A blush creeps into her cheeks as she tears her gaze away from me. “Sorry for staring.”
Izzy doesn’t need to apologize. And she certainly doesn’t need to be shy. She’s allowed to stare at whatever the hell she wants to whenever the fuck she feels like it. I may be ashamed of some scars on my body, but never the ones I earned protecting her.
I’m always looking for ways to improve my social media skills and be as engaging as possible with my readers, and fellow authors, on Facebook. I want to get the most out of every single thing I post, and I have a super obsessive need to reply to EVERY single comment anyone makes on my posts, sometimes in takeovers that can be over 100!!
Anyways, I’m always wanting to improve, so I’m always looking for articles or advice on what I can do better, I came across . . .
Thank you so much for joining us today! Please introduce yourself!
Good day, thank you for having me. My name is Jessica Drummond; oh sorry it was, now I’m Jessica Barrington.
Tell us who you are and what you do!
I am a young woman living in the Regency period in England. It is 1819 and I am the daughter of a shipping merchant. My brother now owns the company and, at the beginning of this tale, I worked for him at the shipyard.
Are you the main character in the story or a supporting role?
I suppose I must be one of the main characters, I appear rather frequently in this story.
What do you do for a living?
Now I am the district assistant to Dr Theo Elliott, covering Oak Stanton and its surrounds Previously, I worked at my brother’s shipyard, for which I received a little coin, and also volunteered at St Bart’s Hospital, helping in any way I could, with those veterans of the recent wars who suffer from long-term injuries, both physical and mental.
How old are you?
‘Tis not polite to ask a lady her age, but you seem very nice, so just this once. I am two and twenty
Tell us about your story. What is it about and what role do you play?
This is a love story, but not one that is all smooth sailing. I suppose I am one of the central characters – I am a city girl, used to the hustle of London. The man I fall in love with, Duncan, lives a much quieter life in the country, and we meet because of a puppy. He lost his hand in the recent wars, still suffers from dark days resulting from the trauma, and believes himself unworthy of a great love. That’s tosh, and it took quite some time and several steaming arguments for him to realise the feelings growing between us could be trusted and would endure. I decided to volunteer at one of the London hospital specialising in the trauma care of returned soldiers in the hope it would give me a better insight into what he has to deal with. What I learned was invaluable, but also brought me into contact with another who believed me to be his dead wife. There were a few hairy moments, but eventually I get my HEA.
Can you tell us about one of your most distinguishable features?
I think myself quite unremarkable, but Duncan tells me my eyes are what first captivated him. He says they are like rare gems, and always sparkling – he certainly knows how to charm.
Do you have any birthmarks or tattoos?
No birthmarks. As for tattoos, goodness me no – the very idea, although I do believe they are popular among sailors.
Would you ever want to go hang out with your author? If so, what would you do together?
I presume by ‘go hang out’ you mean spend time in each other’s company? Well, of course, you only have to read my story to know she obviously cares deeply for me and I know we would have fun. I would love to show her the Parthenon exhibition at the museum, for I believe she loves history, and it is a fascinating display. Maybe treat her to an ice at Gunther’s, or take her for a carriage ride around Hyde Park. Oh there are so many things we could enjoy together.
If you could have a super power what would it be, and why?
Healing. I worked with those whose injuries prevent them living a normal life. To heal their wounds, to be able to alleviate their suffering would be a most precious gift.
What is your biggest pet peeve when dealing with others?
People being disrespectful and judgmental.
What would I love the most about you?
Hmmm, I have no idea. I try to be bright and cheerful, spontaneous, loving and loyal. Actually that makes me sound like Trixie, my adored and very spoilt dog. She’s the puppy I rescued, the day I met Duncan. Perhaps that’s what you’d love most…that I plunge headlong into things without thinking, makes for an interesting life. Maybe it would be better to ask my family, or Duncan. I think that’s hard to answer.
What would I hate the most about you?
Well, I can be frustrating and rather quick-tempered, oh and I tend to be quite opinionated. ‘Hate’ is a strong word though. I wouldn’t wish anyone to hate me.
Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?
Yes, I do. Maybe she was kinder to me than I deserve.
What is your idea of a perfect day?
