INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR Cate Parke
Today I’m interviewing Cate Parke. Her book, Dreams Within Dreams is a historical romance and was released on May 22nd.
Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.
The story takes place over a ten year period of time and is set not only in England, but also in Inveraray, Scotland but also colonial Charleston, South Carolina. The end of the book leaves my readers at the cusp of the Revolutionary War in the southern colonies—which they may not realize, began during the spring of 1780 rather than in 1776. The story opens in London and my characters are making their bows before the Queen of England. Soon they’ll leave for Inveraray Castle in Scotland. They’ll return to London before sailing back to Charlestowne where they make their home. There’s my possible solution to how King George III came to receive the Declaration of Independence and my take on one of the other tea parties. (Everyone has heard of the Boston Tea Party, but it was only one among several that took place in the major American coastal cities as England attempted to coerce their American colonists to bend their knees to English governance and rule. The hero of my story is caught up in Charleston’s version of the tea crisis. I hope to make my readers not only laugh, but also shed tears as the story unfolds. I believe the mark of a really well-told tale has the ability to grab hold of a reader and pull deep emotion from a reader.
Describe the genre of this particular title, and is it the only genre you write in?
Dreams Within Dreams is historical romance. At the moment, it’s the only genre I write in. This book includes settings in the Scottish Highlands, Colonial Charleston, S.C. and Georgian London
How did this story come to be?
This was originally the second part of a single very, very long book. I described it to my daughter, also a romance author, and her first words of advice were “cut it.” She elaborated and told me nobody would ever, ever publish such a long book. (I’ve since learned she was oh, so right.) So I cut the story into three parts and now each part is more or less a stand-alone novel in a three-part series.
What is your writing routine like?
After taking care of breakfast and my morning chores, I sit down to answer mail from my readers and then start attending to my writing. I try to spend at least five hours daily writing. Sometimes it turns into more hours—and sometimes not.
Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped?
Oh, my goodness. I’m a member of Romance Writers of America, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers of America and Celtic Rose Writers. I can’t believe how much I’ve learned about the business of writing and promotion from the enormously talented authors I’ve met there. I’ve met several of them “off loop,” as we say. I’ve formed close friendships with a number of them.
What character is most like you or least like you?
None of them are like me, actually. Unlike Alexandra, I can’t sing or play a musical instrument. (Nobody would ever ask me to sing. The best that can be said of me is that I add volume to a choir.) My blog is called Tuesday’s child, but unlike the Tuesday’s child in the dear old Mother Goose tale, grace is not my middle name. So dancing is out—at least the real stuff, like waltzing. So I write. The only way I might have resembled Alexandra was with my red hair—at least it used to be! I have blue eyes, but mine are turquoise rather than sapphire…and I’m short. My, darling husband tells me that nobody is shorter than me. Not true. I’m 5’1” tall. I know several shorter people. (So, okay, most of them are children. Eyes rolling here.)
What most inspires you in life?
My wonderful husband. He’s my real-life hero.
What’s next for you?
I’m currently finishing the third book in my series, Patriot’s Dreams. This book tells the story of my character’s struggle to survive and keep their home intact during the long months of the Revolutionary War in the South. Think The Patriot (movie) or Turn (television show.
Richard Berkeley has won his treasure, but Lord Thomas Graham is back and Richard is on his home turf now. Laughable fop or a menacing foe? No matter which, Richard will be damned if he lets himself become a Rob Roy for yet another Marquis of Montrose.
War looms—which side will he choose? If he makes the wrong choice, will it rip their love asunder?
Can Richard adhere to his firmly held principles…or must he choose those of Alexandra’s English family’s to preserve their marriage’s bliss?
Courage, Alexandra’s special gift…is also her curse. Lord Thomas Graham will stop at nothing to ruin the Campbells, Richard and Alexandra included. He’s struck at her beloved husband once…twice…three times. How long before his malignant influence knocks at Oakhurst’s great front door? It will not. Not if she can thwart it.
