Meet Rosemary Morris Author of The Captain and The Countess

Posted by Katie L. Carroll on February 21, 2014 in Books, Guest, MuseItUp, Writing |

I’m very pleased to have historical novelist Rosemary Morris, author of The Captain and the Countessshare some of her writing wisdom today on the blog. Let’s give Rosemary a big welcome on her book b-day!

The Captain and The Countess 200x300Thank you very much for inviting me to be your guest.

As you know I am a historical novelist, and one of the questions frequently put to me is: “Where do you get your ideas from?”

Usually, the idea for a plot comes from something I have read in a non-fiction book. While I am working in my organic garden, where I grow herbs, fruit and vegetables or while I am using them in my vegetarian cuisine, I think about the plot and theme. I ask myself the following questions. “Who are the main characters? What is going to happen? Where will it happen? When will it happen? Why will it happen?”

Before I can begin to write a historical fiction novel I name the characters. This is very important. They must be appropriate for the period when the story takes place. After I have chosen their names, I compose detailed character profiles. By the time I am ready to write the first sentence, I know who their ancestors were, what they look like, where they were educated, when they were born, what their favourite perfume is, their eccentricities, their hopes and fears etc. Although I only use a fraction of the four page profiles they create people who live and breathe in my imagination.

A frequent remark which people make is: “I could write a book.” I am sure they could if they set aside time to write. I wake at 6 a.m. and with short breaks I work until 10 or 11 a.m. If I am at home for the rest of the day I work from 1.30 p.m. until 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.

To complete a novel an author must be self-disciplined. The important thing is to keep to a routine. As I sip my early morning tea I revise the pages I wrote on the previous day and then continue the story. Whether my muse is with me or not my goal is to write 2,000 words but if I need to research something, depending on how much time that takes, I write less.

Part of my writing time includes reading historical non-fiction to research a wide variety of subjects – for example, clothes, food, furnishings, economic and social history. I also read poetry, fiction, letters, biographies and auto-biographies dating back to the era I am writing about.  I believe historical novelists have a duty to reconstruct the life and times of their characters and recreate their world.  In my opinion, the further back in time a novel takes place the harder it is to enter the minds of people who lived then, but although their culture and attitudes might have been different, they were driven by the same things as we are – love, hate, greed, revenge, duty, etc.

Apart from writing and research, which from time to time includes visiting places such as a stately home, garden or museum, I blog, apply critiques of my chapters from members of groups which I belong to and critique their chapters. This is mutually useful. We comment on rogue punctuation and spelling, query possible historical inaccuracies and tell each other what we like about each other’s novel

One thing is certain, my characters and I are never bored.

The Captain and the Countess blurb:

Set in England in the reign of Queen Anne Stuart – 1702 -1714

Why does heart-rending pain lurk in the back of the wealthy Countess of Sinclair’s eyes?

Captain Howard’s life changes forever from the moment he meets Kate, the intriguing Countess and resolves to banish her pain.

Although the air sizzles when widowed Kate, victim of an abusive marriage meets Edward Howard, a captain in Queen Anne’s navy, she has no intention of ever marrying again.

However, when Kate becomes better acquainted with the Captain she realises he is the only man who understands her grief and can help her to untangle her past.

E.books published by: MuseItUp Publishing available from the publisher, Amazon and elsewhere.

Tangled Love, Far Beyond Rubies (also available as a paperback) False Pretences, Sunday’s Child. New release 21st February 2014 The Captain and the Countess.

Rosemary Morris - Small photoAbout the Author:

Rosemary Morris was born in 1940 in Sidcup Kent.  As a child, when she was not making up stories, her head was ‘always in a book.’

While working in a travel agency, Rosemary met her Indian husband.  He encouraged her to continue her education at Westminster College.  In 1961 Rosemary and her husband, now a barrister, moved to his birthplace, Kenya, where she lived from 1961 until 1982.  After an attempted coup d’état, she and four of her children lived in an ashram in France.

Back in England, Rosemary wrote historical fiction.  She is now a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Historical Novel Society and Watford Writers.

Apart from writing, Rosemary enjoys classical Indian literature, reading, visiting places of historical interest, vegetarian cooking, growing organic fruit, herbs and vegetables and creative crafts.

Her bookshelves are so crammed with historical non-fiction which she uses to research her novels that if she buys a new book she has to consider getting rid of one.

Time spent with her five children and their families, most of whom live near her is precious.




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  • Great post, Rosemary and your book sounds wonderful. You have certainly been around. Very interesting! Wishing you tons of luck on your story. It’s on my TBR list!

  • Thanks for guest blogging today, Rosemary! Best of luck with all your books. 🙂

  • Leona Pence says:

    I enjoyed your interview, Rosemary and Katie. I truly envy your writing discipline. I’m the type who waits for my muse to yell at me.

    I admire authors who write Historical Romance, my favorite books. Yours sounds very interesting and well researched.

    Best wishes and lots of luck on sales.

