She must marry the knight
By order of the king!
Widow Eleanor of Tallany Castle knows her people are broken by the taxes demanded by King John. So when she’s ordered to marry Hugh de Villiers, a knight loyal to the king, she’s furious—even if he is handsome! As gallant Hugh begins to heal the scars of Eleanor’s abusive first marriage, she’s even more determined to keep her secret: she is the outlaw the king wants to send to the gallows!
– When and where do you prefer to write?
In my kitchen, as it’s open plan, with lots of natural light and backs onto the garden. Even on dreary, grey days it still feels bright.
– Do you have a certain ritual?
When I’m writing, I like to get stuck in as soon as I’ve returned from taking my youngest daughter to school. During the lockdown, it’s been after breakfast and a walk to the local park. I give myself around half an hour to trawl through social media, and then I read through my last scenes. I then begin writing… I have a notebook with my notes that I’d taken the night before about the structure of the scene and what I have to include. This would include themes, feelings between my characters and lots of key dialogue that I can stretch and expand out.
– Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?
Definitely tea and lots of it! I try not to have anything sweet but my good intentions fall by the wayside in the afternoon.
– What is your favourite book?
Oh no, that is so difficult to answer! Can I have a few? I’ll go for- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Sylvester by Georgette Heyer, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and To kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee.
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
I think I would always write about how/why people connect with one another and fall in love. It’s quite an extraordinary, yet everyday occurrence and it’s deeply satisfying exploring that side of human nature.
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
Haha, no. My characters are based on lots of different people I’ve either met, know or have read about but never from just one person. That could prove a little embarrassing.
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
Yes, definitely! The times I forget are the times brilliant ideas pop into my head, so I’ve learnt the hard way about that. I even keep the notebook beside the bed, so that I can jot things down if I get ideas before I get to bed.
– Which genre do you not like at all?
Even genres that I wouldn’t necessarily gravitate towards would have exceptions, so I’d like to think I’m broad-minded enough to give everything a try.
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
I’m not sure whether I would go for someone who’s voice is stylistically different or one that could blend better with mine. I’d probably go with someone who is at a similar stage in their career as me so either Historical writer- Ella Matthews, or contemporary writers such as Christina Pishiris, Kathleen Whyman or Giulia Skye.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
The rose city of Petra because it’s evocative and breathtakingly beautiful. I bet there’s a story or two hidden away under those tombs!
I’ve enjoyed that, thanks again!
Thank you, Melissa Oliver and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Growing up in Richmond- Upon-Thames, Melissa Oliver used to walk past the old Mills and Boon offices as a teen, and wistfully sigh that one day her dream of writing for them will come true. Amazingly, after all these years, it finally has…& now she can bring all those stories out onto the pages of her books. Melissa lives in south-west London with her gorgeous husband and equally gorgeous daughters, who share her passion for castles, palaces and all things historical.