A little bit about the author
I am a writer of historical romances. I’ve been an avid reader all my life and began writing seriously eight years ago. In my day job, I am a registered nurse. It has been my privilege to practice Pediatric nursing during my entire career. I’m also the wife of a retired U.S. Navy officer. I've lived and travelled with him for the twenty-six years of his career. With him I've visited England, Canada, Mexico and all but four of the United States. Thanks to him, I've dipped my toes in every body of water that washes America’s shores, including the Gulfs of Mexico and California and even the Arctic Ocean (br-r). I’ve travelled over, under and on both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. After many journeys across this great nation and back again, I now live, love and write among the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in lovely Northeast Tennessee.
“Mr. Richard Berkeley and Lady Alexandra Berkeley,” proclaimed the queen’s chamberlain in stentorian tones. Sharp pounding resounded throughout the noisy chamber when he struck his long mace against the marble floor once…twice.
Heads swiveled their way. Painted and many-patched men and their ladies, garbed in gorgeous court clothes and dripping with jewels, thronged St. James Palace on this Thursday evening for the queen’s bi-weekly Drawing Room. Word of the Berkeleys’ appearance had spread through St. James District like fire through a ramshackle barn stuffed with dry hay bales.
Richard’s and Alexandra’s sponsors, her grandmother and aunt, flanked them. Two duchesses as sponsors—such had never before been the case to everybody’s certain knowledge.
Richard led Alexandra forward through crowds that parted like the Red Sea before Moses when they passed down the center of the mammoth room. Halting before the pregnant queen, Richard swept his grey tricorn from his head, extended a foot and bowed from his waist while his wife sank into a deep curtsey.
Waves of murmurs swept through the assembly behind them, scarcely inaudible confidences, overheard by Richard’s keen ear. One of them, a girl born with every advantage, had allied herself to a mere gentleman whom nobody had ever heard of before, nobody would distinguish with an invitation anywhere, and nobody wanted to know. Yet from the number of invitations flooding in to Her Grace of Argyll’s secretary, everybody most plainly did. From the corner of Richard’s eye, he glimpsed several short men and a few women clamber onto chairs to capture a better view of them. One elderly dame even lifted a lorgnette containing pink glass to match her silk gown. Richard successfully stifled a smirk. For somebody nobody wanted to acknowledge, he’d garnered enormous attention.
“We have not enjoyed your presence in our Court for the past year and more, Lady Alexandra.”
Queen Charlotte’s gaze swept her from bright red, high-piled curls to the hem of her magnificent embroidered cloth-of-silver wedding gown, the only acceptable attire for her appearance today.
“We hear you have given birth to a son, Lady Alexandra. What did you name him?”
“Edward Thomas Rutledge Campbell Berkeley, Ma’am. He was born last December.”
“We are pleased to see you in good health, for you appear well, indeed. You give no evidence of your recent travail. And you are happy, we see, for you are aglow with it. Very well, very well,” she smiled, a rare occurrence during one of these tedious events, and waved her hand in dismissal. “Now step aside, gel, while we acquaint ourself with your gentleman.”
Richard snapped to attention and bowed his head. “Your servant, Ma’am,” he drawled. His accent, with its long, slow, in-gliding vowels brought a smile to the queen’s lips. Those near enough to witness her open appreciation gasped, their eyes widened with amazement.
The small woman before him lifted her head and gazed into his eyes. He’d come to recognize such smiles. He’d seen them since he was a boy, fighting off advances from flirtatious females.
“We are charmed by your distinctive accent, Mr. Berkeley. You are from Charlestowne of our South Carolina colony, are you not?”
“Yes, Ma’am. I am.”
“Yet you spent a number of years in England.”
“That’s true, Ma’am,” he grinned, impressed she knew anything of him. Of course, Alexandra had written her and, doubtless, explained. “I attended school in England. Lord Edward Campbell convinced my father to send me to Eton when I was eight years old. Later, I entered his alma mater, Christ Church, Oxford. Afterward, I trained in the law at London’s Inner Temple.”