A carriage ride in the countryside with Duncan, a picnic in the shade of a tree and maybe a few stolen kisses. I love it when Duncan kisses me; he’s a very good kisser.
What is your greatest fear?
Being buried alive, and of late, enclosed spaces.
Someone is secretly in love with you. Who is it and how do you feel about that?
Oh, hmm, well, I have been given to understand the doctor at St Bart’s harboured an affection for me. I didn’t realise, otherwise it might have made our working alongside each other a little awkward, especially as I was in love with another. It is flattering, I suppose, but I wouldn’t want him to be hurt. Thankfully, he fell in love with my friend Meredith, so it turned out for the best.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
That wasn’t something I ever really thought about. Women in my era rarely have ambitions beyond surviving childhood, and eventually making a good marriage. I think, for a while, I wanted to be a sea captain like my father and remember being having a tantrum when informed it wasn’t permissible.
If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?
Spend the day with my husband and my family.
What is the one food you can’t live without?
Ginger biscuits, they are my weakness.
If they turned the book into a movie, who would be cast to play you?
I have no idea what a movie is. Oh, wait, my author just explained, ‘tis similar to a theatrical production? Let me think, goodness, you are lucky to have such a wonderful choice of actresses. I think maybe Gemma Atherton, she is so lovely and would make me seem far attractive than I really am.
Thank you for this interview! I’d like to know more about you as a person first. What do you do when you’re not writing?
Thank you for having me! I love to catch up with friends, lose myself in a good book – or 3, walk our dog, (as well as all that boring stuff like housework…to be avoided as much as possible) – travel, oh and discovering great coffee spots!
When did you start writing?
In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?
Oh, I wish – no not specifically, but for the majority of settings in any of my books, I have previously visited all of them at least once.
As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?
The first time someone told me they loved my book. That another person enjoyed the story I had created, that I have poured my heart into, was as though all my Christmases had come at once.
What is your favorite part about writing Regency romance and what is your least favorite?
Hmmm, tough question! I think my favourite part is ensuring everything about my characters fits into the time period. How they think and speak, social conventions, etiquette, fashions, communications and transportation. It’s a challenge but so much fun.
I don’t actually have a least favourite, although it can be hard remembering my characters wouldn’t use much of the slang we use, like ‘okay,’ and they don’t have electricity, mobile phones, cars, the Internet and all those other things we take for granted.
I was the little nerdette with a library card in my kindergarten hand, reading the kiddie books and planning what I would write. Come college time accounting seemed a more certain way to bring in a dollar so journalism was a minor. Writing was put on the back burner while dollars were made and kids and parents were raised, however, reading was always on the front burner. Probably my biggest influences would be Susan Howatch, Diana Gabaldon and Margaret Mitchell. A conversation with my husband 20 years earlier about suicide vs. murder percolated in the back of my mind and then announced it wanted to be written. I obeyed and out came The Doctor’s Daughter: Journey to Justice. The history of Nashville during the Civil War is just so interesting and so important at that time but most people won’t sit down with a history book so I sneaked the history and the antebellum law and medicine in with a good story. The story continues with a second book, The Doctor’s Daughter: The Choice.
Curiosity got the best of me. I just had to know. “Is it true you cut up dead people for practice?”
He seemed entertained by the question. “Yes, that’s true.”
I turned toward him. “Where do you get them?”
“I don’t know. It’s against the law to dig people up but there is no law against importing bodies from somewhere else. They arrive at the school in some odd packages. You never know what you are going to find when a crate or big bag arrives. So we just don’t ask any questions.”
“I really enjoy the surgery on live people much more. I was one of hundreds who got to watch a brain tumor being removed recently.”
I had no idea what the appropriate response to seeing a brain tumor removed would be so I sat silently, watching the familiar buildings go by as we got closer to town. I spoke this time. “So why did you go to the bee and why did you invite me tonight?”
“The usual reasons,” he said with a hook on the end, like I was asking a redundant question.
“What usual reasons?”
“The same reason any other man would. You understand.”
“Actually no, I don’t,” I said sharply, fearing what he was going to say, wondering what horrible things he had presumed of me, perhaps making assumptions due to my notoriety.