April 17, 2013

7 questions with . . . Elizabeth Boyle

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The newest in Elizabeth Boyle’s popular Rhymes With Love series, And the Miss Ran Away With the Rake, will charm fans of historical romance with the tale of Miss Daphne Dale who responds to a newspaper advertisement looking for a “sensible lady.” She, writing as “Miss Spooner,” strikes up a correspondence with “Mr. Dishforth.” Writes Romance columnist Christie Ridgway, “What transpires is an engaging comedy in which words and deeds sometimes confuse minds and hearts, and the happily-ever-after seems just out of reach.”

We chatted with Elizabeth Boyle about writing historical romance, watching movies and more in a 7 questions interview.

Describe your book in one sentence.
And the Miss Ran Away With the Rake is the book everyone should be curled up and reading this weekend—but only if you want to laugh and enjoy a fun read with a happily-ever-after ending.

If you could begin a correspondence with any man in history—fictional or real—who would it be, and in the spirit of “Miss Spooner,” what would you sign your letters as?
Thomas Boyle, an American privateer during the War of 1812. He was audacious and daring—I read all about him as I was researching one of my heroes and favorite characters, Captain Dashwell, or as he is known to his legions of fans, Dash. I loved Dash/Thomas so much, I put him in four books: This Rake of Mine, Love Letters from a Duke, Confessions of a Little Black Gown and Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress.

Oh, and I would sign my letter to Thomas as I always do when writing my loved ones, simply with my first initial, E. He would know exactly who I am.

What is your favorite part of writing historical romance?
Spending my days with dukes, rakes and pirates. Truly, who wouldn’t want to spend their days wrangling dukes? But I love the writing process—the nuts and bolts of a discovering a story idea/characters, pondering the what-ifs and weighing the story potential, and then exploring those characters by telling their story. Adding the historical elements is like the frosting on cupcakes—so many choices and always the chance to toss in some sprinkles.

“Truly, who wouldn’t want to spend their days wrangling dukes?”

When you’re not writing, what are you usually up to?
Wrangling kids, which is not unlike wrangling dukes—stubborn, willful creatures both. But my afternoons and evenings are usually stuffed with carpooling, scouts, sports, ortho appointments, the usual mom stuff. When I get a free moment—which any mom who works knows is a rare and precious commodity—I love gardening, knitting, cooking and, of course, reading. I’m also horribly addicted to Pinterest and Ravelry, which is sort of a combo of Pinterest and Facebook for knitters.

What is your favorite movie based on a book?
Other than one of mine? (Yoo-hoo, Hollywood, I’m standing by the phone. Yes, I’ll hold—while you take yet another look at one of my novels.) As for other books, any of the Harry Potter movies. I love the books. I love the movies. I just love the world J.K. Rowling created, and it was brought to film so beautifully. My oldest kid and I will settle in on a rainy Saturday and watch as many of them as we can stand. We call it a “butt-o-rama” and just watch the movies and eat popcorn. And I love the Star Trek reboot—I know the books came after the TV series, but that counts, doesn’t it?

What has been the greatest moment of your writing career?
Well, there was the time I fell over into Puget Sound while doing a photoshoot for the local newspaper. Oh, you said “greatest,” not most memorable. Greatest moment would probably be selling my first book. The whole entire thing was unbelievable—and truly unlike the usual I-submitted-my-book-and-was-offered-a-million-dollars-the-very-next-day sort of story. You can read all about my first sale here.

What’s next?
The details for the Run Away With Romance Tour are being finalized: Me, Cathy Maxwell and Lorraine Heath are going out on tour. Look out, Houston, Richmond and Crestview Hills, KY—three wild and crazy romance writers are about to invade. Details are on my website. But before I hit the road, I have to put the finishing touches on my next book, If Wishes Were Earls, then it will be on to the next three Rhymes With Love books. And since summer is approaching, I have high hopes for sunny days, some camping under the stars and my garden bursting with flowers. But I live in Seattle, so I am hopeful the rain will warm up by July. Mid-July, if we’re lucky.

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