Q&A with Author Eloisa James
Q: When did you begin writing your latest release, Wilde Child?
I The pandemic and Wilde Child sprang into life together: shut into an apartment in New York City, with the sirens screaming by on Broadway, I created a world that was funny, sexy, & thoughtful—and had nothing to do with grief.
Q: What Shakespeare themes can readers find in this novel?
My heroine longs to play the title role in Hamlet. There’s no need to have read the play, but the characters discuss it once in a while: was Hamlet a whining boy or a hero? What happened to Ophelia? As a Shakespeare professor, I teach Hamlet every year, and it was great fun to share conversations I’ve had in class.
Q: Tell us readers about the heroine, Lady Joan.
She’s scandalous, brilliant, illegitimate… She’s always been told that she’s a fantastic actor, which is why she wants to tackle Hamlet. Her Hamlet is a thoughtful, melancholic prince, but she’s a funny, sardonic lady.
Q: Was is difficult to write an opposites attract theme in this book?
Not particularly. Thaddeus turned up a few books ago as one of Joan’s sisters’ suitors. The key to creating an opposite-attract conflict is having a key aspect of both characters’ personalities be perfectly aligned, even though they appear to be opposites. I did that for Thaddeus and Joan (I’ll leave it to the readers to identify)!
Q: What type of man is the hero, Thaddeus?
Honorable, responsible, grave. Madly lonely. In love.
Q: How would describe your writing style?
I aim at witty; sometimes I get there.
Q: How did you get started in writing regency-era historical romances?
I loved reading Jane Austen, jumped from her to Georgette Heyer, and from there to contemporary historical romance writers. As a literature professor, historical research comes easily.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers in your genre?
Allow yourself to write crap. You can edit bad writing. If you focus too much on perfection, you’ll end up with wasted hours and blank pages.
Q: Where can readers find you and your books?
Pretty much anywhere! Check out eloisajames.com for order links. If you’re inclined to support an indy bookstore, I’d be happy to walk down the street to Book Culture and personalize a copy of Wilde Child for you or a friend!
New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James writes historical romances for HarperCollins Publishers. Her novels have been published to great acclaim. A reviewer from USA Today wrote of Eloisa’s very first book that she “found herself devouring the book like a dieter with a Hershey bar”; later People Magazine raved that “romance writing does not get much better than this.” Her novels have repeatedly received starred reviews from Publishers’ Weekly and Library Journal and regularly appear on the best-seller lists.
After graduating from Harvard University, Eloisa got an M.Phil. from Oxford University, a Ph.D. from Yale and eventually became a Shakespeare professor, publishing an academic book with Oxford University Press. Currently she is an associate professor and head of the Creative Writing program at Fordham University in New York City. Her “double life” is a source of fascination to the media and her readers. In her professorial guise, she’s written a New York Times op-ed defending romance, as well as articles published everywhere from women’s magazines such as More to writers’ journals such as the Romance Writers’ Report.