An award-winning writer and frequent conference speaker, Shirley Raye Redmond has written 27 books and over 400 magazine and newspaper articles. Two of her children’s books, Lewis & Clark: A Prairie Dog for the President and Tentacles! Tales of the Giant Squid, are her best-selling books. She has been married for 38 years to her husband Bill, has two children and one grandson who wants to be a super hero when he grows up.
Welcome back to my blog Shirley Raye. Please tell us about your new book, Rosemary's Glove.
Set in 1806 in England, this story is about Miss Rosemary Addison, who sets her heart on becoming the wife of the dashing Thomas Alden, Lord Beverley—a man with a dubious reputation. But when Rosemary's widowed mother confides that she plans to marry Mr. Nevin at the end of the Season and wants to see her daughter properly wed before journeying with him to his diplomatic post in India, Rosemary realizes she must force the reluctant earl's hand.
She convinces her childhood friend, Broderick Loren--a handsome amateur botanist--to agree to a "temporary engagement.” When the announcement appears in the Gazette, no one is more surprised than the conceited Lord Beverley. Rosemary soon finds herself consumed by conflicting emotions. Will she "cry off" her engagement to Broderick and throw herself into Lord Beverley's arms? Or will she realize she loves Ricky with all her heart?
Where did you get your inspiration for this novel?
Several years ago, there was an article in the Smithsonian magazine about 19th century orchid hunters. These men had adventures every bit as exciting as those of Indiana Jones! I clipped the article from the magazine, resolving one day to write about a “botanical” hero.
Also, I’d stumbled upon an interesting old article online that appeared in the NY Times in 1887 about the language of gloves. And I put gloves and orchids together and voila! The idea for Rosemary’s Glove was born. If your readers would like a link to the newspaper article, they can contact me through my website soon at www.shirleyrayeredmond.com.
Wow! Imagine a hero as exciting as Indiana Jones hunting for orchids!!! I love it. What kind of research did you do for this book?
As this is my first Regency romance, I found Jane Austen’s Town and Country Style by Susan Watkins to be helpful. I also collected a list of slang words from 1806 and read up on orchid hunters. Because I wanted my character Rosemary to give Broderick an expensive microscope as a present—a bribe!--I did some research on these scientific instruments and was tickled to learn that early researchers often invited friends over to look at “little beasties” (germs!) and other items on the glass slides they slipped underneath the viewing lenses.
Little beasties? Haha. I love it when authors add real life situations to their stories. Do you ever put real experiences in your books?
Oh, absolutely—but not always my own! As most of my books are actually nonfiction, I’m usually writing about real incidents and real people, such as the amazing girls and women in my award-winning, Patriots in Petticoats, Heroines of the American Revolution (Random House).
I did spend three weeks in England before writing Rosemary’s Glove. Of course, I didn’t attend any balls. But perhaps, without realizing it, the impressions I had of old manor homes and drawing rooms and London streets and historic fashions in the museums influenced my novel. Also, British flower collectors did employ orchid hunters to travel to the swamps of Florida and Georgia to collect orchids and other rare flora for their collections. In the book, my hero Broderick has returned from a similar trip.
Thank you, Shirley Raye, for this awesome interview. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about Rosemary’s Glove and “orchid hunters.”