Finally today, as it’s Wednesday, here’s a wonderful Meet the Author interview for you. Today I’m talking with the lovely Elizabeth St.John about exciting family history, threatened kidnappings, love at first sight, her most recent book Written In Their Stars and more…..
Tell us a bit about yourself:
Elizabeth St.John spends her time between California, England, and the past. A best-selling author, historian and genealogist, she has tracked down family papers and residences from Lydiard Park and Nottingham Castle to Richmond Palace and the Tower of London. Although the family sold a few country homes along the way (it’s hard to keep a good castle going these days), Elizabeth’s family still occupy them – in the form of portraits, memoirs, and gardens that carry their imprint. And the occasional ghost. But that’s a different story…
What inspired you to start writing and where do you get your ideas?
I have a family rich in history, with all kinds of exciting stories stretching back a thousand years into the past. We have great records and archives at our family seat of Lydiard Park in Wiltshire, England. When I discovered the memoirs of Lucy St.John and her family in a four-hundred-year-old diary at Nottingham Castle, I knew I had to write her story. This became The Lydiard Chronicles, my English Civil War family saga.
How many books have you written and published?
I’ve written three full length novels, three novelettes and several short stories in the past six years. Making up for lost time!
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
Too many to think about! I started out as a journalist covering the UN, became the event manager for the Boston Red Sox, ran my own ad agency, developed residential and commercial construction projects, sold international real estate, became a strategic analyst in the healthcare and pharmaceutical world, and, most importantly, raised my daughter. I met a lot of interesting characters along the way – some of which are in my novels!
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
Being threatened with kidnapping by a sheikh and having to hide in the trunk of a car and be smuggled on to a plane to escape capture. That was a close one (and another book one day).
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
Start sooner. Write for yourself, not other people. And believe in your dreams. They do come true.
If you were given a boat, what would you name it and why?
Serendipity. It’s been my life’s journey. And, our family motto is “following my destiny”. I like to think the two are related.
Do you believe in love at first sight?
Yes, for that’s how I met my husband, thirty years ago. Our eyes met across an airport terminal (it was tiny, we were in Turks and Caicos!) and after sitting together on a two hour flight back to Miami, I knew this was the man I would spend the rest of my life with!
What is your favourite time to write, and why?
Early early morning. My cat keeps me company. My dog is snoring. And the world is full of promise.
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
My most recent book is the third novel in The Lydiard Chronicles. Although they are written chronologically, they can be read as standalone stories. Written in Their Stars is available worldwide on Amazon, Kobo and other online retailers in e-book and paperback format.
London, 1649. Horrified eyewitnesses to King Charles’s bloody execution, Royalists Nan Wilmot and Frances Apsley plot to return the king’s exiled son to England’s throne, while their radical cousin Luce, the wife of king-killer John Hutchinson, rejoices in the new republic’s triumph. Nan exploits her high-ranking position as Countess of Rochester to manipulate England’s great divide, flouting Cromwell and establishing a Royalist spy network; while Frances and her husband Allen join the destitute prince in Paris’s Louvre Palace to support his restoration. As the women work from the shadows to topple Cromwell’s regime, their husbands fight openly for the throne on England’s bloody battlefields. But will the return of the king be a victory, or destroy them all? Separated by loyalty and bound by love, Luce, Nan and Frances hold the fate of England—and their family—in their hands. A true story based on surviving memoirs of Elizabeth St.John’s family.
final words from chelle…
Thanks Elizabeth for coming over to Curled Up With A Good Book and speaking to us. Your family sounds so interesting – what a fascinating history! It’s brilliant that you’ve been able to go back so far in your families history and find out so much; I now need to read your books!! I’d love to hear about the ghosts too! I love the fact that when you first met your Husband it was love at first sight – how romantic! And I absolutely love the word Serendipity – after seeing the film years ago I fell in love with it. Finally, I can’t believe you were threatened with kidnap and then smuggled on to a plane – there’s definitely a book there!
If you have any questions or comments, then make sure you get in touch.
Have a wonderful day my lovelies