Introduce yourself and your book!
Hello, I’m Mariel Grey. I want to thank you for hosting me, and your interest in my work. I’m a paralegal by day, and a writer by night, and I call Central Florida home. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to catalog the large number of books I’ve read over the years, but I enjoy all kinds of stories, and will try reading various genes. I’ve always loved books and have wanted to write since I was a child. It’s wonderful to finally have the opportunity.
As for the stories I write, they are more along the lines of “clean” fiction, but I must admit to sneaking in some naughty humor or thoughts on occasion. Though A Gentleman’s Surrender is the second novel in my Surrender Series, it can easily be read as a standalone. I’ve also rewritten the first book of the series, Surrender of Trust, and I believe it is now a much better read than when I first published it.
The series is set in England during the extended Regency period. These books are not true Regency stories in the Jane Austen style, but they do have very strong Regency elements and themes.
How did you handle researching and incorporating the historical elements of A Gentleman’s Surrender?
Certain historical aspects of the story were researched upfront because historical details can play a pivotal part in a plot. I’ve made the mistake of not doing that in the past and had to make story shifts to accommodate facts or events.
I spend a tremendous amount of time researching historical details for my books. After I write my main story, I will do additional research in order to add more in the way of descriptive details and give odd tidbits of trivia that would be common knowledge to people who lived then. Hopefully, readers will get a sense of being immersed in the time period.
Without giving away spoilers, was there a scene that was particularly challenging to write? What about a scene that was the most fun?
The entire book was challenging to write! I made major revisions to the plot line on three separate rewrites before I felt it was finally ready for publication. Though romances as a whole are driven more by internal motivations as opposed to external events, I really challenged myself creatively in writing this story. The plot in this particular book is propelled forward by internal issues more so than my last. I want to stretch my writing skills and become better at my craft.
If you think about it, it’s really difficult to write an engaging story with heavy emphasis on internal problems when readers already know how the book is going to end before they read the first sentence. In this book, I don’t think my characters seem likeable at the onset. It’s only after you get a little deeper into the story and begin to understand them better that I think you start rooting for them. So, this entire book was tough for me to write.
As for fun… Yes! I really enjoyed writing some of the scenes. That’s where the off color humor I mentioned earlier crept into the tale. Readers looking for pure Regency stories will probably not enjoy those scenes, and I’ve seen some evidence of that in reviews. However, a majority of the readers, so far at least, seemed to have gotten the humor. If I described these scenes, it would spoil the effect, but I’m certain readers will be able to figure it out.
What authors or books would you recommend to readers who enjoyed A Gentleman’s Surrender?
I’d like to say Sabrina Jefferies, Julie Garwood, or Madeline Hunter, but that would be both presumptuous, as well as a dream on my part.
What’s next for you?
Because of the amount of time it takes to do research for my historicals, I’m taking a break and working on a contemporary romance which is set in Central Florida. For the foreseeable future, I’ll probably alternate back and forth between historical and contemporary works. The contemporary manuscript is mostly finished, but the editor I like is booked until the end of May. So, for the time being, I get to tell myself how wonderful the new book is until the editor reads it and tells me how much work I have left to do.
Call her a romantic—or a fool, Lady Monique Cathdon is determined to marry for love. After watching her parents tolerate an arranged betrothal, life seems too short to be wasted on keeping up appearances.
After all, what’s the point of having a heart if one refuses to follow it?
With a smile the devil himself might be proud of, James Stanton is not what her mother would call a matrimonial prospect. Still, there’s something about the young man that sends Lady Monique’s heart thumping around her chest, and silences her voice of reason.
Unfortunately for Lady Monique, the stakes are high, and young ladies of the ton make for very poor gamblers. Especially when James Stanton is on the hunt for revenge, and won’t let an innocent woman—or his own passionate desires—get in the way of righting past wrongs.