Hello, My Fellow Book Dragons and Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you know I love you and do so appreciate you! Today is very special as it kicks off Romance Week here at the Cave. We will be looking at Seven Romantic Tales. Today we are very fortunate to be spending time with our delightful, romantic and lovely Dragon Feeder, Trish Butler who has created that most romantic of worlds – Redway! She is also going to be sending one of you on a Blind Date with a Book, because at the end of this interview she’s giving away one of her delightful tales – so be sure to read this interview carefully because the answer to your dream date LIES WITHIN! Without further adieu, let’s get to it!
Drakon: Trish, it is lovely to have you here in the Cave, it was such a cold, snowy day, I was afraid you mightn’t come! I’m so glad you stayed warm in the coach and Pegasus. Dobby, my new Butler (doesn’t he look handsome in his livery? We ordered from the Downton collection) will bring us tea. Do snuggle closer to the fire and have some Turkish Taffy to warm up. Ready? Lovely! So tell us a bit about Trish Butler!
Trish: I was born in Norwich, in the county of Norfolk, England. I moved to Connecticut in the US in 1999 and had my daughter two years later. I currently work for the Connecticut Family Support Network (CFTSN) which is a non-profit organization that helps families with children with special needs. My own daughter is on the autism spectrum.
Drakon: How lovely! I haven’t been to that part of England since I was a pup and my wings were just coming on. I really must go back, of course I suppose it’s changed in the last 500 and some years… What types of things do you like to do for fun when you aren’t writing?
Trish: Unfortunately, I don’t make enough (yet) to write for a living, so writing it what I do to relax when I’m not working. Of course, I love to read, too. I absolutely love mystery/detective novels.
Drakon: How did the idea for Redway Acres come about?
Trish: I read many “Pride and Prejudice” variation novels for awhile and decided to write my own. I always thought that, though we loved that Elizabeth married Darcy in the end, did we consider that she now became his property? That was that idea I played with. More details on how this came about and how I decided to make Redway Acres my own series rather than a P&P variation is in my blog “The Road to Redway” https://www.trishbutlerauthor.com/single-post/the-road-to-redway
Drakon: My fellow Book Dragons now know you are from England, how much of where you grew up are in the books? Originally, as a P&P variation my book would have been based at Pemberley. As I didn’t go that route, I could choose where to locate the action. I’m from Norwich in the county of Norfolk but needed to be a little closer to Sheffield for one storyline, so I went a little further north to Grantham in Lincolnshire. In Redway #6: Emmalee’s Story, there’s a map showing where Redway is located.
Drakon: I would like to inject here, all the books have maps and makes it quite easy to get into the story. Trish, you do a fantastic job as well of not babying your readers. These books show life as it really was at that time. The good, the bad, the ugly, the lovely. They are my favorite historical romances of that period. That being said, who is your favorite character and why?
Trish: Helena is my favorite. She’s everything I’m not. Or maybe I am a little like her, but not everything. I admire her. I’m much more like Martha, but as everyone loves her, I’m ok with that.
Drakon: We do love you! Who is the hardest to write?
Trish: I find that the important thing when writing any character is to stay true to them. If a character behaves in a certain way, there should be a reason for that, and they should continue to show that trait unless another thing happens to make them change for good or bad. So far, Nathaniel’s father, the Earl of Aysthill, has been the hardest to write. When we first meet him, he is not pleasant at all. Although the reader does not learn why he behaves this way, I knew it from book one. When I wrote book six, which is a prequel that tells Nathaniel’s parents’ story, the reader finally learns the earl’s backstory. I’m not finished with him yet either!
Drakon: You not only write Redway: I have reviewed Ctrl+ALT+Deleted which is a contemporary mystery – also excellent! Which do you prefer writing?
Trish: Yes, my contemporary mystery is set in New Jersey. As a lover of all kinds of mysteries from Agatha Christie to watching just about every crime show on TV, I was not sure I could master the genre. Once I got an idea, I kept working on it until it formed a book. The hardest part was making sure I revealed everything gradually, not to tip my hand to the reader. Most people say they didn’t guess the culprit. I’m working on book two in that series now. It’s easier to write a contemporary novel with regards to writing modern language. However, I still have my American friends read it and let me know if I got too British.
Drakon: We are definitely looking forward! Did you love to read as a girl?
Trish: Yes! Absolutely! I grew up on an author called Enid Blyton, a famous UK writer who wrote such series as The Famous Five, The Secret Seven, and The Enchanted Wood. Unfortunately, the girls are portrayed in a rather sexist way, so I’ve only read my daughter The Enchanted Wood. I guess those mysteries are what got me started.
My mother once said to me, “Stop reading and do something useful instead.” As an adult and mother, I understand how stressed she was and she just needed help, but I laugh at how we get notes home from school nowadays that tell us how important it is for our children to read. Mum was very annoyed with me for including that in Amelia’s book (Redway#5). Bookworms love Amelia because she is a voracious reader.
“Will you please stop reading and do something useful instead?” her mother would often insist, her pale blue eyes showing her annoyance. “How many times am I to say this to you? A man does not want a wife who constantly sticks her nose in a book. Now, go and aid Gennie with the flower arrangements or practise on the pianoforte. Other than your dancing, what accomplishment recommends you to a gentleman?”
Drakon: I understand and I do think it’s wonderful! I, too, was admonished for reading so much instead of spending more time at Knight Catching practice or Damsel Chasing practice, but how can you when there are so many BOOKS??!! Do you have another Redway in the works? I love that you have written a companion to the first six. I was delighted when you sent it to me! I have not had time to get through it yet, but it looks delicious! Have another cuppa, my Dear, it’s Narnian, you know.
Trish: As I said, I’m currently writing the second book in my contemporary mystery series, but I do hope to start Redway #7 this year. This will be Grace’s book, and as with the Earl of Aysthill, she will be a challenge because she is a character readers love to hate. This story will be a bit of a mystery too! I have twelve books planned in all for Redway Acres. It’s taken me five years to get halfway, and I wrote four books in the first two years, so I will need to pick up the pace again to finish the series within ten years.
Drakon: Yes, definitely looking forward to the new mystery! I did love the first one! We told the Book Dragons about Blind Date with a Book! I thought it would be nice if they follow the link to your Redway Books on Amazon and comment below with their favorite. We can then have dear Dobby pick a winner and I will send you their address and you can send them their date! Here is the Amazon link! They can also follow you there. https://www.amazon.com/Trish-Butler/e/B01C7MA6R0%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share
If you had but one wish for your Redway Acres Series what would it be? I will put it in my special Wish Room and we will see!
Oh dearest Book Dragon
Grant me a wish
I don’t ask for much
My desire is this
A period drama
If Redway could be
A loved miniseries
Streaming on TV
Glamour like Bridgerton
Romance like Austen
The grit of Poldark
The saga of Downton
If too great a wish
Dearest Dragon, please say
But I would like to know
Everyone loves Redway
Drakon: I don’t believe that is too great a wish at all! Dobby! Have this framed and put in the special Wish Room next to the Queen’s Happily Ever After Wish for William and Kate! And that my dear Book Dragons is our Spotlight! Don’t forget to go look at the books via link and comment with your date! I do hope you have enjoyed this Spotlight and good luck on the giveaway.
Join me each night this week for a review of a Romance! Happy Valentine’s Day!