Hello to everyone from May Burnett in Vienna, Austria. I’ve been writing in a variety of genres for over a year now. Writing is much more interesting than my former day job in the civil service.
I have always loved romance, especially historical romance, and over the years have collected about two thousand such novels, even though I only kept the best. There are just so many excellent romances written over the last twenty years, and though tastes are gradually changing, I always feel a pang at giving away one of my old favourites.
Like many other readers I always felt that I could write historical romance too, if not as brilliantly as a Loretta Chase or Mary Balogh, then at least as good as the average. I did not fool myself that it would be easy, in fact one of the first EBooks I published, under the pseudonym of May Essex, had the title How to Write an Awful Romance. I wrote it as a challenge to myself, to see if I could write, edit and self-publish it in one single day. This pamphlet was actually discussed months later, approvingly, by the well-known All About Romance blog.
Of course I could not then use the same pen name for my own first attempts. First she explains how to write an awful book, then she goes ahead and does it … I could just imagine the sarcastic comments.
My first venture into Romance proper was a Regency novel published in June 2014, The Impostor Debutante, which sold over 1000 copies, not counting borrows, in the first month. To my delight, it also garnered a number of mostly favourable reviews. In July the sequel followed, My Last Marchioness. The working title for the next volume is The Sister Quest. The whole series, The Amberley Chronicles, is projected to have seven or eight titles eventually, published at eight-weekly intervals. This is a schedule that only self-publishing allows, by the way, no traditional publisher could or would do it, and probably very few writers.
Since I write first of all to please myself, rather than following current trends and prevailing tastes, my books do not completely fit all readers’ expectations. I am fed up with the countless tortured, self-indulgent and flawed heroes and endless dukes, and write about decent, mature people with minor flaws like vanity or class prejudice. I do not like to delve at length into extremely negative emotions like guilt and anguish. Some of my characters tend to be reserved or excellent liars, to keep up appearances and temporarily mislead the reader along with other characters. Since I like to hide crucial facts and clues, maybe I will try my hand at a regency mystery with a romantic subplot next.
My aim is entertainment, even though I touch on serious subjects on occasion. I only hope that my readers will have as much pleasure with my books, as I have fun writing them.