Friday, August 14, 2015

Author interview with Ayr Bray

Welcome to our author interview with Ayr Bray --
When did you start reading, and what's your favorite book? 
My parents say I started reading very young, younger than all of my siblings though they cannot remember when exactly. Growing up the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries were among my favorite, but from about 14 on, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen has held the number one place for my all-time favorite book.
When did you start writing, and what do you like to write best? 
I wrote my first short story when I was nine years old and continued to pursue writing short stories and poetry until I graduated from high school. My mother most inspired me. Although she never published her writing, she penned six novels. I always wanted to be like her.

For years I abandoned my passion for writing while I attended college, worked, got married, and started having children. I renewed my passion when I was confined to my bed for seven months during my second pregnancy. That is when I wrote my first novel. Two years later it was published and the rest is history.


I love to write historical fiction because the eras intrigue me. I love to research the politics, society, dress, and language of the era. I love to write Jane Austen adaptations because Pride and Prejudice has long been a favorite of mine, and the community of readers and writers in this genre are like a family. I love the sense of belonging to a community of readers and writers.
Where is your favorite place to write? What helps you to write? (music, no music, etc.) 
My favorite place to write is not where I get to do most of my writing. I love to sail and my favorite place to write is on the bow of our sailboat, but the past few years our sailing has been limited as my husband, two sons, and I sold our home and began traveling the USA in our rv. Now, I write wherever I can. One week I write in Florida, another week in California. My one constant is that I sit at a tiny little writing desk built into my 240 square ft mobile house (rv).


What's your favorite tv show, past or present? 
I will have to say Star Trek Voyager. In college, when my husband and I were first married, we used to watch an episode every night. I have fond memories of the series.


What's your all time favorite movie? 
The 1995 Pride and Prejudice mini series starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. A close runner up is North and South.
Who or what has had the greatest influence on your writing?
My mother most inspired me. Although she never published her writing, she penned six novels when I was growing up. I always wanted to be like her. 
What are some of your favorite writer places on the internet? (groups, websites, forums, pages, blogs, etc.) 
I love Martha Alderson’s Plot Whisperer blog and YouTube writing videos. http://marthaalderson.com/

Wikipedia is another place I love to do research.


English Historical Fiction Authors is another place I hang out. http://englishhistoryauthors.blogspot.com/


I am also a member of a couple Facebook reader and writing groups targeted at Regency Romance readers and writers.

Just for fun - if you could be any fictional character, who would you want to be? (either from movies, tv shows, books, comics, cartoons, etc.) 
Elizabeth Bennet!
Tell us about what you're working on now, or your latest release? 
I always have four or five books in process, but my main project right now is my Pemberley collection. This is a collection of stand-alone novellas which all take place at Pemberley they first year of Darcy and Elizabeth’s marriage. The fun part about this collection is that each story reads like an episode of your favorite tv show.
Cowardly Witness was book 1 in the collection. In it, Matthew Poe is the only witness in a case of murder and corruption in the lead mining industry. After an attempt is made on his life, he seeks refuge at Pemberley. When Mr. Poe’s secret is revealed with disastrous consequences, Darcy has to protect not only those he loves, but also the witness. He is forced to make some hard decisions.  
Pompous Schemes is book 2 in the collection. It picks up a few weeks after book 1 ends. Book 2 has less criminal activity and more of a love story.
Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam is Mr. Darcy’s cousin. On his way to attend a fox hunt he is thrown from his horse and left to find his way to Pemberley on foot. He is offered a ride by the de Bourbon’s a family he knew years ago. When their carriage is robbed, the lady’s dowry stolen, and Lord Agen is injured, Colonel Fitzwilliam directs the driver to take them to Pemberley where the Darcy’s take them in and offer refuge and a place to heal. 
There are plots and schemes afoot though and those at Pemberley become entangled amongst them.
Presently I am working on book 3; Blinded Recluse. The book begins with Elizabeth visiting a Pemberley tenant who just had a baby. With this opening, I begin to show Elizabeth’s motherly instincts and her desire to have children. On her way home, her carriage comes upon an accident where a father is seriously injured and a little girl is stranded in the river. We learn the little girl and her father were on their way to find her estranged grandfather.
The Darcy’s take in the father and his daughter and provide him a safe place to convalesce while Mr. Darcy takes it upon himself to find the grandfather who is a recluse and wants nothing to do with people in general, even his own kin.
Book 3 in the collection tugs a little more on the heartstrings than either book 1 or 2 did.

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