Lately, I’ve had a taste for historical novels, so I’m super excited to have Kensington Book author Elise Cyr on my blog today, with her new release, SIEGE OF THE HEART.
Elise, please share a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.
I’ve been writing since my teen years, but was always afraid to admit I wanted to be a writer. So let’s just say there were a lot of secret notebooks in my room. I majored in English in college, went to grad school, and even worked in academia for a few years. But none of that made me happy. So I pulled out an old story, reread it, and realized it wasn’t that bad. Looking back it seems so naive. But I rewrote and revised and workshopped that story and many others over the next few years, and here I am.
Good for you! As writers we encounter many obstacles along the way. I’m glad you found the dedication to stick with something you love. Now for a technique question: which do you find easier to write and why – description or dialogue?
Dialogue. When I read novels, I tend to skip over long passages of description to get to the action sooner, and I do that when I’m writing too. I also took a screenwriting class in college, and that format requires you to leave the visuals up to the director, so your real focus is primarily the dialogue. That experience really helped me learn that aspect of the craft. I also tend to underwrite, so in subsequent passes, I’m usually expanding my description and adding character blocking to round out the story.
I really enjoy writing dialogue, but description has always been my first love. When I do rewrites, I’m normally reworking my dialogue, LOL. And now, I’d love to hear more about SIEGE OF THE HEART.
It’s a medieval romance from Kensington Books, set during the Norman Conquest of England, with a knight seeking his place in the world and a noblewoman struggling to hold on to all she holds dear. It’s the first novel I ever got to “The End” on. It has taught me so much about writing and myself, and I’m so glad to share it with the world.
You must have a fantastic sense of accomplishment, and I can’t imagine the research that must have gone into the book. Please share one sentence – – yes, only one! – – of dialogue or description you love.
“They stood there like hunter and prey, but she would be no man’s quarry.”
Ooh, great choice! It says a lot about her character in so few words–and his.
When you’re not writing (or reading) what do you do to unwind?
I play shoot-em-up video games. It’s a great stress reliever and gives my brain a break after a day full of writing. I also try to stay active. My husband and I ride bikes or go hiking on the weekend, and every day, I walk my dog in the foothills.
Speaking of pets, furred friends and writers seem to go together like peas in a pod. Tell us about yours.
My dog Sienna is an adorable border collie/Australian shepherd mix. She doesn’t let me sleep in, which is great for my writing schedule, and usually hangs out by my feet when I’m typing away in the office. She’s very affectionate, so she’s always ready for a tummy rub when I get up to take a break.
She sounds adorable. And tummy rubs are a perfect break during any author’s schedule. 🙂 Now for a few personal likes and dislikes. What’s your favorite season?
Summer. I’m happiest when I can wear sandals.
Favorite color: I’ve never found a shade of blue I didn’t like.
Casual or dressy: Casual. I’m the girl who hates getting dressed up.
Mountains or beach: Since I live in the mountain foothills these days, I’d have to say beach.
Fruit or veggies: Veggies. I’m not a vegetarian, but I love them. Broccoli and brussels sprouts are my favorite.
OMG, they’re my favorite too! I rarely meet anyone who likes one of them, let alone both. I’m not a vegetarian either, but like you, I love veggies. I was one of those weird kids whose parents never had to say “eat your vegetables.” Now when it came to beef, that’s an entirely different story 😀
Elise, it’s been a delight to have you here today and I wish you much success with SIEGE OF THE HEART.
I’ve always loved adventure, romance, and happy endings. I write primarily in the medieval period. Because there’s still so much we don’t know about that time in history, the writer’s imagination is essential for fleshing out the research and making it come to life on the page. Plus swords and castles are just plain fun.
I live in New Mexico with my husband and the sweetest dog ever. When I’m not writing, I hike, bike, cook, and (of course) read. Siege of the Heart is my debut medieval romance. You can follow me on Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, or check out my blog.
(Image courtesy of Clarita of Morgue File)
About Siege of the Heart:
He fought for king and country, but that battle was nothing compared to the one he’ll wage for a woman’s heart.
Still reeling from the news of her father’s death during the Norman Conquest, Isabel Dumont is unprepared when trouble arrives at the castle gates. Alexandre d’Évreux, a Norman knight with close ties to England’s new king, has arrived to secure the land and the loyalties of the Dumont family. Desperate to protect her people, Isabel strives to keep the confounding knight at arm’s length and hide the truth about her father’s death.
For Alexandre, the spoils of war come with more than just a generous gift of land. They come with Isabel Dumont. Vowing to marry only for love, Alexandre finds himself in a difficult situation as a conqueror granted dominion over the land and its people. Isabel is the one person capable of helping him win the regard of those living in the war-torn country…if he chooses to accept her.
Just when Alexandre finds a spark of hope that he and Isabel have a chance at love, she vanishes. His quest to find her plunges him deeper into the conquest’s fallout. Was she taken? Or did she leave?
CONTENT WARNING: Entering into this novel may cause extreme affection toward knights of old, admiration for strong-willed women, and the overwhelming belief that love really can conquer all.