Q&A With Harper St. George
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Q&A With Harper St. George
To start off this week is a Q&A with bestselling author of historical romance Harper St. George. Harpers series include The Gilded Age Heiresses, Viking Warriors Series & To Wed A Viking series.
Q: Harper, would you tell the readers of the blog and I, a little bit about your series?
A: First off, thank you for having me! I’m thrilled to be able to share my books with your readers. My series is called the Gilded Age Heiresses. It is set in the mid-to-late 1870s when wealthy American industrialist families were marrying their daughters to European aristocracy. These unions were known as cash-for-clash marriages. My series follows the Crenshaw family who have earned their wealth in steel and railroads and are now looking to bring aristocrats into the family to elevate their social status.
In the first book, The Heiress Gets a Duke, we see Camille Bridwell, a friend of the family, married off to a much older duke at the age of nineteen. She serves as a cautionary tale for the Crenshaw sisters who both meet their heroes in books one and two of the series. The third book follows the Crenshaw son who finds himself falling in love with an Englishwoman. In these books, we see glimpses of Camille’s unhappy marriage, so I’m glad we finally get to see her find her happily-ever-after in the final book of the series, The Duchess Takes a Husband.
Q: When did you know that being an author was your calling? Did you have anyone encouraging your talent growing up?
A: I’ve been a reader for as long as I can remember. I’ve always loved the feeling of losing myself in a story. It wasn’t until around seventh or eighth grade when I started to consider that maybe I could write stories too. Two things happened around that time.
The first was that my English teacher had my class begin weekly writing sessions. We wrote short stories, poems, and longer stories. Every couple of weeks was a new prompt. I enjoyed writing and felt that I was pretty good at it. But then she had us sit in a circle on the carpet every Friday and share a little of what we had written with the rest of the class. I can still remember reading what I wrote and watching everyone’s faces as they responded to it. I loved that my words could touch people.
The second thing that happened was around that time I read Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer. She has become one of my all-time favorite authors, because she writes stories from the heart that show the power of love to transform ordinary people in extraordinary ways. It was reading that book that taught me the power of love stories and I knew that’s what I wanted to write.
Q: What is your advice to anyone on writing great historical romance? How do you keep a series going without it going stale?
A: I’m so wary of giving advice because we all write in different ways. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for someone else. I will say that I spend a good deal of time researching the era that I’m writing about. I read newspapers and biographies and even fiction written in that time period. I think it gives my writing a certain authenticity. As a reader, I love learning new nuggets of history in historical romance, so that’s what I try to bring to my books.
It can be really difficult to keep a series going. I think it comes down to your characters. You try to put your characters in new situations and then let them lead the way. They are each their own individuals, so their reactions will vary and be unique. If you focus on learning who your characters are and take the time to go in-depth into their personalities, that can really help to keep your series fresh. Each books will have a personality all its own because of your characters.
Q: If you were to write in a different genre that wasn’t historical romance, which genres would you choose to write and why?
A: I’d love to write historical fiction. There are so many women in history doing amazing things and we really don’t learn about them. I’d love to bring their stories to life. However, I really can’t imagine writing without some sort of love story involved, even if it is historical fiction.
Q: Do you ever deal with writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it?
A: Yes, it’s happened to me a couple of times, usually when I’m pushing myself too hard. The main thing I try to do is take the pressure off myself. I do other things like take walks, or clean out a closet, or anything mundane that allows my brain to work in the background. I also try to make sure I get in a steady dose of reading. I try to read every night before bed at the very least. As long as I’m reading for pleasure I’ve found that it helps to refill the creative well. If I don’t feel like reading (yes, sometimes writer’s block can make me not want to read) then I find a new show to binge. Getting lost in a brand new world, even on TV and not in a book, can help get the creative wheels turning again.
Q: Does Hollywood have the rights to any of your series? Hollywood is long overdue for creativity and they are lacking in the originality department.
A: Ha, no, no one has the rights to any of my series, but I would love to see books developed for the screen. I could totally imagine the Gilded Age Heiresses as a multi-part series. I’m here and willing if anyone wants to do that! lol
Q: If you’re writing a new book right now, is it part of The Gilded Heiresses series, the beginning of a new series or a standalone novel?
A: I’m writing the first book in a new historical romance series called the Doves of New York. The series follows three illegitimate sisters from New York who has to marry noblemen to claim their rightful inheritance. The first book is called The Stranger I Wed and is a marriage of convenience between the oldest sister, Cora Dove, and the Earl of Devonworth. We meet Devonworth in The Duchess Takes a Husband, and Camille from that book is sponsoring the Dove sisters in London society. We’ll see the characters from the Gilded Age Heiresses in this new series, so you could call it a spinoff series.