I read my first historical romance when I was fourteen. I remember it distinctly. It was Georgette Heyer’s effervescent Lady of Quality, which my mom had gotten from her book club. The jacket cover had this elegantly dressed lady in a ruffled yellow skirt, dainty little sandals, and a bonnet.
Despite being over 5,000 miles from Bath, England, and understanding very little of the period terminology, I was instantly captivated. A smart, capable, independent heroine. A clever, dashing, irresistible hero. Crackling repartee. Who knew that conversation could be so incredibly romantic?
I’ve read a lot of romance since then — and I mean a lot — but it’s Heyer who’s probably had the strongest influence on me. I’m thrilled to now be writing my own historical romances, and it’s with a respectful tip of my hat (a high-poke bonnet, of course) that my books are primarily set in the United Kingdom, during the Regency era which Heyer — and Jane Austen — have helped make so famous.
When I’m not writing, I like to read (of course), bake (not to brag, but my chocolate-chip cookies are amazing*), go to museums (all kinds, and in particular I highly recommend the Museum of Bad Art in Boston if you ever get a chance to visit it), and travel with my intrepid family.
*Here’s the recipe! Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together 1 cup butter, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup brown sugar (light or dark). Add 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix together 2 cups flour, 2 1/2 cups oatmeal (add small amounts to blender until mixture turns to powder), 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Add flour mixture to butter/sugar mixture, then stir in a 12-ounce bag of semisweet chocolate chips and half of an 8-ounce bag of milk chocolate chips; if you like, add 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts. Shape dough into balls the size of a ping-pong ball and place on ungreased cookie sheets. After five minutes in the oven, flatten cookies with a spatula or the bottom of a glass measuring cup, then bake for an additional 3 to 6 minutes. Cool on the sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to a rack. Makes around 4 dozen fabulous cookies.