Q&A With Historical Romance Author Grace Elliot, author of Ebook 'Hope's Betrayal'

One wild, winter’s night two worlds collide. Known for his ruthless efficiency, Captain George Huntley is sent to stamp out smuggling on the south coast of England. On a night raid, the Captain captures a lanky lad, but finds his troubles are just beginning when the lad turns out to be a lass, Hope Tyler.

With Hope as bait, the Captain sets a trap to catch the rest of the gang. But in a battle of wills, with his reputation at stake, George Huntley starts to respect feisty, independent Hope. Challenged by her sea-green eyes and stubborn loyalty Huntley now faces a new threat – his growing attraction to a sworn enemy. And a love where either Hope betrays her own kind, or Captain Huntley is court-marshalled, is not an easy destiny to follow.

It’s Q&A Time!

Welcome Grace! I’m Terri.

Hi Terri, lovely to meet you and your followers.

Q: Can you tell us a little something about where you grew up and what your childhood was like?

A: I’m a Yorkshire lass born and bred, who now lives just outside London. I grew up in a tight knit family; my Gran lived next door to her eldest daughter, with my other aunt living just a few streets away. The hub of my childhood was my Gran’s house – everyone naturally gravitated there. Gran’s house was made of red brick and there was always a smell of coal dust in the air, and to this day, the smell of a coal fire takes me back to that happy childhood.
There was a strong sense of community in a village where I grew up, a place that existed on the back of coal mining and the steel works. I remember neighbours calling at the back door with runner beans and sweet peas grown in their allotments, and the sense that people had time for one another.

Q: When did you first begin reading novels?

A: Talking of my childhood reminds me of learning to read on the Janet and John books – anyone else remember them? For as long as I can remember I’ve been an avid devourer of books. I had a long journey to school and used the time to read. Some weeks I’d get through five or six books, and the library was a regular stop on the way home and part of my selection criteria for my next book was that it was thick! I especially loved Arthur Ransom’s “Swallows and Amazons” books, science fiction, the classics and anything featuring animals!

Q: When did you realize you had writing talent?

A: At school I remember the English teachers telling me I didn’t need to write such long stories for homework. When given a topic the story would take root in my mind and I’d write and write until I’d got it all off my mind, even if that meant filling a whole exercise book. Those essays must have had something about them because it was not unusual for the teacher to read excerpts out to the class.
I first thought I might be a writer on a train journey when I caught myself describing the passing scenery in my head. But that was years ago and marriage, a family and a career took over. It wasn’t until a school reunion (20 year) and class mates reminded me of the stories I wrote for homework, that I had a eureka moment and decided to start writing again.

Q: When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?

A: Once I rediscovered the joy of writing, I discovered an addiction! I couldn’t stop writing; I had to do a little every day and got twitched if I couldn’t. It was more about the process of creating and expressing myself than ‘being a writer’, but it gives me great joy to share my efforts and if readers enjoy my books, then I’m thrilled.

Q: When you’re working on a book, how much time per day is devoted to it?

A: I write everyday. Since taking part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) last November, my writing habits have changed. I used to set myself a time target, writing say for a minimum of twenty minutes a day (I also work as a veterinarian so writing isn’t my only career). However with NaNoWriMo you have a daily word target – by changing I discovered just how much time I spent getting distracted whilst thinking I was writing. So when writing a first draft, I now attempt to produce 1700 words a day – no self editing, no self criticism but just letting the inspiration flow and fingers fly over the keyboard. It’s so liberating. Of course this then needs to polished and reworked in subsequent drafts, and that’s where taking my time has its place.

Q: Who are some of your top favorite historical romance authors?

A: Some of the first historical romance authors I read were Stephanie Laurens, Gaelen Foley, Mary Balogh and Lisa Kleypas, who I love and will always go back to. I recently discovered Tess Dare and she’s my favourite author of the moment.

Q: Where did the idea for your newest release, Hope’s Betrayal, come from? I must say it’s a very beautiful cover.

A: “Hope’s Betrayal” was in part inspired by a true story. One of my favourite places is the Isle of Wight (just off the south coast of England) and the island is rich with smuggling history. One of the local legends is that in the late 1700′s there was a fisherman’s daughter, who was also a smuggler. She was so beautiful, that when one night a Revenue Officer caught her, he couldn’t bear the thought of putting her in jail and released her without charge.

This struck me as a wonderful starting point for a story. It set me asking about what happened to that officer’s career, after his authority was ruined? And what about the girl, what happened if two people on opposite sides of the law fell in love? Would her family shun her, or would her lover be rejected by his community? The result is my homage to that local legend, in “Hope’s Betrayal.”

Thank you so much for the compliment on the cover. I just love the image – it perfectly captures the allure of Hope’s green eyes, and her daring, untamed spirit.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: If anyone ever tells you that when your children get older, you’ll have more time – don’t believe them! My sons are now teenagers and most of my spare time is spent ferrying them around. Apart from reading, writing and fussing cats, I have been known to jog – but not terribly fast or far!

Q: What is your favorite type of film?

A: We don’t have a cinema near us so I don’t get to the movies as often as I’d like and most of the films I see are biased towards teenage boys! However, through this I have developed a grudging penchant for Iron Man. It made a change for me to drag them to a movie – The Hunger Games – and I’m still not sure if they liked or loathed it! One of my son’s hopes to go and see Prometheus this weekend, but since I nearly fainted in the first Alien film (all those years ago!) – perhaps I’ll deposit them at the cinema and go shopping instead.

Q: What are your upcoming projects?

A: I’m currently working on the third book in The Huntley Trilogy – “Verity’s Lie.” In this book we follow Lord Charles Huntley, rogue, in his undercover role to protect the bookish daughter of a government minister. As in all good historical romance, nothing ever goes smoothly as Verity feels she’s exchanging a overbearing parent, for an domineering rogue as Charles seeks to save her from being kidnapped by the French.

Q: Please tell my readers where they can find you on the internet.



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