Recently at a conference I was on an historical author panel with the wonderful Teresa Medieros. We were asked to introduce ourselves and Teresa began by listing how many books she’d published (a lot!) and the year she’d started publishing. Which got me thinking. Thief of Shadows is my thirteenth published book (I published two contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper) and my first book was published in 2006. Six years isn’t very long in the life of an author as a whole, but I’ve been through quite a lot of changes, both big and small in that time.
One of the most interesting things about being a published writer is that people actually read my work. Believe it or not, I remember years of wishing that someone—anyone—would just read my writing. And then, of course, I sold my manuscript and all sorts of strangers began reading my writing, which, as it turns out, is both a thrilling and faintly disturbing experience. I don’t know about other writers, but I don’t think about the reader when I’m putting together a story. I write at the most basic level for myself. The hero I create is one that appeals to me, the heroine is someone I can empathize with, the romance is one that interests me. Writing is by its very nature an essentially solitary art. And then suddenly overnight other people are reading the story and experiencing it for themselves—and often they may not experience the story the same way the writer does.
The first time this happened to me it was with my agent. We were discussing my second book, The Leopard Prince, and she said something about the heroine, Lady Georgina, being a bit ditsy. I don’t see Lady Georgina as being ditsy at all. She thinks about odd things at inappropriate times, but then, so do I—and I’m one of the least ditsy people I know. So I opened my mouth to object…and then closed it again. Because I realized something: once the writer has written the book it isn’t hers anymore. The book belongs to the reader. And however the reader sees the character—even if that isn’t what the writer intended when she was typing away—is correct. Letting another person read one’s work is, essentially, an act of letting go for a writer. Because however much I might argue about how I intended the character to turn out, in the end, reading a book is an intimate and solitary act—rather like the act of creating the book itself. Whatever the reader finds all in my book is true for her—even if she hated by book with a passion that knows no bounds. That’s just the way it is.
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Excerpt from THIEF OF SHADOWS:
ABOUT ELIZABETH HOYT
Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of historical romance, including her Maiden Lane novels—Scandalous Desire, Notorious Pleasure, Wicked Intentions and the just published, Thief of Shadows.
Five of Elizabeth’s books have been honored as finalists for the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award contest. She is the recipient of two RT Book Reviews Review’s Choice Awards. Four of her books appear on All About Romance’s list of the Top 100 Romances of All Time.
She is the author of eleven books—The Prince Trilogy (The Raven Prince,
The Leopard Prince, and The Serpent Prince), her Legend of the Four Soldiers novels (To Taste Temptation, To Seduce a Sinner, To Beguile a Beast, and To Desire a Devil), and the Maiden Lane series. All of her novels are set in eighteenth century England and all feature a fairy tale story that serves as a foil to the main story. Her books have been translated into thirteen languages.
Elizabeth researches extensively for her historical romances, both by reading books on topics such as history, costume, warfare, social mannerisms, and cooking, and by frequenting museums whenever she can to study portraits and the little dogs that aristocratic Georgian ladies seem to always be holding.
Elizabeth lives in central Illinois with a trio of untrained canines and a garden in constant need of weeding. She is at work on the next Maiden Lane novel.
www.elizabethhoyt.com ● http://www.facebook.com/#!/elizabeth.hoyt.author• http://twitter.com/#!/ElizabethHoyt • www.hachettebookgroup.com
THIEF OF SHADOWS, Book Four in the Maiden Lane Series
A Grand Central Publishing Mass Market and E-book Original
Fiction/$7.99 ($8.99 Canada)
978-1-455-50832-7 • 1455508322