It is lovely to welcome the bestselling historical fiction author, Lesley Field back to the blog to discuss her new novel, Dangerous Encounter. Thank you for your time today Lesley.
What inspired you to write Dangerous Encounter?
This is a simple question but difficult to answer. People often ask me where I get my inspiration and ideas from. All I can tell them is that it just came to me. Like most authors I can get an idea at any time blog, and anywhere. A storyline comes to me and I think about it for a while as it starts to develop. Sometimes the storyline develops from an incident/scene between the main characters and I can end up writing a middle section of the novel before starting on the beginning. I once wrote the ending to a novel first. So I guess the inspiration comes from inside me.
Who is your favourite character in Dangerous Encounter and why?
I like both main characters in my book, but there is another character who makes me smile. My male character’s grandmother, a Duchess, well used to the rules of society. She knows exactly what she expects from her grandson, and what to do and say to accomplish that. She will also protect her family and the family name by whatever means necessary.
What was the first story you had published?
The first novel I had published was Dangerous Entrapment. That was the first book in the Duchess in Danger series and was short listed for the Romantic Novelists Association’s historical novel of the year 2016. My latest release, “Dangerous Encounter,” is book 4 in the Duchess in Danger series.
Do you have another story planned or in progress? When can we expect to see that?
I have another historical novel that I’m hoping to release early next year, which is called My Beloved Captor. I wrote this a couple of years ago and it’s been sitting on my desktop waiting for something to happen. I’ve already done a read through/further edit on it and it should be going to my beta reader before too long for her to read and edit. I also have a contemporary novel as my work in progress but it will be a while before that’s ready to be published.
What do you like to do when you’re not planning or writing your next book?
My leisure time is spent meeting with friends, gardening, going for walks, having coffee/meals out with my husband and also planning holidays. But I can’t forget my favourite time of day, settling down in bed with my kindle and reading before going to sleep.
When did you know you wanted to write novels?
This is easy to answer, in 2012 when I read a short story in a magazine and thought, “I could do that.” So I did. I had traditional publishers to start with, then one stopped publishing my genre and the other suddenly closed due to ill health. That was when I went independent and started to publish my own books through Amazon’s Kindle Director Publishing (KDP). Having traditional publishers meant that there were long periods of time when nothing was happening, which is why I have several novels on my desktop waiting to be published. I just kept writing while I was waiting.
Do you write novels in other genres?
Yes. I write contemporary romance which is set in Canada. I like the balance between historical and contemporary.
What do you like most about being an author?
I love the fact that I can create a character and then lead then into whatever trouble I think is apt before finally giving them what all romance novels have, a happy every after. Since I went independent last year I have found I can do things at my own pace. I’m not under pressure, other than from myself, to complete something. I’m lucky in that my husband is very good with Photoshop and is able to help design my book covers. I bought a plan from a company that sells photos so I can pick and choose what model or background I want. The cover for Dangerous Encounter was, in my husband’s words, fairly straightforward to do. Or it was until I thought the lake looked bare and a swan would add to the scene. That worked well, but the swan looked a bit lonely so it got a mate for company. Doing little things like that makes the book more your own. For the cover on my time travel novel, Duchess Thro Time, I found the model I wanted but her head was wrong (she had a hat on) so it was off with her head, and the head from another model was transplanted. The background was made up of 4 different images by my husband, a clock, a door, a sun dial and a sand timer. It was really good to see the cover come to life bit by bit.
Do you have a specific routine for writing? Is there a special place or particular tool you use?
We have a lounge/dining room and the dining table is situated near to the large patio windows. I write sitting at the table looking out over the garden. It can be distracting at times if there are a lot of birds in the garden, but that’s always a good excuse to have a break. Sometimes I have a lovely moment like the afternoon I was working and looked out of the window and saw a baby blackbird on the outside of the window ledge looking in at me. Then again it could be the squirrel paying a visit to the nut container. It’s quite a clever little chap and has found out how to unhook the container and spill the nuts out. There’s never a dull moment.
What advice do you have for other writers?
Never give up and keep reading. Take any rejections on the chin and remember that reading, even if it’s by a publisher, is subjective. Also never be afraid to take a risk. In my contemporary “Saunders” series which is set in Banff, Canada, I took a risk in killing off a character. I had to do it to enhance the personality of one of the other main characters.
A little bit about my new book.
“Dangerous Encounter,” is set in London in 1806. This is a time when eligible young men, particularly a Duke or Earl, were at considerable risk from matchmaking mother’s attempting to trap them into a compromising situation thus leaving the poor young man with a wife he did not desire. On the other side of the coin, a young lady of good social standing had the same problem. Trying to avoid the traps set by young rakes who were more interested in their dowry and connections than in the lady herself. My main character had successfully kept clear of such situations but then found himself caught in a situation which was of his own making.
Forced into a marriage he did not wish he left for Italy. If you read the book blurb you will see there is a reference to him entering into a liaison despite being married. That was a real risk on my part as this could turn a reader against him. But if the blurb is read carefully you will see it says, “a liaison which was as right as it was wrong.” Yes, it was wrong, but why was it right? Only the reader will find out. And I just hope this decision doesn’t backfire on me. Time will tell.
To give us a taste of Dangerous Encounter could you share the blurb with us?
Lord Philip Greyson, Duke of Cranwich, had spent years avoiding the machinations of scheming mothers attempting to entrap him. Now he found himself trapped in a situation of his own making whilst trying to help his best friend, Lord Edward Standish. Marriage to his friend’s sister was not what he wanted. Or did he?
A hasty marriage seemingly desired by neither of them led to rash decisions. A trip to Italy, a liaison which was as right as it was wrong, was his salvation. Or was it to be his downfall?
Returning to England and to the fury of his wife proved a challenge. A catalogue of misunderstandings, frustration and jealousy led to near tragedy.
Would either of them confess their love for the other?
Lesley Field was born and grew up on Teesside, in the North East of England She enjoyed riding and reading and later spent most of her working life pursuing personal injury claims on behalf of claimants. When retirement came she kicked off the restraints of the law and discovered her real self. What she discovered or re-discovered was writing something she’d dabbled in when she was in her teens. Although writing contemporary fiction set in Canada, she also writes historical fiction, set in London in and around the Regency period. Using her love of Canada and her enjoyment of horses she brings both to her books.
Lesley is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association coming in through their New Writers Scheme. Having now progressed to full membership she is also a member of ROMNA and of Promoting Yorkshire Authors.
Happily living on the North Yorkshire coast with her husband she spends her days enjoying life, and writing.
Main website – https://lesleyfield.com
Author Page Lesley Field @lesleyfield2author
Personal - https://www.facebook.com/lesley.field.79
Twitter - Lesley Field @lesleyfield2
Amazon Author page link for all books
Lesley can also be found on Instagram and Goodreads
Publication website for Lesley Field books - https://wildmoosepublications.co.uk