Hearts Through History Romance Writers

Member spotlight on Grace Ann Kone (aka Blair Bancroft)!

by | February 15, 2021

Lea Goad (VP2 – Communications): Hello Hearts Through History members, today I’m talking with HHRW member Grace Ann Kone. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you’ve been working on?

Do you write full-time or part-time?
What’s the hardest part of writing?
Love it. It’s energizing even when I’m exhausted, though I no longer write at night, as I did when I was younger.
What’s your favorite historical movie?
The Vikings TV series, The Guns of Navarone, both Pearl Harbor & both Midway movies.
Who’s your favorite historical figure?
Julius Caesar, Franklin Delano Roosevelt
If you could meet anyone in history, who would it be?
Eleanor Roosevelt
If you could time travel, what era would you visit?
Regency England & Medieval England
What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t write long paragraphs.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
My mother was a very successful author of children’s books. It never occurred to me we could have two writers in the same family. I pursued a career in music, ended up editor of a small children’s publishing company, tried to write when my children went off to school. The result: my mother kindly telling me that perhaps I just wasn’t meant to be a writer. Children in college, home-bound with invalid husband, I tried again. A few years later, after reading one of my early works, my mother informed me I was a better author than she was. So definitely, I was a late-bloomer.

Are there specific books or authors who have influenced you as a writer?
I’ve been an avid reader since I was old enough to read, which covers a lot of influence from vastly different directions: Heinlein & Asimov to Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. Later, Jayne Ann Krentz & Nora Roberts’s more serious books.
Give us a brief rundown of your process. Are you a plotter, a pantser, or somewhere in the middle?
I am a devoted “out of the mist” writer, frequently posting to my blog Mosaic Moments (Writing & Editing advice) that I can hardly wait to get to my computer each morning so I can find out what happens next. If I had to write a detailed a synopsis in advance, I’d know what was going to happen and lose interest in writing the book.

Can you tell us a bit about your journey to publication?
Slow, very slow. I started out writing Mainstream (historical) in an era when authors were supposed to make their bones by starting small, writing for Harlequin/Silhouette. (A genre of Romance I never, ever read.) Only with the advent of e-publishing & winning the Golden Heart did I finally get serious recognition. To illustrate my frustration during those early years, an RWA regional contest disqualified my Tarleton’s Wife entry. A judge contracted me privately to say that the person running the contest thought me guilty of plagiarism because no beginner could write that well. Sigh. (Tarleton’s Wife had an offer from one of the first e-publishers a couple of months before it won the Golden Heart. I still remember the gasp from the audience when I announced that at the Awards Ceremony.) At nearly the same time, I sold my first piece of deliberate fluff to Kensington’s Precious Gems. Tarleton’s Wife , now in something like its fifth incarnation (counting e & print), is still selling, twenty-one years after its debut in 1999. At a later RWA conference, the editor of Signet’s Regency series invited submissions, and I managed to corral my tendencies to serious historical novels long enough to write six traditional Regencies, one of which was nominated for a Golden Heart. In 2011, I entered the world of indie publishing and have never looked back. I love it.
Tell us about your latest release and what’s coming next for you.
I am currently absorbed in inventing a new Regency sub-genre – at least I think it is. With the deliberate intent of writing a Covid Blues-chaser, I have just finished Book 2 of the Matthew Wolfe series—the story of a young man in the Regency era, born in one of London’s rookeries, but clearly destined for better things. (There’s even a hint that his father might be heir to some small European country.) What is different about these stories is that, more like a mystery series, there is not an HEA romantic ending to each book, and each (until the last) is composed serial-style, ending with a cliff-hanger.

Blair Bancroft website: www.blairbancroft.com
Blog: https://mosaicmoments.blogspot.com
    Mosaic Moments specializes in Writing & Editing tips, particularly for newbies.
Facebook Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/blairbancroftauthor
Twitter: @blairbancroft
Linkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/graceann-kone-566b0430/




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