I’d like to introduce you all to a new author today, Philippa Jane Keyworth. Her first book, The Widow’s Redeemer, will be coming out later this year. I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I have.
When did you first start writing?
I don’t really remember when I started writing to be honest. All I know is that I used to write stories on pretty much every scrap of paper and in every notebook I could find. The first full-length story I wrote was started at 12 and finished by 15.
What did you do with your earliest efforts? Did anyone read them? Did you still have them?
I have all the stories I’ve ever written (at least I think so) They’re in a big lever-arch file in a trunk with all my keepsakes and there are others in about four different notebooks on my bookshelf. My first book, which was a complete rip-off of the Animal Ark books, is written on notebook pages in various coloured glitter gel pens and tied up with gold string:
There are some which no one but me has read and a few which my dedicated friends, who have struggled past the grammar and mistakes, seem to like.
What made you choose to write in the genres/time periods you write in?
Well, I write in both the Regency Romance genre and Fantasy. The Regency Romance came about because my parents had a lodger who had Pride and Prejudice the BBC version on VHS and they let me watch it. Since then I’ve always liked Jane Austen but found her hard to read until I was older. I then found Georgetter Heyer whose work I love and after thinking I wasn’t clever enough to write a Regency I just suddenly one day decided, ‘Yes, I will write one and just see how it turns out!’
The Fantasy stories I write come more from my imagination. It’s always been vivid ever since I was a child and I guess growing up reading Brian Jacques Redwall and the Oswain and Narnia tales just made it overflow to writing my own myths and legends. The negative side of that imagination is that I do get rather worried about things as my ever-patient husband would tell you!
What do you enjoy most in the writing process? What parts of it do you really dislike?
Oh, how can I even answer that? Haha! I love it when a light comes on in my brain and I get a plot revelation or an idea, especially those that put my characters into compromising positions or the like. I also like beginning a story because of the initial interactions of characters and I like the ending when it feels like you are running wildly down-hill (though really you are just writing so fast that the words are almost illegible and your wrist is aching), and you finally form the last full-stop and write those most clichéd and treasured words: The End.
Historical fiction takes a lot of research. What is the most memorable or interesting thing you’ve learned along the way?
It certainly does take a lot of research which takes a lot of time and to be honest I am not great in that discipline. I prefer learning whilst going along as having to stop to find something out can ruin my writing mojo.
I still have so much to learn in the history department but the most memorable thing I’ve learnt to date? Well, the one that springs to mind is how Pantalettes, a form of undergarment for women from the early to mid 19th century, could be made from two pieces of material, one for each leg with a tied or buttoned waist. The gap in the middle could be used, if the woman walked with her legs apart outside, to ‘water the tracks’ ! I found this out while trying these on at Killerton, I remarked on the crotchless-ness and one of the guides told me! Shocking!
How do you get your ideas? Where do you look for ideas?
My friend told me that writers are greedy, we need lots of experiences and to read lots and to live life well in order to have things to draw inspiration from. I think that’s true.
Sometimes, ideas just pop into my head while I am minding my own business and I get so excited I have to go and write. Other times, as I am a Christian and often pray, God inspires me with a storyline or a plot idea.
Tell us a little about your current project.
My current project….hmmm…. which one? Ha! Well, in June I signed a contract for my book, recently renamed ‘The Widow’s Redeemer’ to be published by Madison Street Publishing in 2012!
The story starts in 1815 and focuses on a young West Country widow who moves into London Society facing poverty, her domineering mother-in-law, and the deep-rooted fear of falling in love. A chance encounter with Society’s most eligible bachelor and notorious rake sparks something for which neither of them are prepared!
That is all very exciting and as you can imagine I am doing work to get ready for the launch.
I also have another Regency Romance written and awaiting revision and am currently half way through writing my third. It would be nice for my imagination to give me a rest but I just get too excited you see.
What’s up next for you?
Well, as I said, my book, The Widow’s Redeemer, is coming out later this year with the launch date to be arranged. I’d love to see how it’s received as I genuinely love the story and the characters and after that I guess I’ll just keep writing and if it’s good enough I’ll get some happy readers!
If you want to keep up with Philippa and her book ‘The Widow’s Redeemer’ coming out later in 2012 here are her contact details:
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