I have been a FB Friend of Deb Marlowe’s for some time. She and I have a number of mutual writer friends and we are both big iced tea lovers. I enjoy her posts, her humor, she can write and she is such a nice lady! I knew that I wanted to ask this U.S.A. Today best-selling author in for an interview, but got excited when I saw that she researches for her regency books to include recipes that are appropriate to the time period, and does videos on them.
It is amazing how many native Pennsylvanians I have managed to find while looking for interviewees! How did you get from there to where you live in Raleigh, NC?
My husband was a year ahead of me at Penn State. He got a great job in the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina and moved down after his graduation. A year later, I graduated, we got married and I followed! We love it here. It’s been a fabulous place to raise a family.
Anyone who knows me knows that I will get right into the food! You obviously like to cook. Do you cook ‘Regency’-style at home? What is your favorite type of cooking??
I do love to cook, but I also have several picky eaters in my house! I do not cook ‘Regency style’ for everyday. Their dinners were far more elaborate than anything I want to get up to every day! I love to bake, though, and I love to try recipes that my characters might have as a favorite. I do have a couple of historical recipes that I make for parties—several of my writer friends and their husbands really like my Mrs. Beattie’s Sticky Pudding. The Irish Cream Shortbread goes over well with company too! My sister and I both enjoyed the Glamorgan sausages—which are really cheese and leeks formed into sausage shapes, rolled in breadcrumbs and fried. I’m currently experimenting with Sally Lunn buns, which I’ve had in Bath and just adored!
Along with the videos on ‘Regency’ foods, you have wonderful articles on the customs of the period and it is all quite fascinating. You do a great deal of work and go into depth for such short posts, my hat is off to you! Do you enjoy doing the research?
I do! I love the history. All of it, from the politics to the food to the science and on down to party games and fashions. I want to really ground my readers in the feel of another time. The Regency was an exciting time, full of change and conflict and big personalities. What’s not to love?
What was the most surprising thing that you learned while doing research?
So many things! There is so much art and invention and exploration going on at the time. I love the little surprises—like how immensely popular Valentine’s Day was amongst all classes and how a prized Christmas dinner tradition was an entire roasted hog’s head. Ugh! There were so many things that were different back then and so many very human things that are the same.
You also have ‘Behind the Book” on your page. And although ‘Regencies’ are generally HEAs, for “How to Marry a Rake” you exposed the dark side of horseracing. I am sad to say that I learned early after my moved to Kentucky that many of the practices, and others are still going on today. Do you show other less than perfect situations in your other works?
Oh, yes. Most notably—the first book of the Half Moon House series, The Love List, is based on The Harris List of Covent Garden Ladies—which was a real publication, put out annually for years. It listed all the prostitutes in London, with descriptions of their appearances and ‘specialties.’ In the Love List, the list is revived as a means of revenge (our heroine finds out her name is included on the list—gasp!) and also as a means of political sabotage.
Actually, the whole Half Moon House series is based on the very common and barbaric practice of blaming the victim of abuse. The series revolves around a girl who was betrayed and ruined—and then rejected by family and society. Instead of giving up, she decides that if they are going to label her a whore, then she will become the best one EVER. She does, and becomes very wealthy and influential and uses it to open Half Moon House, where any woman can come to her for help.
Many of your titles are play of phrases and are too adorable: “Lady, It’s Cold Outside”, “Beyond a Reasonable Duke” and my favorite, “A Waltz in the Park”. Do you have any trouble coming up with titles?
Sometimes they just come to me and sometimes I have to brainstorm with my writer friends to find just the right one!
Deb, secondary characters of your show up in subsequent books. Are they always within the same series? Do some demand to have their own story told, or do you plan to use them again when they first come to you?
I envision all of my Regency characters as living in the same world. They often show up in each other’s stories—sometimes as part of the story or even just as a mention or the host of a ball or something similar. Readers love to find those ‘Easter eggs!’
You have done a number of books and series, plus a few anthologies. Several writers that I know really don’t like being involved in anthologies because they feel constricted, some don’t like to share the limelight, (rare), but at least one mentioned that the payout is too low for so much work. I can’t imagine writing for the pay alone. I assume that you enjoy doing anthologies?
I do like anthologies. There are readers who love the short format and some who love to use them as a vehicle to try a new author. I like to write them—especially when I find authors who like to interweave our stories. That’s my favorite—but not every author likes to do it.
Please tell everyone about the Historical Romance Retreat.
So much fun! HRR is a fabulous time for anyone who loves historical romance. It’s a long weekend of authors and readers hanging together, enjoying historic teas, games, workshops, parties and even a grand ball. I love getting to spend time with people who love what I love! Everyone is so welcoming and friendly. I encourage everyone to go and have a great time!
So, you write, you cook and also you scrapbook; what else occupies your days, (besides people like me who bug you for interviews)?
Well, I don’t scrapbook much anymore. The kids are older now and I take more pictures of the cats than them. I love to travel, and do that as much as I can. I annoy my kids by making them talk to me and keep me in the loop. LOL. I spend a little time with my reader group online every day. They are such a blast! I write a lot and do a hundred other things involved in running a small business. I hang with my friends whenever possible. My Valiant Husband and I are movie buffs and I do love to binge watch a good show in the evenings.
[As have me and mine-T.]
Thank you so much for taking the time to be my guest, Deb!
Thank you so much for having me!
Please let people know how can learn more about you and your books:
My website is a good place to start: www.DebMarlowe.com It has the Regency Kitchen videos, historical articles, all my books and my monthly contest.
or Follow me on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Deb-Marlowe/e/B002DVCREG/
or BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/deb-marlowe
It’s been a real pleasure, Deb!