Get to know Regina Jeffers

Join me in getting to know the fascinating Regina Jeffers today.

Writing is such a challenging endeavor. What got you started on it, and what keeps you doing it?

In November 2008, I was still in the classroom as a teacher. I was explaining to my Advanced Placement class about voice and syntax, and I had pulled several examples of classic literature and popular literature for the students’ examinations. The lesson was in preparation of their reading Pride and Prejudice and later, Ethan Frome. I was highly critical of one of the samples, and one student took up the challenge with “If you know how to do this, do it yourself.” And so, I began writing Darcy’s Passions, a retelling of Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy’s point of view. I held no conceit or thoughts of glory. I simply wished to answer a student’s challenge so that I might return with one of my own. Continue reading

Get to know Sally Smith O’Rourke

Help me welcome Sally Smith O’Rourke this morning. I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I have.

Writing is such a huge task, what got you started on it and what keeps you doing it?

I never thought of myself as a writer although in retrospect I wrote a lot I just never took it very seriously. In high school and college I took speech and drama so wrote a lot of speeches and occasionally a scene, but I never thought of it as particularly creative. My late husband was a writer and published author; he told me that I was good, I just needed practice. Frankly I assumed he was just being nice as was his nature and didn’t give it too much thought although I never stopped writing stuff, even if he was the only one who saw it. Continue reading

Get to know Claire Voet

  • When did you first start writing?

I started writing approximately three years ago. I used to teach English as a foreign language and wrote short stories for my students, my writing then progressed from there.

  • What did you do with your earliest efforts?

The first story I wrote was a love story called A New Beginning. A different style of writing to my books these days, very much like a Danielle Steel novel. I haven’t done anything with it, – it sits in a file in my drawer still.

  • Did anyone read them?

Yes my publisher, but I decided on publishing Whittington Manor instead.

  • Do you still have them?

Yes I do and I’m still unsure if I will publish it one day. Continue reading

Get to know Anna Belfrage

Please help me welcome Anna Belfrage this morning.


Writing is such a challenging endeavor. What got you started on it and what keeps you doing it?

To write is to be in control – at least initially. I’ve always written stories, as a child swashbuckling stories involving a lot of bravery and yours truly, as an adolescent rather soppy love stories involving yours truly and Handsome Hero, and as an adult a combination of the two – well, with the major improvement of cutting yours truly out of the story.

As my writing skills have evolved – and they do on a daily basis – the fundamental pleasure in writing lies in telling the story THROUGH my character’s eyes. It also leads to some rather surprising twists, as my characters tend to be opinionated and verbal, thereby derailing the plot. These days I have but the vaguest idea of where the story is going to end when I start writing – but I know my characters in and out. Continue reading

Get to know Maggie Secara

Please join me in  welcoming Maggie Secara this morning.

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When did you first start writing?

I feel like I must have been arranging words for grace and style since before I learned to talk, but that’s probably not the case. I did write my first poem when I was about 8 years old. I can still recite it but really, you’d rather I didn’t. Still, it both rhymed and scanned!

What did you do with your earliest efforts? Did anyone read them? Did you still have them?

Let’s skip past those childish efforts, shall we. My mother loved everything I did, so we can take that as read. Skip ahead to my first efforts at fiction. I was a voracious reader, and wanted to write books from very early on. When I was 5 or 6, I was also a huge fan of an old TV show called Robin Hood: the Adventures in Sherwood Forest, starring Richard Greene. I learned so much from that show, even how to hold a bow and shoot an arrow. So it’s probably no surprise that my first attempt at a novel was called Maid of Sherwood, and it was about a young girl who somehow gets sent back in time to Sherwood Forest, meets Robin Hood, and has all sorts of adventures. My best friend Nan is the only other person who has ever read any of it or, I suspect, ever will. Now and then she still asks me when I’m going to finish it. I’m pretty sure the original manuscript–hand-written on wide-ruled notebook paper–is long gone. Continue reading

