Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spotlight on author Becky Lower

We’re happy to have Becky Lower as our spotlight author this week. She’s an Amazon best-selling author who has traveled the country looking for great settings for her novels. She loves to write about two people finding each other and falling in love, amid the backdrop of a great setting, be it on a covered wagon headed west or in present day small town America.  Historical and contemporary romances are her specialty. Becky is a PAN member of RWA and is a member of the Historic and Contemporary RWA chapters. She has a degree in English and Journalism from Bowling Green State University, and lives in an eclectic college town in Ohio with her puppy-mill rescue dog, Mary.

Becky is currently celebrating the release of her latest novel, Expressly Yours, Samantha. Welcome, Becky, and please tell us a little bit about the storyline and characters for Expressly Yours, Samantha.

Thank you, PASTimes, for this opportunity. I’m so pleased to be here today. Expressly Yours, Samantha takes my series far from the lavish ballrooms of New York City to the gritty trails of the frontier. The youngest Fitzpatrick son, Valerian, has always had a love affair with horses, and, after spending some time in St. Louis, he decides being a rider on the new Pony Express is perfect for him. There he meets Sam Hughes, who is really Samantha Hughes, on the run from a truly evil uncle.

Expressly Yours, Samantha is the seventh book in your Cotillion Ball series. When and how did the idea for the series begin?

I loved Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series, and always thought I’d like to do something similar. But I wanted to base my stories in the United States, and after doing some research on when the Cotillion tradition was introduced into America, I had my timeline established.

The Cotillion Ball series focuses on members of the Fitzpatrick family from 1855 in The Reluctant Debutante (book one) to the Pony Express days in Expressly Yours, Samantha (book seven). How do you keep the stories fresh and interesting when you write that many books in a series?

I’m fortunate that events in the young country that was the United States were such great backdrops for the series. I’ve been able to weave real events such as the railroad expansion, wagon trains, the suffragette movement, and now the Pony Express into my stories. The last two books in the series will take place during the Civil War, and while I don’t want to go into detail on the battles, I do want to show how the war affected every person who was living in this country during those difficult years. I’ve also been able to focus on a different sibling in each book, so I think that helps in keeping the series fresh. They are all such different personalities., and each sibling tends to hijack their story and tells me what’s important to them. It may not be the way the synopsis was written, but it’s the right way for that character.

You’ve written both contemporary and historical romance. What do you like most about writing each genre? And are there certain themes that you find repeating themselves in your novels?

I am very comfortable writing historical romances, but they are so research-intense, I like to intersperse a contemporary between them. Without all the research, they tend to get written faster. My publisher told me my female characters all tend to be feminists, which I hadn’t realized until she identified it for me. I do like to write about women who find they’re stronger than they ever thought they could be.

Along those same lines, what challenges do you see in writing for both time periods?

Visitors, come back tomorrow for Becky’s answer to this and other questions. Plus, be sure to enter for your chance to win an e-book version of Expressly Yours, Samantha! Click on the Rafflecopter button below and follow the instructions, or leave a comment here at Novel PASTimes with your answer to this question from Becky:

Would you have liked to be a rider on the Pony Express? Why or why not?

See you again tomorrow!
~ Leigh 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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