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Meriden Park - Author Interview

Updated: Jan 15, 2023


Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Meriden Park by Julie Daines, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK


Title: Meriden Park

Author: Julie Daines

Publisher: Covenant Communications

Release Date: December 5, 2022

Genre: Clean & Wholesome Romance/Historical/Regency/Suspense

Following her childhood rescue from the gutters of Calcutta, Mary Grace’s life has been an astonishing rags-to-riches tale. The Wellings raised the half-Indian orphan with all the love and care the childless couple possessed, allowing her to grow into a beautiful and refined woman. But upon Mr. Welling’s death, it is time for Mrs. Welling to take Mary home to England―home to Meriden Park.

Despite her genial nature, Mary is received with suspicion by the villagers. For his part, however, Mr. Robert Markham is intrigued by the curious new beauty in town. Determined to make her acquaintance, he offers Mary a bargain she can’t refuse: a hot cross bun for a kiss. That seemingly innocent exchange is the first of many encounters between Robert and Mary, whose friendship blossoms into love during long walks in the privacy of Sherwood Forest. But the shadows of the forest hide a sinister secret, one Mary fears Robert might be a part of. As the mystery of the recent string of murders creeps closer and closer, Robert and Mary are drawn into a dangerous game, and unless she can unearth the truth, the couple risks losing one another forever.




INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR

1) What inspired this story? How do you decide what to write about?

Meriden Park fits in with my previous Regency romance stories in that all three have an iconic romantic couple from the past connected to the story. I used Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn in Willowkeep, and King Arthur and Guinevere in Havencross, so of course it was time for Robin Hood and Maid Marian!

2) How do you do research for the stories that you write?

I read a lot, google a lot, and I try to visit some of the places in my books. I went with my husband to Sherwood Forest a few years ago when I started Meriden Park and we walked the greenwood, saw the Major Oak (Cockpen tree) and asked a lot of questions to the staff, and learned how to shoot a real long bow.

3) Do you have a favorite time period about which to write?

I am terrible at picking favorites. The minute someone asks me to pick a favorite, my brain goes limp. I really love to write about the Regency period, but I also really love the medieval and Tudor period as well. I can definitely say that I like writing books set in the British Isles!!

4) What authors have inspired you in your author journey?

The two authors who have influenced me the most are Martine Leavitt and Mary Stewart. Martine Leavitt is my mentor and idol (even though she doesn’t know it, lol). I took a writing class intensive from her and I learned so much! Plus her books are absolutely lovely. Keturah and Lord Death is one of the most influential books for me.

Mary Stewart is such a master and practically the mother of romantic suspense. I love romantic suspense, and although my books don’t exactly fit that genre, they all have some elements of suspense in them. And a tiny element of magic. I love magical moments.

5) Are you a planner or do you let the story take you where it will?

I definitely am not a planner. I have a few scenes in my mind and then I wind my way to the end. It’s kind of hectic sometimes, but every time I’ve tried to plot in advance, I get massive writer’s block, and then I end up completely off track so all my plotting is wasted.

6) What has been the most surprising thing to you about being a writer?

When I started writing—about 10 years ago—I thought it would be a nice hobby. It quickly turned into a full time job. Even then I’m a slow writer and only average about one book a year, and sometimes less.

Also I have been surprised at some of the amazing friends I’ve met through writing. Most other authors are generous, thoughtful, and intelligent people and some of my closest friends are my fellow authors.

7) Is there a book outside your own that you recommend to people that really influenced you?

I was very heavily influenced by Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale. It is full of beautiful language, lovely metaphors, and is some of the best writing I’ve read. I wanted to be able to use language like she did to create feelings, moods, and themes that would resonate with readers in subtle and organic ways. I’m certainly not up to Hale’s level, but I hope I get better with each book I write.

8) Do you have a dedicated process and writing space?

I have a small room that is my writing office. It is full of me. Bookshelves with my favorite books, knickknacks I’ve collected in my travels, lots of BTS stuff, some skulls, and a nice little heater under the desk to keep my feet warm. It’s a place I love to be in.

9) Is there anything that you would like to share about yourself?

I believe stories are a way to connect with our soul through the world of fiction. Every reader brings with them their own life’s experiences, and in that way, each book is unique for each reader, and each reader sees and feels what they need to in a book. What resonates with one person might not resonate with another.

As readers travel stories, we find little pieces of ourselves scattered throughout the chapters. A little here and a little there. Luckily the human soul is infinite and so there is no end to what we can discover about ourselves through books. I think that’s why I like writing so much


ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Julie Daines is an award-winning and best-selling author. She was born in Concord, Massachusetts, and was raised in Utah. She spent eighteen months living in London, where she studied and fell in love with English literature, sticky toffee pudding, and the mysterious guy who ran the kebab store around the corner.

She loves reading, writing, and watching movies—anything that transports her to another world. She picks Captain Wentworth over Mr. Darcy, firmly believes in second breakfast, and never leaves home without her vervain.

Connect with Julie by visiting juliedaines.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.



TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a signed copy of book, $25 Amazon gift card, bookmark, stickers, and button.



Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight December 5, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on December 12, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.




Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!



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4 comentários


evamillien
11 de dez. de 2022

Great interview, I enjoyed getting to know a bit about you! Meriden Park sounds like an excellent book for me to read!


Thanks for sharing it with me and have a magical holiday season!

Curtir

carrie
09 de dez. de 2022

great interview! thank you for sharing! ~Carrie @ JustRead Tours

Curtir

Caryl Kane
Caryl Kane
09 de dez. de 2022

I enjoyed the interview. Meriden Park sounds like a must read for me.

Curtir

Shelly Peterson
Shelly Peterson
08 de dez. de 2022

Sounds like a great read

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