Today the interview is with another author of period novels. Already with a good brand in the literary market and several published books, today’s interview is with Courtney Milan.
First, thank you for the opportunity to talk with you. Have you always wanted to be an author?
I wanted to be an author when I was very young, but it didn’t last. I went to graduate school in chemistry and then I went to law school. I decided to be an author after all of that. It was kind of a roundabout way.
In Portugal, unfortunately, only the Brothers Sinister series are translated. How was it for you to write this series?
This is one of my favorite series that I’ve written. I think it will always occupy a special place in my heart, because I feel like it helped me discover who I was as a person as well as an author.
The female characters in these books are very strong, what was the inspiration for them?
I don’t know that I can answer this. I think I look for plots where strong female characters are the norm. I don’t know if I know how to not write strong female characters.
Which of the four is your favorite?
I really love Violet from the Countess Conspiracy. She is prickly and hard and oh so vulnerable underneath.
What kind of research did you do for these books?
It depends very heavily on the book, but there are two things I love doing.
- Visiting the places where the books are set so I have a sense of place;
- Reading historical newspapers from the place and time where the books are set, so I have a sense of what everyday life felt like.
A very difficult question to ask but what is your favourite novel from those you’ve written, or what was the most exciting to write?
I currently have a very soft spot in my heart for The Duke Who Didn’t.
What is the characteristic you like most about historical romances?
I feel like since they happen in the past, people know that everything turned out okay, and it gives me space to play with themes that we still confront in the present in a way that we can’t really today.
Did you ever think that your books would be translated into several languages?
Well, this will sound arrogant, but yes. When I started writing romance novels with the intent of getting them published, I thought I would be able to get all the things. I’ve learned my lesson on some of them—I don’t think it’s likely my books will ever be movies—but for others the universe has been kind enough to deliver. J
How important is the reader’s opinion to you?
In general, I care that people like my books! But specifically, part of being an author is that someone is going to love your books and someone else is going to hate them. The further you go on, the more daunting this becomes. If people really love your books, the pressure increases to keep delivering more books they love, and the more people there are, the more that pressure exists. At some point, you have to be able to turn all that off in your head. I write something that I am going to love, and I can no longer let myself think about what readers think, or I cannot write at all.
What authors have you most admired and have had an influence on you?
There are too many to really mention all of them! Lois McMaster Bujold is one of my all time favorites—I read her Miles Vorkosigan series probably 40-50 times (not a typo). Robin McKinley’s The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown was really important to me growing up as well. In romance, I adore Rebekah Weatherspoon, Alyssa Cole, Tessa Dare, and probably dozens more. I wish I could list everyone.
What advice would you give to aspiring or debut authors?
Can you give us any insights into any future books or projects that you’re working on?
I’m working on the next book set in Wedgeford (after The Duke Who Didn’t)—hopefully this will be translated into Portuguese soon.
Finally, what would you like to say to Portuguese readers?
Thank you all so much for reading my books and enjoying them!
Know more about Courtney