A wallflower’s time to shine…
The Earl of Shalford needs to marry into money to save his estate. Wealthy and beautiful Henrietta Buxted should be the perfect candidate. So why does his eye keep wandering to her quiet cousin Charlotte Wyncroft?
Charlotte watches Henrietta’s games of courtship with wry amusement. That is, until a stolen dance reveals a hidden side to the earl. Penniless Charlotte knows she’s far from a suitable match yet, in Adam’s arms, she can dream of the happily-ever-after she’s always wanted!
Today I’m excited to have new Harlequin Historical author Catherine Tinley on the blog!
1. Hi Catherine, welcome to Amanda Writes. Please tell readers a little about yourself.
Hi everyone, I’m Catherine Tinley. I’m from County Down in Ireland, and my debut novel, Waltzing with the Earl, is just about to be published by Harlequin Mills & Boon. As well as writing, in my day job I manage a government funded project in Belfast called Sure Start, which provides services to families with children under four.
2. When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer and what inspired your first book?
I’ve always written for my own pleasure, but this was the first manuscript I ever sent to a publisher. I guess I never had the confidence to think of myself as a ‘Writer’ – it felt like I was a person who wrote, if that makes sense.
My first book – Waltzing with the Earl – was inspired by my love of Jane Austen & Georgette Heyer. I don’t claim to have that level of talent but I do love the regency world. The inspiration was a ‘What if?’ What if a woman used to mixing in society suddenly lost her place in the world? How did women manage to be heard, or to gain any autonomy, in 19th century England? Women had very few rights or privileges – their lives were in many ways controlled by the men around them. So my heroine immediately became a Cinderella character, at the mercy of her relatives (a selfish, cruel Aunt who has two daughters of her own). And what if this Cinderella – Charlotte, in this case – had already met her prince – in this case, Adam, Earl of Shalford? How will Adam react to her changed circumstances? How can love find a way against the barriers of society, money and self-deception?
3. Plotter or panster?
A mix of both. I knew the rough story arc – which I’ve just described – but it was fascinating how the story emerged. Once I knew my characters, they developed a life of their own. I truly felt at times like I was observing them, and my task was simply to write down what was happening, what they were saying, before I forgot it.
4. What can readers expect from Waltzing with the Earl? Is it connected to other books?
You can expect romance, adventure, some sadness, and of course, the guaranteed happy ending. I’ve tried to be true to the ‘planet Regency’ historical rules, so the action takes place in ballrooms and drawing rooms rather than bedrooms. My next book is connected, in that Charlotte’s best friend, the spirited Juliana, comes to stay, and challenges Captain Harry Fanton (Adam’s brother) to reconsider his decision to remain a bachelor.
5. Tell us a little about your hero and heroine in this story.
Adam is older than his years, having been raised to inherit his father’s title and estates. Although caring and warm, his sense of duty is a little too well-developed. He decides to make a sensible marriage with a wealthy woman, in order to restore order to his family’s finances. However, he cannot bear the company of giggling seventeen-year-olds for very long, and is struggling to choose a wife from among the Almack’s debutantes. Then Charlotte comes along…
She has been raised by her military father, in various parts of mainland Europe, and is rather bewildered by the marriage mart, the restrictions placed on unmarried women, and the need to avoid discussing politics or the war, as people may think her a bluestocking. She is usually quiet and reserved, though with tremendous courage and inner strength. She is very different to the giggling flirts that the Earl normally encounters, but unfortunately she does not meet his requirements in terms of her dowry.
6. What book is on top of your TBR pile?
Drums of Autumn, the fourth Outlander book by Diana Gabaldon. Mostly because I’m in love with Jamie Fraser!
7. What are you currently working on and what other projects can readers expect from you in the near future?
The follow up to Waltzing with the Earl is due to be submitted in July. I’m concentrating on that one at the moment and it’s progressing well. I’ve also started working on a medical romance, featuring a midwife who needs to get rid of her horrible boyfriend and move on to better things!
8. Any advice for aspiring writers?
Keep writing, and don’t worry so much about getting published. You are already a writer, and the more you write, the better you’ll be.
Catherine Tinley writes witty, heartwarming Regency love stories for Harlequin Mills & Boon. She has loved reading and writing since childhood, and has a particular fondness for love, romance, and happy endings. After a career encompassing speech & language therapy, NHS management, maternity campaigning and being President of a charity, she now works in Sure Start. She lives in Ireland with her husband, children, and dog and can be reached at: