Her second chance
With her lost love…
To avoid a forced marriage, Lady Gwenllian plans to escape to a convent. She couldn’t possibly honor another when her heart still belongs to Ralph de Kinnerton, the man she had to betray to save his life—only to hear of his death shortly after. So how is it possible he’s here at this knight’s tournament? Now the pull of their unfinished past forces Gwen to question the choice she’d made for her future…
Did or do you like to read comic books/graphic novels? Which ones?
Yes, when I was child I devoured Bunty comics, Tintin and Asterix & I loved them all for different reasons. They were packed full of great stories, adventure, humour and comradery. I like to think that I’ve managed to infuse some of that in the books I write now.
Whom did you inherit your love for books/reading from?
Not really sure but my father was and still is a font of knowledge when it comes to world history and my mother loved romance- so both. I also had excellent English teachers who really encouraged, nurtured and influenced me.
When you need a murder victim or someone you can diagnose with a serious disease or someone who is involved in a fatal accident do you sometimes picture someone nasty you have met in real life and think ‘got you’ LOL?
Haha, no never! Although that might be quite tempting, I’m not that mean-spirited.
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
I agonise over names because I want my characters to feel as authentic as I possibly can. I remember an early partial of my debut– The Rebel Heiress and the Knight, that I had sent to the Romantic Novelist Association New Writer’s Scheme, where my heroine was called Elisabeth. The reader questioned whether the name would have been widely used in 1215 and this made me research the history and etymology of names. Needless to say, Elisabeth was changed to Eleanor, as that was far more accurate for the time period.
Do you write other things beside books (and shopping lists 😉 )?
I have written the odd piece for the online magazine, Women’s Writers, Women’s Books but otherwise, not really. Having said that, I’m quite a creative person, (I used to make bespoke wedding dresses, of all things!) I like to draw, paint and sew when I get the chance- does that count?
If a movie or series would be made from your books, would you be happy with the ‘based on’ version or would you rather like they showed it exactly the way you created it?
I think if I was fortunate enough to have a film or series made from any of my books, I’d be so ridiculously excited that an adaptation would be amazing enough.
Who would you like/have liked to interview?
Ooh that’s a tough one. I’d go for someone like Eleanor of Aquitaine or William Marshall just to find out the real story behind their incredible lives.
Do you have certain people you contact while doing research to pick their brains? What are they specialized in?
Since I write historical romance, there’s an awful lot of research as well cross-referencing source material, that needs to be done so that I can ensure that the stories my characters inhabit feel as authentic as possible. Naturally this varies from book to book but I read as many relevant factual books as I can. This includes Henrietta Leyser’s- Medieval women- A Social History of women in England 450-1500 as well Frances and Joeph Gies books on medieval life, which are my go-to books. I also like the British Library’s manuscripts and archives that I access online.
Is there someone you sometimes discuss a dilemma with?
My husband is always good to talk through any difficulties as well as my writing buddies from the London Chapter. Being a member of the RNA (Romantic Novelist Association) means that there is always someone that I talk any potential problems through with, as well as the Harlequin Historical writers- they are an incredibly well informed group of writers.
What is more important to you : a rating in stars with no comments or a reviewer who explains what the comments they give are based on (without spoilers of course)
Like any author I feel crushed when/ if I get a bad review. My books take me through every emotion and are lot of hard work to get right but I have to pragmatic about it. I know that I can’t please every reader out there, even though I wished I did. I suppose that is the most important thing to me- to be able to give readers a real sense of enjoyment from reading any of my books. Whether they decide to leave reviews and stars, is up to them.
Thanks for having me on your blog. That was a lot of fun!
Thank you, Melissa Oliver and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Melissa Oliver is from south-west London where she writes historical romance novels. She lives with her lovely husband and three daughters, who share her passion for decrepit, old castles, grand palaces and all things historical. She is the winner of The Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Joan Hessayon Award for new writers in 2020 for her debut, The Rebel Heiress and the Knight. When she’s not writing she loves to travel, paint and visit museums & art galleries.
Amazon UK- https://amzn.to/2Pls4l0
Amazon US- https://amzn.to/3czoVXW
Mills and Boon- https://bit.ly/3ft8HkK