Thursday, February 2, 2023

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Denise Weimer!

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Denise Weimer!

I love Denise Weimer's books so I was thrilled when she signed up to talk about her latest release, A Winter at White Queen. Grab a "cuppa" and read on to learn more about her inspiration and writing journey.

What was your inspiration for the story?

A Winter at the White Queen was originally intended to become part of a collection that did not move forward. In the way that God has of not wasting anything, after it sat a while, it was selected to become novella #1 in Romance at the Gilded Age Resorts Series with Wild Heart Books. A different story will release every few months, written by a different author and set at a unique location in the United States. Please, hop on board our tour of Gilded Age resorts and enjoy the ride!

What sort of research did you do for your story, and was there an exceptionally interesting tidbit you knew you had to include?

Research included lots of online and book reading about the fashions and customs of the Gilded Age, tycoons and trendsetters of the time, and the Florida resorts created by Henry Plant. I also got to tour the boutique hotel that remains which was part of the Hotel Belleview, nicknamed “the White Queen on the Gulf”:  The inventions that were part of the “Age of Wonder,” as I like to dub this time period, played a big part in White Queen, from the humorous to the fantastical.

Have you ever considered writing under a pseudonym? Why or why not?

I have, indeed! “Weimer” is a difficult last name to pronounce. You can’t imagine all the things I have been called, especially living in the South with a last name more common in the North…and originally from Germany. However, I ruled it out because I decided it would make publicity and taxes more complicated.

How do you come up with storylines?

I tend to look for something in real history to spur an idea or dictate a storyline. This could involve a
Henry B. Plant
unique setting, such as was true for White Queen, or a little-known event. From there, I imagine how that place or event would have impacted the people involved. The most unique things that happen in my stories are often true-to-life.

Why do you write in your particular genre?

My parents were avid history lovers, and as a child, we traveled to historic locations. My active imagination kicked in, and before long, I was writing stories in spiral-bound notebooks. I absolutely love the notion of bringing history alive with all five senses and making the reader feel as though they have been transported to another time. What is your process for writing? (do you outline, have a special place or time of day you write, etc.) What is your favorite part of the process? For my historicals, I always start with research. I’ll plug maps and photos into a timeline of facts. Usually, online research leads to ordering books which leads to a research trip. Seeing a location in person if I haven’t been there before is so vital to accurately depicting things like the lay of the land, the flora and fauna, and the social customs of a region. I weave my fictional story among the framework of that timeline.

I work in my home office where it’s quiet (or with low music on, often from the time period), and I try to write in the mornings when I’m the most fresh and creative. My favorite part of the process is when the research has percolated in my head enough to produce a scene that just flows organically.

How does/did your job prepare you for being a novelist?

Pixabay/Dariusz Sankowski
For many years, my main job was staying home with my girls. Gradually, I added in my writing and then was trained as an editor. I’ve worked in both a freelance capacity and for smaller publishing houses. That experience has definitely honed my writing, enabling me to know how I want to put things and to do so more accurately the first time around. A neat sideline…when I was growing up, I convinced my parents to take me to re-enactments and living history events to help inspire my writing. As a young adult, I led a vintage dance group for quite some time. Now, I often combine my book promotion with historical events. Sometimes, I get to do so in historical costume. It’s neat how God worked everything together, including my hobbies.

What is your next project?

I’m currently working on the Scouts of the Georgia Frontier Series for Wild Heart Books. Book One, A Counterfeit Betrothal, will release this September. This series features fictional scouts or Georgia Rangers who patrolled the boundaries of my home state starting in 1814 and moving back to 1765. I find myself drawn to the bravery and fortitude of the early settlers in America, and I love to unearth unique history set in and around Georgia. My backcountry heroes and heroines will face espionage, attacks by Cherokees and British Loyalists, challenges from nature, and, of course, heart-stopping romance.

About A Winter at the White Queen: 

In the world of the wealthy, things are never quite as they appear.

Ellie Hastings is tired of playing social gatekeeper—and poor-relation companion—to her Gibson Girl of a cousin. But her aunt insists Ellie lift her nose out of her detective novel long enough to help gauge the eligibility of bachelors during the winter social season at Florida’s Hotel Belleview. She finds plenty that’s mysterious about the suave, aloof Philadelphia inventor, Lewis Thornton. Why does he keep sneaking around the hotel? Does he have a secret sweetheart? And what is his connection to the evasive Mr. Gaspachi, slated to perform at Washington’s Birthday Ball?

Ellie’s comical sleuthing ought to put Lewis out, but the diffident way her family treats her smashes a hole in his normal reserve. When Florence Hastings’s diamond necklace goes missing, Ellie’s keen mind threatens to uncover not only Lewis’s secrets, but give him back hope for love.

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