Get to know Michele Kallio

Please join me in welcoming Michele Kallio this morning. I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I have.
 Michele KallioWhen did you start writing?
     I wrote a few short stories in high school, but I didn’t get serious about writing until the story idea for Betrayal began buzzing around inside my head in 1999.
What did you do with your earliest efforts?
     I am afraid they are lost.  I did show them to family members and teachers, but I guess I never thought to keep them. I have the original notebooks for Betrayal, three large spiralbound notebooks which I like to re-read and I am continually amazed as how much the story has evolved.
 What made you choose to write in the genre/time period you write in?
     I have had a life long fascination with Henry the Eighth and his second wife, Anne Boleyn.  It is hard to explain except to say that from the moment I first read about them in high school I have wanted to learn more about their lives and the Tudor Age in general.  So it seemed a natural progression to go from reading about them to writing about them. Continue reading

Get to know Alyssa Goodnight

I am excited to welcome fellow Austen Author Alyssa Goodnight today! I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I have.

Alyssa Goodnight

Writing is such a challenging endeavor. What got you started on it and what keeps you doing it?

I started writing because I was curious as to whether, having read so VERY many Regencies, I could write one myself.  So…I gave it a shot, wrote an opening, decided I liked it quite a lot, and decided to keep at it.  It is certainly difficult to keep going in the face of rejections and less than flattering reviews, but I can’t help myself.  I love books, I love words.  I guess I just want to be part of a world where a really good metaphor can make a difference.

What did you do with your earliest efforts? Did anyone read them?  Did you still have them?

Since I’m super stubborn, my earliest efforts (revised ad nauseum and edited) are my self-published debut novel, Unladylike Pursuits.  Quite a few people have read it, and a number of them have told me exactly what they think (good and bad)!

What made you choose to write in the genres/time periods you write in?

I chose the Regency period because I had been reading Regencies almost exclusively for years.  I knew the basic structure of those novels; I was familiar with the ton and all its trappings.  And then…my reading tastes shifted and I began reading chicklit style novels, in which the romance was a little more secondary.  And then came Jane Austen spin-offs and retellings.  And that eventually led to the writing of Austentatious and, my latest, Austensibly Ordinary. Continue reading

Get to know Donna Russo Morin

Join me in welcoming Donna Russo Morin to the site today.

When did you first start writing?
In the womb, or at least it feels that way in my mind. I did start writing as a very young child, probably as soon as I knew how to write.  My mother still has the stories I’ve written about numbers in love and animals wanting to be president.  My work became a little more serious during my junior and senior high school years, influenced by the turbulent times, turning to anti-war poetry as well as feminist treatises. My college years found me following the dark and gruesome path of the King (Stephen, of course). It was until a few years later that I found my true ‘voice’ in historical fiction.

What did you do with your earliest efforts? Did anyone read them? Did you still have them?
I’ve kept everything I’ve ever written, more as a reminder of where I’ve been and how far I’ve come. I began getting published with my short horror works and book reviews, which were published in newspapers and magazines across the country (pre-internet days). Continue reading

Get to know David Pilling

David Pilling

I’d like to introduce you to David Pilling this morning. I hope you enjoy getting to know him as much as I have.

Writing is such a challenging endeavor. What got you started on it and what keeps you doing it?

For as long as I can remember I’ve had ideas for original stories swirling around in my head. The setting of my childhood no doubt helped a great deal: I was brought up in rural West Wales, a wonderfully evocative area, and spent many years dragging my poor parents up and down every ruined castle in the country. I always enjoyed creative writing at school, and then there was a significant lapse during my teens and early twenties. I started writing short stories again about four years ago and since then the floodgates have opened! Continue reading

Get to know Debra Brown

Please join me in welcoming Debra Brown, author and  founder of the English Historical Fiction Author’s Blog to visit with me this morning.

When did you first start writing?Cover of Compaion of Lady Holmeshire

I wrote during high school. It was more or less a diary, but I spent some time with it daily.

What did you do with your earliest efforts? Did anyone read them? Did you still have them?

This is something I had actually forgotten for a long time, but someone read it, ridiculed it and shared my information with others. I destroyed it. Perhaps that is why I did not write again for so long.

What made you choose to write in the genres/time periods you write in?

I love Jane Austen, the Brontes and Dickens. I also love the poetry that came from the same era. I love the era. Continue reading