Read an excerpt from Her Gilded Prison
Visit Beverley Oakley's web site
About Beverley Oakley
Beverley Oakley is the author of eight historical romances. Recently she won UK Women's Fiction publisher Choc-Lit's Search for an Australian Star competition and was also shortlisted for Favourite Historical for 2012 by Australian Romance Readers' Association.
She wrote her first romance when she was seventeen. However, drowning the heroine on the last page was, she discovered, not in the spirit of the genre so her romance-writing career ground to a halt and she became a journalist.
After throwing in her job on South Australia's metropolitan daily The Advertiser to manage a luxury safari lodge in the Okavango Delta, in Botswana, Beverley discovered a new world of romance and adventure in a thatched cottage in the middle of a mopane forest with the handsome Norwegian bush pilot she met around a camp fire.
Eighteen years later, after exploring the world in the back of Cessna 404s and CASA 212s as an airborne geophysical survey operator during low-level sorties over the French Guyanese jungle and Greenland's ice cap, Beverley is back in Australia living a more conventional life with her husband and two daughters in a pretty country town an hour north of Melbourne.
She writes Regency Historical Intrigue as Beverley Eikli and erotic historicals as Beverley Oakley.
Also by Beverley Oakley
Rake's Honour (Total-E-Bound)
Lady Lovett's Little Dilemma (Total-E-Bound)
The Cavalier (Total-E-Bound)
Saving Grace (Pan Macmillan Momentum)
An Interview with Beverley Oakley
By Holly Hewson for The Romance Studio
HH: Beverley, thank you so much for talking with us at TRS! Your featured book is Her Gilded Prison and is a sizzling historical romance. Where did you get the idea for this story?
BO: Her Gilded Prison is my first erotic romance with Ellora's Cave and the first of a series about Viscount Partington, his unloved, lonely and lovely wife, Sybil, and their two daughters. It's set in 1820 and follows the family's exploits, starting with Lady Sybil's efforts to ensure the title and estate go to the most suitable contender. I suppose you could describe it as being a bit like those classic BBC dramas such as Upstairs, Downstairs or Downton Abbey, but with a bit more romping between the sheets.
HH: What do you like best about Sybil and why will readers be pulling for her?
BO: Lady Sybil is quite lovely. For twenty years she's been a faithful wife and mother and she has never known love. Not before her marriage and certainly not after it. When she meets her husband's young cousin she is reluctantly drawn to him and then, through her commitment to what she sees as ensuring the future of the entire family, she takes the relationship in an unconventional direction. However, throughout the story she acts with the purest of motives.
HH: What do you like best about Stephen and why will readers love him?
BO: Stephen is a your typical young man at the beginning of the story, waylaid on the way to taking up his new role, by a brazen fortune hunter. I love his innocence, combined with his natural male randiness until, when he meets Sybil, all the best parts of his character are brought to the fore.
HH: What sort of research was required to bring this amazing story to life?
BO: I've read English social histories since I was 12 and studied English history and English Literature at university so I'm comfortable with the knowledge that underpins my plots. I've also worked for years with my father on his memoirs, detailing the adventurous lives of our forebears in the Colonial Service in Africa and India. All very British:) So this story just came naturally.
HH: What do you like best about their relationship and how is different from your other works?
BO: I must say I surprised myself. I'd never considered an older woman/younger man story, though this one is so much more. There's a very devious debutante in there, also. I think what I like best is the sincerity of Sybil and Stephen's love and the fact that Sybil's beautiful daughter, Araminta, is so different from her mother. So utterly conniving.
It's similar to my last two erotic historicals in that all are deeply emotional, however I really started writing historicals because the traditional English publisher I had at the time found my story, Rake's Honour, too racy. So I took a pseudonym and it was published by Total-e-Bound last year. I'm quite delighted to add Rake's Honour, which I call my racy Regency romp with a sting in the tale ending, has just been shortlisted in the Favourite Historical of 2012 category by Australian Romance Readers of Australia. In fact, I'm taking a plane to Brisbane tomorrow for the ARRA convention which is being held this weekend.
HH:What else do you have in store for lucky readers?
BO: I'm about to hand in book two of the Viscount Partington series to my wonderful Ellora's Cave editor, Carrie. Book Two - called Two Dangerous Gentlemen - is the story of Lady Sybil's shy, plump daughter, Hetty. (Araminta gets her own story after that, though she has a large role to play in Hetty's unlikely romance.) After that I'll be eagerly awaiting publication of my first book with UK publisher Choc-Lit. Just before Christmas I was announced the winner of Choc-Lit's Search for an Australian Star competition (which they held to launch the company into Australia) and my winning entry, The Reluctant Bride, which is written under my Beverley Eikli name - as it's an historical romantic intrigue as opposed to an erotic historical - will be coming out in paperback and e-book in September.
HH:What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
BO: The freedom to write the stories that are close to my heart. Also, the freedom to travel. I'm so lucky to be married to a long-haul pilot (a really gorgeous, handsome Norwegian one:)), meaning I can decide to attend conferences at the last minute, such as tomorrow's, in Brisbane. Then in May I'll be at the RT Booklovers Convention in Kansas City, where I'll meet up with fellow writers and representatives of my three publishers: Ellora's Cave, Total-e-Bound and Choc-Lit.
HH: What’s your writing schedule like?
BO: Very opportunist. If I have a deadline I'll burn the candle at both ends until I have the words down but I also have an 11-year-old and a 7-year-old and a husband who travels a lot, obviously, so I'll tend to put on the oven timer for 20 or 40 minutes and just write as if the hounds of hell were nipping at my heels until it's time for school pick up. Then I'll step into the real world, listen to my younger daughter read, help them with their homework or take them to art or ballet, be a good mother and, if my husband is coming home, make him feel like I've missed him for the past four days (which I would have!) put on my apron, pour myself a glass of wine and cook a nice dinner:)
HH: Where can readers find you online?
BO: My website is at www.beverleyoakley.com and I have a blog at http://beverleyeikli.blogspot.com.au
HH: Why will 2013 be a very good year for you?
BO: Ooh, but so much is happening! There's the Australian Romance Readers Convention tomorrow, then just prior to the RT Conference in May my husband and I will be doing a two-week motorcycle/camping trip through California. The darling man spends so much time in LA he keeps a motorbike there and he's been slowly kitting me up ready for the big trip. Then there's the first of my three books with Choc-Lit, with the next one - Lammergeier Rock - an illegal diamond-buying romantic suspense set in 1960 in the African mountain kingdom of Lesotho where I was born and where dad prosecuted a number of medicine murder and illegal diamond buying cases. I've almost finished the first draft.
After that, who knows? But I do love surprises.
Thanks so much for having me, Holly. I hope all your readers have as good a year as I'm hoping to have. :)
HH: Thank you!
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