Interview with Anna Bradley, author of Lady Eleanor’s Seventh Suitor
06 Sep 2017
What can you tell us about your new release, Lady Eleanor’s Seventh Suitor?
Lady Eleanor’s Seventh Suitor is, first and foremost, a love story, but these two strong-willed characters face a number of challenges before they earn their happily-ever-after, including blackmail, revenge, a sham courtship, and a hero with a decades-old secret that could destroy everything in its path.
Lady Eleanor Sutherland has earned the nickname Lady Ice because of the number of suitors she’s rejected. She’s made a promise to herself to only marry for love, but so far the best London has to offer are fortune hunters, lechers, gamers and drunks. As awful as her other six suitors have been, though, not one of them has ever tried to blackmail her into marriage!
That is, until Camden West comes along. The way Cam sees it, the Sutherland family owes him a debt, and Lady Eleanor’s going to pay it by becoming his wife. There’s no way she can refuse his proposals without risking her family’s happiness, but there’s one thing Cam didn’t count on, and it threatens all his carefully laid plans.
He never expected to fall in love with Ellie.
Instead of the true love Ellie’s always dreamed of, she’s trapped in the middle of a nightmare with a green-eyed villain who’d determined to make her his bride. But love can turn nightmares into dreams, and villains into heroes, if only Ellie can open her eyes in time to see the man she despises may be the only man she can’t live without.
Who is your favorite couple from literature?
It changes depending on what I’m reading or writing at the moment, but I’m a long-time, die-hard Jane Austen fan, so even though it’s a cliché, I’m going to go ahead and say I will always love Darcy and Elizabeth, and Colonel Wentworth and Anne. That said, I think my favorite couple at the moment is Newland Archer and Ellen Olenska from Edith Wharton’s Age of Innocence. As everyone who’s read the book or seen the movie knows, Newland and Ellen don’t get their happily-ever-after, but their love feels very real to me, and maybe even more beautiful because it’s never fully realized. These two break my heart every time!
What or who inspired you to become an author?
I think I’m like many other writers in that I started as a reader. Even when I was a kid I preferred reading to watching TV, and that’s still true today. It makes me really boring to talk to at parties because I’ve never seen the latest episodes of Walking Dead or Game of Thrones (thought I admit I have a crush on John Snow). So this dedication I have to reading led to a master’s in English Literature, which led to a career of teaching writing, which (naturally!) led to a career writing fiction.
What is a typical day like for you?
Exhausting! Now to be fair, that has as much to do with being a mother as it does with being a writer. I get up at 4 a.m. (yes, you read that right!) and work on social media for several hours before I wake up my kids and get them off to school. Then I sit down in my office and write for the next six to eight hours until it’s time to start running kids from sports practices to piano lessons and back. Glamorous, isn’t it? That 6-8 hour writing stint can feel pretty long on some days, which is why I always laugh when people ask me if I wait until I’m inspired before I start to write. No! I write every day, no matter what, so I guess I’d have to say I write to get inspired.
If you could have dinner with anyone, alive or dead, who would you choose and why?
I think I’d have to start with Alan Rickman. I was so sad when he passed away, not only because he was such an amazing Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility (though he was—no one yearns as well as Alan Rickman!), but also because he’s so outstanding in everything he does, whether it’s Jane Austen or Harry Potter. And that voice! Low, deep, sexy—no one had a voice like Alan Rickman’s. Aside from Alan, I’d choose Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, Edith Wharton and Dorothy Parker to come to my dinner. Imagine that conversation!
Where is your happy place? Why does it bring you joy?
Okay, this is going to sound lame, but I’m going to say it anyway. My happy place is in my bed, at night, with the lights off and my Kindle in my hands. I get all tucked into my covers and fall into whatever story I happen to be reading at the time. I take so much joy in books. Deep down, I’ll always be a devoted reader!
What scene in Lady Eleanor’s Seventh Suitor was your favorite to write?
Let me see … it’s tough to pick just one. I love writing scenes with sensual tension, but the scenes that come easiest to me are the ones with humor and dialogue. So that’s a pretty wide net, but one scene I had a great time with is the scene where Cam takes Eleanor to the Royal Academy. One of the reasons I like this scene is because it’s historically accurate. That exhibit really did take place in London in the spring of 1815, and every painting I mention in the scene was actually part of the exhibit. I love it when history and romance intersect in that way! But I also love that scene because there’s some great banter between the characters. Eleanor is pretending to be dull-witted to discourage Cam’s marriage proposal, and Cam knows Ellie’s up to something, but he doesn’t yet know what, so there’s a fun cat-and-mouse quality to it, and it really reveals the quirks in their characters.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
You mean aside from “If Mom’s office door is closed, enter at your own peril”?
Okay, serious answer now! I have many different philosophies and mottos, and they all resonate with me at different times, but there’s a quote by Stephen King that always makes my breath catch a little:
“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”
Stephen King is insanely quotable when he talks about writing, but for me this is about life, not just about writing. I love the hope it captures, and I also love that ultimately, King reminds us it’s on us to step up to achieve our goal, whatever they may be. We have to be brave enough to take the first step. After all, every book starts with only one word, right?
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