Regency Silk and Scandal is a unique 8 book author generated Regency continuity, featuring an ongoing mystery murder plot that runs through the whole series. It's about three friends, two scandalous affairs, and one secret code that leads to murder, disgrace and revenge. The stories will captivate the reader as they travel from the Cornish Coast to the heights of Hertfordshire, and from the ballrooms of London to the battlefields of Belgium.
Kari: What was it like for you in brainstorming an 8 book mystery plot?
Annie: Part of being a writer is “world-building”. But on this project, the characters existed not only in my own imagination, but also in the minds of five other writers. We often had, what to non-writers must have seemed like bizarre email exchanges. For example, one day I emailed the others with the query: “My heroine has just gone to her half-brother’s house, and the door has been opened by an Indian manservant. Anybody got any idea where he came from?”Immediately, Louise Allen (I think) came back with a whole episode in the half-brother’s backstory where he picked up the servant and that is how Akash got absorbed into our collective consciousness. I've just read a passage in Book 3 "The Smuggler and the Society Bride" where Julia Justiss has described him exactly as I first envisioned him. It's almost impossible to describe what it feels like to see one of your characters step into the pages of someone else's work. As I've been reading the series as it comes out, I have quite often made my husband jump by yelling out "Yes!" or just bursting out laughing in delight when another author's depiction chimes so exactly with my own imagination it sends goose bumps over my skin.
Kari: Can you tell us about your book in the series?
Annie: The heroine of my book “The Viscount and the Virgin” is the daughter of the man whose murder sparked off the whole chain of events. When we began to discuss the series, we discovered an enthusiasm for murder mysteries by the likes of Agatha Christie, and even the board game Cluedo. Usually, at the opening of these murder mysteries, we see the suspects lining up, usually because the person about to be murdered is such an unlikeable character they are bound to make enemies. So I imagined my heroine’s father as the kind of man anyone crossing his path would be sorely tempted to bump off. And from there, what such a man would be like as a husband and father. The repercussions of being part of Baron Framlingham’s family not only blighted the remainder of his widow’s life, but also cast a deep shadow upon his only surviving child, a daughter, Imogen. In fact, she ended up with so many insecurities that I then had to find a most remarkable man to meet all her needs. You’re going to have to read it for yourself, and let me know if Monty measures up!
Kari: Is this something you would ever do again, and any tips for authors thinking about co-writing a book or contributing to a connected series such as this one?
Annie: Again?! Oh, we already have collaborated on a short online read for the eharlequin website, “Seduced by the Dark Stranger”. (You will be able to find it in the archives of online reads on the eharlequin website, or on my own website, http://www.annie-burrows.co.uk/) In fact, going back to writing on my own, after being part of such a fantastic collaboration left me with withdrawal symptoms! So I leapt at the opportunity to work with the Silk and Scandal Continuistas again.We wrote “Seduced by the Dark Stranger” round robin style, rather than us all writing simultaneously, so it was, yet again, a fascinating experience. Rather like being part of a supportive, and very knowledgeable critique group.Tips – I think what made this such a positive experience was the willingness to be open and honest with one another. And discovering we shared a sense of humour. That definitely helped us maintain our sanity throughout the sheer hard work involved.