Guys, guys! Gather round it’s author interview time! Say hi to Tora Williams!
Tora, tell me a bit about you and your latest work.
Thanks for inviting me to take part, Katie!
I write historical romance with a dash of intrigue and adventure. So far, all my novels have been based in Wales and the Welsh Marches in the twelfth century. My debut, Bound to Her Blood Enemy, was published by The Wild Rose Press last June and since then they’ve published two others.
My latest novel, His Clandestine Bride, is a second-chance romance with the heroine, Isobel finding herself snowed in with Edmund Granville, the man who abandoned her five years earlier, forcing her into a loveless marriage. The sparks fly from the word go—they both believe the other betrayed the marriage vows they took in secret, and now they want nothing to do with each other. But when Edmund discovers the secret she’s tried desperately to hide from him, he’s determined to claim her as his bride despite his dislike. Being together opens up old wounds, which they must heal if they’re to seize their second chance at love.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Introvert, daydreamer, treehugger
How would you Twitter pitch your novel?
A castle, a blizzard, and a pair of betrayed lovers. Can he win back his bride before the thaw?
What are your top 3 tips for aspiring writers?
- Be prepared to hate your first draft. No one writes a perfect story the first time. You can make it better when you edit.
- Fit writing into your daily routine, whether that means setting your alarm an hour early or staying up late.
- Write what you love. You’re going to have to reread and edit it many times. If it’s not the kind of book you love to read, you’ll be sick of it long before it’s finished.
Are you a panster or plotter?
Mostly a pantser. I have a good idea of my main characters before I start, and a rough idea of the beginning, black moment and resolution. Everything else comes as I write.
What does success look like to you?
I dream of being able to give up my day job and write full time.
How do you choose your character names?
The names have to be right for their time and background – I write medieval romance based in Wales and the Welsh borders, and my characters are mostly Welsh and Anglo-Norman, so I have to make sure the name is historically correct. With Norman surnames I often look at maps, choose place names and stick a ‘de’ in front. For example, my heroine’s name is Isobel de Brockton—Brockton is a hamlet a mile or two from where I live.
Do you ever Google yourself?
No! The horror!
What do you do when you get stuck with your writing?
Going for a walk often clears my thinking. I’ve also been struck by inspiration while doing the washing up, which is a great excuse to leave it until later.
How long does it take you to write a book?
If you mean time between starting and submitting, I can do it in about 5 months – that’s not writing full time but fitting it around my job.That doesn’t take into account the editing process once it’s been accepted.
What’s your main weakness as a writer eg.SPaG, continuity etc?
Translating the emotion I can visualise into words.
What do you find hardest/easiest about writing?
Dreaming up the characters and plot is easiest. The hardest is the discipline to get out of bed every morning at 5am.
Describe your writing process in 3 words.
Write, daydream, repeat.
If your book/one of your books got made into a film, who would play the main roles?
Kit Harington (Jon Snow in Game of Thrones) would play Edmund. I found a picture of Keri Russell with curly hair which looked exactly how I imagined Isobel.
What’s been your biggest learning curve?
I think it has to be learning to treat my writing career as a business. Like many writers, I started writing purely for enjoyment with no intention of showing others what I was writing. But writing and selling books needs focus and all the other activities you have to do is bewildering.
Do you prefer pen and paper, or is everything on the computer?
Everything’s on the computer. I use Scrivener, and I keep everything in a single project for each book, including research links, photos, etc.
Who’s your favourite author and why?
Rosemary Sutcliff. Her children’s books were my first introduction to historical novels, and I’ve still never found an author – for children or adults – who can match her skill at world-building and her ability to evoke an atmosphere with just a few words.
What’s your favourite book?
Sword at Sunset by Rosemary Sutcliff
How do you relax?
Reading! But also walking and cycling.
And now for some silly questions just for fun…
Tea or coffee?
Neither! I know that makes me a social outcast…
Beer or wine?
Umm…neither! Unless I’m in the Czech Republic, then beer.
Chips or curly fries?
Puppies or kittens?
Kittens + antihistamines
Summer or winter?
Blurb for His Clandestine Bride
Snowed in with the man who abandoned her five years earlier, Norman widow Isobel de Brockton is terrified he will discover her secret. If Edmund Granville finds out, she risks losing all she holds dear.
Edmund is determined to earn the king’s favour by catching a fugitive. The last thing he needs is to be stuck in a castle with the woman who cruelly cast him off. But after Isobel’s young son is lost in a blizzard, Edmund learns the truth behind their separation.
Now he resolves to reclaim his bride, but the deep wounds of their past haven’t mended. Can they finally heal their damaged hearts and seize their second chance at love?
Tora Williams writes historical romance with a dash of intrigue and adventure. When she was a child, family holidays usually involved visiting Welsh castles, where she would make up stories in her head about the women and men who once lived there. When she started writing she naturally set her stories in medieval Wales and the turbulent border between England and Wales. She lives in Shropshire, England in a house that doesn’t contain nearly enough bookshelves. You can find out more about Tora at www.torawilliams.uk
Thanks so much for joining us, Tora! Grab her book now, you guys!
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