I began my writing career at age five, creating a number of Westerns lavishly illustrated with crayon drawings of horses and cowboys. However, I have since moved on to Regency England, an era that has fascinated me ever since I picked up a copy of Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice.
Books have always been an important part of my life. I have always been a voracious reader, and I have always had a very vivid imagination . . . so much so that I think at times it worried my parents that I was so happy in my own little world, drawing pictures and creating stories. My teachers will also tell you that I was the class history geek, even in grade school. I don’t really know why, but I have always been fascinated with the past.
As an undergrad at Yale, I majored in art—though I took enough history courses to have majored in that subject as well—and went on to get a MFA in Graphic Design at the Yale School of Art, concentrating in publication design. So I guess you could say I have always had a left brain-right brain sort of love affair with the printed page.
So why did I choose the Regency time period for my mysteries? I love the era because it was such a fabulously interesting time and place—it was a world aswirl in silks, seduction and the intrigue of the Napoleonic Wars. Radical new ideas were clashing with the conventional thinking of the past, and as a result, people were challenging and changing the fundamentals of their society. For example, you had Beethoven composing emotional symphonies, Byron composing wildly romantic poetry about individual angst, J.M.W. Turner dabbling in impressionistic watercolors and Mary Wollstonecraft writing the first feminist manifestos . . .
In so many ways, it was the birth of the modern world, and for me, its challenges, its characters and its conflicts have such relevance to our own times . . . and hey, who can resist men in breeches and boots!
In Lady Arianna Hadley and Allesandro de Quincy, the Earl of Saybrook, I've sought to create two individuals who embody the intellectual curiosity—and courage—of the times. They'll be setting off on some devilishly daunting adventures. So lace up your corsets, tweak the tails of your cravat and let's enter a world of glittering ballrooms and deadly intrigues.