Award-winning author Laurie Alice Eakes does not remember a time when books did not play a part in her life; thus, no one was surprised when she decided to be a writer. Her first hardcover was an October, 2006 Regency historical from Avalon Books and won the National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency, as well as being a finalist for Best First Book. She has also sold other books, articles, short stories, and essays. A graduate of the Seton Hill University Master of Arts Degree in Writing Popular Fiction, she is an experienced speaker, making presentations at local and national RWA conferences, as well as universities, schools, and libraries. She lives in Virginia with her husband and assorted cats and dogs.
When did you fall in love with writing stories in the Regency and Georgian England time periods?
Probably before I actually started writing. I fell in love with Regency books in my teens with Georgette Heyer and Clare Darcy, and made up stories in my head, so writing that era when I got started seemed natural. My first published Regency, Family Guardian, was published by Avalon Books and won the National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency in 2007.
The Heiress is actually 1850s US and is the second part in the New Jersey Historical Series in part of the romancing America line from Heartsong Presents, Barbour Publishing. Daire Grassick, the hero, pawns a family heirloom made by his grandfather, a master glassblower (hero in The Glassblower), because he’s lost all his money in bad investments. Susan is a new heiress and buys it. But Daire’s family has hidden something in this heirloom and the piece, a glass goldfinch, has disappeared. So they set out to find it.
You also have two other books coming out this summer. Can you tell us a little about each of those upcoming releases?
The Newcomer is the third book in the New Jersey saga and takes place on Cape May in 1899. Marigold’s father thinks she needs a lesson in humility, so he sends her to be a nursery maid for a wealthy family down there, but she ends up the sole guardian of the girls after their parents are killed and before their uncle shows up. When he does, sparks fly between Marigold and Gordon and in the family boating business someone is sabotaging.
When the Snow Flies is from Avalon Books and is set in Virginia in the 1890s also. I know. I know, kind of getting away from my Georgian era, but those books come out next year.
When the snow Flies: Audrey Sinclair Vanderleyden sets her heart on fulfilling a promise to her deceased husband to continue practicing medicine, despite oppositions from their families. But the old physician from whom they bought a practice stands in her way and refuses to honor the contract. Audrey must give up medicine and return to her family, or marry a near stranger.
A gunshot wound robs Nathan Maxwell of the ability to continue practicing medicine. He must find another purpose for his life. Marriage isn’t an option. Only a desperate woman would want a blind man for a husband.
Audrey is desperate, but marriage to Nathan isn’t the salvation of her medical career she thought it would be. For Nathan, the union challenges loyalties and exposes what he’s lost.
Next May, I get back to the early 1800s with the publication of Lady of the Mist, set in Virginia in 1809 with an English hero, and, at least currently titled, Once Widowed, Twice Shy, a Regency, to be published by Baker/Revell.
If you could go back in time and have a conversation with someone from the past, who would you like to talk to and why?
This is always difficult to narrow down. I tend to think just talking to the general population might be more fun than one of the greats. We read so much about the great men and women of history; I think I’d like to have a conversation with someone who was just a person, or a relative of the great person.
How did you find and meet your editor?
I got all my sales, and thus contact with the editors, through my agent. My agent and I met through an on-line critique group I joined in 2002 through American Christian Fiction Writers. She liked my work and offered to represent me. She’s been great, sticking by me while I found my writing feet.
In what ways has writing and maintaining a blog helped you to connect with your readers?
My purpose with my blog is to show them a whole person, a little of the life behind the books, and the creature who creates. Although I don’t get a lot of comments, I get private emails, and people seem to like it. That’s expanded more through Facebook. I think it helps them see a whole person and know me, so they’re buying books from a human and not some faceless robowriter hiding behind a keyboard.