Do you know what you’ll be doing on September 29th come the fall? I do. I’ll be reading–finally–Julie Anne Long’s The Legend of Lyon Redmond. I, and historical romance readers everywhere, have been waiting years for the final romance in Ms. Long’s Pennyroyal Green series. The series, begun in 2008, comprises ten books (my favorite is I Kissed an Earl) and Olivia Eversea and Lyon Redmond have been in love and apart since the beginning.
One of the things I most wanted to do at RWA this year was ask Ms. Long some questions. She, gracious as usual, gave me the answers.
Dabney: Hi Julie Anne, it’s lovely to see you again. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me. As much as I’m dying to ask about your upcoming release, let’s start by talking about your most recent one.
Julie Anne: It Started with a Scandal came out on March 30th.
Dabney: Lavay’s story!
Julie Anne: Yes. Lavay is a prince of the house of Bourbon who lost everything during the French Revolution. His raison d’être is to restore his family lands in France which he can only do through his work as a mercenary for the British crown or through a spectacular marriage. His plans are thwarted when he is gravely wounded during his last mission.
Elise Fountain, one misguided romance ago, had her life transformed forever. She’s now a teacher at Miss Endicott’s Academy and the single mother of a six year old boy. When a disgruntled patron of the Academy threatens to reveal her disgrace, she endures a plummet in social position when she’s forced to take a position that no woman has yet been able to keep: housekeeper to a formidable prince.
Dabney: As is the case with all the Pennyroyal books, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s so well-written. Have you always wanted to be an author? When did you start writing?
Julie Anne Long: The moment I learned how to write. It seemed to me that the whole point of learning to write was so I could write stories. My first book was a Crayola illustrated story about a talking rabbit. I think I was 7.
Dabney: Now that you’ve finished the Pennyroyal Green books, what’s next for you?
Julie Anne: I’m writing a contemporary series set in the California Gold Country. Readers who enjoyed the Pennyroyal Green series will find a lot of the same things to love about it. Well rounded characters, compelling conflict, rich family relationships, hot and fascinating heroes, and sympathetic heroines. And lots of humor, too. The first one is due out in 2016.
Dabney: What can you tell me about end of the Everseas and the Redmonds?
Julie Anne: The Legend of Lyon Redmond is out September 29th. I think readers will find the Lyon and Olivia resolution they’ve been seeking, as well as see some story threads/mysteries resolved…and some hints about the destinies of both the Redmonds and Everseas and their antecedents.
It was an enormously emotional and incredibly satisfying book to write—the emotions, conflict and passions are enormous and long-standing and have very deep roots. And I wanted a resolution for Lyon and Olvia as much as readers did. It was bittersweet to write, too, but in my mind all of the Everseas and Redmonds live and love to this day.
Dabney: How long have you known how Olivia and Lyon would end up?
Julie Anne: I had a strong sense of how their story would FEEL from the beginning…and I knew most of how it would unfold, but not all. Fortunately the rest of the books in the series led me sort of organically to what I feel is just the right conclusion.
Dabney: If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Julie Anne: Marry rich… just kidding. I would say that…it’s really all about the journey. Life has peaks and valleys, and when we’re younger we may see bumps in the roads as catastrophes, when they’re often no more significant in the long run than turbulence during an airplane flight. Stay in the moment.