Willa Ramsey is the debut author of Everything but the Earl, out now through City Owl Press. Welcome to the blog, Willa!
Name: Willa Ramsey
Book title: Everything but the Earl
Book genre: Historical Romance
Release date: July 3, 2018
Publisher: City Owl Press
Please tell us about your book.
Two Regency rakes are messing with the wrong Miss. But will teaching them never to harass another woman cost her everything—including the man she loves?
What sparked the idea for EVERYTHING BUT THE EARL?
First, I wanted to write about an extroverted, funny, ambitious woman, and what sort of obstacles she might face in trying to be herself in Regency England. This is partly a tribute to my extroverted friends, whom I adore, and partly because I wish more books had protagonists like that! I’m introverted myself, but I’m drawn to extroverts.
And second, I wanted to write about slut-shaming. Because even though that’s a modern name for it, women have been slandered, in highly sexualized terms, since the beginning of time for everything from the clothes they wear to the opinions they express. The fact that we’re still dealing with that bugs me to no end.
Did you have to do any research?
I was already familiar with the Regency, but had to consult a number of sources to get the details of aristocratic titles, place names, clothes, and other period elements just right. I also did quite a bit of specialized research into the hot-air ballooning and bare-knuckle boxing of that era, which was really fun!
Also, my heroine’s father is the Royal Architect and her mother is secretly an architect, too. I’m hoping that my background in city planning and my many years of working with architects (and studying with and living with them, too) helps these characters come to life for readers.
How did you celebrate when you learned EVERYTHING BUT THE EARL was going to be published?
My husband and I went out to dinner at a fancy restaurant, which we don’t get to do very often because we have little kids. But we’ve gone to that same spot to celebrate Mr. Ramsey’s accomplishments a few times, and it was incredibly rewarding for me to hear him proudly tell everyone this time around about my own, long-awaited milestone.
If you were speaking to someone who hasn’t read your writing before, why should they want to read EVERYTHING BUT THE EARL?
I’m going to toot my own horn here for a second—because I’ve worked so hard for this!—and say that If you like smooth prose, a distinctive voice, and sparkling dialogue, this book is for you.
One recent reader said that EARL has “Austen-like wit.” Others have described the prose and voice as “natural” and “perfect for the Regency era.” Another called the book “lyrical and lush.”
And I want potential readers to know how proudly feminist EARL is. The heroine and hero—Caro and Adam—have an equal partnership, and the story upends the gender roles one might expect in a Regency romance. Caro is ambitious and outspoken. Adam is a homebody who wants a love match.
What’s one piece of advice you would offer your younger writer self?
I’d tell Younger Willa to do herself a solid and grow some patience!
Because working on my writing and learning about publishing were obvious things for me to do as an aspiring author. But developing patience wasn’t.
And that’s so important to a writer’s well-being. We have such a personal connection to our writing that it’s hard to endure long intervals of not knowing what other people think of it.
But there are a lot of those intervals in this business: You query and then you wait. You submit your manuscript and wait, turn in edits and wait, and send your ARCs to potentials reviewers and then SURPRISE! you wait some more. Every writer needs good practices for handling this with grace and self-care.
Where can readers find you (website, blog, social media, etc.)?
I really like Instagram and Facebook, and I also use Twitter and Goodreads. You can sign up for my newsletter (which is still under construction) on my website. Here are the links:
My website: www.willaramsey.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/willaramseyauthorpage/
Thank you for your interest!
Thank YOU, Willa! Can’t wait to read Everything but the Earl.
Miss Caroline Crispin is on top of the world. But she’s about to take a painful fall.
As the daughter of London’s most in-demand architect, Caro has laughed and danced and pursued her interests with gusto—free from Society’s censure. So when she overhears two lords calling her vulgar names and wagering on whose lover she’ll become, she’s shocked and stung—and determined to teach them a lesson. Though it pains her to ask for help from another brutish lord…
Lord Ryland isn’t the man his father wanted him to be. But he’s about to make an excellent catch.
Adam, Earl Ryland, just wants to get married and tend his country garden, away from the bucks, fops, and gossips who pester him to box like his late father. When this gentle giant meets his sister’s friend Caro—who parries his flirtations with double entendre that would make a barman blush—he’s smitten. But there’s a problem: she’s looking to him for a different sort of partnership. And it’s a risky one.