Q: Can you give us a brief introduction to “Romancing the Countess” – a story of two people who have been betrayed by people they love finding solace in each other?
A: In ROMANCING THE COUNTESS, the story begins when the hero and heroine receive news that their spouses have died in a carriage accident. The heroine, Leah George, is sad yet relieved because she’s been hiding the secret of her husband’s affair for a year. The hero, Sebastian Madinger, the Earl of Wriothesly, is shocked to realize that his wife and best friend have both betrayed him. While Leah finds hope for a new life and happiness afterward, Sebastian experiences all the sadness and anger that comes not only from their passing, but also from their illicit affair. When Leah’s actions threaten to reveal the secret of their spouses’ affair to the ton, Sebastian is willing to do anything he must to stop her.
Q: In her review of “Romancing the Countess,” Jennifer comments that due to all of the emotional angst involved in the story she finds Sebastian and Leah’s happily ever after one of the most emotionally satisfying that she has read in a quite some time. What do you think it is about heavy and emotional romances that appeal to readers?
A: As a reader of heavy and emotional romances, I have to say that for me it’s a cathartic experience. We might have our own worries and stresses when we open a romance novel, but as we journey through the pages along with the hero and heroine, some of that worry and stress is relieved through their emotional rollercoasters. We finish the book with a happily-ever-after that not only makes us thrilled for the hero and heroine, but also gives us optimism and hope for our own lives.
Q: You wrote a novella that serves as a bit of a prequel to “Romancing the Countess.” How difficult is it to write a novella? Would you do it again?
A: Since ROMANCING LADY CECILY was my first novella (and is actually more of an e-short), I was surprised to find that it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. The greatest advice I’ve ever read about writing a shorter romance is to have a hero and heroine who already have a past together, and I think this really helped with ROMANCING LADY CECILY. Based not only on how much fun I had writing my first e-novella but also on the great reader feedback, I’ve now planning on writing another e-novella for Penguin for the launch of my new A Belgrave Square Affair series in the spring of 2012.
Q: You have admitted on Twitter that you have never read Julie Garwood. Who are some other romance authors that you consider influences?
A: I’m afraid that I would be blacklisted if I ever admitted all of the romance authors I’ve never read! The authors who helped to hook me on historical romance as a reader and who continue to inspire me as a writer include: Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, Laura Lee Guhrke, Teresa Medeiros, Suzanne Enoch, Anne Mallory, and Sherry Thomas. I recently had a reader/reviewer email me and tell me that ROMANCING THE COUNTESS made her as happy as if she’d just read a Lisa Kleypas book, and I think that has to be one of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received.
Q: What is up next for Ashley March, the author?
A: I’m thrilled to announce that in the spring of 2012 I’ll be launching my first series with Penguin, A Belgrave Square Affair. The Belgrave Square Affair is how the scandal sheets refer to the disturbing matter of the wealthy middle-class Laurie family purchasing a home in exclusive Belgrave Square in order to establish ties with the aristocracy. While the full-length novels will feature the family’s love stories, e-novellas are planned to feature the house’s servants—an upstairs/downstairs aspect which I’m very excited about.
However, May 2012 is a long way away, and I also plan on releasing a few self-published titles between now and then. Readers can find out more information about this when it’s available by subscribing to my newsletter or visiting my website.
Ashley March’s Giveaway:
To celebrate the upcoming release of ROMANCING THE COUNTESS on September 6th, I’m giving away a couple of books! I answered above why “heavy and emotional” romances appeal to me, but I’d love to hear why they appeal to you.
One random commenter will be chosen to win a copy of my newest book, ROMANCING THE COUNTESS, and will get a chance to send a copy of my debut, SEDUCING THE DUCHESS, to a friend (open internationally)! Also, find out how to win the ROMANCING THE COUNTESS Book Tour Grand Prize of 50+ romance novels by visiting www.ashleymarch.com!