Please welcome GL Robinson to my blog. I’m happoy to have you here today for a chat. Please introduce yourself to those reading this blog post.Hello!
I’m GL Robinson, author of Regency Romances, and more recently a contemporary crime thriller set at Christmas.
Let me first explain why I use initials in my name. It’s a bit of a story. My name is Glynis Louise. When I was growing up I was always called Glynis. But at school I was made fun of for having a name that sounded like Guinness (the beer). There was an ad at the time: “Guinness is good for you”. Of course, I hated it. So when I went off to college I called myself Louise. That means that everyone who knows me from before I was 18 calls me Glynis and everyone since calls me Louise. I use GL to cover all the bases!
I’m originally from the UK, where I went to a convent boarding school with my sister because our father was working in Africa. I’ve lived in upstate New York for over 45 years with my American husband. I was a French professor at Ithaca College before I retired about 8 years ago. I have three children, including a pair of boy/girl twins, and seven grandchildren. None of them live nearby, I’m sorry to say!
Has writing always been part of your life and when did you “know” that it was time to start writing your first book?
No, I didn’t begin writing until three years ago. I was in my seventies. I began writing Regency Romances after the death of my beloved sister Francine who was in the convent with me all those years ago. We used to read Georgette Heyer, the doyenne of Regencies, under the covers with a torch after lights out. After my sister died (unexpectedly) in 2018 I had a compulsion to write a story. It came to me whole and entire. I felt it was her talking to me. All my Regencies are dedicated to her.
How difficult was it writing your first book?
As I said, it came to me whole and entire. It was easy! And I haven’t stopped since. I’ve published ten Regencies and one romance/thriller.
Have you ever wanted to give up and what stopped you?
No, I can’t stop. It comes pouring out of me! I don’t know why I didn’t do it before!
Who is the most supportive of you and your dream to be a writer?
My husband, although he doesn’t care for the Regency genre and he doesn’t read my books! The funny thing is, he writes now, too. During early Covid he was tired of seeing the back of my head as I was writing like a fiend at my computer. He had nothing to do – we couldn’t go out, see friends or even go the gym, as you know. So I said, “Why don’t you write a book?” And, you know, he did! He’s now written seven cozy mystery novellas set in Upstate New York. He’s even done the audio books himself! Now I only see the back of his head!! He writes under his own name FJ Donohue, and is on most major publishing platforms. But I don’t care for his books either, so I guess we’re even!
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I’d like my readers to know that their opinion matters to me. In all my books I have a note asking them to contact me. Although I write mostly romances and they’re really not very serious, I do try to be historically accurate and to include real issues of the times: child labor in factories, women’s education (or lack of it!) I really like to hear what people think, and I do take it on board.
What is the best advice given to you (book or otherwise), and by whom?
Audrey Harrison, a successful Regency writer whom I have never met but have emailed with ever since I began, said “Begin with a killer sentence!” That was good advice and I’ve tried to follow it. Then one of the many marketing gurus I’ve read (sorry, can’t remember which one!) said “Don’t forget, people read on their phones. Don’t make your paragraphs too long.” My paragraphs were HUGE! Now they’re much shorter!
What is your target audience and what aspect of your writing do you feel targets that audience?
I hope my work appeals to a wide range of people, but, as I already said, my husband doesn’t care for it, and I imagine he’s representative of much of the masculine population! I do have a few very dedicated male readers, though, and I’m very thankful for them. But I suppose the majority of my audience is educated women over the age of 40. To enjoy my books, you have to like history and a sort of ironic sense of humor, and not expect the stories to be constant action. They tend to develop fairly slowly. So I think that excludes a large portion of the younger generation, who like things to be more fast moving.
Did the cover evolve the same way, or did you work with someone to make it come together for you?
