Margaret: I invited Donna Hatch back today as she is one of my favorite authors and has a new book out: The Guise of a Gentleman. Donna, I absolutely loved the first book of your Rogue Heart Series, The Stranger She Married with oh-so-dashing Cole Amesbury. Which Amesbury brother Does Guise of a Gentleman focus on?
Donna: Jared Amesbury is the daring and impulsive hero. Each book is a stand-alone book, about a different brother of the Amesbury family, and the family members wander in and out of each other’s books.
Margaret: Great. I really like when I can start in the middle of a series and still understand the plot and characters. Yet when the characters are compelling I always want to catch another glimpse of their lives. I’m glad to know I can find that in your Rogue Heart Series. Can you tell us about writing Guise of a Gentleman. Did it take more research than usual for your regency romances?
Donna: I did extensive research for my newest Regency Romance Novel, The Guise of a Gentleman and discovered that pirates were first and foremost sailors. They had a hard life and faced many dangers. They also preyed upon any ship that had the misfortune of crossing their path. Then, they’d go to a nearby port and waste their money. They also often ransacked the town, tortured the men, and ravished the women. And they were notorious slave traders. Not very glamorous, is it?
In my novel, I created a fictional problem of having a lot of out of work sailors and captains of privateering ships now that the Napoleonic War was over. So some turned to piracy and created a pirate ring led by a peer of the realm. In my novel, the hero has to become a pirate in order to infiltrate the ring and expose the leader. After studying real life pirates like Black Beard, Calico Jack, and others, I decided pirates make better villains than heroes. They were for the most part, ruthless and unconscionable. Yet, I still cheered for Jack Sparrow and Will Turner.
Margaret: I’ve always loved the good guys hiding out is disguise like the Scarlett Pimpernel. Please give us a quick synopsis of your storyline.
Donna: Okay, here’s my backcover blurb: The widowed Elise is a perfect English lady living within the confines of society for the sake of her impressionable young son. Her quiet world is shattered when she meets the impulsive and scandalous Jared Amesbury. His roguish charm awakens her yearning for freedom and adventure. But his irrepressible grin and sea-green eyes hide a secret.
A gentleman by day, a pirate by night, Jared accepts one last assignment before he can be truly free. Elise gives him hope that he, too, can find love and belonging. His hopes are crushed when his best laid plans go awry and Elise is dragged into his world of violence and deceit. She may not survive the revelation of Jared’s past…or still love him when the truth is revealed.
Margaret: The cover is very nice. How much input were you allowed to have it it’s creation?
Donna: Most publishers don’t let the authors have any input, but I was lucky — mine does. I filled out a questionnaire with character descriptions and a concept of what I’d pictured. The finished result was very close to what I’d imagined, although the clothing isn’t exactly Regency, but I like it very much.
Margaret: What are you working on now?
Donna: I’m finalizing the edits on book 3 of the Rogue Heart’s Series which isn’t titled yet. (Gulp.) I’m also starting a new Teen/Young Adult paranormal.
Margaret: Where can we find your book?
Donna: The Guise of a Gentleman by Donna Hatch is available at Wild Rose Press, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.