I’ve known author and playwright Anne Stenhouse for some years – in fact, I first met her when I joined a local book club in Edinburgh. Neither of us were published authors back then! Since then, Anne has gone on to writing some cracking Regency style romances set in our lovely city. Her third novel, Daisy’s Dilemma, is just out. Welcome, Anne!
This is your third Regency and it’s set in Edinburgh. I’ve always thought it’s the perfect city for Regency novels and wondered why more writers haven’t chosen it as their setting. So tell me, what inspired this book?
The central character, Daisy Longreach, appears in my debut novel, Mariah’s Marriage, and she was a very strong one. I was writing a scene featuring her, her mama and Mariah when I realized how strong her voice was becoming and had to calm it. Then I started her story and that was much less easy than I imagined.
So you do have other books published– tell us about them.
Yes, I have two more with the same publisher, MuseItUp, Mariah’s Marriage and Bella’s Betrothal. They are both regency-style, dialogue rich and laced with that enjoyable battle-of-the sexes humour I enjoy reading. All three books sport a believable villain, or two.
Hmm, believable villains. Sounds just my cup of tea. What’s your writing process, Anne? Are you a plotter or a pantster?
Oh dear, A pantster, I’m afraid. It really tripped me up when I began Daisy’s Dilemma because I thought it would be a breeze knowing the characters as well as I did. Enter Reuben and everything was suddenly in the air.
With Daisy safely launched into the world, what are you working on now?
A new book with new characters, but set in Edinburgh and properly in the Regency. It has given me a huge amount of trouble, but I love it. It began life last year as a failed entry into the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s closed competition for their Elizabeth Goodge trophy. Waste nothing, I say.
Do you have any advice for budding novelists?
Go where there are other people and hear real voices, real and varied viewpoints and observe true reactions. Keep on. Write. Re-write. Re-write again. I do a certain amount of distance tutoring and while I think it’s hard to teach anyone to write, it’s possible to give them the tools to edit and thereby craft their raw work into something saleable.
It sounds time-consuming. Do you have any hobbies, or are you a writing obsessive?
I do spend a lot of time at the computer, probably a bit too much. However, I do some other things too! I love to dance and am in a Scottish country dancing class through the winter and a social dancing group then, too. I play ‘ladies non-threatening badminton’. I’m also a mastermind type follower of NCIS, but I have taken up knitting again while watching re-runs waiting for the new series.
Finally, Anne – if you could be any author, past or present, who would it be, and why?
Susan Ferrier. She’s witty.
Thanks for being my guest, and good luck with Daisy’s Dilemma.
Daisy Mellon should be ecstatic when her brother, the earl, allows Mr. John Brent to propose. She’s been plotting their marriage for two years. However, she is surprised to find herself underwhelmed and blames their distant cousin, Reuben, for unsettling her.
In the turmoil caused by the earl’s impending wedding, it becomes obvious that there is a hidden enemy within the family. Tensions rise as the great house in London’s Grosvenor Square fills with relatives.
Reuben Longreach wonders whether the earl understands the first thing about Daisy’s nature and her need for a life with more drama than the Season allows. It’s abundantly clear to him that Daisy and John are not suited, but the minx accepts his proposal nonetheless.
Meanwhile Daisy hatches a plan to attach Reuben to her beautiful, beleaguered Scots cousin, Elspeth. Little does she know that Elspeth is the focus of a more sinister plot that threatens Daisy too.
Will Reuben be able to thwart the forces surrounding Daisy before she is irretrievably tied to John? Will Daisy find the maturity to recognise her dilemma may be of her own making before it’s too late?
Daisy’s Dilemma Amazon UK
Daisy’s Dilemma Amazon US
Readers may connect with Anne on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/annestenhouseauthor
Her blog: Novels Now www.annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com
Anne Stenhouse is an Edinburgh based author and playwright. She enjoys live theatre, Scottish country dancing and travelling on the local bus. She knows the value of all those overheard snippets. The early nineteenth century has always fascinated Anne and the writing of people like Jane Austen make it an accessible time period. She says it’s a great feeling to walk out onto Edinburgh streets her heroines would have known and to visit some of the London ones. Anne shares her life with her husband and dancing partner and they have children and a grandchild living close-by.