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Monday, July 27

Author Michele Ann Young Chats About Her Life Long Love of Georgette Heyer, and The Grand Sophy

Gentle Readers: The Grand Sophy, Georgette Heyer's 1950 novel was re-released on July 1st by Sourcebooks. In celebration, please join us in welcoming author Michele Ann Young who will chat about how Regency romance author Georgette Heyer fired her desire to write Regency romances.

Among all of the authors I love to read, I do wish I might have met Georgette Heyer. I could think of a hundred questions to ask her, and not just about her research, but about character development and story ideas.

My father introduced me to Ms. Heyer’s books when I was a teen and we would wrestle for first dibs on whichever book he’d brought home from the library. I read The Grand Sophy then and have read it many times since, along with her other books.

Georgette Heyer’s novels fired my desire to write Regencies. The world she created came alive and drew me in. One of the things she does so brilliantly is bring the people of the day to life in a reader’s mind. The Grand Sophy not only transports us to the London of the ton, but her history is impeccable and laced with references to the important people of the era, from Wellington to Prinny. Events such as Waterloo and the Congress of Vienna set the backdrop for her characters’ conversations.

While fictional, her finely drawn characters are true to their time: her heroines are strong resourceful women within the confines of the time period, and her heroes are men we would all want to meet on the marriage mart. It doesn’t take Sophy, our protagonist of The Grand Sophy, a moment to recognize that Charles Rivenhall, while handsome and worthy, is in need of rescue from a disaster of his own making, or that she is the woman for the task. Charles, on the other hand, shows great restraint and a sense of humor. He is instantly likable given his unwanted responsibility for a large family at a time when he should be enjoying life. This is a theme is several of her novels. The banter between Sophy and Charles, along with the underlying spark when they drive out for the first time is classic Heyer wit.

When asked about influences on my writing, she is always at the top of the list. Something must have rubbed off from my reading over the years, for while our styles are different and our stories are our own, readers and reviewers often remark on my level of comfort in portraying the Regency era. I am delighted to see her works being reissued, and will make sure I have all of her books on my keeper shelf.

Thank you Michele Ann for sharing your appreciation of this great author with us today.

Author Bio

An army brat, born and raised in England, Michèle Ann Young now lives and writes in Canada. She has four Regency novels currently in print. Her most recent with Sourcebooks Casablanca is The Lady Flees Her Lord, October 2008, Sourcebooks, Casablanca. When Michèle is not reading her favorite Georgette Heyer novels, or writing her own, she loves researching Regency facts for her books. If you would like to know more about Michèle Ann Young, her books and her research visit her blog Regency Ramble.

Only four more day to Enter a chance to win one of five copies of The Grand Sophy and a set of ten Georgette Heyer novels from Sourcebooks. Don’t delay. The contest ends July 31st.

Read Vic's review of The Grand Sophy at Jane Austen's World

Read Laurel Ann's review of The Grand Sophy at Austenprose


Laura's Reviews said...

Great interview!

Vic said...

Thank you for this guest post on our blog, Michele Ann, and discussing The Grand Sophy! Vic

Barbara Monajem said...

Georgette Heyer made me want to write Regencies, too. My mother, a lifelong fan, introduced me to Heyer's novels when I was twelve. I've read many of them over and over--so many times I can quote the dialogue. She's still my favorite comfort read.

Marie Force said...

Hi Michele,
As you know, Lady Flees Her Lord sparked my interest in historical romance. I need to read some Heyer next, and this new one from SB sounds very intriguing! Thanks for the interesting post!

Judi Fennell said...

I love reading Regencies and thank those authors who write it so brilliantly, especially with all the research it takes to make it believable and real.

Lise said...

What a delightful post! Way back in the mists of time (i.e., my youth) I read numerous Georgette Heyer books but am now prompted to return to them. I haven't read them in years and with a newfound love of Regency historicals, I am certain that they will delight me.

Thank you for this lovely post and all the great books that surrounded it! I'm filled with desire now .... to go to the nearest bookstore and stock up!

Diane Gaston said...

Hi, Michele!
I came to Heyer late and already was writing when my friends Helen and Julie said I must read her. I really listened to her books. Our library had almost a complete set of Heyer on Chivers Audiotape and I listened to these and fell in love with Heyer's use of language, her wit, and her Regency world.

When I decided to start writing Regency Romance, I listened to the Heyer audiotapes (and Jane Austen tapes) over and over so that the language would seep into my bones and make my writing sound regency. Now isn't that a pleasant way to learn a historical "voice?"

Michele Ann Young said...

Thanks to all of you who dropped by with such kind comments. It is wonderful to find others who love the Regency period and of course the great Miss H. herself, as well as the incomparable Miss Austen.