Hmm… covers are a tricky subject, and I’ve had readers say both that they hate mine and love them! I make my own, frankly for financial reasons. Writing is not a well-paid endeavor!! Another marketing guru I follow says that you have to have covers similar to other books in your genre, but for historical romances, that tends to be half-undressed women swooning in the arms of a gentleman whose shirt is open to the waist to reveal a muscular chest. I like a muscular chest as much as the next woman, but that idea simply doesn’t fit my style. The other style of cover for historical romances of the non-bodice-ripping style is a woman in a lovely dress walking away, but I don’t do that either! I choose my covers from artists’ work of the nineteenth century. They usually have a pretty lady shown face on, but I do try to make them fit the title. One of my recent books called The Lord and The Cat’s Meow features a cat called Horace, so I put a cat on the cover. No people at all, undressed or otherwise! Next year I’ve got one coming out called Lady Beatrix and Jack the Dog – at least, I think that’s what it will be called. I often ask my mailing list subscribers to choose titles and I’ll do that this time, for sure – and I’ve found a lovely picture of a pre-Raphaelite lady with a retriever.
What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt?
I’m re-issuing for Christmas a collection of short Regency stories with the title The Kissing Ball. As of December 3 it will be .99 cents for the ebook or $5 for the paperback. I think it would make a nice stocking stuffer; they really are cheerful, happy-ending stories, perfect for the season. These are the Amazon US/UK links:
Here’s a peek from the title story:
Quentin Stapleton’s heart, usually a most reliable of organs and not given to somersaults or leaps, fell to his brilliantly shiny boots.
“Your fiancé?” he repeated dumbly, “Who is he?”
“Nicholas Branson. This is where he lives, isn’t it?”
“Nicky Branson is your fiancé?” he said, unable to conceal his surprise.
“Yes. Why are you looking like that?”
“Oh, er… No reason. I’m just a little surprised. I… er know Nicky well and he… well, he never mentioned being betrothed to… er, you.”
“Well, he may have forgotten. It was all arranged so very long ago, you see, and I think our letter informing him of our coming may not have arrived. We heard nothing in return, but the post is very unreliable. And then Mama has been unwell, and couldn’t come this evening. She’s finding the cold weather quite a trial. She’s completely unused to it, of course, and has had a dreadful grippe.”
“Miss Wentworth, I know I must seem amazingly obtuse. Do I understand that Nicky may have forgotten he was betrothed to you and the letter reminding him may not have arrived? Arrived from where?”
“From India. Oh dear, I know it must seem a strange story.”
“Why don’t you sit down and tell me about it,” said Quentin, leading her to a small sofa set against the wall. “First I’ll send one of the footmen to look for Nicky. He’s probably… er, in the billiard room.”
In fact, he rather thought he was with his lady love, but he didn’t say so.
Of course, it all turns out well and everyone gets the partner they want, but you’ll have to read it to see how!!
Any last words before we wrap things up?
Yes! Please visit my website to check out all my books, listen to the first chapters and sign up for a free short story. That’s also the way to contact me if you’d like to be on my subscribers’ list or become an ARC reader. I promise not to contact you incessantly. I do ask your opinion on titles, send out previews and let you know what I’m up to.
Thank you and Happy Holidays!
GL Robinson Bio
I’m a product of a convent boarding school in the south of England in the 1950’s and early 60’s. You can probably guess I received an old-fashioned education. I learned a great deal about the humanities and practically nothing in the sciences. I understand Latin, speak French fluently and my German isn’t bad. I read the Canterbury Tales in the original Middle English when I was 16 and Shakespeare is an open book. But the only science I remember is the ditty: Miss Cummings (our teacher) was a scientist, alas she is no more, for what she took for H2O (water) was H2SO4 (sulphuric acid). Not bad, eh? Words to live by! I met my American husband while working in Brussels (Belgium) and Bonn (Germany) and had three children before coming to live permanently in the USA.
I’ve lived here in upstate New York for over 40 years, and I was French professor at Ithaca College. I love it here! It’s so beautiful! Upstate New York features in my first contemporary crime romance Santa Baby, a different type of Christmas story!
I began writing Regency Romances 18 months ago after the death of my beloved sister who was in the convent with me all those years ago. We used to read them under the covers with a torch after lights out. My Regency novels are dedicated to her.
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/GL-Robinson/e/B08113Q84K?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000
UK/USA Book links: The Kissing Ball: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08LDZZ7NX/ref=https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08LDZZ7NX/ref=dbs