Today we welcome debut Gothic historical author Erica Ridley!
You spent a few months in England last year. Research?
And writing! I was working on finishing the book that comes after Too Wicked To Kiss, and trying to fit sightseeing and exploring in whenever I wasn’t writing. (Or working… being able to do my dayjob from my laptop is a blessing and a curse. It gives me the freedom to travel to the far corners of the earth–but I might find myself stuck there working in a hotel room instead of out seeing the sights!)
Did you at least make it outside your hotel room a few times?
Yes! I actually rented a room in a flat for the duration, which worked out splendidly. Besides giving me my own space to unpack and relax, my flatmates were great people and always up for showing me around London… which has certainly changed since the Regency period I write about… At first, I thought I would’ve felt more comfortable visiting in 1813 instead of 2009–at least in 1813, I would’ve known what was going on, LOL!
You know the saying that the UK and the US are two countries divided by a single language? It’s so true. Everywhere I went, people *appeared* to be speaking English… and yet, I frequently found myself unable to comprehend the words. For example, just outside main doors to the Heathrow airport, I saw a sign that said “Humped Pelican Crossing”. Seriously? Humped Pelican? I’m originally from the Midwest, so something like “deer crossing” might’ve made more sense than humped pelicans… but even still, not in the walkway to the airport. Later, I asked a local about the humped pelican sign and his answer was, “Oh, right, that’s to differentiate them from zebra crossings.” Ah. So much clearer. =)
What was the best thing about London?
Getting to visit several period houses! I love walking through homes and seeing them how they would have really looked during the time period I write about. The furniture, the decorations, the artifacts–all of it. Whenever possible, I toured with a guide so that I could ask questions and listen to the stories of the people who once lived there. I only wish I could’ve taken photographs… although I think I cleaned each gift shop out of postcards!
How do you do your research when you don’t happen to be in England?
First and foremost, the Internet. There are so many websites and databases at our disposal, these days. Not to mention the sites individual cities might put up with information on local history, or museum websites with photos and information about the items in their collection. I love to visit museums, too–seeing period paintings and costumes always gets my imagination going. And of course I have a ton of research books on the shelves next to my computer… you can never have too many books!
From the ravens circling its spires to the gargoyles adorning its roof, Blackberry Manor looms ominously over its rambling grounds. And behind its doors, amid the flickering shadows and secret passageways, danger lies in wait.
TO HIS EVERY DARK DESIRE…
Evangeline Pemberton has been invited to a party at the sprawling estate of reclusive Gavin Lioncroft, who is rumored to have murdered his parents. Initially, Gavin’s towering presence and brusque manner instill fear in Evangeline…until his rakish features and seductive attentions profoundly arouse her. But when a guest is murdered, Evangeline is torn. Could the man to whom she is so powerfully drawn, also be a ruthless killer?
TOO WICKED TO KISS
Get to know Erica at:
Author Website: http://www.ericaridley.com
Book Bonus Features: http://www.2wicked2kiss.com
Have you ever been somewhere where, although you spoke the language, you felt like you still didn’t understand what was going on? (Eventually, Erica did end up solving the mystery of the zebras and pelicans!) And what’s your opinion: is it true that you can never have too many books?