Roseanna M. White as our spotlight author. Roseanna pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. The Lost Heiress is Roseanna’s tenth published book. Her novels range from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. She lives with her family in West Virginia.
Welcome to PASTimes, Roseanna, and congratulations on your latest novel, The Lost Heiress! It’s great that we can celebrate with you during release week. Please tell us a bit about it.
Thank you so much!! Set in 1910, The Lost Heiress is the story of a girl who was raised as an illegitimate daughter of a prince of Monaco. But when her opera-star mother died when she was 10, she confessed that Brook was really English, and that her mother, as she lay dying in a carriage accident, had begged her to take the baby far away and keep her safe. Now, Brook just wants to know where she belongs, so she asks her best friend to find the answers for her—knowing that if anyone can uncover her secret English past, it’s Justin Wildon, heir to the Duke of Stafford. What he finds is that she’s a lost heiress to an earl in North Yorkshire…but what no one can tell her is what sent her mother into the night all those years ago. A mystery that has haunted her father for decades, along with her disappearance.
What I adore about this book is that it’s a story of homecoming, of family, of finding where you really belong in a world that doesn’t understand you. It’s got mystery, hidden treasures, ancient curses, and of course…love.
About Brook—she has an impulsive streak that gets her into serious trouble. Repeatedly. And often. About Justin—his name is supposed to be pronounced in the French way. Like so: http://bit.ly/HowToSayJustin
Where did the idea for the story come from?
This question, for this book, always makes me grin. =) I came up with the idea when I was 12. I may have been influenced (cough, cough. Ahem) by Lori Wick’s The Hawk and the Jewel. I decided the first week of seventh grade that I wanted to write an English-set historical romance. And that, by golly, I would finish it! I did—a year and a half later.
I’ve rewritten that book approximately a gazillion times over the past 20 years, changing pretty much everything except the names Brook and Justin—and the concept, the heart of the story. When I wrote her at age 12, Brook was everything I wanted to be. She was Super Me. Now, she is just Brook…someone I’ve known for a long, long time. And who still managed to surprise me on my last round of revisions when I realized she’d had a secret fear all this time…
I’m just such a history nerd! I love, love, love digging into a time period and finding out what makes it unique. What makes it intriguing. What makes it fun.
On the flip side, what kinds of challenges come with writing in multiple time periods?
The challenge, of course, is that you have to start afresh on that research for every shift in era. I do also like taking a break from that and writing in the same era for a series or two, LOL.
How did you get started with your writing?
I’ve been writing stories since I learned how to write. I finished my first book—this book!—at age 13. And I just never stopped. By the time I graduated college, I had 8 completed manuscripts. That’s when I decided to get serious about learning the industry and the craft. I now have 30 finished manuscripts…10 of which are published. I often have people exclaiming over how young I am to have so many books out (I just turned 33). But when I look back over those statistics…well, I’ve been at this job for a long time already, LOL. And I’ve loved every minute of it. Mostly. Except for all those rejections. Didn’t exactly love those, I admit… ;-)
You're probably the youngest budding author we've hosted at PASTimes! What first drew you to writing historical fiction? What keeps you doing it?
Visitors, come back tomorrow for Roseanna’s answer to this and other questions – including some of the most interesting things she’s learned while researching her many novels. You won’t want to miss it!
Plus, Roseanna will be giving a copy of The Lost Heiress to one of our visitors this week! Just enter our Rafflecopter drawing by clicking the box below, or answer this question from Roseanna in the blog comments:
What’s your favorite book written between 1860 and 1915?
If you enter by comment, be sure to include your name and email address (spelling out ‘at’ and ‘dot’ to help cut down on spam). Thanks for stopping by and we’ll see you again tomorrow!