Monday, August 25, 2014

Interview with Regency Romance Author Shirley Raye Redmond

Shirley Raye Redmond is the author of several sweet romance novels and dozens of children’s books. Many of her titles have won national and regional awards. She is a member of numerous writing organizations including American Christian Fiction Writer, Romance Writers of America, Women Writing the West, and SCBWI. She lives in New Mexico.

Welcome back to my blog, Shirley. I understand this book is “Jane Austen approved.” How awesome is that! Please tell us about Prudence Pursued.

At the advanced age of twenty-seven, Prudence Pentyre is on the shelf. Content to occupy her time by attending meetings of Mr. Wilberforce’s Abolition Society, Prudence is resolved to see that her younger cousin Margaret, shy and plain, does not share her own unmarried fate.

Despite her best efforts, all of Prudence’s matchmaking attempts fail. Margaret proves reluctant to accept Sir James Brownell’s marriage proposal, and fears being “bovinised” if she undergoes the controversial cowpox vaccination he recommends. And the dashing baronet—with his sunburned skin, eye patch, and unfashionable attire—seems more concerned about the plight of headhunters in Borneo than Margaret’s stubborn refusal of his offer.

Prudence, on the other hand, finds herself unexpectedly smitten with the man. Can she trust that God’s plan for her life is richer and more rewarding than the one she had planned for herself?

This book sounds like a fun story. Where did you get your inspiration for this novel?

A three-week trip to England with friends, where we visited Bath, Jane Austen’s home in Chatsworth, and other sites associated with the Regency period gave me an abundance of ideas. Also, I’d written a biography for kids about Edward Jenner for a write-for-hire publishing company, but they killed the project. I saved all my research, determined to one day share what I knew about smallpox during the Regency period. Jenner’s vaccination was quite controversial. Many people feared they would develop cowlike physical features if they underwent the procedure because the lymph used in the vaccine came from cowpox pus!

Amazing. Did you put real experiences from your research in this story?

Yes, the riots and public demonstrations in the story (poor Pru gets knocked in the head by a protestor!) actually took place in several towns and cities in England. And the Borneo adventures experienced by my hero Sir James Brownell were inspired by the real-life adventures of James, Charles, and Vyner Brooke, who were the real White Rajahs of Sarawak in Borneo—but during the Victorian times, not the Regency period. I took a bit of literary license with that.

Also, we tend to think of the Regency period as a polite, civilized time in history. Jane Austen’s novels are often called “comedies of manners.” And yet shortly prior to that period, William Wilberforce considered the age a decadent one and even founded the Society of the Reformation of Manners in 1787. My heroine Prudence is a member of the Society and heartily embraces Wilberforce’s reforms.

You love to write inspirational romances. What intrigues you most about writing these love stories?

I am intrigued by the who, what, where, when and how people fall in love through the ages.  No one falls in love in a vacuum. We think of romance and current events as two separate categories, but really, men and women all around the world fall in love in the midst of current events—during wartime and political upheavals, during smallpox epidemics and even while collecting fossils, which was hugely popular in England during this time period.

Thank you so much for this wonderful interview, Shirley. I hope my readers will check out your new book.

Thanks for having me, Linda. I love connecting with readers via my website at or through my author facebook page - a fun place for readers to visit at


Sonja said...

Linda, thanks for the nice interview. It looks like a great book and I would surely love to read this. I am also really sorry about your arm. Hope it gets better fast!

Tiffany said...

This sounds like a great book to read! I'm impressed with the amount of research that appears to have been done. This book's cover is absolutely gorgeous! Thanks Linda for the opportunity to win and I hope you have a relaxing week so your arm can heal quickly!

Libra said...

I adore the Regency period and have done quite a bit of research of my own, but this stuff about smallpox is new to me! How exciting!

Olivia-Savannah said...

What I liked about this interview was that we got to see the inspiration behind the novel itself. And we also got to see how much research was put into it. It's good to know she also put her own experiences into it, because that really makes novels come alive. :)


Check out my double giveaway:

Anonymous said...

England is a wonderful place to get inspired I hope to visit in the future. By the little tibit I read I would love to read your book. Thank you for the giveaway.

Cheryl R said...

I really like the Regency era , it definitely fascinates me! I enjoy a book that has a somewhat Jane Austen twist too! I do some genealogy research in the Bath area of England so this is also another interest. cherylslife67(at)gmail(dot)com

Gaby Il. said...

Hey! Awesome interview. And thanks for the giveaway!

email: grabs64(at)gmail(dot)com

Alice Trego said...

This interview was great Linda and Shirley Raye! I loved the answers to the questions about Shirley's newest novel. I am also partial to the Regency era because there was always a sense of renewing and a moving forward to change the social mores of the time. The women of those times sure were fearless, and I would really love to read about Pru's experience. I'm also fascinated by the smallpox entity that Shirley incorporated in the story. Would love to have a copy :)

gunaddit1776 said...

Nice interview :)
May i please enter?

Patricia P. said...

I love he preview of the book. Especially Margaret becoming cow-like if she was vaccinated. Funny. Look forward to reading it.

Mary E. Trimble said...

Prudence Pursued sounds like a fun book to read. I enjoyed the interview and the "inside story."

Shirley Strait said...

I really enjoyed the interview. It is kind of interesting how we develop certain ideas about what life was like in a certain period only to find that our perceptions are not quite true when we really check the facts.

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations to Alice Trego. You are the winner of this wonderful story. I know you'll enjoy it.

Obat Aborsi said...

This sounds like a great book to read! I'm impressed with the amount of research that appears to have been done. This book's cover is absolutely gorgeous! Thanks Linda for the opportunity to win and I hope you have a relaxing week so your arm can heal quickly!