up to the eyebrows.
Reading Chick : Out of all your work, who is your favourite character and why?
Elisabeth : Oooh, difficult, I love all my children! Generally I’m fondest of whoever I have just written so in this case it’s Roger Danby, the roguish brother from The Blacksmith’s Wife who has now got his own story. If I have to choose a previous one I have a bit of a soft spot for Will, the hero of A Wager for the Widow. He’s flirty and cocky (there’s that Han Solo influence) and like me he prefers his oysters cooked to raw.
Reading Chick : Where does your inspiration for your books come from?
Elisabeth : Places play a huge part in my ideas. The Blacksmith’s Wife is set in York where I grew up and on the nearby moors that I love to visit, because I wanted to take a city girl and put her in the middle of nowhere. I fell in love with St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall and thought it was such a beautiful, isolated place for a character to withdraw from the world so I gave it to Eleanor in A Wager for the Widow. The Saxon Outlaw’s Revenge sprang from walking around the Cheshire countryside on a damp, misty day and imagining the execution of a group of unsuccessful rebels and needing to find out who they were. One day I’m going to set a story in Briancon, the lovely Medieval town I stay in when I go skiing.
Reading Chick : What a great answer, What three tips would you pass on to an aspiring author?
Elisabeth : Keep notebooks or paper everywhere because you never know when the perfect sentence or line of dialogue might pop into your head and there’s nothing worse than only half remembering it (deciphering my 3am pitch black scribbles is always fun).
Write something every day, even if it is only one sentence because they do build up and you can’t edit nothing.
Join some sort of writing group, whether online or in real life and be prepared to take criticism. Some people are brutal but mostly I’ve found other writers to be a supportive group are really happy to offer suggestions and advice.
Elisabeth : There would have to be other authors so I could pick their brains. Terry Pratchett and Jane Austen because they’re two of my all time favourites and I suspect they’d both enjoy talking about how they deal with class and convention. The third would be Tom Hiddleston so I could apologise for the cover of The Saxon Outlaw’s Revenge looking nothing like him (not that I don’t like the model I got)!
Reading Chick : Thank you, Elisabeth for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with me today, I have just one more cheeky question, just for fun . . . What is your all-time favourite naughty but nice food?
Elisabeth : My naughty treat is crisps. I’m a savoury rather than sweet girl (I’m sure many would agree) and I could eat my way through bag after bag if I wasn’t disciplined, especially if I had a glass of wine to hand.
It’s been a pleasure. Thank you for having me.
Thank you for chatting with me, it’s been a pleasure having you visit.