I’m delighted to welcome Rebecca Thomas here today for an interview and a look at her historical romance novella, The Blacksmith’s Son.
Hi, Rebecca, so glad to have you here today.Tell us a little about The Blacksmith’s Son. What inspired this story?
The Blacksmith’s Son, a historical romance novella, released on November 25, 2013. This story is actually a spin-off from my very first manuscript. I seem to have a thing for stables, rain, coaching inns, and horses. These four things seem to be constantly reoccurring in my historical romances. So the setting is the same, especially the stables, but the characters are different. I started thinking about what kinds of things could happen in the stables near a coaching inn. People passing through on their way to somewhere else, to me, it makes fodder for good story ideas.
Captain Quentin Drake returns home after his naval commission ends to find a young groom being beaten in the village stables. Weary from his travels, he only wants a good night’s sleep, but refuses to turn a blind eye to the lad’s mistreatment. He intervenes, taking the lad to his room, only to discover the boy…is a woman.
After Ally Lockwood witnesses an earl murdering another man, she’s in fear for her life. She flees his estate and masquerades as a boy while assisting the local blacksmith. Her ruse is up when a handsome stranger tending to her wounds disrobes her. Involvement with the Captain lures Ally into believing she can return to life as a woman, but it may also draw the killer back on her trail.
Do you have any other releases scheduled for this year?
Yes, another historical romance novella! Her Christmas Colt scheduled to be released in December.
How do you come up with ideas?
I start by thinking about an event that would be difficult or funny or unique. In the case of The Blacksmith’s Son I thought about how difficult it would be to put down an animal, even when it’s the most humane thing to do. I put myself in a stall with a horse and imagined what I would feel like. And from there, Ally started to take root in my head. Many writers think of the character first, I tend to think of a situation first. Maybe a funeral, or a wedding, or maybe going to a tattoo parlor, whatever the situation, I first think what it might be like for me, then I think in terms of what it would be like for a particular character. How might they think, feel, or react in a given situation.
Can you share with us “the call” story?
My call came in the form of an email first. The standard…Thank you for submitting The Blacksmith’s Son to Entangled Publishing. Unfortunately we are unable to offer a contract at this time…of course if you’re like me you’ve received plenty of rejection letters and they all read the same except this letter had a BUT, a but I would like to offer the option to revise and resubmit. If you’re interested in discussing, I’d be happy to arrange a phone call with you. I don’t think I continued reading at this point. I just picked up the phone and called my CP. Needless to say I was jumping up and down. And all this just because I was given the opportunity to revise and resubmit. Only much later did I discover there are a lot of folks out there who revise and resubmit and still get a rejection. Luckily for me, six months later I signed my contract.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
Getting into the head of another person in the form of a character. As silly as it sounds, I think about fight, or flight, in different situations. For example a person who is confronted with a stressful situation or choice, are they going to fight, or run, or avoid? The situation can be as simple as someone lying to you and you know they are lying. Do you fight with them about it, or decide the fight just isn’t worth it? Every person in this situation is going to react differently.
Do you have a favorite hero and/or heroine in your books and why?
I don’t have a favorite hero or heroine but I do have favorite qualities in my characters. It’s hard to narrow it down, but if I had to choose one quality that I love in a heroine, it’s spunk. In a hero, it’s loyalty.
What is your favorite memory from childhood?
I don’t know that I can pinpoint a favorite but I can remember being five years old and I couldn’t wait to learn to read. I wanted to read so badly, but it didn’t come easily to me. I guess you would call me a reluctant reader. I really struggled and I’ll never forget that frustrating feeling of wanting something so badly, and not being able to accomplish it without a ton of hard work and determination. Even at five years old, I remember this very clearly.
Who influenced your decision to become a writer?
My Dad would be the person who influenced me the most because he taught me to believe in myself, and through hard work, you can accomplish just about anything. I think we have to adjust and tweak our dreams and goals as we grow. When I was twelve I wanted to be an Olympic figure skater. My family didn’t have the money or means for me to have the coaching required to be an Olympic athlete, but I could be on my high school volleyball team. So I adjusted my dream to be the best volleyball player I could be. Then my dream was to graduate from college, then to become a wife and mother. It wasn’t until my kids got older and weren’t quite so labor intensive that I could focus again on what I wanted to achieve and dream for me. So my goal became to have a job I love. That translated into becoming a writer. I haven’t quit my day job yet, but that is my ultimate goal.
1835, Liverpool, England
Ally’s steps slowed and she glanced between buildings. Lightning flashed in the distance, temporarily rendering her blind against the black of night. She peered down the street, seeking any signs of movement. Carefully, she set the rifle down to tighten the belt holding up her trousers. She double-checked her cap, making sure no strands of hair fell loose.
After she was positive no one followed her, she picked up her rifle and crept along the stable’s back entrance. An ominous boom of thunder rumbled and a drizzle of rain spit across her cheeks. She paused, lingering in the shadows of the stable, waiting for any sign of people.
She leaned her shoulder against the door, gripping her rifle in one hand and a lantern in the other, and stepped inside. Wariness grazed her spine as she studied each hinged gate along the dirt walkway. Licking the rainwater from her lips, she gazed into the last stall on the right at the colt.
The young sorrel lay on his side, his body thrashing. Terror blazed in his dark brown eyes. He struggled to stand. His back leg was splinted and wrapped and unable to support his weight. Ally set the lantern down beside the colt with trembling hands. A wave of nausea overcame her. She clutched her stomach and willed her nerves to settle.
A spattering of rain sounded on the roof in a low steady hum. She pressed the cool base of the rifle stock against her cheek and hardened her resolve to do what must be done. The metal from the trigger burned into her finger. Gently, she placed the tip of the barrel against the colt’s temple. The colt’s dark eyes widened.
“I’m so sorry,” she whispered in a raspy puff of breath.
She steadied her hold on the rifle.
The colt looked at her as though he understood, as though he’d already forgiven her.
“I can’t do it.” The rifle slipped from her hands. She fell to her knees and retched.
Defeated, she dropped her chin to her chest and cried. How could anyone let an animal suffer so? She had to take him out of his misery. She had to.
A loud crash at the front stable door jolted Ally from her despair. Footsteps followed the screech of gate hinges.
“You there, boy—” The man pointed a slim finger at her. “What do you think you’re doing?”
Her blood turned cold in a jolt of recognition. She knew that face: Harrison Cross, the Earl of Linford. “M—Milord, I was just attending to this colt.”
“You.” A murderous rage flashed in the depths of his ice blue eyes.
She knew those eyes and she prayed he didn’t recognize her.
You can find The Blacksmith’s Son at:
A Giveaway! $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble e-gift card (winner’s choice)
Bio: Rebecca Thomas enjoys a love-hate relationship with Alaska, where she lives with her husband and two teen-aged sons. While she struggles with some aspects of the 49th state (darkness, cold) she has grown to appreciate the unique things the last frontier has to offer (no traffic, 24 hour daylight, privacy). When she’s not reading, writing, or playing board games, she’s cheering for her sons at their hockey games and tennis matches.
You can find Rebecca at: