As seen in the April issue of Uncaged Book Reviews.

Uncaged: The Wicked Marquis is the fifth book in the Blackhaven Brides series. Can you tell readers more about the series?

Blackhaven Brides is a light, fun Regency romance series set in a newly fashionable spa town by the sea in the very north of England. Here, the visiting great and the bad of Regency society turn local life upside down with romance, adventure and mystery. And many HEAs 🙂

Uncaged: How many books are you planning for the series?

There will be at least 9 altogether. Book 6, The Wicked Governess should come out some time in April.

Uncaged: When I read historicals, I am always amazed at the level of research the authors have to do to keep them as authentic as possible. How much research time is involved with writing a historical for you?

It depends on the story. I have written historical novels that have needed a LOT of research, not just on background, but on actual people (such as Vlad the Impaler and Hereward the Wake) and details of historical events about which there might be very little written, or there might tons of information to plough through. Because it’s set in a fictitious town, the Blackhaven Brides series isn’t too heavy on research time, because most of what I need is background information that can be reused – clothes and customs etc, plus odd questions that crop up when I’m writing.

Uncaged: Do you read your reviews? What do you take away from them?

I do read them, avidly! And gratefully, for the most part :). I can’t help being deliriously happy over the favourable ones, and utterly downhearted over the negatives. Some people have advised me not to read reviews for the sake of my sanity, but actually I find them helpful in giving me an overall feel for what people like in the books, and what they don’t. Not that I change my style, story or anything else on the basis of one review! But something picked up by several might make me rethink for the future.

Uncaged: Can you tell us what you have coming up next?

Well, there’s The Wicked Governess, and then 3 more Blackhaven Brides books to come! I also have a contribution to The Marriage Maker series to come soon. And hopefully toward the end of the year, another historical novel set in Scotland.

Uncaged: What is one of the nicest things someone has said to you about your books?

I’ve been very lucky in attracting some very kind comments about my books! But here’s a recent one on The Wicked Marquis from an Amazon reader review:

“I continue to be amazed by Mary Lancaster’s writing talent! …one of those special books that you can’t wait to read all over again, in order to savor the beauty and the sweetness of it!”

How nice is that? 🙂

Uncaged: What is your favorite parts about being an author? What have you found to be the least favorite?

I like the justification for living in my imagination :). I love writing and story-telling, so it’s my ideal job! I suppose my least favourite part is the marketing. I find it difficult and I’m not very good at it, but it is a necessary part of making a living as a writer.

Uncaged: What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

Spend time with my family and friends, binge-watch tv series or films, eat, drink, travel. And read solely for pleasure!

Uncaged: What is the hardest part of a book to write? What is the easiest? From start to finish, how long does it take to finish a complete book?

Hmm, I’m just not consistent. I usually find at least one area of each book hard to write, but it isn’t always the same part! Sometimes, the opening just won’t work, which means the rest of the book is in trouble. Other times, I find myself floundering in the middle, or I can’t find a climactic enough finish. Or the chemistry between my characters isn’t working for me… That’s where the perspiration takes over from the inspiration! But when it works, when the characters take over and all but write the book themselves, that’s the best bit, even when they’re going in a direction I never intended 🙂

As to how long it takes to write a book, that’s inconsistent with me, too! Including research, some books have taken me well over a year. Other books, if things are going well, I can finish in as little as 4 weeks.

Uncaged: What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you?

I’d like to say a huge thank you for reading my books and allowing me to do what I love every day! Without you, there would be no point :). If you want to stay in touch – and I hope you do! – you can find me at my social media links!

Mary Lancaster lives in Scotland with her husband, three mostly grown-up kids and a small, crazy dog. Her first literary love was historical fiction, a genre which she relishes mixing up with romance and adventure in her own writing. Several of her novels feature actual historical characters as diverse as Hungarian revolutionaries, medieval English outlaws, and a family of eternally rebellious royal Scots. To say nothing of Vlad the Impaler. Her most recent books are light, fun Regency romances written for Dragonblade Publishing: The Imperial Season series set at the Congress of Vienna; and the popular Blackhaven Brides series, which is set in a fashionable English spa town frequented by the great and the bad of Regency society.