By Joyce Lamb, USA TODAY
Cara Elliott, author of Too Wicked to Wed, joins HEA to talk about her new release, the first chocolate shops, keeping track of British nobility, and her squee-worthy moments of meeting — and now blogging with — some of her favorite authors.
HEA: Welcome, Cara. How do you keep track of all the rules and style requirements of the “ton”?
Cara: I don’t usually share my secrets … but I have a special little pocket sewn in the corset of my ballgown where I keep a little black book of rules and regulations — along with a list of the most devilishly dangerous gentlemen … oh, and an extra set of diamond earbobs in case my pearls fall into the punch bowl at Almack’s!
I’m only half-kidding, for all the intricate rituals and rules governing behavior in Polite Society are more dizzying than a Viennese waltz. (By the by, waltzing was considered rather risqué in Regency England, so a young lady had to be “approved” by the Patronesses of Almack’s — the five power mavens of their day — before she was allowed to dance it in public. See what I mean?)
Morning calls, walking dresses, how to address the younger son of a duke — the list of what every Regency belle and buck had to know goes on and on. (For those of you who might be wondering, the Regency period in England is generally defined as 1800-1820.) I’ve read extensively on the era and by now I feel very at home in the mansions of Mayfair. But I still occasionally have to check up on little details. (I have a list of titles for the British nobility bookmarked on my computer for making sure I don’t confuse the various forms of address for a baronet or a viscount or a second son of a marquess. And there’s a wonderful online group of fellow Regency writers and academics who can usually answer any research question, no matter how arcane.)
Luckily, I tend to write unconventional heroines and devil-may-care heroes, who are usually breaking the rules … so I get to write a few new ones of my own!
For the complete article, visit http://books.usatoday.com/happyeverafter/post/2011-10-27/interview-cara-elliott-author-of-too-wicked-to-wed/558516/1