Historically Crushed: Eve Edwards on Writing

Historically Crushed: Eve Edwards on Writing
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Young Adult Romance Author Eve Edwards, shares her writing process with RomanceatRandom readers. Read on to learn the secrets behind how she wrote the The Lacey Chronicles.

Are you ready to embark on a bit of romantic time-travel? I hope so because I wanted to take you with me and show you some of the things I do to get me in the mood for writing my books.

Finding my way back to Elizabethan England for The Lacey Chronicles is easier than you might think.

No, sadly, I’m not the owner of a time machine, but I do live in something of a time capsule. My home city is Oxford (England) and I am surrounded by buildings older than many of the ones mentioned in my books.

Not so far away are palaces like the gorgeous Burghley House (see picture), built by Queen Elizabeth’s treasurer, William Cecil. He was a fabulous survivor and I unashamedly borrowed him as a character in The Other Countess and The Queen’s Lady. Who could resist a man with such wonderful taste in architecture?

OK, so I can immerse myself in the buildings by going out the front door, but what else?

Get into the clothes.

Millie, one of the heroines in The Queen’s Lady, is a young business woman getting through the glass ceiling of her day (the men-only guild system) by being a fine finisher of clothes (the embroidery, buttons, ribbons, ruffs etc.). Not many Tudor clothes survive but, thanks to the costume department at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, you can see modern recreations of old patterns on display on London’s south bank. They show you the clothes from skin upwards, which is great for an author because underwear is always hard to work out from portraits.

Researching the clothes revealed some quirky facts. Did you know, for example, that the Queen passed a special law in 1595 outlawing blue ruffs? Some flashy dresser at court must really have annoyed her. If I had her powers today, I think I’d target those trousers (pants) that hang so low on the male bum (butt). ‘Buy a belt!’ I want to shout, but passing a law would be even better. What about you?

The final thing I do to create the mood is make myself a soundtrack to accompany the writing. Sometimes it might be a modern song that catches the flavour of my character. The focus of The Queen’s Lady, Lady Jane, would have a bitter-sweet theme, maybe ‘Someone Like You’ by Adele, as it touches on her disappointed-in-love story. The rest of the playlist would be from the period. When writing The Lacey Chronicles I’ve been inspired by The Labyrinth, an album of the Elizabethan music of John Dowland as performed by the rock singer Sting – the perfect new/old mash up.

What remains? A very large (unhistorical) cappuccino, a handsome hero to fall in love with, and my laptop. The rest, as they say, is history.

EVE EDWARDS has a doctorate from Oxford University. She has visited Tudor houses, attended jousts, and eaten Elizabethan banquets to get the sights, sounds, and tastes right for The Lacey Chronicles, of which The Other Countess is the first book.Visit her website at EveEdwards.com.

Visit the Love Is Timeless Facebook Page to learn more about eve Edwards and other Historical Romance Authors. The Queen’s Lady, the latest novel in The Lacey Chronicles is on sale now, wherever books are sold.

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