Five Questions Salutes “The Captain of Her Heart” with Lily George
by Noelle Marchand
Lily, welcome to Five Questions! First of all, CONGRATULATIONS! Your debut release, Captain of Her Heart, came out in February through Love Inspired Historical. I have read this book and enjoyed it immensely. Let’s give everyone a quick peek at what it’s about then move on to the questions.
With her family’s fortune in ruins, Harriet Handley has given up her aspirations of becoming an author. All effort must go to helping her pretty sister Sophie marry well. But when Sophie’s wealthy beau returns from the war, he is no longer a wild, lighthearted youth. And while Sophie is dismayed by the transformation, Harriet finds this thoughtful, war-weary man utterly intriguing…
Waterloo left Captain John Brookes scarred in body and mind, and Sophie’s lukewarm reception only adds to his pain. In contrast, Harriet’s compassion and gentle faith bring solace as they collaborate on his memoirs. Perhaps joyful new memories can be made—if the wrong sister turns out to be the right wife.
1. Here is your first question, Lily. What was it like to go through the editorial process for the first time?
Well, this was my debut novel, and as such, the draft had been through many, many edits. When I first began writing Captain of Her Heart, I had no idea what I was doing, and so I relied heavily on the help of my critique partners, contest entry feedback and my agent Mary Sue Seymour’s suggestions as I shaped my book. So by the time it reached Melissa Endlich’s editing stage the book was in its seventh or eighth draft, and the changes she requested were minimal and relatively painless.
2. I know what you mean. My recent debut went through a similar process. Briefly tell us a little about the historical setting of your book. What had been going on in Europe and how does it affect your story?
Well, John Brookes has returned from Waterloo and is trying to adjust to civilian life. Harriet Handley is trying to survive. This was the year known as “the year without summer,” where global temperatures dropped slightly, causing so much difficulty for people all over the world. This inspired me to think of my characters in terms of survival—how are they adjusting, and ultimately thriving, in this era?
3. Ooh. Sounds like the makings of a great plot! Now for one of my favorite questions. How would you describe the chemistry between your hero and heroine?
Their chemistry is immediate and apparent to them both, but they fight it because they both have a deep sense of honor. It is not until all impediments to their relationship are removed that either of them act on their attraction.
4. Yes, I loved the undercurrent of their attraction. It was so fitting for that time period. What was your favorite scene to write?
Oh, so many. Aunt Katherine’s dialogue was just like taking dictation—it just flowed along as I typed. I also loved writing the scene with John and Harriet in the bath-house, although that took many drafts before everyone was satisfied that it was not too amorous for an inspirational book. LOL!
5. Lol. There is definitely a balance we inspirational writers have to find. Add that to the historical norms of each unique period and it can be pretty difficult. What writing project(s) are you currently working on?
I am doing line edits for book two of the series, The Temporary Betrothal, which is slated for release in September 2012. This book is Sophie Handley’s story, Harriet’s little sister.
How exciting! We will definitely be on the lookout for that. Speaking of exciting… This is the moment where I hand the interview over to the authors. Let’s find out what happens when Lily asks and answers her own question. Take it away, Lily!
BONUS: What got you in the proper mindset for writing?
For Captain of Her Heart I listened to Chopin the entire time I wrote, over and over again. I even began playing Chopin CDs about an hour before I began to write, to get me in the proper mood and mindset.
Very nice! Music definitely helps set the mood for writing and romance! Finding that perfect song or piece of music can save a writer from that villain we don’t speak of (writer’s block). Now let’s step back in time a century or two for an excerpt from Captain of Her Heart!