I’m happy to present my interview with Elizabeth Ellen Carter. Her book Warrior’s Surrender is a great new historical romance.
(Blurb and an excerpt below!)
Tell me a little about the characters and the conflict in Warrior’s Surrender.
Lady Alfreya of Tyrswick has had her life uprooted by war and the aftermath of conflict. She, like many women of her time, had her life planned out for her. She would marry a nobleman, bear him heirs and run a household. The Harrying of the North, the act of total war by William the Conqueror following the rebellion of Northumbria’s Saxon nobles sees Alfreya’s marriage plans upended, her father injured and the family dispossessed of everything they own. They are forced to flee to Scotland where she is forced to take more and more responsibility for keeping her family together. In the end she is forced to take up arms and lead her men, following her father’s death in a skirmish with Sebastian de la Croix, the Norman Baron who now owns the land by fiat of King William.
Sebastian is a man haunted by his past. One rebellion against his orders, done in a moment of compassion is, seven years after the event, about to have severe repercussions that put a jeopardy his reputation, everything he owns, even his very life.
On top of which Sebastian has to deal with a series of mysterious deaths on his land which may be the work of Evil which has Alfreya in his sights.
Where’s the story set? How much influence did the setting have on the atmosphere/characters/development of the story?
Warrior’s Surrender is set in 1077AD – 11 years after William The Conqueror defeated King Harold in the Battle of Hastings. In the intervening years there was an ill-fated rebellion by Saxon noblemen in England’s north which saw an area of 360 square miles razed as punishment.
As a result, there are tensions which my hero has had to work hard to win the trust of the people he has been sent to rule. Over five years the people of Tyrswick have come to accept Sebastian has their ruler, but Alfreya hasn’t , so when she is forced to offer herself as a hostage, she treats Sebastian with hostility and suspicion.
Were your characters difficult to write, or did they seem to spring easily from your mind to the page?
Alfreya was a little difficult to write because she was filled with hostility and suffering under the strain of trying to survive as an outlaw on lands her family once owned, trying to keep a group of fighting men together and care for her seriously ill younger brother.
I didn’t want to create a damsel in distress, but there had to be a recognition she wasn’t coping, no matter how strong or what kind of brave face she put on.
Sebastian is a honey, he is everything you want in a Baron, strong, resourceful, brave, but still with a vulnerability that only the heroine can see.
How often does your muse distract you from day to day minutiae?
Very often. When I was writing Warrior’s Surrender, I was struggling with creating a moment of romantic connection between Alfreya and Sebastian.
And then it came to me… in the middle of a work day. I left my desk, walked outside with my phone and dictated the wolf attack scene into my phone.
The Muse will strike whenever and wherever she wilst.
What do readers have to look forward to in the future from Elizabeth Ellen Carter?
More history! More, more more! I have a sequel to Moonstone Obsession, called Moonstone Conspiracy in which a significant secondary character Lady Abigail Houghall undergoes a transformation ‘from Jezebel to Rahab’ in a romance set during the Reign of Terror in France.
I’m currently researching another title set in Third Century Rome.
When did you begin writing and why?
I’ve always loved writing and after I ran out of Nancy Drew stories to read when I was 9-years-old, I decided to write my own on my mother’s typewriter. Then I wanted to be a journalist and I was fortunate to get a cadetship at our city’s newspaper straight after graduating high school.
I toyed with writing novels several times over the years but I never completed a book until Moonstone Obsession which was my first genuine full length novel.
It’s addictive. After spending a day at work, I love to sit down for three-four hours in the evening and write. Fortunately I was a very supportive husband who proofreads and edits for me too.
Thanks for stopping by, Elizabeth! Readers can learn more about Elizabeth Ellen Carter here:
A shared secret from their past could destroy their future…
Northumbria, 1077. In the years following William the Conqueror’s harrying of the North, Lady Alfreya of Tyrswick returns to her family home after seven years in exile. But instead of returning victorious as her dead father had promised, she returns defeated by Baron Sebastian de la Croix, the Norman who rules her lands.
To save her gravely ill brother’s life, Alfreya offers herself hostage to her enemy. As Alfreya gets to know her new husband, she finds he’s not the monster she feared, and their marriage of convenience soon becomes a bond of passion. But Sebastian is a man with a secret—one that could destroy him.
As a series of brutal murders haunt their nights, the man who betrayed Alfreya’s father returns claiming to be her betrothed. He has learned Sebastian’s secret and will use it to further his own ambition—using Sebastian’s own family—which will destroy Sebastian and mark him a traitor, and plunge an unprepared England into war with the Scots…
Or read on Scribd!
An Excerpt from Warrior’s Surrender