A challenging wife
For a warrior Viking
When Thorstein Bergson rescues a beautiful woman from a storm-tossed longship he little expects to broker a powerful marriage alliance with her. This high-status ice queen is not the comfortable wife this warrior chief is seeking, but maybe the bittersweet pain in Gyda’s eyes hides another woman beneath? The one he tasted that first night, when she kissed him with such pent-up longing…
– When and where do you prefer to write?
Mostly in my office now.
Although, when I first started, I didn’t have an office. So, I used to write on my laptop anywhere and everywhere. Sometimes just on my lap for an hour while my kids napped, or even in front of some mindless telly with a glass of wine at night. Thankfully, I have a bit more structure to my day now that my kids are at school and we’ve converted the spare room into our home office. Unfortunately, lockdown scuppered even that at first, and it was a juggle of home schooling and trying to carve out free time to write. I’m more than a little relieved that the kids are back at school.
I absolutely love my new office. I have a big bookcase filled with my mum’s historical romances behind my desk, shelves of writing and history books beside me, photos of my kids and my favourite prints on the walls. I’ve also started a cover gallery of my own books in frames…only the one book cover on it so far, but give me time!
– Do you have a certain ritual?
I always write a to do list while I drink the first (of many) cup of tea. I write down what I need to achieve that day, both in writing, promo, and personal life. I find it helps focus me and if I don’t do it, I end up feeling like I’ve achieved nothing or I become overwhelmed by the list of things to do buzzing in my head. I have both a weekly to do list and a daily…I really like lists! Which I know is a bit dull!
I also sometimes light a candle. I heard that can create a sort of Pavlov’s dog response to accessing your creativity… not sure if it works though as I keep forgetting to light it, and the candle I last bought didn’t smell that nice! Sometimes while I’m editing or doing promo work, I’ll play music quietly, but music can be a bit of a distraction so I won’t always.
– Is there a drink or some food that keeps you company while you write?
Bucket loads of tea. I usually drink about three mugs before I start to feel human in the morning. I then cut to soft drinks in the late afternoon. I’m partial to an irn bru, and have to force myself to drink water as I hate the taste. But I’ve realised that a diet of tea and pop all day isn’t exactly the healthiest!
Back when my writing was more of a hobby, I’d think nothing of a gin and tonic or a glass of wine while I was writing. But I’d be an alcoholic if I kept that up, so I’ll save that for moments when I’m on deadline or struggling with a scene and just need to ‘get it done’.
– What is your favourite book?
Ahh that’s an impossible question. I guess, the one that got me into historical romance was ‘Defy not the Heart by Johanna Lindsey’. I adored her books and still go to them for a comfort read even now.
Otherwise, I could spend all day going on and on about my favourite books. I love Shakespeare’s plays, Jane Eyre, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice. But I also love science fiction in particular ‘Dune’, Ruby Dixon’s books and pretty much anything by Margaret Atwood.
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
I love historical romance, but would definitely consider other genres like science fiction, fantasy and contemporary rom coms. However, they would all still have a romantic element. I don’t think there’s a real story unless love comes into it somewhere, and I think there’s enough grimness in the world already so I always have to give my character’s a happily ever after.
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
Sometimes. But only aspects, never the ‘whole person’…that would be plain rude! For example, Gyda was inspired by a close friend of mine whose gorgeously tall, blonde and blue eyed. But she’s obviously not Gyda in any other way. I also pinch names as I struggle to name characters, naming my kids was easier!
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
I do love a notebook but I don’t carry one with me. I do however, carry my diary (with weekly to do list) and my phone. If inspiration does strike, I can always jot stuff down on my phone or in my diary.
– Which genre do you not like at all?
Eeeek! This is where I go and offend a lot of people isn’t it? Well, let me first say there’s always exceptions to the rules, and this is my opinion only…
I’m not a huge fan of crime or literary fiction. Although I’ve enjoyed some thriller type crime books, I’m not really a fan of gore or being frightened out of my wits and as women don’t always ‘survive’ crime books or sadly real life, I’m not really into them.
In regards to Literary, I force myself to read one at least once a year, usually to see what all the fuss is about. It’s usually beautifully written, but seems to always end miserably, and well, I’m always a little depressed after reading one. Frankly I’d prefer to pick up a romance and feel good after reading. It always makes me laugh when people criticise romance for always having a happy ending…that’s the point, also literary nearly always has a miserable ending, so how is that any different? I’m probably going to get a lot of flack for that comment! LOL
Just to prove how hypocritical I am, I will say that I do love Agatha Christie and Margaret Atwood. So, I guess we can’t always judge a book by its ‘genre’.
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
I don’t think I could co-write a book. I’d drive the other person mad! But maybe someone amazing like Nora Roberts so that I could pick her brains on writing.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
I write in the Viking era so I guess I’d say the fjords of Norway. I lived in Helsinki for a few months while I was at university and have already visited Sweden, Finnish Lapland, Russia, Eastern Europe and Denmark. The only country I didn’t visit while in Scandinavia was Norway, and I’d love to see the Fjords.
I’d also love to visit all the places Viking’s visited and settled in, like Iceland, Newfoundland, Orkney, and Istanbul. I’m hoping to go to all these places eventually.
Thank you, Lucy Morris and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Lucy Morris lives in Essex, UK, with her husband, two young children and two cats. She has a massively sweet tooth and loves gin, bubbly and Irn-Bru. A member of the UK Romantic Novelists’ Association, she was delighted to accept a two-book deal with Harlequin after submitting her story to the Warriors Wanted submission blitz for Viking, Medieval and Highlander romances.
Writing for Harlequin Historical is a dream come true for her and she hopes you enjoy her books!