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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Interview with Fenella Miller

Today Joyce Moore will introduce a new contributor, a historical author who lives across the pond in the UK. We're happy to have her with us.

Joyce – Hi Fenella. Glad to have you here. So that everyone can get to know you and a little about your writing, I'll be asking you a few questions. Let's get started.

Joyce; So, tell us a little about yourself? What is your typical day like?

Fenella: Hi Joyce. Firstly I'd like to thank you for inviting me to join this fascinating historical blog. I have had a multitude of jobs over the years, but spent 25 years teaching both in secondary and primary education. ( That's ages 10 to 16.) However my dream was to become a published writer before my 60th birthday. Over the years I scribbled away and never had time to get anything finished. I'm sure you will understand how family and paid employment have to be put first.

I was offered early retirement at the same time as my dear father died and left me some money. At last, I had my opportunity. I achieved my goal by selling my first two books, The Unconventional Miss Walters, to Robert Hale, and the return of Lord Rivenhall, to D. C. Thompson in April 2005 -- 2 weeks before my birthday.

I am married, have been with the same lovely man for 45 years and have two wonderful adult children and two grandchildren. Finally I am able to spend my days doing what I've always wanted - writing full-time.

I am an early riser, I'm usually at my computer by six o'clock in the morning. I work until 10 and then shamble upstairs to shower and dress. If I'm not going to a class of some sort or meeting other writer friends for coffee or lunch then I'm back at work for the rest of the day. I usually stop around six o'clock in the evening. I use a voice recognition package, this means I can produce five or six books a year without damaging my neck and wrists.

Joyce: How did you break into publishing?

Fenella: I am a member of the Romantic Novelists Association, which is similar to the R. W. A. that you have over there. It is through the help of established writers and I discovered how to approach a publisher, and to set out a manuscript and all the other things that are so far hard to find out when working in isolation.

Joyce: What genre do you write? Why did you choose this?

Fenella: I began by writing historical romantic suspense set in the Regency. It was my love of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer when I was growing up, and latterly Bernard Cornwell's brilliant Richard Sharpe novels that influenced me. Everyone says you should write what you know, so it was a good place to start. As a history graduate it was natural I should write books set in the past.

Joyce: Tell us about your other works, books, and stories.

Fenella: I write Jane Austen related stories, one is with my agent, Kate Nash, at the moment. I also write historical family novels set in the Victorian era, Kate also has this. I have written two books set in World War II, these need revising before I can think of sending them to Kate.

Joyce: What one thing do you like most about writing? Least?

Fenella: I think I am blessed to be able to spend all my time doing something I want to do. I have to admit that I'm obsessed by writing, I'm either at my computer, dictating into my dictaphone or plotting in my head. This happens 24/7, 365 days a year. Thank goodness my husband is 100% behind me. What I like least are the rejection slips - even after having had eight books published by Robert Hale and six by D. C. Thompson, not counting all the large print editions, I still get despondent when something is turned down.

Joyce: What advice would you give aspiring writers today?

Fenella: Persevere. Write what you read - if you don't like contemporary fiction then don't attempt to write a novel in this genre. If you have a really good story to tell, eventually you will get an agent or publisher to pick it up. Remember - if you write most days then you are a writer, being a published writer is another thing.

Joyce; Tell us about your newest book.

Fenella: The Ghosts at Neddingfield Hall, was published by Robert Hale a month ago. It is a Gothic romantic suspense. I'm not sure you have this genre in the US.

When Miss Culley and her entire staff vanish without trace from Neddingfield Hall, Hester Frobisher is certain she can solve the mystery and find her great aunt. However, her cousin, the Earl of Waverley, thinks differently, so she is obliged to accept his help. However, sinister forces are working to lure the two, and those around them, towards their deaths. No one at Neddingfield is safe. Is it ghosts, or something far more dangerous that seeks to destroy them?

My books are available from Amazon, but also on as downloads. Ghosts is not up yet, but will be in March - but my previous book, The House Party and six other books, are all available.

I'm looking forward to being a contributor on this blog and making new friends all over the world.

You can find out more about me and my books on my website

1 comment:

Loretta said...

Welcome to Historical Hussies, Fenella. You have an interesting publishing journey, and you've offered wonderful in sight to those striving to break into the world of publishing.