Lady Gabriella Wyndward, the sole heiress of the 11th Earl of Ravenshire, is an independent woman with an analytical mind. Against her will, she is propelled into the Marriage Season of 1811. Beautiful and willful, she juggles would-be suitors, uncovers a conspiracy against her family, expresses opinions that defy conventional wisdom, unearths shocking family secrets, falls in love and faces mortal danger. Will she find proof to confirm the suspect’s guilt before another Wyndward is murdered?
Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author Noëlle de Beaufort whose book Secrets of Ravenshire captivated me from beginning to end. I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love romance and mystery but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight for Noëlle, a biography of the author and an interview between me and Noëlle will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful Noëlle!
Noëlle de Beaufort is the author of Secrets of Ravenshire, an epic historical series tracing the Wyndward family from its origins in ancient Rome through the centuries beyond. It begins with Secrets of Ravenshire: Romance and Revenge, The Gabriella Trilogy, Book One (1811). The next novels are targeted to be published in fall and winter 2018: Secrets of Ravenshire: Temptation and Treachery, The Gabriella Trilogy, Book Two (1811-12) and Secrets of Ravenshire: Venom and Valor, The Gabriella Trilogy, Book Three (1812-13). Prequels and sequels will follow.
Unforgettable characters, romance and suspense are explored over generations. Multiple lead and secondary characters traverse compelling story arcs, face ever-changing challenges, and struggle with the constricting bonds of their times. Danger, intrigue and romance propel the characters forward.
Combining her background as a banker with her love of world travel and history, the author created Secrets of Ravenshire to explore other lives and times from a range of characters’ perspectives.
Now, how wonderful does Noëlle sound?! Noëlle is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of Noëlle’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between me and Noëlle, I hope that you enjoy Noëlle’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!
Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?
In college and afterward, I used to say I’d write a novel “someday.” I dabbled with ideas over the years, but always had demanding jobs and put off the writing process. Then I saw an ad for a contest to write a romance novel. The winner would get a publishing contract, so I decided to see if I could write a novel within the three month deadline. That was the first draft of this book, over twenty years ago. I wanted to do a historical novel because history interests me and I didn’t want to deal with cell phones and technology in relationships. I like to read long, involved character studies, so that’s what I wrote. I wanted a woman character that was ahead of her time and resistant to conventions. My background is in banking and finance, so that’s the world I placed her in. She’d have to have a wealthy indulgent father in those days to let her be whatever she could be. And then it’s just the basic girl-meets-boy story with all the twists and turns life throws at you.
When I didn’t win the contest, I looked into more of the publishing process and decided to shelve it because work was my first priority. (This was back when self-publishing was the exclusive playground of vanity presses. Authors had garages full of unsold books.) After I finished a number of long-term work projects, I signed up for writing courses, joined a critique group, and polished my skills. I’d written non-fiction on commission for business purposes―annual reports and corporate speeches, for example―but not fiction.
The critique group’s process worked for me. We handed out one chapter of about ten pages at each meeting to be critiqued and reviewed the next week, so that forced me to do something each week, even though I was very busy. First I submitted the book I’d written for the contest in ten-page segments. Once that had been completed, I wanted to explore the mature adults in that book as children, so I wrote three prequels.
After I watched the first season of Game of Thrones, I realized that I could have as many characters as I wanted and explore each of them in depth, so I expanded the number of characters and their worlds.
A couple of years ago, I decided to split the main book into three and it went in directions I couldn’t have imagined when I originally wrote it. The time was right when it all finally came together.
What would your advice be for aspiring writers?
No matter how good you think you are, take some writing courses and join a critique group. The people in my critique group all started with the original group I joined over fourteen years ago. We learn from each other. We write different genres and have different approaches to storytelling, but it’s a cohesive group. Keep it to about six members or break away from a larger group.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book?
Both the writer and the reader must care about the characters. The reader must want to turn the page. And if the reader gains insight into an event, an idea or human behavior, the book will be memorable.
What is your writing process like?
Because I’ve written for a living, I never have writer’s block. I have a general idea of where I’m going, but characters pop in when I’m typing, and things happen that captivate and surprise me. My first draft is usually pretty good, but I don’t edit until I’m done with the story. The editing process never ends―tightening it up, adding little details, and creating missing scenes for clarification because the story and characters can change from my original concept by the time I get to the end.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
The internet is fantastic for this. Twenty or thirty years ago, I would have had to camp out in a university library to do research using card catalogues (some readers may be too young to know what I’m talking about!). Now I can just search for what I need to know―when did a particular word come into usage? When did women first attend universities in Europe? And I get an instant answer.
Do you have a set schedule for writing, or do you only write when you feel inspired?
I follow no set schedule (I’m still working). I grab time where I can and inspiration follows. I can get into the zone as soon as my fingers hit the keys. Because I don’t create detailed plots, I don’t have to spend much time worrying about clues in an intricate mystery, for example. My interest is in character arcs, motivations. It’s pretty clear in my books which characters can’t be trusted, so the tension is wondering when the other characters will figure it out and what will the bad guy do next? At the end, I go back and make sure it all flows in order, but my work is more character-driven than plot-driven.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
We moved a lot when I was growing up, and the first thing my mother did to acclimate us to a new environment was to find the library. I always had a pile of books to read. I’m sure the details of Dickens impacted my writing.
I majored in French in college. The curriculum segmented French history and literature by century, so I read a massive amount of books and plays. I also took courses exclusively focused on Shakespeare and Milton, the English poets and Greek literature. I have a large personal library – and many books to read that I haven’t had time to open.
Today, I find myself drawn to history and biography. What makes people who they are? There is nothing more fascinating than human behavior.
I am focused now on finishing my book and I also edit a few books a year, so my free time to read is limited.
Lastly, when can we readers expect to read more wonderful books from you?
I have the trilogy finished, and I am editing the second book now for consistency and adding scenes for clarification as I go through it. My best guess now is that will be out in September/October and I hope the third one will be ready to issue in November/December. Then I will go back to the prequels, and then forward. And then back to the past again. I want to explore this family over centuries. I may also do more short stories like the ones centering on Jean-Louis, where I want to explore things in secondary or tertiary characters’ backgrounds that are not essential in the main books, but pique my interest.
Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with Noëlle! If you have liked what you have read about Noëlle and are interested in learning more about Noëlle and reading Noëlle’s work, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.
Goodbye for now book lovers,
Noelle de Beaufort: Website