Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Interview With Historical Romance Author Jessica Cale

Joining us today is author Jessica Cale so sit back enjoy the interview and then check out her new release.

When did you write your first book? 
I’ve been writing since I was a kid, but I started my first book when I was fifteen. It was a contemporary horror novel, but I didn’t finish it because I didn’t like the original ending. I’ve been carrying it with me for fifteen years in case I ever decide how it should end.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
The ideas are hard to pin-point. Tyburn began with a dream I had, and the rest of the Southwark Saga has really built on that. Virtue’s Lady came about when the supporting characters from Tyburn, Mark and Jane, became so real to me that they needed a book to themselves. As for the information, the series is set in the seventeenth century and I research everything very carefully. My husband is an early modern historian and me and both of his parents all have history degrees, so our family has a pretty formidable collection of books! Anything we don’t have can usually be found through inter-library loan.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
The one thing that surprised me the most is how little control I actually have over the characters. They become almost living, breathing people with ideas and ambitions of their own, and all I can do as a writer is throw obstacles as them to see how they react. I just go with it and let them surprise me!

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? 
I have completed two, and am currently working on the third book in The Southwark Saga. My favorite is always the one I’m currently working on. I get obsessed with it until I feel like it’s finished, then I’m on to the next one the next day.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I love hearing from my readers! I love hearing what they think and which characters are their favorites. My two most vocal readers are both men, and I’ve had great discussions with both of them. One just wanted to talk through it, and assured me he understood why his favorite character died, which I thought was pretty generous. Tyburn has a pretty high body count! The other reader had all these incredible emotional insights into the characters, and it was so great just hearing what he’d taken from it. The characters had become real to him, too, and that was the greatest compliment. Other than that, I’ve started getting requests for supporting characters to get their own books, which is great. There are plenty more in the works!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I used to write in total darkness after everyone else in the house had gone to sleep. It was almost sensory deprivation. Visualizing the scenes was much easier with no distractions whatsoever. I don’t need to do this as much now, but I still like to write in bed. I like to be as comfortable as possible so I don’t notice how much time is passing.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?  
I work full-time for a great non-profit company, so I have very little time when I’m not working or writing. When I do get some time, I love to read and to spend time with my husband and our friends. I also bake. I’ve been working on perfecting my macaron recipe and I’m always thinking of new flavors to try!

Now for Jessica's newest release. 
From toiling for pennies to bare-knuckle boxing, a lady is prepared for every eventuality.

Lady Jane Ramsey is young, beautiful, and ruined.
After being rescued from her kidnapping by a handsome highwayman, she returns home only to find her marriage prospects drastically reduced. Her father expects her to marry the repulsive Lord Lewes, but Jane has other plans. All she can think about is her highwayman, and she is determined to find him again.

Mark Virtue is trying to go straight. After years of robbing coaches and surviving on his wits, he knows it’s time to hang up his pistol and become the carpenter he was trained to be. He busies himself with finding work for his neighbors and improving his corner of Southwark as he tries to forget the girl who haunts his dreams. As a carpenter struggling to stay in work in the aftermath of The Fire, he knows Jane is unfathomably far beyond his reach, and there’s no use wishing for the impossible.

When Jane turns up in Southwark, Mark is furious. She has no way of understanding just how much danger she has put them in by running away. In spite of his growing feelings for her, he knows that Southwark is no place for a lady. Jane must set aside her lessons to learn a new set of rules if she is to make a life for herself in the crime-ridden slum. She will fight for her freedom and her life if that’s what it takes to prove to Mark—and to herself—that there’s more to her than meets the eye. 

Other Books In The Series

Notorious harlot Sally Green fights for survival in Restoration London. When a brutal attack throws them together, Sally is torn between the tutor who saves her and the highwayman who keeps her up at night; between new love and an old need for revenge. Winner of the Southern Magic Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence 2015. 

More About The Author

Jessica Cale is a historical romance author and journalist based in North Carolina. Originally from Minnesota, she lived in Wales for several years where she earned a BA in History and an MFA in Creative Writing while climbing castles and photographing mines for history magazines. She kidnapped (“married”) her very own British prince (close enough) and is enjoying her happily ever after with him in a place where no one understands his accent. You can visit her at www.authorjessicacale.com.

Where To Find Jessica


  1. Thank you so much for having me!

  2. Enjoyed this interview very much. You had me at macarons! I have never written in the dark but I can see why it would work. I have a back lit keyboard so it would be quite doable I think. I'll have to try it out. I would love to visit your home library as it sounds amazing but you may never get me out again. :-) Good luck with your new release Jessica.

    1. I'm so glad, thank you! Writing in the dark would be much easier with a back lit keyboard. You should try it if you ever get stuck! The library is awesome but less impressive in person now and it's split between the US and Britain, but still very useful! :) Thanks so much for stopping by!