Today we’re honored to have the fabulous historical romance author Eloisa James as our Honorary Chick. Most of you probably know Eloisa writes stunning Regency romance with funny and sometimes misguided heroines and wonderfully alpha heroes. Recently she released My American Duchess and I have to say, I loved this book. For these reasons and so many more, we crown Eloisa James as an Honorary Chick.
AS ~ Welcome Eloisa. The KickAss Chicks are thrilled to have you here.
EJ ~ Thank you! I’m thrilled to be here.
AS ~ Since February is the month when everyone’s attention turns to romance, let’s start with something fun. What’s your ideal way to spend a Valentine’s Day date?
EJ ~ At a spa resort alone with my husband. We would have a couples massage (that’s a fantasy right there, because we tried it once, and Alessandro hated being massaged), and then I would have every other treatment they had in the whole place, and then we would go out for an elegant dinner.
AS ~ It’s nice to dream even at poor Alessandro’s expense. 😉
AS ~ Can you tell us a little about your latest book, My American Duchess?
EJ ~ My heroine, Merry, is an American, pursued by a duke who is very, very English. It was a lot of fun to write: Merry and Trent create a lot of fireworks, and then there’s a cast of snooty English lords and ladies. Add in an adorable rescue dog, a rented pineapple, and a poetic aunt… I’m very proud to say that My American Duchess is #6 on the New York Times bestseller list—which I attribute to the fact that a lot of people are looking for a sexy story that makes them laugh!
AS ~ Eloisa, after all these years writing lovely English heroines, why did you decide to write about an American?
EJ ~ London itself! My family and I were living in London all last year. All of the awkwardness in the book was taken from real experiences. I learned about the practice of renting pineapple for dinner parties while visiting a historic house, and instantly realized that a young American lady would have no idea that a pineapple on the dinner table could be rented—she would definitely ask for a slice. And cause a scandal by doing so!
AS ~ We’re all dying to know, what’s up next for you?
EJ ~ Seven Minutes in Heaven will be out next February. This is the follow up to Four Nights with the Duke and is the story of Eugenia and Ward. They were children featured in the original Desperate Duchess series. I’m writing it now and having such a great time with it.
AS ~ Well, I know I can’t wait for this one. Thanks so much for joining us today. You definitely fit the bill as an honorary chick. We wish you all the best with My American Duchess and Seven Minutes in Heaven.
For those of you who need a bit more Eloisa, here’s some Fast Facts:
Eloisa James is a professor of English literature, specializing in Shakespeare. She teaches at Fordham University in New York City. Oxford University Press published her academic book in 2000. After graduating from Harvard University, Eloisa got an M.Phil. from Oxford University, a Ph.D. from Yale.
With the exception of a year in Paris, and another in London, Eloisa lives in New York City during the school year and in Florence, Italy, during the summer. Her husband is a cavaliere, an Italian knight.
Eloisa James is the daughter of poet Robert Bly (winner of the American Book Award for Poetry) and short story author Carol Bly. Her father is a big fan.
Eloisa James’s godfather was the poet James Wright, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his Collected Poems. Among those poems – and one of Wright’s most beloved – is a poem written for his goddaughter, Mary Bly (aka Eloisa James).
New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James writes historical romances for HarperCollins Publishers. Her novels have been published to great acclaim. A reviewer from USA Today wrote of Eloisa’s very first book that she “found herself devouring the book like a dieter with a Hershey bar”; later People Magazine raved that “romance writing does not get much better than this.” Her novels have repeatedly received starred reviews from Publishers’ Weekly and Library Journal and regularly appear on the best-seller lists. After being a finalist for a RITA—the top award in the genre of romance fiction awarded by the Romance Writers of America—over ten times, she won in 2013.
After graduating from Harvard University, Eloisa got an M.Phil. from Oxford University, a Ph.D. from Yale and eventually became a Shakespeare professor, publishing an academic book with Oxford University Press. Her “double life” is a source of fascination to the media and her readers. In her professorial guise, she’s written a New York Times op-ed defending romance, as well as articles published everywhere from women’s magazines such as More to writers’ journals such as the Romance Writers’ Report.