Hazel Statham is represented by Pump Up Your Book Promotion, an innovative public relations agency specializing in online book promotion.
My special guest is Regency romance author, Hazel Statham. Hazel resides in the UK and her work has been compared to that of Georgette Heyer. Hazel’s recent release is Lizzie’s Rake.
We interviewed her today to find out more about her new book and her life as a published author.
Thank you for this interview, Hazel. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I live in the UK and have been writing on and off since I was 15. I have always been fascinated by history and wanted nothing more than to create my own historical world.
I have been an avid reader of historical books for many years and am a firm believer in 'getting it right.' I believe in making the story fit the fact, not the fact fit the story!
Do you write full-time?
I don’t work to a schedule. I write as and when the muse is active – which I guess is most of the time! I like to work when the house is empty and quiet so I can concentrate without interruption.
At what point in your life did you make up your mind you were going to become a published author?
Although I have been writing since I was 15, it wasn’t until 2005 that I was talked into submitting my work to a publisher. Up until that point, I had always written solely for my own amusement and I was utterly amazed that others enjoyed my work. Publication is just the icing on the cake.
What was your favorite book to read as a child?
As a child, it was Black Beauty. I love animals, especially horses and dogs and I think I was 11 and just starting to learn to ride when my parents bought me this book.
What is your favorite book at the present?
Can I cheat and tell you my three favorite books? At 16 I found Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre and it has remained my absolute favorite throughout the years. Then came Georgette Heyer’s These Old Shades, and more recently Laura Kinsale’s Flowers From The Storm. These three books are my main ‘comfort’ reads and have traveled all over the world with me as well as into hospital on several occasions. They’re very well traveled books and I have more than one copy of each of them.
If you could trade places with one author who you have admired over the years, who would it be and why?
I think it would have to be Georgette Heyer. She is the founder of the traditional regency genre as we know it today and I am delighted when my work is likened to hers. Her books are filled with amazing wit, humor and attention to historical details and have remained popular over the years. Many regency authors cite her as their inspiration and I am no exception.
Can you tell us a little about your latest book?
Can a rake reform his ways and truly love? Elizabeth's head tells her one thing, her heart another.
When infamous rake and Corinthian, Maxim Beaufort, Earl of St. Ive, finds himself in possession of a property in Yorkshire, he is irresistibly drawn to Elizabeth Granger, the former owner’s daughter. Whilst attempting to help the family, he ends up filling the role as benefactor. When the house is razed, he arranges temporary accommodations for Elizabeth and her siblings on his estate but when he proposes to Elizabeth he is rejected.
Trust doesn’t come easily for Elizabeth and determined to protect her heart, she struggles to resist her longings, especially considering the earl’s reputation. At times, their difficulties appear insurmountable but the earl is widely known as ‘The Indomitable’ and the name was not lightly earned.
Why did you choose your particular genre?
As soon as I read my first Heyer novel, Regency Buck, I knew I had found ‘my’ era. I loved the romance and elegance of the Regency period and wanted nothing more than to recreate it in my work.
Where do you get ideas to write your books?
Inspiration comes from many sources, a dream, a line from a song, a series of what if’s etc. An idea can spark from almost anything.
How do you deal with rejection
As I write mainly for myself, I don’t feel rejection too keenly. Of course, it would be great if all my work was accepted, but if not, I move on.
Do you write mainly by day or by night?
Whenever the mood takes me. However, I have been known to start writing very late at night and carry on through the early hours. I don’t write to a schedule, so I’m not tied to time.
Do you ever get writer’s block and what do you do when that happens?
Sometimes, but I just find something else to do until the urge to write comes over me again.
Do you have an agent? What were your experiences finding her/him?
I had an agent a few years ago but I found out that he was a scamster and so withdrew my work. I have not had need of one since as my work has been accepted without representation.
How long did it take your book to be published from the time you submitted and was accepted to the time it was finally released?
I submitted the initial query letter in April, 2008, and the book was published May 8th, 2009.
Do you have a website? Do you manage it yourself or do you have someone run it for you?
I have a website and readers can find me at www.hazel-statham.co.uk Thankfully, I have a friend who manages it for me as I haven’t a clue how it is done.
How do you deal with a bad review?
So far, I’ve been extremely lucky and have only had two. I was devastated by the first as other reviewers had been extremely kind. The second didn’t upset me quite so much as by this time I had learned that it was only one person’s opinion and didn’t mean that I was a poor writer, only that it didn’t suit that particular person. However, it’s always a nerve-wracking time waiting for the reviews to come in.
What’s next for you?
I have just heard that Avalon will be taking The Portrait. They also have another of my manuscripts under consideration, plus I have a current work in progress.
Thank you for this interview, Hazel. Do you have any final words you’d like to share with my readers?
I hope everyone enjoys reading my stories as much as I enjoy writing them. I love to hear from my readers and promise to answer all my mail.