Yup, that's my blue-haired mugshot up above, and the brooding fella in the background is the Tech Monkey (he brings me chocolate and coffee when I'm stressed, so ha an important role in my writing). I'm an author from Alberta, Canada, who is obsessed with the period of history known as the British Regency and the years either side of it.
Born and raised in England, I have a deep, abiding love for the history and archaeology of the country I called home for the first 30 years of my life. I grew up surrounded by history and was privileged to be the daughter of two people who believed in books, and they filled our home and my life for as long as I can remember.
Some of my earliest memories involve reading; like the time I burst into floods of tears at preschool when the teacher read us The Little Mermaid. It was the version where she turns to surf at the end, and apparently, I was the only student in the class to understand the mermaid died. She lost everything. The stupid prince chose the wrong girl and her sisters gave up their hair and-
I think that might also be the day I decided I liked books with Happily Ever Afters at the end. Sobbing in front of 29 of your peers will do that to a kid, and as you can see, I'm still scarred.
I never stopped loving books, though. I read anything and everything, although romance, historical, and fantasy were definitely my favourite genres. My dad shared with me a love of Bernard Cornwell, and the 1800s opened up to me through the eyes of Richard Sharpe and the 95th Rifles. I studied the period at school and college, falling in love with the complex world my ancestors came from.
The writer who sealed the deal, however, was introduced to me by my mum, and Georgette Heyer became a favourite author forever. I loved the way she drew you into her world and adored the interactions between her heroes and heroines.
I still revisit Georgette Heyer's books on a regular basis, especially at times of stress or trouble. There is something soothing about her Regency novels, and I confess that she is the only writer who, upon finishing a particularly excellent story, made me turn back to the first page and immediately start reading the book again.
Cut to a number of years ago. I couldn't think of anything to get my mum for her birthday, and I was broke to boot. Out of desperation, I threw open my laptop and began to write the novella that would become The Dashing Widow. My mum (thankfully) loved it.... and then I forgot about it completely. I moved to Canada with the Tech Monkey, and focussed on my career in public service. I also began to write on the side - mainly science fiction and personal essays under my birth name (Elizabeth is a pen name, but I'm so used to it now I actually answer to it in real life!).
In mid-2016 I started to get sick with what turned out to be fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. As it became increasingly obvious that I wouldn't be able to work full time for much longer, my mum started to nag me about publishing the Dashing Widow. Be a writer, she said. It'll be fun, she said.
Eventually I listened, and I published it on Amazon without expecting so much as a single sale. The rest, as they say, is history - people liked it, and asked for more, longer, more complex books. It means the absolute world to me when I find out that readers have enjoyed my works, but they are and always will be written primarily for the Reader In Chief - my mum. Hopefully, you think she has good taste, and enjoy the books in the series as much as she does.
So now that I've had to say goodbye to working full time for someone else, I'm lucky to have the supports in place to let me write full time instead. It's a wild ride at times trying to balance family, writing and my health, but there are silver linings to everything, and now I'm here I wouldn't change it for anything.