Today one of my historical romances is being republished by The Wild Rose Press. I have very happy memories of this novel, not least of which is the fact that it was originally accepted for publication by by Robert Hale Ltd and sadly I have just learnt that they are closing. Robert Hale took on ‘The Scarlet Queen’ at a time when I was used to expecting rejection letters and it was lovely to get a letter from someone who actually wanted to publish something I had written. Amanda Grange, my co-author on ‘Pride and Pyramids’, has written about this in her blog http://historicalromanceuk.blogspot.co.uk/.
‘The Scarlet Queen’ was inspired by all the Victoria Holt novels I read as a young woman, tales of plucky Victorian heroines armed only with their wit, beauty and spirit to help them navigate the stormy seas of life as an impoverished governess/lady’s maid/companion. They often ended up in some exotic foreign location, their lives imperilled by an evil suitor, before being rescued by the dashing alpha male. The only thing I felt they lacked was a sense of humour which I added to my heroine’s life. I do remember that Mr Hale didn’t like the passages I originally wrote about the ancient Egyptian courtesan on whom the Scarlet Queen character was based, so I had to cut that out, and I always felt the novel lost something. Fortunately when I wrote to The Wild Rose Press offering the novel, they liked the snippets of this character and left them in. I also love the new cover and hope that this new publication will give ‘The Scarlet Queen’ a new lease of life.