Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Meet Becky Lower and Her Delightful Cotillion Ball Series.

Posted by Susan J Berger on 3:00:00 AM with 13 comments

Becky Lower caught my eye with her Cotillion Ball series. I’ve read several of them and enjoyed her writing and her knowledge of the period.  Becky, Please tell us a little about yourself.                                                                                             I was a typical bookworm growing up. Painfully shy and I had to be in a body cast for 9 monthswhen I was 12, so I stuck out like a sore thumb, much to my dismay. I retreated into writing then. My career got in the way for years, so I’d make up stories about my background and entertain people at parties and the bar. Placing second to Peggy Fleming in an ice skating competition was one of my favorite tall tales. Only when I was contemplating what to do in retirement did I decide to pick up a pen again and put my ideas on paper. Although by that time, it was a computer instead of a pen.

I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when a publisher told you they wanted to publish your book.                                                            It really was an anti-climax. As a newbie author, I submitted my work all over the place, hoping to catch someone’s eye. My email inbox was filled with rejections at every turn. I was on the phone with a fellow author and multi-tasking, getting rid of the negativity in my inbox when I was surprised to see Crimson Romance, a newly formed company of F&W Media, liked my book and wanted to offer me a contract! Both my friend and I thought it was a mistake. Surely they meant they wanted to see the full. But, I checked what had been sent, and they already had the full, which they read before extending the contract. Now, the series that started with that initial contract is coming to an end. Nine book plus a novella. What a ride. And what a grand one. I am sorry to see the series end.
You write about New York Society in the 1850’s. What drew you to that period?
My time period choice was a total fluke, and a lucky one for me. I love to read regencies, with the Cotillions and all the pomp, but my first love was American history. I recalled some of my friends from high school had been involved in the Cotillion and their coming-out balls, so I began to dig into when the tradition first made its way to the states. Turned out it was 1854 in New York City. Fortunately, that era was stuffed full of historic events, which led me to create the rest of the series.
Other than your own, who are your favorite (heroes/heroines/writers)?

Julia Quinn, of course. Love her Bridgeton series, which my series resembles in a lot of ways. I also am a huge fan of Jude Deveraux, and of course, I bow to Nora Roberts daily. Ditto for me. I love all three of them.

What is the most exciting moment, so far, in your writing career?
When I was 4 books into the series with Crimson, a new company head came on board. She decided to treat every author as if they were a new candidate and a few of the initial authors at Crimson were not given further contracts for their work. I was really nervous, since I was half-way through at this point, so I sent a note to the new person, and was offered a 5-book deal to finish out the series with them. Relief, excitement, and panic were in equal measure that day.

Any advice for new writers just starting out?

Learn your craft well. Take as many workshops as you can. If you even get only one tidbit from each, you’re ahead of the game. And your first book is your only chance to write what you want to write, since editors and agents will weigh in on future endeavors, so have fun with it.

Tell us about the final book in the series, The Forgotten Debutante


In 1863, America is war-weary. Fifteen-year-old Saffron Fitzpatrick, whose teenage years have been spent mourning the dead rather than dancing at her debutante ball, just wants to visit her beloved horse after being housebound due to the draft riots. A chance meeting with soldier Ezekiel Boone changes everything.

Three years ago, Ezekiel ran away with his older brothers to join the war effort, welcoming the chance for adventure. But when all four of his brothers die at Chancellorsville, he retreats home, despondent and depending on the kindness of strangers, like Saffron, who help him on the journey. They share a wild ride and a breathless kiss, parting with fond memories.

Fate reunites the couple three years later, and their former attraction rekindles as they discover unexpected common ground and begin to build a relationship. But though the war is over, a future together may still elude them … especially if Saffron’s older, protective brother and the U.S. Army have anything to say about it. 

You so beautifully meld historical events with romance. I can't wait to read this.

What’s your current WIP?
I’m working on three books simultaneously. They’re all in different stage of development. I have a historical set in Ohio in the 1860s, which features a secondary character from the Cotillion series, although this book is in no other way related to my series. I also have a contemporary set in the Finger Lakes region of New York, and I’m working on a contemporary Christmas novella set in Ohio.

Wow! Busy Lady!

And finally, where can we find you?
Website: www.beckylowerauthor.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/becky.lower
Twitter: http://twitter.com@BeckyLower1
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/authorbeckyl/
Blog: http://beckylowerauthor.blogspot.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6159227.Becky_Lower

Google+: https://plus.google.com/?gclid=Cj0KEQiAg7ayBRD8qqSGt-fj6uYBEiQAucjOwRV3YX7U9YEJt4AWl0oDZK8uJ6TCU3Tu1lKZJvVqQk0aAj7P8P8HAQ

Amazon page: http://amzn.to/1FOy3SdThe Forgotten Debutante  comes out on April 4th. You can pre-order it on Amazon here.
http://amzn.to/1V0b11r Thank you for being here, Becky. 

Becky is giving away a copy of  The Reluctant Debutante ,Book 1 of the Cotillion Ball series.
Leave Becky a comment telling her who your favorite author is.  I put it in a Rafflecopter because that way you don't have put your email address in the comments. Happy Reading.

13 comments :

  1. Thank you, Susan, for inviting me here today. I enjoyed answering your questions. I hope Peggy Fleming doesn't mind me using her as a foil in my storytelling.

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  2. I have several favorite authors, including Becky. I started out reading historicals by Kathleen Woodiwiss. After writing mainly contemporary, I'm working on my first historical. I love the research!

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    1. Hi Tina. Thanks for visiting here today. I love Kathleen Woodwiss, too. I'm glad you're working on a historical. I can get lost in the research at the expense of writing the story. It's a fine line.

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  3. Becky, that was a delightful interview!
    I have been in love with Jane Austen & the Bronte sisters since I was a child! Of course, one cannot help but delve into a good Barbara Cartland...
    I admit, I haven't read your books before, yet, my interest has definitely been piqued!

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  4. Becky, that was a delightful interview!
    I have been in love with Jane Austen & the Bronte sisters since I was a child! Of course, one cannot help but delve into a good Barbara Cartland...
    I admit, I haven't read your books before, yet, my interest has definitely been piqued!

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    1. Thanks, Elizabeth, for visiting today. I love the Bronte sisters, too. In fact, one of my contemporaries is called Blame It On The Brontes, about 3 sisters who are forced to live together in adulthood in order to get their inheritance. It was a great deal of fun to write.

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  5. The Civil War period has always fascinated me. The idea of brother turning against brother. I look forward to reading this stirring tale.
    Tema Merback
    Writing as Belle Ami

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    1. Thanks Tema/Belle. The Civil War has spawned a lot of stories, good and bad. I love the era.

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  6. Great interview, ladies! Working on three novels at once?? I bow at YOUR feet, Becky. Congrats on your success.

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    1. Thanks, Beth! I guess I have ADHD a bit, since I need stimulation from all kinds of stories.

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  7. This is a hard question. I like a variety of types of stories from cozies to romantic suspense, some of which happen to be historical, author's like Debbie McComber and Hallee Bridgeman. To keep them straight, I've set up my own card catalog of books I have read and TBR. Thanks for this opportunity.

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    1. Thanks, Nancy, for visiting. I try to read a lot of different sub-genres too.

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