    PS: I was happy to see another Muse author near my age. I was born in 1942. I’m still amazed that I had my book published at age seventy.

    • Leona,

      I’m mortified because I didn’t acknowledge your comment.

      If I wasn’t disciplined I would never write another word. At the moment my muse is shouting, get on with Monday’s Child the sequel to Sunday’s Child.

      History fascinates me. Recently, I visited The Viking Exhibition at the British Museum and came away with an idea for a novel. The problem is that I have more ideas for novels than I have time to write them. I keep all the ideas in an online file.

  • Wonderful post, Rosemary! I love that you put so much time and effort into your research. It always frustrates me to come across glaring inaccuracies 🙂 Best of luck with your new release!

    • Meredith,

      I am mortified because I did not reply to your comment. There was so much going on – amongst other things my kitchen had been stripped and the new one was being fitted.

      Yes, I hate historical inaccuracies. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s possible to be 100% accurate but I try my best and then check and double check,

      All the best,

      Rosemary Morris


      P.S. You might enjoy the book trailers on my website.

  • Mary says:

    Rosemary, what a great post! I loved hearing your writing schedule and how you work so much out before you start writing. (I do that too!)The Captain and the Countess sounds delightful. Best of luck with it.

    • Mary,

      I’m mortified because I didn’t respond to your comment. There was so much going on including a new kitchen being fitted.

      I think the ground work for a novel is essential and am glad you agree,

      All the best,

      Rosemary Morris


      P.S. You might enjoy the book trailers on my website.

  • I enjoyed your interview. I agree, historical names must come first. Then my characters can talk to me. Best luck, the books sounds wonderful.

    • Rose,

      So sorry for not responding to your comment earlier. There was so much going on including a new kitchen being fitted but that’s not a valid excuse. I should have found time.

      Very pleased because you like the interview.

  • Susan Macatee says:

    Hi, Rosemary! I also write historical and time travel romance and follow many of the same routines when starting on a new book. Right now, though, I’m trying to write my first contemporary romance series, but am starting, as usual, by writing character sketches. I like to delve into the main characters and do psychological profiles of each that I learned years ago to build goals, motivation and conflict. Then I move to setting and plot. It’s always hard for me to get started on something new, but delving into the characters really helps my mind to churn and I start to get excited about my new story.

    • Susan,

      So sorry for not replying to your comment earlier. My excuse is that there was so much going on including my kitchen being replaced. Oh, the dust, the noise and the confusion!

      I don’t find it hard to start a new novel, I don’t make detailed plans but I do know what the beginning, the middle and the end will be. The middle is particularly important because I don’t want to ‘run out of steam’ halfway through,

      All the best,

      Rosemary Morris


      P.S. You might enjoy my book trailers which you can view on the website.

  • Hi Rosemary,

    Great insight into your writing process. I’ve finally met another person who must discard a book in order to buy a new one. My shelves are bulging and sagging with books! Your book sounds like a great read. Best of luck with it.

    • Gemma,

      Apologies for not responding earlier to your comment. There was so much going on including my new kitchen being fitted. Oh, the noise, the dust and the confusion!

      The answer to my sagging bookshelves? I’ve had some shelves fitted in my bedroom. I’ve also bought some gorgeous boxes and fancy box files with pictures of peacocks etc., on the spines and covers to store all the clutter.

      All the best,

      Rosemary Morris

      P.S. You might like the book trailers on my website.


  • Loren says:

    “…the further back in time a novel takes place the harder it is to enter the minds of people who lived then, but…they were driven by the same things as we are…”

    Rosemary, I love these lines. I always felt like a cheater when I read Heyer, for the reason you mention; as much research as she did, how could she truly see life from her historical characters’ perspectives?
    But you’re right, we are all driven by the same core motives/needs.

    Best of success!

  • “To complete a novel an author must be self-disciplined.” Yes, yes, and, yes! Your writing schedule put me to shame. Off to write… 🙂

    • Anna,

      So sorry for not responding earlier. My excuse? Having a new kitchen fitted.

      If I did not have a writing schedule I would never write a word. On some mornings, afternoons and evenings I really don’t want to write and deal with ‘writerly’ matters, but I get on with it and somehow or other I write a novel and get on with the writing related activities.

      All the best,
      Rosemary Morris


      P.S. You might enjoy the book trailers on my website.

  • Kudos to Rosemary. Historical fiction is so tough to write.

    • Sorry for not replying earlier. My new kitchen was being installed with the inevitable, noise, mess and confusion.

      Yes, historical fiction is difficult to write and I spend a lot of time checking and re-checking facts.

      All the best,

      Rosemary Morris


      P.S. You might enjoy the book trailers on my website.

  • Thanks to all of you who stopped by and commented! Rosemary certainly has an admirable work ethic and some great writing advice.

    • Katie,

      Sorry for being so late with my replies. The kitchen, which was being refitted, caused such chaos that I could not concentrate on anything.

      Thank you for your kind comment,

      All the best,

      Rosemary Morris


      P.S. You might enjoy my book trailers which are on my website.

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