Monday, October 31, 2011

Interview with Mystery & Sweet Romance Author Debra Brown

Debra Brown took up writing later in life after her education in other fields, and after raising her family. Over the years, she enjoyed studying homeopathy and the arts informally and has used them both to enrich her life. She has enjoyed oil painting, had a successful business making jewelry and worked as an assistant in the interior design field. She finds writing to be a satisfying career, and she looks forward to many more books in the English Historical Fiction genre.

A Mystery and Sweet Romance ~ Inspired by Jane Austen and Charles Dickens: “Companion of Lady Holmeshire is such a stimulating good read. It also has the most compelling kick, which can knock you sideways. And let it be known; the outcome could never have been predicted.” --Jann England"

Hello Debra. Your book is set in the early Victorian Era. Please tell us about your new book.

Hi Linda, thanks for inviting me to your blog! My book is the story of a foundling infant girl who grew up to become the companion of a countess after serving as a servant in her Northumbria household. The countess insisted on dragging poor Emma along into London’s snobbish aristocratic circles where she became the unhappy subject of rude remarks. Sweet romantic developments provide comic relief and sighs while mysterious events perplex. My readers report that the ending comes as a great surprise.

Where did you get your inspiration for this book? Do you get any ideas from real life experiences?

I had enjoyed reading English historical fiction as a teenager, and I watched many period movies while making jewelry. I simply wanted more! I decided to write a Jane Austen style book, throwing in some of Charles Dickens type of reality, and greatly enjoyed it. This book does not touch on my life, but my second book, though entirely fictional, does draw heavily on my personal experience with OCD. 

A Reviewer wrote, “Gracing the pages of this novel is a cleverly condensed portrayal of a Victorian way of life, inviting you to embark upon one journey after another whilst constantly whispering in your ear who, why, when, how? Reeling you in through the doors of British Aristocracy, legacies start to unfold, each time reminding you of your place in society.” What kind of research did you do to help us feel this time period?

The beginnings of my “research” was to simply enjoy watching many period movies. I watched the entire Upstairs, Downstairs TV series, which amazed me with its strictly structured rules between the late Victorian family and its servants. Being American, I was shocked at how the servants “knew their place” and would never consider themselves equal to the upper class family. I began to do research on the internet and in books from the library. And I truly do continue to rent movies specifically to observe the culture.

With romances, you know the outcome of the plot…that he and she are eventually going to get together. With mysteries, you don’t know what’s going to happen next. You have written a mystery/romance. Is it difficult coming up with a plot for a mystery, one your reader won’t be able to figure out?

I feel that I stumbled into it. I was developing the beginnings of a story based on the upstairs/downstairs arrangement, which does play a large part in the finished novel. However, I needed “something”, and suddenly, the whole story made a huge twist in my mind. From that moment on, it seemed that I could not type fast enough to get it all in print.

Your book sounds very intriguing. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

I think that one of the best experiences of my life was studying homeopathy. I went to a homeopath at the insistence of a friend when I was deathly ill, not expecting much. I was shocked at the rapid healing response of my body, and was ravenous for information as to how this had worked. (It is a bit like an immunization, where the body reacts to a minute amount of substance or its electrical properties to promote healing.) At my next visit, the doctor gave me a book, and I devoured it. Before long, I went to work in his office, and he devoted a good deal of time to teaching me about the remedies and how to use them. If it had been formal training, I would now be practicing as a homeopath, but I am very thankful just to be able to help myself and my family with this great kind of medicine.

Of course, this leaves me free to write, and write I will! Thank you very much for the visit.

Thanks, Debbie, for this wonderful interview. I have learned something about you that I didn’t know. It sounds like you have had some trials in your life. I appreciate you sharing this part of your life with me and my readers.


Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Debra,
Your book sounds very interesting. I can just see the artistocrats being rude in their most subtle ways.
I too am very much into homeopathic medicine, and have a wonderfult alternative doctor who has gotten rid of my Lyme disease with the help of the Lord.

apple blossom said...

sounds like a good book love to be entered thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

barbjan10 said...

Hello There,
Your interview with Linda was so interesting. I enjoy stories about the Victorian era very much and would love to read Debra's book. Her interest in homeopathic medicine is fascinating and I believe God's creation is involved in every sense. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win it. I hope I win this book that stirs my curiosity.

Barb Shelton
barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

Debra Brown said...

How nice to meet you all; thank you for your interest! Best wishes to you all.

Miss Mae said...

Really enjoyed reading this, Debra and Linda. Your book sounds so good!And that is awesome how you learned homeopathy too. :)

*I don't enter contests, so won't leave an email addy*


Gayle said...

This sounds like a very interesting book -- I always enjoy learning more about the author too!

Maggi Andersen said...

Hi Debra, nice to learn a little more about you. The book sounds great. I love the Victorian era.

Debra E. Marvin said...

This is my favorite period and I love to be surprised by a plot. Please enter me in the drawing and let us know where the book is available for purchase!

debraemarvin (at) yahoooo

Debra Brown said...

Thank you all for your visit and comments! Miss Mae, thanks for stopping by.

Debra, the book is available at Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, my pubisher's website (World Castle Publishing) and some other sites. Many thanks!

eyeballlucy said...

Really enjoyed reading about Debra Brown's career........and I too love reading historical fiction....and I would love to win a copy of Debra Brown's new book 'The Companion of Lady Holmeshire'

Sunflower Joy said...

my husband and I both minored in history in college so I love to read things from different times in history. This sounds like it would be really good. Thanks

anjellfire at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

This book sounds really interesting--I'll have to get it

Grace Elliot said...

...and I remember watching "Upstairs Downstairs" the first time round!
Grace x

Lovely interview, a great glimpse into the creative process.

Kat said...

I have had my eye on this book or a while and would love to read it! Thanks for the great interview and the chance to read your book!

katsaddress AT gmail. DOT com

Caroline Clemmons said...

Debbie, so nice to "meet" you and learn about your book. I am interested in homeopathy and many of my historic heroines are healers. Your book sounds right up my interest line. Best of luck!

Sophia Rose said...

I love a good period mystery and it was great learning some personal facts behind the writing process of this book.

Thanks for the good interview.

Debra Brown said...

Thank you all so much for taking the time to visit and "get acquainted"!

KATHLEEN.B said...

I can't wait to find out how the book ends!

Anonymous said...

Great interview. New author for me, Hope I win!

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations, Debra Marvin. You are the winner of this awesome book. I know you'll enjoy it.