“Is that when you met Lady Alexandra?”
“No, Ma’am. I didn’t have that privilege until several years later.”
From the corner of his eye, he glimpsed Alexandra slanting a glance at him while he stood at ease, with hands folded behind his back, and flashed a grin at the queen. The small brown-haired, sallow-skinned woman with striking turquoise eyes lifted her chin. He suspected nobody ever presumed to grin at her. But Her Majesty was a woman and, he supposed, from her widened eyes and the flirty grin playing on her lips, he’d surprised and stricken her, as most women had been all his life.
“How was that, Mr. Berkeley?”
“Lord Edward Campbell, Lady Alexandra’s father, was my mentor and, later, my business partner, Ma’am. He and my father planned a betrothal between us since we were children—though, they didn’t bother to share the information with either of us until the spring of 1768. Since I was soon to embark upon a voyage to England, His Lordship sent along a letter of introduction to the Duke of Argyll, in Inveraray, Scotland. After I saw to my affairs in London, I travelled north—and met my wife.”
“I see. Yet, Lady Alexandra failed to mention it to us during the following year when she served us as a Maid of Honor.”
Richard grinned again, amused. Her Majesty gasped and leaned toward him, her eyes widened further. He doubted any gentleman had ever been so audacious as to display genuine friendliness toward Her Majesty during all the years she’d sat beside her husband on his throne.
“A delicious tale, Mr. Berkeley. We have always been fond of your lady wife, and are pleased you make her happy.”
“I’ve tried, Your Majesty, but I’ve not always succeeded.”
“And why is that, sir?” By her alert posture and the crinkling of her eyes at the corner, Richard knew laughter lurked while she awaited the outcome of his anecdote.
“You see, once I refused to burn a house down for her. On another occasion, I forbade her to ride. I recall even threatening to post guards on her. She was remarkably unhappy with me on both occasions, Ma’am.”
“And why were you commanded to burn a house down, Mr. Berkeley?”
“It contained a nest of snakes, Ma’am.”
How can my readers buy your book?
- Readers can go to the Turquoise Morning Press Bookstore page at http://www.turquoisemorningpressbookstore.com/products/dreams-within-dreams-by-cate-parke
- Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Dreams-Within-Cate-Parke-ebook/dp/B00KHECBW4/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1401214990&sr=1-3&keywords=cate+parke
- Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dreams-within-dreams-cate-parke/1119589606?ean=2940149499205
- All Romance ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-dreamswithindreams-1522009-158.html
- iBooks: http://ibookstore.com/products.php?i=B00KHECBW4
- Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/dreams-within-dreams-2
You can find more information about Cate Parke and my book, Dreams Within Dreams by
visiting my website, http://www.cateparkeauthor.com and click on my books, or
Just a few fun questions to answer if you don’t mind.
1) Hotel room or Tent? Hotel room. Tents lost any glamour they ever might have held for me a long time ago. My dad took us camping every weekend of my life when I was a child.
2) What is your favorite thing to eat? Yummy big salads—and ice cream (Sh-h. Don’t tell my husband.)
3) What is your favorite thing to do a warm summer’s day? Sit outside on my sunny deck and read a good book.
4) Who is your favorite author to read? My all-time favorite author is Grace Burrowes.
5) What’s your favorite movie? The King’s Speech, Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion (2007), and quite a few more. We own over 2000 of our favorite movies.
6) If you were given one week paid vacation to anywhere, where would you go? Scotland’s Highlands. Can’t I stay longer, though, Sarah???
7) Boxers or Briefs? Briefs
8) What’s your favorite flavor of Starburst? I have absolutely no idea. I’ve never had one, lol. (I’ve been deprived.)
9) What is your favorite thing to drink? Fresh sparkling cold water, my husband’s margaritas, good red wine, and great ale.
Thank you for allowing me to interview you here at Heart of Romance. Good luck to you in your future!!!
Thanks so much for hosting me on your lovely blog today, Sarah. You’re one of those very special friends I’ve made along my writer’s journey.