Episode 19: Emily Brightwell

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Today's interview is with the talented and gracious Emily Brightwell. With her charming Mrs. Jeffries series, Emily is the Queen of historical cozies. Check out her website to learn more. And since I will not attempt to get the order right for all her books, you can click here to get the list directly from the source! Her most recent novel, Mrs. Jeffries Wins The Prize, is the 34th in the series, and a wonderful adventure with old friends and new ones. It also tackles the British presence in India, with an eye towards the British women who, if they were brave enough to venture there, were often rewarded by marrying up in the world. I found a fascinating article about that; apparently the women who couldn't bag a husband were sent home as "returned empties." Oh, my! Emily gives a shout-out to YA author Christopher Pike, who shares both her optimism and her prolific nature, having written a dizzying number of books. As always, if you'd rather read than listen, below is a transcript. Enjoy! Transcript for Interview with Emily Brightwell Laura Brennan: My guest today is the author of the charming and New York Times best-selling Victorian mysteries, known affectionately as the Mrs. Jeffries series. Combining a cozy sensibility with historical mysteries and a beloved cast of supporting characters, Emily Brightwell has created her own genre and a world readers return to with pleasure. Emily, thank you so much for joining me. Emily Brightwell: And thank you very much for having me. LB: Tell me a little bit about how you got started writing. EB: I was always a secret scribbler. It was only when I was a manager, human resources manager, that I realized that I didn't want to be a secret scribbler, I wanted to be a real scribbler. So I started writing and I was pretty analytical when I looked at genre fiction, because that was what I enjoyed reading. Mysteries have always been my first love, but I also do like romances very very much. And I realize that that was probably the best way to get into publication, which is what my goal was. So I wrote for what was then the Silhouette line, but I believe now Silhouette's been taken over by Harlequin. So I wrote three of those romances, and another romance for Meteor Publishing, which then got bought out by Harlequin/Silhouette and never got published. But my very first sale was to a romance publisher in Germany, and I was paid the princely sum of $300 for it, I kid you not. But it was a great experience, and I started writing the Mrs. Jeffries series because I heard that Berkeley at that time was looking to do a Victorian series that was a bit more cozy than, say, Anne Perry. LB: Yes, there's nothing cozy about Anne Perry. EB: No, there's not. And she's a brilliant writer, I was in no way disparaging that. I just happen to really enjoy what I do, which is writing cozies. LB: Well, they are such interesting cozies, because they are set in a very different world and you have a real connection to England, I understand. EB: Yes, I do, and his name is Richard and he is my husband. We've gone back and forth many times, I lived there for several years, we go back and forth. I absolutely adore England. I adore the United Kingdom. It's a wonderful, wonderful place, and you get inspired just walking around some of the streets. You can actually see the fog coming in off the river and know that someone's being stalked by killer, and Mrs. Jeffries will catch them. LB: I was so chuffed that your books have been translated into Japanese. EB: Yes, they sold the first three to Japan. I was rather amazed myself, but my husband said, he goes, well, it's a group effort, and that's a society that has great respect for the efforts of a group, and so perhaps that's what appealed to them. We've also had a sale for the first book to Hungary, which I also thought was interesting. LB: Your supporting cast of characters is tremendous. EB: So it's huge,

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