This week I’m delighted to have romance novelist extraordinaire, Jo Beverley visiting the site!
Welcome to Inheritance Books, Jo. Please, tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi, I’m Jo Beverley, bestselling author of historical romance. I lived in England until I was thirty, then emigrated to Canada for the next three decades. Now I’m back in England, enjoying Devon, history, and easy trips to Europe.
I have a degree in history from Keele University in Staffordshire, and wrote my first historical romance when I was 16. Showed promise, but that’s about all I can say.
I was first published in 1988 with a traditional Regency romance, Lord Wraybourne’s Betrothed, and my 36th novel will be out in August — a Georgian historical called Seduction in Silk. The titles probably show the progression! Seduction in Silk is a Romantic Times top pick.
Which book have you inherited from the generation above? Why is it special?
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy.
I come from a reading family, but we didn’t own many books. We used the library — a lot. One of the few books we owned was a copy of The Scarlet Pimpernel, with illustrations! Just a few, but I loved that aspect when I first read it at about aged 10. I don’t know where that copy went. If I still had it I’d scan the line drawings and put them on line. I searched, but couldn’t find any. Such a shame.
I don’t think it was just the illustrations that made it special, though. It’s a great love story that pulses with pain and passion without ever being explicit, and Sir Percy, of course, is one of the classic heroes.
I’m not sure if romance writers are born or made — it feels like the former — but reading and re-reading The Scarlet Pimpernel had a huge effect on me. I suspect that’s true of many romance writers. At any gathering, say, “The Scarlet Pimpernel. The scene on the steps….” and a lot of people will light up at the memory.
I’ve never read it. I shall add it to my list of books to hunt down! Which book would you like to leave to future generations? Why?
It’s a wonderfully rich and complex love story that again pulses with pain — agony! — and passion without ever being explicit. (I’ve nothing against explicit sex in novels, but it’s interesting how much can be achieved without.) It weaves through major European events of the mid-16th-century, with drama, adventure, wit and humor, and has the ultimate hero-to-die-for.
Dunnett is an author some people find challenging, but I never did, and if someone likes her style, she provides a banquet of delights. I definitely want to pass on that potential banquet.
Thanks for sharing your Inheritance Books with us Jo. I hope all goes well with the new book (love the cover, by the way. So… silky).