Many years ago I read a short story of yours, Captain Merric, which you wrote for the Cross Bones anthology. Since Historical Romance is obviously a genre in which you enjoy writing, would you ever consider writing more pirate tales? What is it about pirates that you feel makes for good romantic fiction?
If you could travel back to that time in history, what would you like most to see and experience?
Rebecca: Blimely, Captain Merric, now that takes me back. Actually, Captain Merric was one of those stories where I saw the anthology call and I thought: “I have to write for that” (and lucky I did because that became my first publication!). Real pirates were evil, foul smelling bastards, but the romanticised image was too much of a draw to miss, and the story pretty much wrote itself. In hindsight, I could have probably turned it into something longer, and maybe later, once I get the rights back, I might play with it.
Captain Merric is set in the ‘Age of Sail’ period, and it fitted the story very well, but I must admit it’s not my favourite historical period (although there’s no prizes for guessing what is, and if you don’t know a quick glance at The Crofton Chronicles will tell you straight away). If I were to return to the high seas, I think I set any new story earlier, possible around the time of Francis Drake (1577) or even earlier around the time the Mary Rose should have sailed out, instead of sinking (1545), which would give me the chance to revisit my beloved Tudors and throw the entrepreneurial sailors of the time into the mix (they weren’t call pirates then, it’s even too early to call the privateers (term dates to 1660s), but there were definitely pirate-type shenanigans going on).
And given my love of the Elizabethan period, I’d want to go and see what life was like then (but I’d take an emergency travel pack containing antibiotics and a water filter!). Even with contemporary accounts, it is hard to truly appreciate the grandeur of Elizabeth I’s court and I’d love to experience a few days there to see the hotbed of political intrigue and sexy scandal it would’ve been. Just how uncomfortable really were the dresses with corsets and farthingales? How badly would my skin itch once caked in ceruse and vermillion? And of course I could ogle a sexy earl or two with their fabulous legs in garters and hose. I daresay I’d be less impressed with the hygiene conditions and the societal and sexual imbalance, but it would be great to be an observer for a few days.
Blurb Saving Crofton Hall: Benjamin Redbourn, Earl of Crofton, has no intention of giving up his beloved ancestral home without a fight. Faced with his mother’s gambling debts, forgery, and the possibility of foreclosure by the bank, Ben vows to make Crofton Hall pay for herself. But opening an Elizabethan manor house to the public isn’t a one man job. With time running out, Ben needs help—and fast.
Ashley Niven has experience managing events, and he also loves history. Being in charge of opening Crofton Hall is a dream come true. As he works with Ben to prepare the house as a venue for lavish weddings and receptions, Ashley finds himself drawn not just to the charm of the house but to the dashing Earl of Crofton. Even if Ashley can look past Ben’s playboy reputation, he fears an affair could prove too much of a distraction.
But Crofton Hall has many secrets, and something hidden for over four hundred years is about to change all their lives.
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance
Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and baby son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.
THE GIVEAWAY: An E-Copy of Saving Crofton Hall
November 27: Queer Town Abbey