Monday, January 12, 2015

Interview with author Camille Elliot

Welcome to Camille Elliot author of PRELUDE for a LORD!




MFP:  You have said you love the Regency time period, what book did you read to fan the flame of that love?

CE: My very first Regency was Regency Miss by Alix Melbourne when I was 13 years old, and I had borrowed it from a classroom library. I was absolutely enthralled and after I finished it, I immediately started reading it again! I started looking for more Regencies after that. A few years ago I went searching for it again online and found a copy. I read it again, wondering if it was as wonderful as I remember it, and it was!

MFP: There is a lot of information about music in Prelude for a Lord. Did that require a lot of research?

CE: I took piano lessons as a teenager and I also lead one of the worship teams for my church, so I’m familiar with music to an extent—American Idol I am definitely not! LOL—but I had to do a lot of research into music in the late 1800s and early 1800s. There’s more information on music in the late Victorian era, unfortunately, but I found a few articles and books that were very helpful. In doing my research I found that women violinists did not appear until the late 1800s because the act of playing a violin was considered scandalous and unladylike, so of course, I made my heroine a violinist who was uncaring of what polite society thought of her. I also was able to bring in some of the history of the Italian girls’ orphanages where the composer Vivaldi taught and composed in the 1700s.

MFP: One of the things I loved about the heroine Alethea was that she didn't care what polite society thought about her as long as she was true to herself. 

MFP:  Speaking of research, did you do a lot of research on the Regency era, and if so can you share your process?

CE: I actually bought and read a lot of Regency history books throughout my adult life simply because I loved the Regency era, although I did not attempt to write a Regency novel until last year. I read a lot of Regency romances and was familiar with the time period, but books like Georgette Heyer’s Regency World, The Regency Companion by Laudermilk and Hamlin (unfortunately out of print and hideously expensive to get a used copy), and The Regency Reference Book by Emily Hendrickson (http://emilyhendrickson.net/regency/regency-reference-book/) were helpful as a place to start to really understand the societal and historical context of the novels I’d been reading. I also read a lot of articles online and like to troll them for lists of more Regency reference books.
Also, Google Books and Archive.org are my best friends! I have been able to download scanned .pdf copies of original books from the Regency era that have been incredibly helpful. It’s amazing what kinds of journals and memoirs were published in the early 1800s. There are also .pdf copies of fashion magazines like La Belle Assemblee and Ackermann’s Repository.

MFP:  You have written Suspense in the past, I enjoyed the Suspense/Regency of Prelude for a Lord, it reminded me a bit of a gothic romance. Was that your intention? If so who or what were your influences?

CE: It was hard for me not to have a suspense thread in my Regency romances! I guess I just like murder and mayhem. :) However, I do admit I am a huge fan of Mary Stewart and her gothic romances (I haven’t read all of them yet but am slowly making my way through her booklist) and I also have a bunch of old gothic romances that I got used online which I loved. So I suppose unintentionally there was a gothic influence to my stories. Most gothic historical romances were set in the Victorian era, and the only Regency gothic author I know of was Joan Smith (who also wrote straight Regency romances). So in that sense, I might be forging my own path!

MFP: Off topic and gushing for a moment, Mary Stewart?! One of my favorite authors when I was a teenager! My favorite book is Madam Will You Talk? Have you read that one yet? Have you ever read any Phyllis Whitney, I was hooked on her at the same time as Mary Stewart. 

Okay, back to the interview ;)

MFP:  In the past you have written as Camy Tang, can you tell us why the name change?

CE: When I decided to write a Regency romance, it was SO different from what I’ve written before, especially the completely different time period and place, that my editors and I felt that it would be better to use a pen name so that readers wouldn’t get confused or feel betrayed if they picked up a Camy Tang book only to find it was a historical novel. While there are some suspense readers who also read historicals, there are many who do not, and the same with historical readers.

MFP:  Can you share about the spiritual aspect of your Regencies?

CE: It’s hard for me not to write about a spiritual thread because a lot of our internal struggles have their roots in our spiritual worldview. Also I fully believe that God has called me to write for people who are alone and don’t realize how much He loves them. That is what I’m aiming for with my writing.

MFP: What are you working on now?

CE: I’m releasing A Spinster’s Christmas, the first book in a new Regency series, this month. It originally appeared in Mistletoe Kisses, an Inspy Kisses anthology of 7 other authors writing contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance stories, but now I’m releasing ASpinster’s Christmas as a separate ebook with a bonus knitting pattern—the scarf that my hero gives to the heroine in the story.

I’m also planning on releasing more Regency romances this year. If anyone wants to be informed when I have a new one out or a sale on an old one, they can sign up for my email newsletter: http://eepurl.com/3fKY1

Where readers can find you:

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCamilleElliot
http://camys-loft.blogspot.com/
https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/49078

ABOUT CAMILLE ELLIOT: 



Camy writes Christian contemporary romance and romantic suspense as Camy Tang and Regency romance under her pen name, Camille Elliot. She grew up in Hawaii but now lives in northern California with her engineer husband and rambunctious dog. She’s a staff worker for her church youth group and leads one of her church’s Sunday worship teams. She also loves to knit, spin wool into yarn, and is training to (very slowly) run a marathon. Visit her websites at http://www.camytang.com/ and http://www.camilleelliot.com/ to read free short stories and subscribe to her quarterly newsletter.



Check out my review of Prelude For A Lord HERE.





GIVEAWAY!!!

Leave a comment in the comment section and your name will go in a drawing for a copy of Camille Elliot's book Prelude for a Lord . Winner will be announced here on January 19, 2015. US residents only please. 


8 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for the interview, Julie! And thanks for the recommendation for Phyllis Whitney! :)

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    1. My pleasure Camy! I enjoyed it very much!

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  2. Wow, my absolute favorite genre.....the Regency period! I just can't get enough of it, it seems. I love the history, rich culture, people, mannerisms & etc. What a different world it is! This really sounds like a book I would thoroughly enjoy reading. Thank you for a chance to win a copy of "Prelude for a Lord". Your interview was very nice to read. It's always great to get to know an author and how they started & how writing has changed their life. I also love that you keep God in the middle of it all, what is life without Him...He should permeate every aspect. Thanks again Camy for sharing about your book, blessing to you & yours!

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    1. Hi Trixi,
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I too enjoy the Regency time period and it was fun interviewing Camy.

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  3. I am excited to get my hands on this book and read it. (Reporting because I am not sure my comments are going through)

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    1. Charity,
      Comments on my blog are monitored and not posted until I approve them. This is why you don't see your comment go up right away.

      Camy's book was very enjoyable and I hope you get a chance to read it soon. :)

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  4. Great interview, ladies! Would love to win this one... I've heard great things about it. :)

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    1. Hi Anna! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. It was fun interviewing Camy and I really enjoyed Prelude for a Lord :)

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