Today I’d like to introduce you all to a fellow Medieval Romance novelist, the fabulous Laurel O’Donnell. Laurel is the author of eight novels and novellas, six of them set in Medieval times and two of them Paranormal. Her debut novel, The Angel and the Prince was nominated for the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart award, and her novel A Knight of Honor was the recipient of the Holt Medallion. Those novels and her others are packed with exciting characters and adventures. And since you know I love to give shout-outs to fellow Medieval Romance novelists, I had to sit down and ask her a few questions….
What drew you to the Medieval time period as a setting for your novels?
I’ve always loved the grandeur and chivalry of the medieval times. The images of knights and castles are so romantic. I think it must have been the exposure to Camelot and tales of King Arthur that got me hooked. When I was a teen, I worked at a renaissance faire for a summer and learned to stage sword fight there which only enhanced my interest in the time period.
Do you have any favorite historical figures from the Middle Ages? Have you ever based any of your characters on real historical figures?
Joan of Arc has always fascinated me because she was a woman knight. For The Angel and the Prince, I did research on King Henry V. He even makes a brief appearance in the novel.
No way! In reality, the middle ages were dirty and disease ridden. I can’t see going to the bathroom without toilet paper! Yuck. No thank you.
[When Laurel gave me this answer I politely directed her to my post on this topic. ;)]
How precise are you with historical accuracy? Are there ever instances where you bend historical fact to fit the story?
I really do try to make the history as accurate as I can. I’m sure I haven’t gotten everything right, but it’s the best I can do.
What time period other than what you’re writing in right now would you be interested in setting a novel?
Regency. I can’t write it, but I love to read it.
How do you feel that historical romance compares to the paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels that you also write?
Completely different. Historical romance requires a certain tone that the paranormal and fantasy novels don’t. They must adhere to a more realistic set of rules. My paranormal and urban fantasy novels have to stick to the rules I make up for them. With that being said, romance is still romance. The first kiss is still as potent in a historical as it is in a paranormal. I write what I feel like writing that day, whatever mood strikes me. For instance, right now, I am rewriting a medieval novel and writing the second episode of my urban fantasy novel. When I sit down to write, I pick one or the other based on my mood. Do I want to visit medieval England or do I want to be a creature with incredible powers?
What has your journey to publication been like? What made you decide self-publishing was right for you?
I was extremely lucky starting out. I joined RWA and entered their national contest for unpublished authors, the Golden Heart Contest, to get feedback. I finaled in that contest and my editor was the judge. She contracted me for The Angel and the Prince and my other novels, with the exception of Immortal Death which was recently published through Pink Petal Books. I started in self publishing because I wanted my readers to be able to get my backlist, which was no longer available through Kensington. It was such a great experience and the feedback from readers was so wonderful, that I put out my first urban fantasy (first one in a series) entitled Lost Souls: Resurrection. I plan to follow up this year with a couple of full length novels.
Any tips to share with fellow writers about self-publishing?
I love it. I love the control I have over the cover and the price. There’s a lot of work involved in self promoting, but it’s worth it. I just hope readers like my books as much as I enjoy writing them!
There you have it, folks. I hope you’ll rush to check out Laurel’s books, including her latest novella, The Bride and the Brute, which is available free right now. And thank you Laurel for visiting.